Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Terracotta Jewellery

Air-dry clay-Terracotta
Needle tool to make holes in beads (a tooth pick, or a skewer can be used instead)
Parchment paper/ aluminum foil
Paints (Acrylic/fabric paints)
Paint brushes
Thread and a hook
Utility knife
Rolling pin

Plan the style, length, shape, number, and size of the beads that are required to make the necklace. For this necklace, I used spherical and tapered beads and a pendant. If you want to make beads of similar size, use a weighing scale to get exact weight of the clay before rolling into beads. Or, you can eyeball the amounts.

Cut a sheet of parchment paper/ foil  and lay it over a flat surface. Take out a lemon-size clay and place it over the foil (seal the rest of the clay to prevent it from drying). Squeeze the clay with your hands to make a thick cylinder. Then, place the cylinder on parchment paper/foil and roll it using your palm into a long coil of around 1 cm-1.5 cm diameter. Make sure the diameter of the coil is uniform. Then cut into several small pieces. Each of these pieces are going to be beads. To make beads of equal size, be sure to cut into similar-length pieces from the long coil (or weigh the pieces)

To make spherical beads: Take a small piece that cut from the long coil in your hand and roll into a small sphere. Using needle tool or tooth pick, poke holes in the spherical bead.

To make tapered beads: Decide the length of the tapered bead and cut similar-length piece from the long coil. Using your index finger and thumb make the edges a bit curvy. Then, poke holes.

To make pendant: Take out a lemon-size clay and roll it flat (thickness should be around 1-1.5 cm) using a rolling pin. Then cut the required shape from it. Poke hole and make designs on the surface using stamps or simply by using a kitchen fork/skewer/tooth pick.

Once you made all the beads and pendant that are required to make the necklace, allow them to dry according to the package instructions. Make sure to dry at least a day before doing any painting on it. I used metallic shades of fabric paints. For painting a bead, strung it on a skewer/tooth pick/ needle tool, then apply paint. It is very easy to paint in this way than holding the beads with your fingers. Apply two coats of paint and once the paint has dried, apply spray glaze. Next, strung the beads and pendant using a thread and fix a hook.

Tips: If you feel the clay is getting dry while you working with it, you can simply wet your finger in water then work with clay.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Car Back Seat Organizer Made from an Old Jacket

A Jacket (the fabric should be thick, you can also use any upholstery fabric instead)
Bias tapes, or regular tapes (for finishing off the raw edges)
Sewing supplies

Take the measurement of the back side of the front car seat. (Height 24" and width 17")  Place the jacket on a flat surface and cut one piece that equals to the measurement of the back side of the seat. This is going to be the main panel of the organizer and you also need several medium and small pieces for making pockets. I used the backside of the jacket as the main panel. Three medium size rectangle pieces (referred to as pocket #1) and several other small size rectangle pieces (referred to as pocket #2) are cut from the same jacket fabric.

You also need regular or bias tapes to finish off the sides. See my previous tutorial if you want to make your own bias tapes.

How to make regular tapes and how to attach them?

Cut a rectangle strip anywhere from the fabric (a contrasting color printed fabric is used in the project)

I used 0.5 " wide strip for finishing off the edges. If you want to make a tape of 0.5" wide, you should start from a 2" wide strip. Decide the length of the strip depending on the requirement.
Place one 2" wide strip, with the wrong side facing up. Bring the two long raw edges of the strip to the center to make two folds and nicely iron.  Then make one more fold, length wise, along the center and iron. At this stage you can call it as a regular tape.

Attaching regular tapes: Place your fabric with right side facing up. Bring in the regular tape and sandwich the raw edge of the fabric in between the folds of the bias tape. Pin in place (you may also flip the fabric and make sure the pin has secured the back side of the bias tape). Sew along the folded edge of the tape to finish off the raw edge.

Attaching pocket #2 to pocket #1 
Get the small rectangles pieces cut for pocket #2 and and finish off their top raw edge with a regular or a bias tape. Then, place and pin pocket #2 onto pocket #1.

