Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial: Vintage Easter Eggs

Tutorial prepared by The Collage Contessa.
Reprinted from Collage Contessa with permission.

Kris, the CollageContessa, has caught the tutorial bug! Finding, documenting a project as she goes, an addictive pass time. She's back this week to take us step-by-step through making a lovely Spring art piece just in time for Easter sharing. [Don't want to wait and make your own? Kris has put her Vintage Easter Eggs in her shop just for you!]

I started with mat board - one of my 'best ever' garage sale purchases, 2 huge Rubbermaid tubs full of mat board pieces for $4. I know DH wondered what in the world I was going to do with all of that but I've used it for years now and it shows no sign of depleting! Anyway, cut 4 egg shapes. Mine are about 3 1/4" x 4 3/4". I used an X-acto knife for this. It's the easiest way.

Cover the front of all the eggs with various scraps of dictionary paper, vintage sheet music, receipts, foreign text book pages and more. The usual vintage supplies. If you want, at this stage you could ink the edges with a brown ink pad.

Here's where the fun part comes in. Do you have cheesecloth in white? I have tons of this stuff. I must have kept buying it, thinking I didn't have any and voila! Now I have 5 packages. lol Anyway, take the folded pack, unfold a bit. Find the edge and cutting through all layers, cut off about 1" wide strip. Doesn't have to be perfect.

Take the cut piece, open up until you have a pile of strips. Set your sewing machine on little stitches and push the cheesecloth through the sewing machine with 2 fingers. Cheesecloth is dainty so it kind of takes 2 fingers to direct it. If you get a good rhythm of pushing through you'll get lots of ruffling happening. I thought about doing the ruffling the traditional way of big stitches and then pulling the threads tight to ruffle but knowing cheesecloth, it would have just ripped holes in the cloth.

When you're done and have a nice long strand (I cut two 1" strips and sewed them together), lay the strand out on scrap paper. Spray with watered down acrylic paint or glimmer mist. I made some of my own glimmer mist; I'll share that recipe sometime. I flipped the strands over to make sure color was on both sides.

Hang it up to dry somewhere. I did hit it with my heat gun for just a bit before hanging. It does make the cheesecloth shrink up in some spots so if you don't want that, don't heat it.

At this point I just took my egg shapes and added bits of lace, trim, ric rac, lines made with watercolor crayons (Caran d'ache), black pen and glitter glue. I glued on flowers, and pearls. I also adhered images from Altered Pages collage sheets. You can buy an Easter Egg kit now from the Altered Pages store.

When the cheesecloth trim was dry I glued it around a couple of the eggs and across the others in a stripe. You can also ink the cheesecloth with brown ink for a vintage look. On one egg I sewed the image to a fabric scrap. Just lots of little touches.

The last step I did was make a makeshift stand for my egg. I'm going to work on making something more permanent as this one is taped to the back but I like it right now. The egg looks so cute standing up. Wouldn't this make a great Easter gift? A few of the eggs are heading to my Etsy Store today.

For the stand, I took an 8-9" piece of wrapped wire. I rolled up the ends of the wire, leaving about 5-6" of unrolled wire in between. I formed it into a square U shape. I then took a 3" piece of wire and twisted it to the arms of the stand to brace it. I taped it to the back of the egg to help it stand up.

You can find Kris's altered mixed media pieces in her Etsy shop. Love Kris's whimsical style? She has an Etsy shop just for supplies!

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