Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Personalized Weddings!

        A wedding has to be one of the most important events in someone's life. Make it extra special with coordinating decorations using ribbons, trims and fabric from Gwen Studios, available exclusively at your local Walmart and online at Walmart.com!

        As an industry designer, I received the following selection of product from Gwen Studios with the request to create one or two projects appropriate for a wedding.  With SO many ideas to choose from, it wasn't easy to decide what to do, so I'm sharing a sampling of quick'n EZ ideas together with instructions for a couple of my favorites!                                                                           

Let's start with a firm favorite - something every bride will need.....

Woven Ribbon Ring Pillow 

You'll need:

  • 3 yds 7/8" Grosgrain ribbon -  White
  • 3 yds 7/8" Satin ribbon - White
  • 1 yd 1 1/2" Satin ribbon - White
  • 1 yd 3/8" Grosgrain ribbon - White
  • Blush (or White) Satin and Rhinestone trim
  • Crochet style lace trim - White & Lavendar
  • Two 10"x10" squares of white fabric (I used old handkerchiefs)
  • Needle and white thread (or sewing machine)
  • 1/8" double sided adhesive 
  • Scissors
  • Beaded quilt pins
  • Cotton balls
1.  Cut nine, 10" lengths each of white, 7/8" grosgrain and satin ribbon.
2.  Starting with one piece at the center, pin the pieces (4 on each side) of grosgrain ribbon next to each other across one edge of the fabric square.

3.  Starting about 1" from the top weave the pieces of satin ribbon across the grosgrain ribbon ending about 1" from the bottom.  Adjust the ribbon so the pieces are nestled snugly against each other then secure each piece using a pin at each end to keep them in place. 

4.  Using a simple running stitch, stitch around the outside edge of the outer  pieces of ribbon to attach them to the fabric.


5. Trim the excess ribbon and fabric close to the edge on all 4 sides.


6.  Place the woven piece on top of the second piece of fabric; trim as needed.  Place the narrow white ribbon along the top edge of the woven piece then fold the 1" trim over the edge of the fabric, pin then stitch in place. The narrow ribbon will be encased under the lace trim along the top edges for a neater look.  Leave an opening along one edge of the pillow so it can be filled. 


7.  Stuff with cotton balls, then sew the opening together.  TIP: I placed the cotton balls in a plastic baggie, about the same size as the pillow to make it easier to stuff.


7.  Wrap the 1 1/2" wide satin ribbon around the center of the pillow then tie in a bow. Trim the ends as needed. To add a little sparkle, adhere the narrow rhinestone trim to the center of the blush satin trim with double sided tape. Offset the piece of trim as shown so the ends will overlap when placed around the center of the bow.  TIP: This technique with the rhinestone trim can also be used to make bracelets for the bridesmaids and flower girl. 




8.  Optional: Add coordinating colored trim on top of the ribbon at the front and a tassel* at the center to finish.  *Instructions to make tassels are below.


Just add a ring bearer and your pillow will be good to go down the aisle in style!




Tassels are another favorite of mine! They are easy to make and will be the perfect addition to all of your wedding decorations!

Tassel Garland

You'll need:
  • Coordinating Voile fabric
  • 3/8" White satin or grosgrain ribbon
  • Textured/bouclé style yarn in a coordinating color
  • White cord (for garland)
1.  Unroll the fabric, but leave folded. Cut 1" strips across the end as shown. Cut each strip along the folds at the top and the bottom to create 4 strips.  


2.  Cut the ribbon and the yarn into 14" lengths. To make one tassel, gather 3 strips of fabric, 1 piece of ribbon and 2 pieces of yarn together, staggering the lengths.  Fold in half then attach to the cord with a larks head knot by laying the folded end under the cord, then pulling the ends over the top of the cord and thru the fold.  Continue adding tassels about 5" apart to a length of cord to make a garland.  To make a single tassel, cut the cord about 4" either side of the knot then use to attach the tassel to the pillow, flower girl basket, etc.