Sew along the remaining three edges of pocket #2. I used a straight stitch followed by zig-zag stitch to secure pocket #2 onto pocket #1.

Similarly, prepare the rest of the pocket #1.

Attaching pocket #1 to main panel
Finish off the top raw edge of all pocket #1 with regular tapes. Arrange all three pocket #1 prepared on the main panel.

Then, pin them in place.

Sew along the remaining three edges of pocket #1. I used a straight stitch followed by zig-zag stitch. You can also compartmentalize the pocket #1 to smaller pockets by making a straight stitch on the top of pocket #1. Finish off all the four edges of the main panel with regular tape or bias tape.

Attaching handle and fasteners
I am going to hang the organizer to the two rods that is in between the head rest and the car seat. Also, need two fasteners to secure the lower side of the organizer to the seat.

Decide length of the handle required and cut two strips of 1" wide from the same fabric. Attach them together by straight stitches along all four raw edges. Finish off the raw edge by regular or bias tapes. Attach the ends of the handle to the back side of the main panel.

To make the fasteners, a regular tape of 0.5" wide, is used. Sew along the folded edge to make fasteners.  Attach the fasteners to the lower backside of the main panel. 
To hang the organizer, slide out  the the head rest from the car seat and place the handle. Then, slide in and snap the the head rest. Tie the ends of the two fasteners on the lower back side of the car seat.

Organize cell phone, tablet, sticky notes, travel games, head phones, pen/pencil etc. in different pockets of the organizer.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

How to Press & Mod podge Leaves for Wall Decor


For drying leaves: 

A big heavy book
Wax paper

For preserving and sealing:
Mod podge
Paint brush
Paper clips or cloth clips

For showcasing:
Picture frames
Screws and screw driver

Several steps are involved in this tutorial. First step is to dry and press leaves. Then the dried leaves are sealed using mod podge to preserve its color and texture. Finally showcasing the leaves using picture frames.

1) Cut leaves of your choice using a scissor or sharp knife. Make sure the leaves are in perfect condition.

Drying leaves: 
2) The next step is drying the leaves. Here, I used a heavy book for this purpose. Get a sheet of wax paper and fold it in half. Place the wax paper in the middle of a heavy book. Carefully, arrange the leaf/leaves on the wax paper. You can orient the leaves in the  direction you want. Working with a big leaf is way easier than working with very small leaves.

Once you arrange the leaves, close the book, so that the leaf is sandwiched between the two layers of wax paper, and leave it for a week for drying. You may check in between and be sure the leaves are in proper orientation.

3) After a week, take the wax paper along with the leaves from the book and iron in medium setting. While ironing, place a thin cloth over the wax paper. Iron for 1-2 min. Then flip the leaves and repeat the process.

Preserving and sealing:
4) At this point, the leaves are very brittle so handle them very carefully. Using a tweezer, gently transfer the leaves to metal or glass surface ( I used a baking tray). Apply a thin coat of the mod podge to one side of the leaf and stem.

  5) Hang it for drying using a paper clip or  cloth clips.

6) After an hour or two, apply another thin coat to the other side of the leaf and stem. Make sure to apply a generous amount to the places where the stem holding the leaf. (If you break any leaves, don't worry! mod podge will work as a glue as well as a sealer. So, this is the perfect time for mending any broken leaves). Leave it for drying for an overnight. After this step, you will see the leaves are not brittle or fragile, instead they are supple and bendable. Also, there is a clear transparent seal on the mod podged leaf (see the picture below). In this way you can preserve the leaf and color for longer periods.

7) Once the leaves are dry, it is the time to showcase them as wall decor. Choose the right frame, depending on the size of the leaf. Get two picture frames and disassemble the components. To showcase a leaf, you need one frame and two glasses.

8) Place  the frame upside down and place one glass. Then keep the leaf with wrong side up (wrong side implies the side to be not seen).

9) Next, place the second glass on the top of the leaf. Now the leaf is sandwiched in between two glasses. Secure the the glasses to the frame using the clips on the frame. Hang the pictures using a several screws.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...