Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Burlap Fringed and Bendable Flowered Wreath

I fell in love with fringing burlap to make flowers here. But then I discovered these awesome bendable burlap flowers at Craftionary and knew I had to combine the two to make a fringed burlap and bendable flower wreath. How awesome is that?

 I'll take you through my process, but make sure you check out Hani at Craftionary first and the awesome job she did in making her burlap bendable flowers.

To begin, I used the following:
  • Burlap - Two colors in Ochid and Lavender
  • Floral Cloth Wire  - 18 gauge, green
  • Mod Podge
  • Fabri-Tac Adhesive - Grabs fast & dries clear
  • 18" MDF Floral & Craft Wreath Ring
  • Heavy duty Cardboard
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Cardboard tubes - Used to shape the petals
  •  Glass Gems
 I coated two orchid color burlap strips, one - 8"x58" (width of burlap) second - 10"x58" with mod podge.  After drying, I put painter's tape approximately 1/4" below both edges of the entire length of fabric. *You can skip this part if you can apply an even coat of clear drying glue. I couldn't. Using an old credit card or a cardboard edge, smear glue along the edges.

                                          Remove the tape and let dry.

After drying, on the unglued edge end, find the center thread and begin pulling the thread out. The fabric will bunch up as you are pulling the thread, and I found it easier to grab the opposite end of the burlap and pull that end too - the thread comes out easier. Continue pulling all the threads out, one by one, until you reach the glued borders. 

Add glue to the edge and fold, lining up the edges evenly. (forgot to take a picture of it with the orchid burlap)

After the glue dries, I cut the frays to even the edges. Repeat the process for the second piece of burlap.  

For the wreath, I used a flat 18" MDF wreath form.  It's cheap, but I found it too narrow, so I cut out a piece of heavy duty cardboard and glued it to the back of the wreath form.

I then painted the wreath.   Hmm, I know some of you are not fans of purple, but I wanted a wreath made out of a different shade of the usual brown/tan burlap.  There are so many shades and prints in burlap now to choose from,  so take your pick .  .  .

While the wreath dried, I started on the flowers.  I used another color of burlap in lavender which was a little lighter.  I followed the tutorial from Craftionary, but I could not make my flowers like she made her beauties.  I coated my burlap with mod podge to make the fabric stiff.  While that dried, I twisted fabric coated floral stems into the shape of flowers using three different sizes of cardboard tubes.
  Craftionary says to use "white glue or mod podge to firmly press the petals on the burlap, and then place books or something heavy on the top.  Let it dry!  After 4 to 5 hours see if it's all completely dry." 

Well, I tried this way and it didn't work for me. After pressing the petals onto the burlap, I placed books on top and let dry overnight - at least 8 hours or more. The next morning the mod podge still wasn't completely dry and all of the petals did not stick to the burlap, either. Maybe it was because the stem wire was 18 gauge which is rather heavy and hard to adhere, but that was the only size I could find in green.  I was so disappointed.  What was I gonna do now?  I had fallen in love with the look of the bendable burlap flowers so I was determine to find a way that worked for me.

Since I had a hot glue gun with a fine nozzle for detail work, I tried gluing cut out pieces of burlap to the petals. This looked messy and sometimes the glue would dry faster than I could press it together.

Then I thought about using something I had on hand called Fabri-Tac Adhesive the same way as with mod podge.

DING, DING, DING!  I found a winner!  I put fabri-tac all around the wire petals and pressed firmly on the burlap. After placing a book or heavy object on them, they were ready in a FEW minutes! When I cut out the petals, if the area around where the wire is twisted didn't stick, all I had to do was press it firmly in place, and the glue just gripped it together.

I used two packs of floral wire stems (24) to make the petals.  I could make 4-5 petals per stem, depending upon the size of the petal.

To assemble everything, I glued the fringe around the edge of the MDF wreath. Next, I glued the second fringe along the edge of the cardboard piece, pressing firmly along the lower ridge for a slightly raised look. With both pieces, you will have more than enough to wrap the wreath.  I cut off the excess fringe.

