Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Craft Tutorials

Last year my little boy and I made this cute little Easter tree, we painted eggs to hang from it, and made little orange felt carrots to hang from it's branches. This year, I hate to even admit how clueless I've been to the days of the week let alone marking upcoming holidays. They've all rather sneaked up on me, so today, with my little boy home sick, we decided to do a little last minute holiday decorating. The tree looks cute so I thought I'd repost the tutorials for both it and the little carrots- just as a way to mark the season with you too. Happy Almost Easter Everyone!!!

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Easter Tree
Tools and Materials
a container
a block of styrofoam to fit container
3-5 branches (I used birch)
5-8 silk flower heads (mine were pulled off a stem of hydrangea)
Silk leaves (I cut them from the hydrangea stem)
Raffia or moss (optional)
Hot glue

1. Cut your styrofoam to fit your container. I used an empty paint can for my container and to judge how much foam to trim I pressed my foam onto the opening, thus getting an imprint that showed me right where to cut. Just a little trick. :) Using the hot glue, apply glue to the bottom of your foam and then place in container.

2. Insert your branches by pushing end into foam. If you'd like to add hot glue to the ends you can, it really secures them nicely. I don't because I like to be able to rearrange the branches if needed to get their placement just right. :)

3. Either insert wire ends of silk leaves into foam, or glue them into place with hot glue. Use the raffia or moss to cover any foam that might be still showing.

4. Pull the florets off a silk hydrangea and use the hot glue to stick to branches. To cover the glue and help secure the flower head I either pressed a second flower to back of first, or would wrap one of the petals around the branch to the back and use to cover glue. Do this right away while the glue is still warm.

Add any decorations you have (or make the stitched carrots from last post) and display somewhere you'll be able to soak up it's spring beauty- I have mine displayed as a centerpiece on my dining room table with a little nest and some daffodils. It's an oh-so-easy springtime vignette!

Stitched Felt Carrots
Tools & Materials

1- 8 1/2" x 11 sheet orange felt
1- 8 1/2" x 11 sheet light green
1 -8 1/2" x 11 sheet true green felt
Orange embroidery floss
Green embrodiery floss
Chenille needle, size 18
Tip* Threading your needle with floss before you begin steps 1 and 4 makes the step easier.

1. Cut a triangle from the orange felt and a couple of strips from the 2 pieces of green felt (as shown above). Roll the triangle and then using a threaded needle and orange floss, pierce the bottom point of the triangle. Whip stitch once around point and then straight stitch along length of carrot.

2. Pinch the top of the carrot together to create gather and then stitch through folds several times to secure. Knot thread and clip.

3. Trim the top of your carrot flat. Be careful not to cut through your stitches.

4. Fold each of the green felt strips in half to form loop and hold together. Then bend up ends around the center loops. Using a threaded needle (green floss), stitch through the bottom of this gather several times, from multiple sides so that you can be sure it will keep desired shape.

5. Without cutting your thread, use needle to stitch green felt to top of the carrot. Stitch up and through green felt and then down and through orange felt from all sides until securely attached.

6. Using your scissors, you may cut into the ends and loops lengthwise to create multiple strips.This step is optional but I think it looks more like a carrot top if you do it. Be sure not to cut through your stitches however. Use one of the top loops to hang or stitch a loop of embroidery floss to create loop for hanging.

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