Sunday, October 14, 2012

Project # 2

Working on 2 projects simultaneously actually worked out really well for me...this time.  Anytime I got frustrated with one (like after slicing my fingers open with sewing needles) or needed to let something dry, I could switch to the other and not waste a productive mood!

I finished the "Fall" blocks first (because I was most excited about them), then I went to work finishing my leaves!  Buttons projects are floating around lately, and since I had already made a letter 'F' for my friend's baby shower, I figured I would attempt some leaves just for fun! Here is the project I made for my friend's baby shower!

Jason actually helped me out a little because I waited until last minute. Either way, it turned out pretty well!

As for the leaves:

I have this AWESOME frame that I bought at a yard sale a while back.  I really like it, but was never able to figure out what to do with it because it doesn't have a back or glass.  I realized recently that I just wasn't thinking outside the box.  Since when do frames have to have glass? And how am I not capable of making a back myself? Hello....cardboard is awesome! So with all my excuses out of the way, it was time to find something to do with this frame...cue my button leaves!

Step 1: Find a template!
Your template will, of course, depend upon what you want to make.  Templates can be found in varying locations; I just did a Google image search and found free templates of what I wanted.

When I made the letter 'F,' I  found an outline that I liked, but in the end, it didn't really work for the overall look I was hoping to achieve; unfortunately, this is also true for the leaf template that I found :(  One of the leaves was much easier to create with  buttons- I ended up using this template for both leaves.

Step 2: Select your buttons.
I have begun collecting buttons from places like yard sales, but unfortunately people only seem to sell ugly, drab buttons for cheap.  If you want a specific color or theme, you will need to plan it out prior to purchasing and make sure you have extra buttons in your chosen colors.  Once you have the ones you want, you can arrange them on the template to get a feel for what buttons you will use and how they will fit.

I always end up using more buttons than I expect.  For the leaves, I chose two or 3 similar colors that I could use to fade into one another to ATTEMPT to get a more natural look.

Step 3: Find a better way!!
The next few steps are a little rough because I am crazy and want to make sure my final product is EXACTLY the way I want it.  I will tell you the ways I have tried this so far and recommend some ideas for a better strategy.

Step 3 (the first time): Place template over desired placement on cloth and attach.
I put the template over the exact position I would want it on the cloth and then arranged the buttons on the template.  At this point I busted out needle and thread and stitched each button where I wanted. **This was very difficult to do without moving the buttons, but like I said, I am crazy, and I wanted my buttons in JUST the right place.  Once I stitched all buttons through the paper and cloth, I pulled all the paper off from around the buttons and discarded it.  Then I went back and put a dab of hot glue under each button just to be sure they would be good to go.

This is where my husband stepped in to tell me I am ridiculous!! Thank goodness!!  Halfway through sewing them, he had me arrange the buttons directly on the cloth so that we could hot glue them directly to the cloth FIRST and THEN stitch them just to reinforce!  The hard part about this: sewing through hot glue SUCKS!! Beware the hot glue, and make sure you have a very sturdy needle!!

This is similar to how I did it for round two...but here is what I would recommend instead: 
Figure out some way to trace your template onto the cloth in a way that will not be visible when you are finished.  I am not sure what the tactic is, but figure it out because it is not worth the time and effort otherwise.

...or don't be a ridiculous perfectionist, and you will have no problems!

Last problem I had: one of my leaves looks like a chili pepper :(

Halloween Wreath is up next!!