Monday, December 3, 2012

Tree Ornaments 2 - Denim & Metal Stars

These ornaments were quite a lot easier than I expected. I know they look a bit involved, but it's simpler than you think.
Very little sewing, and absolutely NO gluing. If you're committed, you can finish these in half a day.

Materials to make 8 stars:

Denim, about 1/8 yard
salt dough
Emery board or sand paper
Silver paint
Colored paint
Embroidery floss
20 gauge steel wire
Rod for wrapping wire to make squiggles (a standard size pen will work)
Thin ribbon for hanging

For starters, make a 3 inch star pattern and a 2 inch star pattern. These don't have to be exact, you can trace the approximate sizes from the computer and cut them out.

Use the larger pattern to cut 16 denim stars.

Use the smaller pattern to cut 8 stars out of salt dough (make a couple extra for mishaps). Put a small hole in the top of each star and bake according to your directions.

While the salt dough stars are baking (about 3 hours) start on your denim stars.

With wrong sides together, sew two stars together with a quarter inch seam allowance. Go all the way around each star.

Using a pair of scissors, snip the edges to fray them, every eighth inch.
You'll put these into the washer and dryer and they will fray up very nicely.

While your denim stars are running through the washer and the dryer, work on your salt dough stars. You'll want to start by sanding your stars smooth, especially around the edges.

After you've smoothed them out, paint them silver (or gold, or whatever background color you prefer). Carefully paint the year, persons name, or whatever event you'd like onto each star.

After your denim stars have dried, straighten them out as they will be wadded up. Use your embroidery floss to make a decorative border around the edges.

When you do this, have your knot in the front of the star, and when you get back to the top, do not cut your thread. Leave it be for now, as it will be used to attach the other pieces.

Cut your wire into sixteen six inch lengths, and twist it around a rod, a pen or a pencil on each end.

Poke your ribbon through the hole at the top of your salt dough star, with the loop coming out of the front.

Grab your tail ends and pull them through this loop, however do not pull it tight just yet.

While you have your hanger ribbon loose, places two wire squiggles through it and rest them on the back side of the star. Now pull the tail ends tight and it will hold the wires in place.

Use your thread that is still hanging on your denim star to sew through this ribbon on the back side of your salt dough star. This will attach both pieces together securely, and finish off the join with your needle and thread, knotting in a discreet area in the back.

Now your star ornaments are complete and ready for hanging.

I hope next years ornaments will be as fun to create as these ones were!

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