Friday, November 18, 2011

Craft Tutorial: Fabric Pinecones

Pinecones signify the beginning of frosty weather to me, and they also bring back memories of crafts I did with my mom during the holidays (I wonder if she still has the pinecone Christmas tree we made). So I made some fabric pinecones now that it’s finally sweater weather around here.

Fabric Pinecones

I was blessed to receive another generous box of Martha Stewart Crafts Paints and Tools by Plaid. I used the Martha Stewart Fabric Stiffener as well as their line of glitter to make the pinecones.

Fabric_Pinecones

It was also my first time trying out cutting fabric using my little Cricut machine. I cut out several sizes of a flower shape and stacked them up to form the pinecones.

FabricPinecones

Materials:

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  • Cotton fabrics. For the glittery pinecone, I used white fabric, and for the other two I used two contrasting fabrics each.
  • Cricut cutting machine (not shown) and Cricut supplies: Pagoda cartridge (though any flower shape would do) and cutting mat (the stickier the better). Note: you can always cut the flower shape by hand.
  • Heat n’ Bond Ultra fusible webbing (I tried HnB Lite and Steam-A-Seam2 to cut fabric in the Cricut, but neither worked for me).
  • Painter’s tape
  • Wooden beads and stuff to paint them with: a skewer with a rubber band and a jar (to act as your 3rd hand), another skewer for drying beads, Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Satin Paints in coordinating colors, and Martha Stewart paint brushes.
  • Martha Stewart Glitter Paint and Martha Stewart Pouncer brush.
  • Natural twine and tapestry needle

Directions:

First I created a test pinecone with paper to figure out sizing and how many of each size I would need. The pagoda cartridge had this flower with slits in between each petal. The exact flower I chose was also in the sizing diagram on the cartridge. I have a regular (i.e. the smallest) Cricut, which can cut shapes between 1 inch and 5.5 inches in size. The cutting mat is 6x12 inches.

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So I cut out a few in each size

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And came up with this. Will tell you the exact number of each size below. In addition, between some of the flowers I added a wooden bead to space them out properly.

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I wanted the pinecones to be two different colors on each side of the flower, so that some of the contrasting print/color would show on the underside. So I cut out a piece of fabric for each color plus a piece of Heat N Bond in the same size, to fit the cutting mat (so no larger than 6x12 inches).

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First I fused the Heat N Bond to the wrong side of one piece of fabric and waited for it to cool.

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Then I peeled off the paper, leaving the fusible webbing on the fabric.

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Then put the wrong side down on top of the webbing, and fuse. Make sure you follow the directions of the Heat N Bond before use.

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Now you have a double-sided fabric that is also rather stiff for the Cricut blade to cut. Note: I’ve never tried to cut just one single layer of fabric. I’ve heard it doesn’t work. Maybe iron a piece of freezer paper underneath the fabric? Hmm.

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Note: if you want to cut by hand, you can also do the above, trace a flower onto the fabric and cut with scissors. Just use a flower with slits along the sides of each petal.

It’s important to use a really sticky mat, because fabric doesn’t stick as well as paper and the fabric will move around and you won’t get clean cuts (or any cuts at all). So to secure it down further, I stuck some painters tape all around the edges of the fabric.

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Then adjust your settings. From all the zillion YouTube videos I watched on how to cut fabric with the Cricut, they all recommend the deepest setting on the blade (6), the highest pressure, and minimum to low speed. Also, after you’ve loaded the mat, manually place the blade with the arrow keys to not cut over the tape. Then select your size and the flower (in this case, shift flower 8) and cut.

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When it’s done cutting, remove it from the cutting mat. For me, it would cut most of the flower, but not totally cleanly. So I used scissors to cut off the rest. It wasn’t too bad.

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Here’s the cut flower, front and back.

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Now it’s time to apply the stiffener. I just squirt some onto a paper plate and used a flat brush.

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I liberally covered both sides with the stiffener.

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Then I pinched each petal downward (this is why you need a flower with slits between the petals).

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After sitting for a few hours, it holds its shape.

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You can even curl the ends up like a real pinecone, which reveals the contrasting print underneath.

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Okay, here’s how many of each size you need to cut (11 flowers total):

Number of Flowers Measurement (Inches)
Two 2
Two 2.5
One 3
Three 3.5
Two 4
One 4.5
 
So after you’ve cut out all the flowers, brushed on the stiffener, paint the beads (that will go in between some of the layers) while the stiffener dries.