        Woven ribbon pillows and tassels are definitely worth the time invested in making them, but ribbons and trim are also a great way to quickly add coordinated color and bling to LED candles, place mats, the flower girl's basket and more. Wands are also a trendy feature for younger bridesmaids. Simply wrap the cardboard tube from a wire coat hanger with ribbon; trim the top with rhinestone trim then insert a bundle of fabric strips, yarn and ribbons into one end and poof, you have a fairy wand!  You can also add layered ribbon and trim to the ends of a piece of coordinating canvas for a quick'n EZ placemat!




Don't forget rhinestone trim bracelets for that extra special sparkle!


Look for more inspiration from Gwen Studios Design Team:









Enjoy!

Yours truly,
Julie 💝

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON CRAFTING! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Beaded Wreaths - EZ and EZer

 I see them here, I see them there, wooden beads are everywhere! 

I'm sure you've noticed too, and, like me, you've thought - "I can make that'!  I especially like beaded wreaths so, of course, I had to make one for Fall.  The finished ones I saw had beads threaded onto a metal hoop, but I wasn't sure how to accomplish that. Metal hoops are readily available, but I'd need a band saw and metal blade to cut one to add beads.  No matter, where there's a will there's always a way......  I came up with an easy and easier way..... 


You'll need:
5/8" (20mm) Beads - 21 for a 12" wreath, or 25 for a 14" wreath (sizes are approximate)
Grapevine garland
18 gauge 18" covered wire stem (12" wreath)
Wire coat hanger (14" wreath)
Assorted Fall flower picks
Jute
Wire cutters
  

Step 1:
    a. Carefully cut the hook from the top of the coat hanger then gently shape the wire into a circle. Work slowly, especially when straightening the corners.  Bend one end over then thread the beads onto the wire. Bend the opposite end over then link the ends together to form a circle.


    2. The wire stem is easier to work with, but will only accommodate 20-22 beads. Thread the beads onto the stem leaving about 2" of stem at each end. 
 
Step 2:
    a. Remove the thin wire holding the coiled garland together then cut 2 pieces* long enough to cover the coat hanger wire between the beads. Sandwich the wire between the two pieces then, starting at one end wrap the garland with jute finishing and securing at the opposite end. Adjust the curve of the garland and beads to create the circle. *Two pieces are needed for thickness.
    b. Cut 2 pieces of garland for the smaller wreath,  Gently straighten out the curve from each piece then, starting at one end wrap the pieces together with jute. Insert the ends of the stem wire into the tightly wrapped ends of the garland. Adjust the curve of the beads and garland to create the circle.


Step 3:
Separate the stems from the floral picks. Starting at the outer edges of the garland, insert the ends between the twigs.  The twigs should hold the picks firmly in place, but you can dip the ends in lo-temp glue for extra security if desired. Working from the outer edges to the center, add pieces from contrasting picks to finish. You can also find a selection of laser cut words at your local craft stores to add if desired.


All you need now is a place to hang your finished wreath! Enjoy!


TIPS: Check the sales at your favorite arts & crafts stores for seasonal floral picks for best prices!  You can also find plain wire coat hangers at your local Walmart if you don't have any. 

Happy fall y'all!

Yours truly,
Julie 😍   

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON CRAFTING!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Just Add Ribbon!

        Summer isn't even over yet, but decorations for fall and Halloween are everywhere, so I guess it's time to get crafty!  

        At one time I would have made everything from scratch, but now there's so much available that's pre-made, all we need to do is to add our own personal crafty touch to make it our very own....  ( Isn't it nice when we only have to do 10% of the work and get 100% of the credit.... 😜)

        For this project, I simply up styled a kitchen towel and scarecrow topper with ribbon to make a guest towel and towel ring for the half bath....  EZPZ Quick'n EZ..... 


Here's a list of what I used

Ribbon from Gwen Studios:
    7/8" Gros Grain - Orange and Black
    3/8" Leather animal print
    5/16" Faux suede - Black studded
    Tassel trim - Black
Scarecrow Topper
10" Embroidery hoop
Kitchen towel - Black
Silk Maple leaves
You will also need scissors, fabric glue and/or glue gun with fabric glue sticks


1. Measure then cut pieces of each ribbon and trim a little longer than the width of the towel.

2. Center, then adhere the animal print ribbon on top of the orange. Starting at the bottom  edge of the towel, adhere the ribbon and tassel trim in place as shown below. 


