All right, friends. It's time to share one of those projects I promised. I wanted to create something beautiful out of something inexpensive (and maybe not so beautiful). As a reminder, here was my $1 Dollar Tree garland before:
And here is is after:
Ooh. Me likey. Never you mind that it's not hanging since I have nothing to hang it from that my kids can't get to. The sadness of having no mantles in my home. Sigh.
One day I was sitting in my house, minding my own business (and probably cleaning up some matchbox cars that are constantly littering my floors) when I started thinking that white leaves would look so great! Why did I think that? No clue! I think I might be obsessed with white decor. Anyhoosies. I grabbed that garland at the dollar store, and quickly decided that (1.) I didn't know how well painted leaves would turn out, since the garland would continue to flex - what if it cracked or peeled? And (2.) I must have too much time on my hands.
But back to the garland -- I thought I'd have better luck getting the leaves to look good if I could somehow harden the leaves. I started pondering - and I'm really not a very creative person - so the first thing I saw in my basement tub o' crafts was a big container of plaster of paris.
"Of course!" I said. "I'll just dip the leaves in the plaster!"
Brilliant, right? Well, it turned out to be a touch harder than that, because I apparently have no idea how to work with plaster of paris (why I had some in my basement escapes me). I cut all the leaves off the garland, and first tried painting the plaster on with a brush. Well that was just plain time consuming and ridiculous. I like wasting time, but not on painting leaves with white goop. Not when there are books to read and toenails to paint.
So I mixed some more plaster in a cup, and dunked the leaves one by one. Then I laid them out on a sheet of wax paper and let them dry.
Hmm. Not quite what I was going for...
The next day, I decided they needed a second coat (anyone surprised?) This time I poured the wet plaster onto a disposable paper plate (one of the deeper ones with a wax covering) since the leaves had hardened with the first coat of plaster.
I coated each leaf, did my best to shake off the excess goo, and returned them to the wax paper overnight.
Finally, I cut a length of twine (or whatever I had -- think it was actually hemp jewelry rope stuff) and folded it in half to find the middle, which I then marked. I also cut several short lengths of twine to tie the leaves to my new garland.
I wrapped a short length around the garland, tied a knot in it and inserted the end of a leaf into the knot before I tightened it.
I pulled it tight to (hopefully) prevent the leaf from sliding along the length of the twine garland.
Next, I took a measuring tape and marked 8 inch lengths on my garland with my son's trusty pumpkin pen (Why did I pick 8 inches between leaves? Not a clue. It looked good, perhaps) And repeated the process down the length of the garland.
Note: It might be a good idea to secure each knot with some hot glue or super glue? Just a thought.
And let's just pretend my kids would leave it alone for a moment....
I'm linking this up to:
Today's Creative Blog
Lucky Star Lane
Me and My Bucket
Blue Cricket Design
My Backyard Eden
This Blessed Nest
Just A Girl
Be Different Act Normal