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I also painted a thrifted picture frame I had on hand, with Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Satin Paint outfitted with a sponge tip.

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Once everything has dried, you can start assembling the pinecones. Here is the order of the flower sizes and beads to make the pinecone:

Top
Bead
2
2.5
3.5
4.5
Bead
4
Bead
4
Bead
3.5
Bead
3.5
Bead
3
Bead
2.5
Bead
2
Bead
Bottom

So starting from the top of the pinecone, thread on a bead, then the first four flowers.

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Then alternate between bead and flower to the bottom, ending with a bead.

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Tie a double knot at the end to secure, as well as above the top bead. Leave a length of twine at the top for hanging.

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To make the glittery pinecones, I cut out white flowers and added the glitter on the edges. It reminded me of the pinecone tree I made with my mom, where we dusted the edges with white paint and glitter.

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It was actually better to add the stiffener first, and then the glitter. When I did the first flower adding the glitter first (as in the above pic), I had to wait for the glitter to dry first before adding the stiffener, or else I would spread the glitter everywhere. However, when I tried adding the stiffener first, I didn’t need to wait for that to dry first before adding on the glitter.

I hung the pinecones at different lengths from the twine I wrapped around the top of the picture frame, which hangs from my wreath hook.

Fabric Pinecones

Once I figured everything out, creating the pinecones went really quickly. Mine are hanging on our front door as a wreath. You could also make them as ornaments or garlands around the house.

Fabric_Pinecones

The Martha Stewart Paints and Tools were once again, fun and easy to use and I had great results. And I’d just like to say too that I have purchased several products from this line with my own money. I particularly love the attachments that you can put right onto the bottles. So convenient and easy for a novice painter like me to use.

This past week, I was so happy to see the paints were 30% off (through tomorrow, Saturday 11/19). I wanted to buy some to paint a shelf for the girls’ play area, and they chose a pretty purple (called Mardi Gras Beads – how fun is that). And…here’s a 40% off coupon to use til Saturday 11/19 as well: http://weeklyad.michaels.com/

Wishing you a happy and crafty holiday (which is the same thing to me)!

And be sure to visit these other bloggers who also used the Martha Stewart Paint line to create some holiday loveliness (if you’re visiting via a reader, please click through to the post to see the links).

 Full disclosure for this post here.

Linking: The Frugal Girls :: Petite Hermine :: Tip Junkie::Sassy Sites :: Rook No. 17 :: The Trendy Treehouse :: Tidy Mom:: Creation Corner :: Whipperberry :: Tatertots and Jello::Lolly Jane Boutique :: Homemaker on a Dime :: The Gunny Sack :: Love Affair With My Brother :: Sweet Little Gals Turquoise Lovin’ Party

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13 comments:

  1. I love it Steph! It looks like it takes a bit of work the the end result is totally worth it!

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  2. Very Nice!! I love pinecones, too :) I particularly like your 'two-tone' effect....

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  3. so cute Steph! I want to try out the fabric stiffener too!. Love the pinecones.

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  4. These are awesome! I used the fabric stiffener too. I linked to your post today in my MS post on A Little Tipsy.

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  5. This is AWESOME! I featured you today, come check it out!
    http://kim-toomuchtimeonmyhands.blogspot.com/2011/11/good-morning-sunshine_21.html

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  6. How neat!! I just wish I had a Cricut or Silhouette Cameo now!!

    I'd love for you to share this at my 26-Day Christmas Craft Marathon Linky Party!!

    ~Lisa
    Lisa's Craft Blog

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  7. So pretty!! Would LOVE it if you would link this up at my turquoise lovin' party! (I'm also including red for the holidays) http://www.sweetlittlegals.com/2011/11/turquoise-lovin-14.html

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  8. These are beautiful!

    I would love for you to submit this to the Make and Takes spotlight page (http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight)

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  9. These are so incredible! I absolutely love them and I think I have that cartridge. I'll have to make a few as hostess gifts!
    Thanks for linking up @ This Week!

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  10. Is there a template somewhere for the flower petals that you used (for us that do not use an electric cutter)? Thanks

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  11. You are amazing Steph! I love all your projects - I mean seriously.

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