3. Adhere the scarecrow topper over the top half of the embroidery hoop.  Cut pieces of tassel trim and studded ribbon the width of the scarecrow topper then glue along the bottom edge as shown. Narrow, double sided tape also works well to adhere the faux suede ribbon in place.


4.  If desired, add additional silk leaves at each side of the topper and a black bow at the center.

5.  Hang the finished towel over the scarecrow towel "ring", or simple hang over the oven door handle.

 

Please note: I used fabric glue to adhere the ribbon to the towel since it's for decorative purposes only - even in the bathroom! 

Ribbons and tassel trim was provided for these projects by


available at Walmart and online at Walmart.com

Enjoy!

Yours truly,

Julie 

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON CRAFTING!

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Foiled Again

        Gilding has always been a popular technique used to decorate wood, statues and more in Ancient Egypt and beyond. Gold leaf was also applied to lettering, borders and figures in illuminated manuscripts as early as 400 A.D. and even used to decorate food in Japan. It's changed a lot since then of course, with updated techniques being developed for the hobby and craft industry making it available in a variety of forms and colors for today's makers.

        As a member of the Designer Crafts Connection, I received a trial package of toner card stock and colored foiling sheets from Ann Butler Designs.  Ann is a long time friend, and I was excited to try her new product line. I'd enjoyed working with Renaissance foil on wood back in the 90's and was looking forward to a more simple way of adding foiled designs to paper. There's nothing more elegant than foiled accents for cards and more!  

To create foiled projects you will need:

1. AnnButler™Designs toner card stock pack (floral, geometric or variety)*

    

2. Deco Foil paper

3. Hot Laminator (I used a Royal Sovereign, 12" laminator)

4. Card blank and/or 6" x 6" wrapped canvas 

5. Paper trimmer & scissors

6. Adhesive

7. Gwen Studios 3/8" satin ribbon and Rinea™ embossed foil paper

*I received three geometric toner card stock designs, 3 pieces of black toner card stock, plus royal blue, purple and turquoise foiling paper

Let's get started:

1. Plug in your laminator; switch to hot

2. While the laminator is warming up, place a colored sheet of foil COLORED SIDE UP on top of one of the toner design papers. Place between a folded piece of copy paper then feed into the laminator. Ann recommends passing the sheet thru twice. 

 

3. The colored foil is now adhered to the toner paper. Starting at one corner, gently peel the foil sheet away.  The color from the foil will have adhered to the design and the negative part of the design remains on the clear sheet you removed. 

4. Place the negative sheet on the black toner paper, cover with the copy paper then feed thru the laminator 2x. This design will adhere to the black paper.  I repeated this process using the 3 sheets of decorative toner paper, 3 sheets of colored foiling paper and the 3 sheets of black toner paper.

Now that I have my foiled paper, it's time to create!

1. Card (4" x 6")


Cut a 3"x 5.5" piece of foiled toner paper. With top and bottom edges aligned, adhere to center of 4.5" x 5.5" piece of purple embossed paper foil then adhere to the front of the card.  Referring to photo, adhere two, 5" pieces of ribbon across the bottom of the card. Trim ends as needed, or fold under. Adhere sentiment (included in pack) on top of the ribbon then glue a small bow at the top to finish.

2. Wrapped Canvas (6" x 6")  
 

Adhere the 6" x 6" toner paper design directly on top of the canvas. Print a favorite saying, or quote on photo paper, mat with the same design on the black toner paper, then glue to the front. I cut and matted each word then glued in place for a different look. Adhere 2 lengths of ribbon, side by side around the outer edge of the canvas.

3. Leftovers!



There's always something to do with leftovers! Create tags, small gift cards, or simply use smaller pieces as embellishments for a multitude of other projects!  The opportunities are endless...............




Sparkle on!

Yours truly,

Julie 

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON CRAFTING!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Crêpe Paper Flowers

        As a member of Designer Crafts Connection, I was excited to receive a sample pack of DCWV Petal Paper. The quality was similar to the crêpe paper we used in the 50's; stronger and much easier to shape than rolls found at the party stores.  I love it when there's an opportunity to work with a "new" product that brings back childhood memories. I remember watching,  and sometimes helping, my parents make crêpe paper flowers in the 50's. That was a long time ago, but memories last forever.

