Monday, August 25, 2014

Crafts: How to Dye Doilies

Have you ever seen the doily garlands that they use at weddings and bridal showers? Not only do they fold doilies in half and string them to make an awesome garland but they also make them into flowers and create garlands (just search Pinterest for Doily decor and you will see tons of projects with doilies).  I thought they were really pretty and perfect for my sister's Bridal (wedding) shower. However the colors of the shower were peach and mint, not a very easy color scheme to find matching doilies in. I know I could have just used plain white doilies, but where is the fun in that? Instead I chose to dye the doilies myself. Here is how you do it:

Step One: purchase your doilies (I bought mine at Michaels and Hobby Lobby). and purchase food coloring (if you don't already have it). If you are going to be treading it onto twine for a garland then you will need to purchase twine (I also made flower garlands so I used green construction paper for leaves).

Step Two: Fill a frying pan with a very small amount of water (just enough to really cover the bottom of the pan). Add food coloring to the water. You want to add a lot of food coloring, it takes several drops to get the color dark enough to really give the doily a good color.

Step Three: separate the doilies. Place them into the frying pan one at a time. You can layer them onto each other (I did a max of ten at one time). But be sure you place them in one at a time. Let the entire doily get covered in the water and color before you place in the next doily. Leave them in for at least 20 seconds, you can leave them in for about a minute if you need to but it gets harder to take them out after too long.

Step Four: lay paper towels out on your table/counter. Carefully remove the doilies one at a time and lay them flat on the paper towels (do not layering them on the towels, you do not want them to touch).
Step Five: pat the top side of the doily with a paper towel to remove any excess water/dye, be very careful, just pat it lightly. Let the doily dry for a good 5-10 minutes. Then flip it over and move it to a new dry paper towel to dry the rest of the way (takes about 10-20 minutes for small ones to dry).

How to make the strung doily garland:

Step One: Take the now dry doilies and cut them in half.

Step Two: using twine thread it into one of the doily holes near the top where it was cut. Then string it back in the other side. Continue to do this until you have a garland the length you desire.

How to make the Doily flower garland:

Step One: Use the small 6" doilies

Step Two: Fold the doilies in half, now push in the two "corners" that were created by making the fold. Bunch up the opposite two sides and put hot glue in the center to hold it all together.

Step Three: Cut a piece of twine the length you desire

Step Four: Using construction paper cut out leaf shapes and then use hot glue to glue them onto the twine (you can do single or double leaves).

Step Five: Use hot glue to glue the bottom of the flower onto the leaves.

Crafts: Tissue Paper Wisteria

My sister is getting married and I wanted to create unique decor for her Bridal (wedding) shower. I found a post on pinterest for "wisteria" made out of tissue paper. It looked fun and easy to do, so I thought I would give it a try. You can find instructions on the Land of Nod blog here and on Vintage Homemaking here. The process is not that difficult but I will explain step by step how I made my wisteria decor.

Step one: Purchase various colors of tissue paper. I found it looked best when you had at least three colors on each wisteria "plant." I did mix up the colors and do a few with only two colors and even a few solid colors, but overall the ones with three colors looked the prettiest.
Step two: Take a sheet of tissue paper and starting on one side fold up the paper into long rectangles about 2" wide. (You will adjust the size of the rectangles depending on what size petal you want to make, the largest being about 2-2.5" and the smallest being about 1".
Step three; after you have folded your paper and have one very long rectangle you want to start folding the rectangle into smaller squares about 2" wide as the picture shows. You will end up with one very bulky 2" by 2" (approx) square.
Step four: cut out a hot air balloon shape from the square. This is difficult because there are so many layers but don't worry about it being a perfect shape, just be sure you have cut all the way through,  so each "balloon" is separate and no longer attached to the one beneath it.
Step five: take one balloon and twist the bottom square side together to form a little twist.
Step six: fold the twist into the center of the balloon/ round part.
Step seven: pinch the area where you just folded up the twist. This will help keep the twist folded into round part and form a petal.
Step eight: Using fishing line and a large needle thread your pre-made petals together. You can choose to either start with the smallest petals first and work up to the largest. Or you can start with the largest and work down. I mixed up each of my wisteria to give it a unique look.

Tips: I found it was easiest to make all the petals first before I started threading any together. I got a few paper plates and filled each with different sizes and colors of petals for easy access.

Don't throw away scraps from the larger petals. The folded part that you cut off can be used to make really tiny petals. They will be a strange shape, but since they are so tiny when you go to pinch them to create the petal they end up looking just fine.
I found the longer the wisteria the prettier it looked when hung on a large tree. It worked best to fill up about 2/3 with large petals and then go on to add medium small and tiny petals.