Showing posts with label Shabby Chic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shabby Chic. Show all posts

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hand-Painted Filigree Necklaces

I have shared my love of hand-tinting and hand-painting metal pieces for jewelry on past blog posts.  I recently had the chance to play with coloring metal jewelry components again.  This time, I took various-sized round filigree stampings, hand-painted each one and fashioned them into necklaces and earrings. Some of the filigree pieces were further embellished with metal stampings (which I also hand-colored); mini aluminum roses or mini crosses.

Here are some of my latest designs:

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Necklace.  I colored the filigree pieces with mint, white and aqua blue colored acrylic paints.  After base painting the pieces, I dabbed over each with a sponge that was dipped into complementary paint colors.  Once the paint dried, I sealed the filigree pieces with a polyurethane sealant. 

Saint Rose of Lima necklace.  This one was a lot of fun to make.  Since St. Rose is usually pictured with roses, I thought it would be nice to give her necklace a shabby chic look.  To achieve this, I used a base color of white paint on the filigree pieces, then sponged over each with green and medium pink paint colors.  Little pink aluminum roses adhered to the filigree pieces add extra interest to the overall design of the piece.

Our Lady of Guadalupe necklace and earrings set.  Once again, I tried to complement the colors from the image along with the colors used on the filigree pieces.  I used a rich shade of metallic copper, along with bluish-green and rusty brown paints as highlight colors.  Please note the roses along the bottom edge of the pendant utilize the same colors to bring everything into one cohesive design.

I should note that on all of the jewelry pieces shown here, I started off with plain silver-colored filigree pieces.  Once the pieces are painted, no one can tell what the original color was.

All of these pieces (and more) have been posted in my Etsy and EBay shops.  These are all one of a kind pieces and will not be duplicated.

Stay tuned for more new designs to be shared here later in the week.  And - as always - please be sure to join me on Instagram where I often show pictures of my work in process. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Vintage Hankie Mini Quilt

Throughout my lifetime, I was always very close to my maternal German-Polish grandmother, my "Oma".  She left us in 1999 from complications brought on by diabetes, but there isn't a day that I don't think about her.  I think Oma is the one who inspired my crafty side.  Ever since I can remember, she was usually making a new dress at her vintage 1940's sewing machine (a gift to her from my grandfather for their anniversary one year), knitting, crocheting or baking.  Her passing left a void in my family that can never be filled.

Sadly, my own mother has been quite ill lately, also suffering from diabetes complications.  She recently had her leg amputated and is still at home in Arizona recovering from the surgery.  I wanted to do something extra special for her this year for Mother's Day.   I decided to incorporate images of my Oma (my mom's mom) into a little memory quilt that she can display and enjoy all year long.

I cut apart vintage purple and white floral hankies and arranged them "crazy-quilt" style into a pleasing arrangement.  I also added images of my Oma that I printed from my computer onto fabric and incorporated them into the design.  Once all of the pieces were sewn into place, I embellished the quilt with buttons, trims, lace, fabric flowers and the like. 

I mailed my mother the quilt earlier this week to ensure she'd have it in time for Mother's Day.  She received it yesterday and said she cried when she opened her present.  I'm glad that I was able to do something for my mom to give her a little happiness during this really rough time she is experiencing.

If you are a mother, I want to wish you a heartfelt "Happy Mother's Day".  It's been said that there is no love like a Mother's love, and I really think that's true.  Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your day!

P.S.  I want to credit quilter Cindy Brick for the inspiration behind my quilt.  Years ago, I purchased her "Hanky Panky Crazy Quilts" book that utilizes the concept of repurposing vintage hankies into quilts.  I own hundreds of craft and sewing books, but this one is still at the top of my favorites list.  If you'd like to see other hankie quilts I've made that are available for purchase, please check them out on my Etsy store, Retro Eclectica.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Burlap Country Wedding Wreath Tutorial

My son, Joey and his fiancee, Hailey are getting married in a couple of weeks. They are having an intimate country-style wedding. In keeping with the country theme, the wedding decor will consist of burlap and flowers. Hailey and I are making all of the decorations. One of those decorations consists of a wedding wreath made from burlap roses and a fabric portrait of the happy couple. The really cool thing about this wreath is they can use it to decorate their home long after the wedding is over.

