Combining Materials with Floral Tape

Floral Tape Tutorial 001 rlc

Let’s say you want to use one silk flower, a few feathers, and a seed pod to create a pick for a potted plant or a decoration for a wreath, how would you do that? Or, what happens when you don’t want to use all of the stems in silk bouquet, or you want to combine parts of several bouquets into one? One solution is to use floral tape. If you’ve ever purchased a corsage, this is what the florist used to piece those elements together.

I’m reworking my burlap wreath for autumn. I have several elements I’d like to include, but I want to use only parts of the stems I picked up at the craft store. Also, some of the elements are too long for my purpose. I’m going to take these decorations apart and make my own little arrangements.

Materials:

Wire Cutters
Scissors/craft knife
Floral Tape
Floral Wire
Flowers, Feathers, and Decorations of your choice.

If you look closely you’ll notice the original items are formed by taping several stems together. I’m simply going to take them apart, and create new decorations following the same principle. To take the stems apart you can use a craft knife to pierce the tape and then pull the stems in a downward motion to separate.

Floral Tape Tutorial 002 rlc

 

 

Floral Tape Tutorial 003 rlc

 

 

 

Next, decide what elements you want to include in your new decorative stems. Play with the lengths of the pieces. Hold them all together and see how they fit. Trim anything that is too long. Since my decorations will be wired onto a wreath I will need all the stems trimmed and the flowers and feathers taped onto flexible wire.

Once you’ve decided on the arrangement, it’s time to build each component. The tape needs to be touching each stem; if you simply hold the bundle together and wrap tape around it you’ll have items in the middle falling out.

Start with any items that now need wire stems such as flower heads or feathers. Cut a piece of florist wire, hold the flower head or feathers against the wire, and wrap the floral tape around the stem for one full turn, then continue to twirl your new stem around while spiraling the tape down the length of the stem until it feels secure. Repeat this for each small section of your new decoration. Floral Tape Tutorial 004 rlc

When each small section is ready, take your center flower and one other section and wrap them together with the tape. Add a third section and graft that onto the stem. Continue until all elements are combined. You only need one main stem, so trim away some of the wires and continue wrapping so that the sharp edges are covered. Floral Tape Tutorial pic

 

You now have your own unique decorations to use in wreaths, over doorways, wrapped around candle holders, etc…

Floral Tape Tutorial 006 rlc  Floral Tape Tutorial 007 rlc

Advertisements

Come Play with the Sirens!

October is here, which means its time to head the Siren’s call to celebrate Halloween/Samhain/Harvest Time. Each year Samhain’s Sirens orchestrate a month long virtual party and everyone is invited; they share legends, recipes, music, crafts…and everyday they give away handmade gifts! ss12

 

Join me today to learn how to make a Remembrance Wreath—a leaf for every loved one passed. We’re giving away a kit to get you started on making your own wreath! While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the previous posts for yummy recipes and other fun. Remembrance Wreath Finished by rlc

Craft Pumpkin Punkin Sprite

Punkin Sprite Decoration by rlc

I’m sure you’ve heard of woodland sprites, but did you know there are sprites in your vegetable garden? Unlike the Woodland Sprites, Punkin Sprites only visit this dimension during the time of the last harvest. Once the last pumpkin is picked, and the last row of corn is harvested, Punkin Sprites go back to their home.

Happy and playful, Punkin Sprites sing songs to make pumpkins and other squash grow big—in fact, they are a bit competitive, but it’s all in fun! Celebrate the joy of autumn by making your own little Punkin Sprite!

Materials:

Craft Pumpkin
Beads or Buttons for eyes
Silk Flowers or Moss for eyebrows and hair
Craft Paint and Sealer
Epoxy Clay of your choice *See notes on working with epoxy clay
Protective Gloves—craft/hospital/work gloves
Pop-Up Cleansing Cloths
Adhesive or Glue Gun
Wax Paper to protect work station while working with epoxy clay
Craft Knife
Awl or Skewer
Paint Brushes or Foam Brushes
Pencil

Preparation:

Prepare your work surface by placing wax paper on your table to protect it from the epoxy clay.