Then I began gluing the petals in place - bending and forming flowers and adding a few glass gems here and there.

                     Don't you just love how this is looking?

I had plan on spraying the fringed burlap with clear acrylic paint to make it stiff.  That way the fringe could be "fluffed," but the weather has been too cold and snowy to go outdoors, so I had to skip that part.

I love the way this wreath turned out.  It's exactly how I had envisioned it, and that's kinda good for me.

Take a little time to enjoy,


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Easter Egg Topiary


Crafting and blogging brings out a different me.  I'm doing all sort of things that I never would have considered.  When I made the stacked bunny boxes and did the spring mantel, my son actually commented on how nice everything looked.  Oh my!  I need to make something else!  I love topiaries and  having an egg topiary would really be delightful!  Besides,  I have a whole lot of eggs I need to do something with.

It doesn't take much to make a topiary:
  • Styrofoam ball - 6inches
  • Eggs - lots (two sizes, three colors)
  • Glue gun
  • Stick branch  (cut to fit from yard)
  • Container (filled with florist foam)                     
  • Raffia (attached to the eggs)/grass                     
  • Moss

 I first stuck the stick in the center of the styrofoam ball and glued it in place so I wouldn't glue eggs in that spot.  Then I put the glue on the eggs first (hot glue melts styrofoam) and pressed them randomly but uniformly on the ball.

After gluing on the eggs, I inserted moss into the spaces between the eggs using a skewer stick.
Then I glued the stick into the florist foam and tied a raffia bow around it and added raffia grass and eggs to the container.
For a touch of whimsy, I put a cute little rabbit figurine in the grass. 
 The colors of pale yellow, deep yellow and light brown, along with the moss, makes this topiary very natural looking.

This is a great way to highlight the Easter holiday with a lovely egg topiary!

Until next time,

Have a Happy & Crafty Easter!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Stacked Easter Bunny Boxes

Isn't this the cutest stack of Easter bunny boxes?
I was inspired to make this when I saw some on ebay here

But wow! The price was $59.50 + shipping, and is way too expensive for something like that to buy online.  After all, it's just a set of stacked paper mache boxes filled with ? ? ? goodies, decorated as a bunny. Soooo, the crafting in me said it was very easy to make.

My How-To is more or less a Pictorial Tutorial with a few comments along the way:

  •  You take three graduated paper mache boxes and paint them white. 

I used a primer, white craft paint and pearl white metallic craft paint as a final coat.

  • Next, I drew the ears, hands and feet on paper for patterns and sized them against each box to make sure they would fit and not interfere with the tops or closing.

  • After cutting out the patterns in white fleece, I hand basted with small stitches (not blanket) the ears, turned them right side out and inserted florist wire stems into each ear. I cut the wire a little shorter so I could fold the end fabric inside the ear. Doing this made it easier to hot glue the standing ears to the top.  I then fabric glued cutout pink felt to the middle of each ear.

  • I did the same type of stitching with the hands and feet, leaving a space to turn inside out and stitch closed.

  • After stitching the feet and before closing, I inserted poly fiber to plump up the feet a bit and then fabric glued the pink felt toes and pads to the feet.

  • I cut out a "overall bib" from a paper copy of easter print I found online. Mod podged it to the box, adding two buttons and a glittered egg as decoration.

  • Google eyes and whiskers (cut florist wire dipped in white craft paint) were glued for the face.  Pom poms were used for the nose (pink), mouth/cheeks and tail (white).

                     Easy to put together, from top to bottom.

This is so adorable and I think it costs me around $7.00 to make and fill depending on what I had on hand. The stacked boxes costs the most, but still reasonable using a coupon from Michaels.

This stacked Easter Bunny Boxes can be an alternative to use instead of the traditional Easter basket.  And, just for a moment, I wish I had a "little one" to give it to.

Have a Happy and Crafty Easter!

Take a little time to enjoy,