Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Exchangeable Earrings

This is the second project that will focus on accessory adaptability. This is a very simple craft; it allows for a great degree of versatility with very little effort. All you will need for the undertaking is earring backs (the ones below were obtained from Michael's), designer paper, clear tape, and Elmer's glue. 

Cut out circles that are the diameter of the recessed interior of the earring. For these earrings a one inch hole punch worked very well.  Next, laminate the paper circles or seal them with contact paper or tape.  Attach the circles to the earrings with Elmer's glue.  When you wish to switch them out, simply peel off the circles and scrap off any remaining glue.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Shoe alterations

The next few posts are going to center around versatility and reuseability.   I'm very attracted to the idea of taking an item and altering it slightly in many different ways.  So instead of buying six different pairs of shoes, you would alter one pair six different ways.  In this manner, you could easily customize the shoes to match a particular outfit.

To make this idea a reality, I took a pair of old black heels and punched six holes along the sides, Two in the front, and two along each of the sides. Then I threaded a black ribbon through the holes; as you can see below, there are several different configurations to choose from. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stuffed Elephant

I've always had a complicated relationship with sewing. It's the one skill that I've always wanted to master, but time and time again it eludes me.  Part of the problem (ok, most of the problem) centers around my resistance to instructions and patterns.  Every few years or so I decide to try my hand at sewing. I figure I'll take it slow, maybe a purse to start.  Then I think, I know how a purse looks, why should I bother with a pattern?

And I invariably end up with a misshapen fabric blob.

Earlier this week I felt the call again.  However, instead of a purse, I decided I'd try a stuffed animal.
And, because I never learn, I thought I'd forgo the pattern.

And amazingly, the project turned out pretty well. As you can see I made a small stuffed elephant.  The design was pretty rudimentary, but I think it's rather adorable.  Definitely preferable to a misshapen blob.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Coffee Filter Gladioli

These gladioli are the result of yet another coffee filter flower experiment. They are very simple to make if not slightly time consuming.  The basic components are coffee filters, floral tape, floral wire, and watercolor paints. 

To form the buds of the plant, I bunched up a small piece of scrap filter paper (2). After wrapping floral tape around the base of the pinched paper (3), I attached it to a 12 inch long piece of 16 gauge floral wire. Several more buds, made in a similar manner, were then attached to the wire in an alternating pattern (4).  The amount of exposed paper in the buds should gradually increase as one continues down the wire.

In order to make the flowers, I needed to cut out several circles of filter paper. I freehanded the designs, cutting wavy edges around the perimeter of the circles (6).  The circles ranged from around 1.5-2 inches in diameter. After layering two of the circles, a piece of 26 gauge wire was looped through the middle of the circles (7). The circles were then pinched around the wire and one of the ends was wrapped around the base of the flower (8).  Floral tape was wrapped around the exposed wire (9) completing the rudimentary flower. Next, I attached the flowers in increasing size in the same alternating pattern as before (10 & 11).

Paint the petals of the flowers and the buds with watercolor paints in hues of red, orange, and yellow. And you're finished, a fresh bouquet of coffee filter gladioli of your very own!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Coffee Filter Daffodils

As promised, another coffee filter flower experiment. These daffodils were very simple to make: coffee filters, floral wire, floral tape, green cardstock, and watercolor paints.

I think they turned out rather nicely. 

I'm thinking about attempting irises next.  I'm sure they're going to be more difficult to construct than the daffodils and the roses, but they're one of my favorite flowers so I have to at least try.

Paper Bowls

This is yet another project designed to use up superfluous paper: the paper bowl.  I really need to get more creative with these names...

Anyway, this is a pretty simple project that I'm sure has been done before countless times.  However, I'm going to put out on the Internet one more tutorial on the subject. The bowls can be used individually but I really liked how they looked with a glass globe nestled inside.  The top picture also shows off the paper cherry blossoms that I've been working on (post pending).

1. The first step involves wrapping your container of choice (a glass globe or vase for instance) in saran wrap.  I tried aluminum foil first but saran wrap was much easier to remove from the finished bowl.
2. Cut out strips of paper, mine were about a centimeter wide and 15 centimeters long. 

3. Brush mod podge on the back of each strip of paper and lay the strip on the saran wrap.  

4. Continue laying the strips of paper in an overlapping pattern.

5. After you finish laying the strips apply a few more coats of glossy mod podge.  Allow the bowl to dry for a few hours. Finally, remove the bowl from the saran wrap lining.