If unfamiliar with epoxy clay, please read notes at the bottom of this post.

(Clay dries quickly; when making the eyes, nose, ears, etc… mix only enough clay for one item at a time.)

Step One—Making a Face

Begin by marking placement for the eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. Once you have decided on the placement, lightly score the pumpkin to ensure a good epoxy adhesion.

Beginning with the ears, mix a small amount of Part A epoxy with equal amount of Part B. work the two parts together until pliable and tacky. Form this into the desired shape for the ear and press it into place. Make any adjustments needed to the shape and set the pumpkin aside. Repeat for the second ear. Punkin Sprite Ear by rlc

For the eyes, you’ll be making three parts. One is the foundational piece or back of the eye into which you will press your bead or button. Then you will make an upper and lower eyelid to help keep the bead in place.

Mix a small amount of clay and smooth out into a flat, almond shape. Press that onto the pumpkin. Press your bead or button into the clay.

Punkin Sprite Eye by rlc  Punkin Sprite Eye Lid by rlc

 

Next, mix a small amount of clay and separate it into two parts. Roll each into a small tubular shape to go just along the upper and lower lid area on the eye. You want it to cover the bead just a little bit to help keep the bead in place. Work the eye until you like the result. If any clay gets on the bead you can use a cotton swap dipped in soapy water or alcohol to remove the residue.

To make a nose, mix up a small amount of clay and work it into a ball or tube shape. Press this onto the pumpkin, smooth down the edges to blend into the face and finish forming a nose.  Punkin Sprite Nose by rlc

Form the mouth by molding the clay into the basic shape you want, pressing this onto the pumpkin and molding the lips into shape with your thumb and forefinger. Be sure to smooth the edges onto the pumpkin so the mouth looks like it is part of the face, like you did with the nose.

Once all your facial features are in place let them cure for at least twenty minutes.

Step Two—Painting

At this point your pumpkin and your clay are probably different colors. Before painting the features of your Punkin Sprite, I recommend an all-over base coat in a light color such as Onion or Mushroom. This will help your painted features to be more uniform in color. Punkin Sprite Base Coat by rlc

Once the base coat is dry, continue to paint the face and ears. Once finished be sure to seal the paint with the appropriate sealer. Punkin Sprite Painted by rlc

 

Step Three- Hair, Eyebrows and other Accents

How you attach your Sprite’s hair and eyebrows depends on the materials you are working with. For instance, I wanted to work with silk stems. To get the look I wanted for the hair I punctured the pumpkin at the stem and used a skewer to enlarge the hole. I then applied a bit of craft adhesive (you can use your favorite craft glue or a hot glue gun) and inserted the stems. The eyebrows are simply leaves from the same silk stem, cut to length and glued on.

My Punkin Sprite by rlc

Give your Sprite even more personality with a hat or other accessories!

*Notes—Epoxy Clay

Epoxy clay (or two-part epoxy adhesive) can be found in craft stores by the jewelry supplies or at your local hardware store by the plumbing supplies. They work the same way but have different textures and curing times…and smell. The jewelry clay is smooth and warms quickly in your hand. It has a longer work time and a better smell. You can expect to pay about $12.00 for two 1.6 oz tubs (parts A & B). Plumbing clay has a more granular texture and an industrial-type smell, you can expect to pay about $6.00 for a 2 oz tube containing both A & B. In my example, I used plumbing epoxy for the ears and jewelry epoxy for the other features.

Epoxy clay dries quickly and once it is dry it is pretty much permanent, so please protect your table…and floor!

Gloves are recommended as the clay may irritate skin. Keep some cleansing cloths nearby to wipe off hands and any tools you use.