Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Candy Cane Tutorial and a Holiday Vignette

It's Day Two of the week's festivities here at Art as Usual! And as promised, I have not one- but two tutorials to share. So depending upon my time constraints this might be a two post day.:) Today we're going to focus on the Peppermint Candy Trend. If you missed yesterday's post where I introduced this and other trends of the season, you can read about them here.The color scheme for this trend is, as you might have guessed, red and white/cream. So the items I've chosen to create a vignette with are red, white, with a bit of cream thrown in. My vignettes are bits of counter or shelf around my house that I can create a grouping of seasonal items on. I like them to be just out of the way, but still visible by the high traffic areas. This way I still get to enjoy them without having to move them around too much. And, unlike a table centerpiece, they never get bumped and can stay as they are all season long. To create this vignette, I thought I'd try pairing this trend with an old frame I had lying around and some old glassware. So we're tossing in a bit of vintage as well. It's a richly layered look that is still really fun and whimsical.

Peppermint Candy Holiday Vignette
Items used:
Old frame
Old milk glass vase
Chipped red glass pedestal bowl
2 sprigs artificial big white ball like berries
1 sprig artificial red berries
6 shatter proof ornaments plus candy cane (Martha Stewart at Home Depot)
"Noel" stitched wire wall art (my shop) OR fresh greens door hanger with a bit of ribbon

First- Start with the frame and add a nail to the back if you want to hang something, like the art or door hanger from it.

Second- Add the glassware, and hang art or evergreen door hanger from frame. Position glass in front of frame as shown.

Third- Arrange the sprigs with the white balls inside the milk glass vase. ***Tip= When working with permament flower stems it's not always necessary to cut them. If you need to, then use a heavy duty wire cutter or metal shears. I've found that I can usually bend them to the length I need and there's the added plus that this helps it hold it's position in the vase, once inserted, as well.***

Fourth- Add one of your sprigs with the smaller berries to the vignette by simply laying in front of frame. I bent the end of the sprig over so it's partially covered by the frame. You could choose to simply trim to length with wire cutter here as well.

Lastly- Bend red berry branch so that it will hang over the top and right edge of the frame. Place stem behind frame or you may want to use some heavy duty packing tape and just tack the stem to the back of the frame where desired. Cut a small piece of the white berries from the 2nd sprig and tuck behind frame as well.

At right you can see the alternate version of this vignette, where I hung a small evergreen door hanger from the frame instead of using my stitched art as a focal piece. It's a fun alternative to having a wreath inside. I used a few more bits of the 2nd white berry branch I had and cut them apart. I stuck these bits into the door hanger. I also cut off the ribbon and pine cones that came on the door hanger and tied my own red grosgrain ribbon to it. Easy, quick and very very Peppermint Sweet!

Wire and Fabric Candy Cane Tutorial
Tools and Materials
16-gauge anondized steel wire
Piece of red and white fabric
Wire Cutter
Needle Nose Pliers

Step One: Pull a 14" or so length of wire from your roll of wire, wiping with a cloth or towel as you pull to remove oil. Create a bend in your wire about 3" from cut end of wire. Create another bend in wire about 2" from cut end of wire to form a  "u" shape. 

Step Two: Run your hand up the wire til you're about 6" from your "u" and create a hook. This is the inside form of your candy cane. Bend wire to create a right angle. An 1" from that bend the wire up at another right angle. This establishes how wide your ornament will be.

Step Three: Follow the curve of the wire you've already bent to create outside of candy cane. Make sure you stay about 1" or so away from inside of candy cane. Come down to bottom and when you reach the bottom bend wire up.

Step Four: Next start to wrap your wire around your candy cane shape. This gives dimension to the piece. Be careful not to wrap the inside form too tightly though or you risk a making your candy cane a little too skinny in spots. When you've wrapped the form once, follow your initial wrap job all the way back to the bottom.

Step Five: Cut your wire leaving about an inch excess. Bend this cut end in for safety. You can leave your candy cane as is now or you can go on to Step Six and add fabric.
Step Six: Using your scissors, you're going to cut a strip of fabric to wrap your wire form with. To get a strip that's long enough from a shorter piece of fabric I will begin to cut my strip about 3/4" wide but stop cutting at about an inch shy of the end. Flip your fabric and begin to cut a second 3/4" strip along your first. This will create a length of fabric that is twice as long as the size of your fabric piece. For this project you only need the strip to be about 24" long. 

Step Seven: Tie one end of your strip to one end of your candy cane and begin to wrap it around and sometimes through your wire armature. If you'd like to knot it in places you can. When you get to the opposite end of your candy cane tie your strip to the end, knot and then trim excess leaving a tail about 1" long that you can then tuck up into your form. *Tip: When I wrap the wire form with the fabric strip I try to match the direction of the wire that is wrapping around the simple form. 

To hang this ornament you can either create an "S" hook of the 16-gauge wire or you can simple hang it on whatever you want it to decorate.  Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! I'll be back tomorrow with more Holiday Goodness! :)


Creatissimo said...

Great idea! I think I'll try something like that this Xmas...

The MadStamper said...

SUPER CUTE!!!!! (both the vignette and the candy cane!)

kat @ withachanceof said...

this is such a great tutorial thank you for sharing it! i hope you don't mind i added it to a list of do it yourself ornaments over on my blog. you're work is great! your store is one of the first shops i came accross on etsy and it's still one of my favorites. keep being awesome

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting, I like this blog!

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