Project – Potted Button Trees

Last week as part of the UFO challenge for Iron Craft, I finished one of these potted button trees that I had been sitting for almost a year. I promised I would share the pattern with all of you this week and here it is.
These were so quick to make up that I made two more in a medium and small size on top of the one I had made last week.

Color-wise, I stuck to the colors of my inspiration trees from a Christmas store in Bruges, Belgium, but I think they could be done in so many ways. The ones I made are red on one side and white on the other, which goes well with the Scandinavian way I tend to decorate for the holidays. But I could also see them done in more natural colors with green trees and the original terra cotta colored pot. Or you could take them a glam route and knit black and white trees with sparkly buttons and paint your pots silver. The variations could fit any style.

Potted Button Trees
Approximate tree sizes including pot (if you knit them to gauge)
Large – 15” Medium – 14” Small – 12”
2/3″ diameter dowels – cut to 12″, 11″ and 9″ lengths
three 2 1/2″ terra cotta pots
red and white acrylic paint
red and white medium weight yarn (Afghan, Aran, or Worsted)
size 7 knitting needles or size needed to get gauge
tapestry needle
red and white buttons
red and white thread
sewing needle
stuffing – I use polyfil
florist foam to fit in pots
serrated knife
foam glue
cotton balls

Paint the dowels white and the pots red. You don’t need to worry about painting the whole dowel, just what will show. Let dry while you make the trees.

Knit the Trees:
Lion’s Brand Vanna’s Choice or similar medium weight yarn (you won’t use a whole ball)
Gauge – 4.5 stitches per inch (gauge isn’t super important here but smaller gauge=smaller tree and vice versa.)
Needles – Size 7 or size to get gauge.
ssk = slip, slip, knit
k2tog – knit 2 together

Knit two triangles of the same size for each tree. My trees are red on one side and white on the other.
Large Tree

Cast on 30 stitches
Row 1 – purl
Row 2 – k1, ssk, k until last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1. 28 stitches remain.
Working in stockinette, decrease in this manner every 4th row 7 more times. 14 stitches remain.
Then decrease in this manner every 6th row 5 times. 4 stitches remain.
Work 3 more row in stockinette.
Last row k1, k2tog, k1
Bind off.

Medium Tree

Cast on 28 stitches
Row 1 – purl
Row 2 – k1, ssk, k until last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1. 26 stitches remain.
Working in stockinette, decrease in this manner every 2nd row 3 more times. 20 stitches remain
Then decrease in this manner every 4th row 4 times. 12 stitches remain
Then decrease in this manner every 6th row 4 times. 4 stitches remain.
Purl one row.
Last row – k1, k2tog, k1
Bind off.

Small Tree

Cast on 26 stitches
Row 1 – purl
Row 2 – k1, ssk, k until last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1. 24 stitches remain
Working in stockinette, decrease in this manner every 2nd row 4 more times. 16 stitches remain.
Then decrease in this manner every 4th row 6 times. 4 stitches remain.
Purl a row
Last row – k1, k2tog, k1
Bind off.

Weave in all your ends.

Using red thread on the white triangle and white on the red triangle, backstitch on the branches and trunk. The vertical stitches are two knit stitches tall, the diagonal stitches are one knit stitch wide. I like to do the two bottom branches first, then the center trunk and top two branches. From there you can evenly space out the branches in-between. Make sure the branches end before the last two stitches on the sides of the triangle.
DSC_0021 DSC_0022
Using co-ordinating thread sew buttons on the trees.
Sew the trees together using either color yarn. Start by using mattress stitch up on side and down the other. Then horizontally seam just about halfway across the middle.
Start lightly stuffing the tree, you don’t want to over stuff these. You want them to stand up, but not be round. Stuff the top fully about 1 1/2″ down and the side where the bottom is closed. Gently put your dowel in (with your top stuffed the dowel should only go in about 1 1/2″ from the top of the tree) and stuff the open side. Pull the yarn around the dowel on the side of the tree that is the same color as the yarn you are using to sew.
Finish horizontally seaming the bottom. Weave in the end.

Put the Potted Tree Together:
Using your serrated knife trim the florist foam to fit in the pot. It doesn’t have to fill the whole thing. Make sure the foam sits about 1/4 inch below the top of the pot.
You can glue it in with the foam glue, but it should be snug enough that you don’t need to.

Stick the dowel in the center of the foam as straight as you possibly can. This will take a little bit of force. Once again you can use a little foam glue if you want. Put some foam glue on top of the foam in the pot and cover with shredded cotton ball to look like snow.

If you knit up a set of these we’d love to see them! Add your picture to our Flickr group.

copyright 2011 Kathy Lewinski
Do not sell or duplicate this pattern. Do not sell items made with this pattern. Do not teach this pattern without my permission. Thank you.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at justcraftyenough AT yahoo DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2011 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish
13 years ago by in Christmas , Crafts , Holiday , Knitting , Knitting Projects , Needlecraft , Projects | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
23 Comments to Project – Potted Button Trees
  1. Pingback: How-To: Knit Potted Button Trees blog

    • Caitlin Kavanaugh
    • Hello Kat,

      I’m one of the editors for the knitting site I absolutely LOVE this project and was hoping that you’d give me permission to link to it. I would also love to feature it in one of our newsletters along with a small picture. All credit, and the link, would go directly to this site.

      Would this be okay with you? I know our readers would absolutely love this adorable project.

      Thank you for your time,


    • eldeejay
    • On the directions for the medium and small trees, after doing the initial Row 2, the directions say “Working in stockinette, decrease in thie manner every ‘2th’ row … ” What is the correct number here? Is it “4” or “2”?


      • Kat
      • Eldeejay – Sorry it took a bit to get back to you, I’ve been on vacation for 2 weeks.

        In the patterns for the small and medium trees first you decrease every 2nd row a number of times and then you decrease every 4th row a number of times. The amount of rows between decreases changes throughout the pattern. Let me know if you need any more clarification.

        • eldeejay
        • Thanks, Kat. I am really enjoying making these trees. Hope you enjoyed your vacation.

          I’m going to Pigeon Forge, TN next week for a brief getaway. I plan to spend every morning watching the sunrise over the Smokey Mountains, drinking coffee and KNITTING!

          Will post picture when I finish my first gift set.


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