Oven-Baked Clay Mushroom: How-To

Designer: Katie Leporte

Moss and a small air plant become dense shrubbery when placed next to a cute clay mushroom.


Materials:

  • Oven-bake clay: white (such as Sculpey)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Artist’s brushes
  • High-gloss decoupage medium (such as Mod Podge)
  • Florist wire
  • Clear Glitter

1. Shape oven-bake clay (such as Sculpey) into the following shapes: several tiny balls for spots, one 112” round disk for the cap, and one 1″-long tube for the stem.

2. Press clay balls onto cap to make spots, leaving each one slightly raised. Shape cap so it’s concave on the underside. Press cap onto stem.

3. Push a 134” length of florist wire through the center of the stem, leaving 1″ of wire exposed. Bake mushroom according to clay manufacturer’s specifications. When cool, paint mushroom as desired. Brush with high-gloss decoupage medium; sprinkle with clear glitter.

Spring-Inspired Foam Wreath

Designer: Jan Carlson

Inspired by springtime renewal, this moss-covered wreath starts with a foam base.


Materials:

  • 14″-diameter plastic-foam wreath
  • Preserved sheet moss: natural green
  • Reindeer sheet moss: chartreuse and basil-green
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
  • 212“-wide decorative ribbon: faux bark with moss
  • 14“-wide double-stick tape (such as Scor-Tape)
  • Double-sided cardstock: light purple small dot, dark purple small dot, light green small dot, newsprint, light green large dot, light purple large dot, dark purple large dot
  • 314×5″ wooden plaque with jute hanger
  • Spray paint: hammered metallic silver
  • Sticker letters

1. Cover foam wreath with preserved sheet moss using hot glue. Glue small patches of chartreuse and basil-green reindeer sheet moss on top of the preserved sheet moss as desired.

2. Determine length of hanging ribbon. Cut decorative ribbon to determined length and loop the ribbon through the wreath at the top. Secure ribbon ends together with double-stick tape.

3. Referring to “How to Make a Paper Flower”, below, and the patterns here, make one light purple small dot flower, one dark purple small dot flower, and one light green small dot flower. Cut three leaves from light green small dot. Glue the flowers and the leaves to the top of the wreath, atop the hanging ribbon.

4. Print butterfly patterns here; cut out. Cut two large butterflies from desired cardstock. Fold each wing at the body. Adhere two butterflies together using a small piece of double-stick tape.

5. Cut six small butterflies from desired patterned paper. Fold each wing at the body. Adhere three butterflies together using double-stick tape. Repeat to make a total of two small butterflies.

6. Hot-glue butterflies to wreath as desired.

7. Remove jute hanger from wooden plaque. Spray-paint plaque with hammered metallic silver paint; let dry.

8. Adhere sticker letters to plaque to spell the word Grow. Add brackets around the word and add dots from the letter i‘s on the sticker sheet to the corners of the plaque.

9. Tie jute onto wooden plaque. Hot-glue the jute to the inside of the wreath so the plaque dangles in the round opening.


How To Make A Paper Flower:

 

1. Trace the flower pattern found here onto a 6″ square of double-sided patterned cardstock.

2. Cut out the wavy spiral on the drawn lines.

3. Roll up the spiral, starting from the outside and working toward the center. Secure the base of the flower with a large dab of hot glue.

Coiled Planter Pot Container

Designer: Sheila Sinclair Snyder 

Cover up a boring pot with a coiled container that coordinates with your decor.


Materials:

  • Approximately 50′ of 316“-wide cotton cord
  • 18 yard of green print fabric
  • Sewing thread: clear
  • Clear-drying crafts glue

Finished size: 412” tall


1. Cut green print fabric into 1″-wide strips.

2. Referring to How-To Sew a Cord Coil below, and using white sewing thread, sew between the cord rounds to make a 4″-diameter coil for the pot cover base.

2. To begin pot cover sides, lay the clothesline over the top of the outermost row of pot cover base coil. Shift base under the sewing machine foot so the coil is flipped up vertically on the left side of foot. Continue sewing between the rounds until the planter sides are 3″ tall.

3. Wrap a green print strip clockwise around the clothesline, and continue sewing the coil for two rounds, adding more green strips as necessary.

4. Continue sewing uncovered cord for the coil for approximately 5 more rounds or until the pot cover sides are 412” tall. Trim cord end, leaving 3″ unsewn. Cover cut end with clear-drying crafts glue to prevent fraying; let dry. Sew remainder of cord to top of pot cover, backstitching at the end for extra reinforcement.


How to Sew a Cord Coil:

1. For a round base, coil one end of the cord tightly around itself a few times until the coil is the size of a quarter.

cord1

 

2. While holding coil firmly, place the coil under your sewing machine’s zigzag foot with the cord extending off the right side toward you. Use a wide zigzag to stitch between the cording rows, catching the cording on both sides to hold it together.
cord2

3. Slowly rotate the coils counterclockwise as you zigzag-stitch in between the rows. For long continuous curves, you may wish to switch to an open toe sewing machine foot. Tilt coil as you stitch to build sides.
cord3

Oversized Bow Clutch

Designer: Molly Hanson

An oversize fabric bow lends a bit of fanciful flair to an all-purpose bag that’s just right for stashing your essentials.


