Wednesday, December 19, 2012
To help extend my graditute and thankfulness to the wonderful women who have so gratiously spent hours loving and caring for my Emily I decided to create a gift that was not only special but festive. My only criteria was it had to be easiest enough for my toddler to help with.
I have to give credit to my mother who bought, cut, and helped us begin this project.
Thank you Mom!
Here is a list of supplies you will need:
· smooth finish Styrofoam balls
· pipe cleaners
· 4 lightweight fabric choices with small prints
· pinking sheers
· Mod Podge - glossy finish
· wax paper
· wet paper towel
The toughest part of this project will be your design and theme. This is extremely important because you want your fabric pieces to match and blend well. My suggestion is to stick to the same color family. If you find yourself getting stuck on a fabric choice look for one that has several designs and color. I got lucky at my fabric store. They had a fabric with all the above colors and styles within one. All we had to do was cut them out. There is no set rule for the amount of fabric you need to buy, but a 1/4 of a yard per fabric choice will get your very far. This will easily yeild a dozen balls if not more. Begin by cutting your desired fabric into 1 inch squares. You can actually cut your fabric into any shape or size you want, but shapes with corners will be easier to glue and cover the Styrofoam ball. We used pinking sheers to give it an extra special touch.
Your next step is adding a pipe clearner hook.The pipe clearner because of its stiffness will be easy to poke into the top of the ball. Begin by cutting it into a desired length, bending it into a loop, and then wrapping the end around its self. Then just poke it into the top. If you do this before you glue you will have a place to start laying your fabric pieces.
Before starting I put all my supplies in front of me with my fabic in piles. I layed down wax paper because I didn't want my paint brush to stick and ruin our table. (Please do not miss this next step, it's very important.) Set up your drying rack/station because your finished ball will need a place to dry. We used a curtian rod I purchased for about $2 at Walmart. The rod is small enough for the loop to slide through and long enough to hold a dozen balls. If having glue on your hands is tough the wet paper towel will help a lot. I used it more than you think.
Now the fun part, gluing on the fabric. Start with a fabric square right up next to the loop. Dip your paintbrush into the Mod Podge and brush the glue across the fabric piece. It will get messy, but it will be fun. I then chose a different fabric and did the same thing directly across from the first piece I glued on. If your fabric is cut into squares you should be left with two sections where you can glue the fabric rotated into the diamond shape between the first two peices. The idea is to try to cover all the white sections at the top by the loop as possible. If you don't get it all coverend you can cut specific size pieces to glue on. Once you have all four different fabrics glued on at the top alternate different fabric choices onto the ball paying close attention to what fabrics are layed own. You don't want two of the same fabrics next to each other. It may happen, but with four fabric choices you should be okay. Keep adding pieces and glue until the whole ball is covered. Then let the ball dry for at least an hour or until the fabric is not sticky or wet to your touch. I let them dry overnight just to be sure.
There is no right or wrong way to lay your fabric. Experiment with different options and make it fun. Emily and I sure had fun brushing on the glue. What you didn't see is all the glue on our clothing, in our hair, and on the floor. Oops! But it was fun. (Word of caution: don't let Mod Podge dry in your hair. It's a bit hard to get out, especially with an toddler with a sensitive scalp).
I hope this project is something you find fun and festive for your Christmas tree.