        Techniques for making traditional roses have changed very little over the years (I still have my parents  "how to" book), so my first project is a familiar rose, perfect for a simple accent for any room in the house and easy to make, then stay for a fun technique to create a ruffle edge for a carnation, or any size decorative flower you can use to embellish gift boxes, themed party decorations and more!

  

Here's what you'll need to get started:

    DCWV Petal Paper (I received a pack of pink and lavender)

 

    Lo-temp glue gun
    Pencil with eraser tip
    Scissors
    Needle and thread

 

This is what you do to make the traditional rose:

1. Unfold one piece of crêpe paper. Cut in half to create two, 10" x 24" pieces. Set one piece aside. Fold then cut one piece in half again to create two, 10" x 12" pieces. Fold one piece in half lengthwise then cut to create two, 5" x 12" pieces.

2.  Cut each 5"x12" piece into six, 2" x 5" pieces along the grain. Note: When working with crêpe paper, it's important to work with the direction of the grain. Since rose petals are curved, you'll want the grain to go vertically up and down the petal. 


3. Create 2 petals at a time by folding each piece in half, top to bottom, then in half again, side to side. Starting from the top of the fold cut a half "leaf" shape toward the folded edge at the bottom. Make sure not to cut up to the edge at the bottom fold (see photo). The shape doesn't have to be perfect. Shapes will not be noticeable when the rose is assembled.


4.  Unfold, then working from the center of each petal, use your thumbs to push the center of each petal outward.



5. With centers aligned, layer 3 pairs of petals across each other. Secure with needle and thread, or a dot of glue. Create the center of the rose by folding the petals upward and nesting them together. Pinch together at the bottom.


6. Cut the remaining petals in half at the base. Curl each one then add one at a time around the center, overlapping about 1/4" each time and securing each one as you go with a dot of glue. Add additional petals until the rose is about 4"-5" across, cutting more petals as needed.


7. Starting with the outer petals, gently pull each one outward. 


8. I used the stem and leaves from an old artificial flower and glued the rose into the calyx at the top. Place in a simple vase, (I used an inexpensive glass vinegar bottle - see above), or insert into a small square glass filled with pebbles, with a twig from the yard and filler flower for a more updated accent.

  

This is what you do to create a ruffled edge for carnations, or decorative flowers:

1. Cut the 12" x 10" piece of crêpe paper in half lengthwise to create two, 12" x 5" strips.  Lay one strip flat on a craft mat, or other hard surface. Starting at one end, place your finger and thumb about 1" apart at the top edge.


2. Using either the index finger of your other hand, or the eraser of the pencil, pull the edge of the paper down to create the dip in the paper as shown.


3. Repeat along the edge of the strip. Flip the strip OVER, then repeat along the opposite edge.


4,  Fold in half lengthwise.


5. Unfold then using the needle and thread, create simple, up and down running stitches along the fold.


6.  Pull the thread to gather until the strip is about 5" in length. Fold in half again. It's helpful to fold around a pencil when the paper is gathered. Pinch the fold firmly.



7.  Pull the thread to tighten the gathers then secure the end of the thread with an overstitch. Do not cut the thread yet.


8. Coil the gathered strip around one end, which will be the center then stitch the opposite end in place. Seal the bottom with lo-temp glue then separate the layers to finish.



9. Create wider, additional layers for a fuller, larger flower then glue the smaller flower at the center of the wider layer. Squinch tightly together at the base then cover with lo-temp glue to secure.





Use this simple, ruffle technique to create flowers in different sizes by simply adjusting the height and the number of layers and mixing different colors. 


With a variety of colors of Petal Paper to choose from, the options are endless for unlimited flower fun for all seasons! For more designer ideas and inspiration check the DCWV Petal Paper post on the Designer Crafts Connection blog...




Have fun and enjoy!

Yours truly,
Julie

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON CRAFTING!
P.S. Here's a photo of the book my parents used. Flowers haven't changed since the 1950's so the ideas are still relevant today......  If you're looking for authentic flower patterns, it might be worth looking for this one. There are also lots of other resources available, including patterns for your favorite cutting machines, punches and dies!