Materials:

  • 3—18×22″ pieces (fat quarters)
    in cream print (bag), light blue (lining), navy (bow)
  • 10″-long zipper
  • Lightweight fusible web (such as Heat ‘n Bond Lite)
  • Double-stick sewing tape (such as Wash Away Wonder Tape)

Finished ba: 812×1512

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42″ of usable fabric width. Measurements include 14” seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.


Cut Fabric:
From cream print, cut:

  • 2—9×16″ rectangles (exterior)

From light blue, cut:

  • 2—9×16″ rectangles (lining)

From navy, cut: 

  • 1—16×18″ rectangle (bow)
  • 1—4×5″ rectangle (bow loop)

From lightweight fusible web, cut:

  • 2—9×16″ rectangles

1. Following manufacturer’s instructions, press each fusible-web rectangle onto wrong side of each cream print 9×16″ rectangle; let cool. Peel off paper backings ad press fusible-web side of each exterior rectangle onto wrong side of each bag light blue 9×16″ lining rectangle to make a bag front and a bag back (Diagram 1); let cool.

2. With right sides together, fold navy 16×18″ rectangle in half to measure 8×18″. Sew along the 18″-long side to make a tube (Diagram 2). Turn tube right side out, center the seam on back, and press

3. With right sides together, fold navy blue 4×5″ rectangle in half to measure 212×4″. Sew along the 4″-long side to make a tube. Turn tube right side out, center the seam on the back, and press. With the seam on the outside, fold tube in half and match short raw edges. Sew the ends together to make a ring (Diagram 3). Turn ring right side out.

4. Carefully insert the tube into the ring. Adjust pieces so the seam for the tube is facing the front and the seam for the ring is facing back.

5. Fold bag front in half crosswise and then lengthwise; finger-press the intersecting fold to find the center; unfold with exterior side faceup. With the wrong side of the bow facedown, center the bow over the center mark and pin the bow ends to the bag sides. Sew bow ends to sides using a scant 14” seam allowance (Diagram 4).

 

6. Place bag front on a flat surface with bow side facing up. Cut a 16″-long piece of double-stick sewing tape. Following the package instructions, press double-stick sewing tape to a 16″-long edge of the bag front. Gently peel off tape’s paper backing to expose sticky side of tape. Note: Wash Away Wonder Tape is available in fabrics stores in the notions department.

 

7. Match right side of zipper to sticky side of tape, pressing with your finger to secure zipper. Tape will hold the zipper firmly in place without pins. If your machine has a zipper foot, attach it to your sewing machine. If you don’t have a zipper foot, you can still sew on a zipper, making the stitching line as near to zipper teeth as possible. Sew along edge of bag front near zipper teeth (Diagram 5). When you get to the zipper pull, do not swerve to go around it. Instead, stop with the needle down in the fabric, lift presser foot, and slide zipper pull up and out of the way. Lower presser foot and continue sewing.

8. Fold zipper face up (Diagram 6). Finger-press bag front away from zipper. Repeat steps 7 and 8 with the bag back, sewing down opposite side of zipper teeth in the same manner. Finger-press as before.

9. Topstich 18” from folds on each side of zipper (Diagram 7). Note: The sewing tape is temporary and will not gum up your needle.

10. Remove the zipper foot from the sewing machine and replace it with a regular sewing foot. With right sides inside and zipper almost all the way open, fold bag body in half, matching 9″-long edges; pin. Sew the sides and bottom (Diagram 8).


11. To shape bottom of bag, at one corner match bottom seam line to side seam line, creating a flattened triangle (Diagram 9). Measuring 2″ from point of triangle, draw a 2″-long line across triangle. Sew on drawn line. Trim excess fabric, leaving 12” seam allowance. Repeat with remaining bottom corner of bag.

 

12. Turn bag right side out through open zipper. Arrange bow pleats as desired.

Painted Shoebox Wall Decor

Designer: Halsey Bishop

Rescue shoebox lids from the recycling bin and transform them into painted chevron wall art.


Materials:

  • Assorted shoebox lids
  • Newspaper or drop cloth
  • White spray primer (such as Krylon Color Master Primer)
  • Transfer paper
  • Semigloss spray paint: white and desired colors (such as Krylon Indoor/Outdoor paint)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Chevron pattern

1. Working in a well-ventilated area, cover your work surface with newspaper or a drop cloth. Lay the shoebox lids on the surface, and spray the top and sides of each lid with primer; let dry.

2. Enlarge the pattern, onto white paper. Lay transfer paper over the primed shoebox lid and place the pattern on top. Using a pencil, trace the outlines of the chevrons to transfer the lines onto the top of the shoebox lid. If needed, reposition the pattern to make chevrons wider or to add rows of chevrons. Continue marking chevrons until entire shoebox lid is filled with a chevron pattern.

3. Place strips of painter’s tape in areas you wish to remain white.

4. Spray shoebox lid and sides with desired color of spray paint. Let dry. Peel off painter’s tape.