 Here's how we made it:

  • Wreath of choice - we used a 14" straw wreath;
  • glue gun;
  • glue sticks;
  • scissors;
  • pinking shears;
  • burlap in several colors (we used aqua (which we dyed ourselves), oyster and light brown;
  • felt in coordinating colors to match the burlap;
  • fabric image(s) and word(s) printed from home computer (we used June Tailor's Sew-in Colorfast Fabric in the pink package);
  • a handful of batting;
  • heart template to complement the size of the project (we made ours out of regular white printer paper).


Take a wreath and wrap around it with a strip of burlap. Glue ends into place with a glue gun. Set aside.

Make up a whole bunch of burlap roses. We used this tutorial by Craftaholics Anonymous for making the roses and varied the directions slightly to accommodate our project.   For example, we made the roses in varying sizes.  The smallest roses were made with 10" strips of burlap; the larger flowers were made with 15" strips of burlap.

In addition, since we had so many roses to make, we hot-glued the flowers in an assembly-line fashion to the coordinating felt pieces, let them cool and then cut around the roses with scissors.

Set the roses aside.

Place heart template over desired photo.  You can either trace around the template and then cut out the heart, or carefully cut around the template with scissors.  If you wish to use words in your wreath, go ahead and cut them out now, too, but not too close to the letters.  You will need to have a scant 1/2" border around the letters.

Turn fabric image (heart) over so the right side is facing the work surface.  Apply a thin line of hot glue around the inner edge of the heart.  Do not apply glue to the bottom of the heart.  Carefully turn the heart over and place it on top of a piece of felt.  Repeat with the word(s), making sure to leave one edge unglued.
Let cool.

Once cool, take batting and lightly stuff the heart and word(s).  Don't overstuff these or they will be difficult to close.

Carefully apply hot glue to the underside of the open part of the heart and word(s).  Press down onto the felt.  Once cool, cut out the heart and word(s) with pinking shears, taking care not to cut into the glued borders.  You now have mini, sew-free "pillows" to personalize your wreath.

Use hot glue gun to apply the flowers, picture and word(s) to the wreath.  And wa-la - there you have it - a unique, personalized wreath perfect for wedding decor or to complement any room in the house.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shabby Chic Rose Votive Candle Holders Project

Years ago, I use to make and sell these little votive candle holders at craft shows.  They always proved to be popular sellers for me.  Not only are they a breeze to make, they are versatile and can be used to complement Victorian/Shabby Chic decor, included as wedding reception table decorations or given as gifts for Mother's Day, to name just a few.  And - they are inexpensive to make - as all items used in this project can be purchased at the dollar store.  


Glue gun
Glue sticks
Silk Rose Flowers - 1 bunch
Round "Roly Poly" Votive Candle Holder
Wax paper or newspaper to protect work surface


On a protected work surface, pull the silk roses off of their stems.  Use fingers to remove the little plastic pieces that hold the roses together.  Pull off the leaves and peel off any attached wires. Set the rose petals and leaves aside in separate piles. Discard the stems, plastic pieces and wires.

Once all of the rose petal layers have been separated, use scissors to clip each layer into individual petal pieces, if needed.  Set these aside until all petals have been clipped.  If desired, sort petals by small, medium and large sizes.  This will save time when attaching petals to the votive holder.

Beginning at the top of the votive holder, apply a dab of hot glue to the glass and carefully place the lower half of a smaller-size petal on top of the glue.  Press gently into place.  The petal should stand about 1/2" taller than the top of the glass.  Repeat this step, taking care to slightly overlap the second petal over the first.  You should not be able to see any glass between the petals.  Repeat this process all the way around the circumference of the votive.

Once the first row of petals is in place, start gluing a new row of petals just below the first.  The size of the petals in this row should be a little larger in size than those in the first row.  (The petals will gradually get larger as you work your way to the bottom of the votive.) The petals from the new row will slightly overlap the first row.  Take care not to apply glue to the top part of the petal; once the gluing process is completed, the layers will fluff out - just like a real flower.  Continue to glue all of the petals to the votive holder in this manner.   Use a couple of petals to cover the very bottom (underside) of the votive.  Glue 3 or 4 leaves onto the bottom of the votive.  And there you have it - a beautiful rose to enjoy all year long!

P.S.  This project is currently being featured on one of my favorite blogs - Dollar Store Crafts.

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