Saturday, December 10, 2016

Toadstool Ornaments have arrived!

I received my package of "Holiday Toadstool" Christmas ornaments today.  And I am once again blown away by the creativity!


video

Many thanks to the talented women who created these small works of art!  Already looking forward to next year's exchange!




Sunday, December 4, 2016

Toadstool Ornaments - Paper Mache How-To

Well, the 2016 Ornament Swap hosted by Val at Yarnigras is wrapped up and boxes full of handmade ornaments are en route all over the country.

I cannot wait to receive my package and see what my fellow swappers / crafters have dreamed up for this year's theme of "Holiday Toadstools".

As for myself, I had a couple ideas started and scrapped.... and finally decided on paper mache (I cannot type the words paper mache without hearing Woody Harrelson saying "PAY-pee-err MAshay" on Will & Grace - - anyone else remember that episode?)


I was so pleased with how they turned out -- just a little rustic with some bling -- like me!

And here is how I created them:

You will need:
  • Tin Foil
  • Toothpicks
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Old book pages or newspaper, torn into strips
  • a decopauge or gel medium for sealing (I used Omni Gel that I picked up at Michael's -- highly recommend!)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Round Stencil Dauber
  • Eye Screw (for hanging)
  • Baker's Twine
  • Hemp Twine
and here's how to do it....

First you need to make your paper mache form..
  • tear off a piece of tin foil about 12 - 14", place a toothpick in one corner (this will give your stem support) and start rolling inward.  After a few rolls, fold and crunch and slightly tear foil to create your stem and then crunch foil into toadstool cap shapes - your form should be one continuous piece - - there is no perfect toadstool!  Every toadstool form I made is completely different! Thick caps, flat caps, misshapen caps - they will ALL look good!

Once your forms are ready, it's time to mix your paper mache medium.
  • Mix 1 Cup Flour and 1 Cup Water with an immersion blender to create a thin watery paste.  This amount was enough to create 12 toadstools which each measured 4 - 5" tall with caps measuring from 2" to the size of my palm.
**crafter's note:  wash your immersion blender IMMEDIATELY  once this paste hardens, it is like cement!!
  • Dip your torn pages into paper mache batter and start covering your tin foil form.  I used about 3 layers to cover. (and again, wash your bowl immediately when finished!!)

**crafter's note:  I wear latex gloves for this process - - you should have a box of latex gloves in your kitchen and craft room!!  They are so cheap and are really a crafter's best friend!!

  • Let your pieces dry thoroughly.  WOW - - 24 hours later, my pieces were still SOPPING WET!  I didn't have time for this non-sense!  I put the dryer rack in my front loading dryer and placed my pieces on top - - 2 cycles of 40 minutes on high - - cement hard shapes!

  • Now we start painting!  For my base, I used Delta Chalky White Acrylic Paint - - this is my "go to" white paint for crafting projects. 
**crafter's tip:  For my next paper mache project, I will use a lighter coat of white and let the printing on the book pages show through
  • Now paint the caps a bright, crimson red.  After the red paint is dry, use a round stencil dauber to add white dots to your toadstool cap.  
  • Let dry
  • Brush entire toadstool with Omni Gel Medium (or other gloss/matte medium of your choice) and let dry 
  • Once dry, brush another coat of Omni Gel Medium on toadstool cap.
  • Immediately pour an iridescent glitter all over cap of toadstool (I used Heidi Swapp Marquee Love Chunky Glitter -- best glitter I have EVER used!  LOVE IT!!!)
  • The Omni Gel medium really tones down the color of the paint and makes a great adhesive for the glitter.
  • Once glitter has dried, twist an eye screw into top of toadstool and use a combo of bakers twine and hemp twine as a hanger.
Thanks so much for checking out my project today!

XOXO
Shelly