Faux wicker clay technique is one of my favorite ways to use polymer clay. You can give it as many looks as real wicker. I also happen to love the look of sunflowers. They lend themselves fall decorating. Personally I like flowers any time of the year and you will find a lot of my projects are flowers or have flowers in or on them. So get our your clay and have fun making flowers to decorate your faux wicker project.
Materials for faux wicker technique:
- Polyform Premo! Sculpey Clay: Burnt Umber, Cadmium Yellow Hue
- aluminum foil
- recycled paper towel tube
- paper towels
Tools for faux wicker technique:
- Polyform Sculpey Basic Shapes Mini Metal Cutters
- Polyform Sculpey Tools: Clay Extruder, 5 in 1 Tool Kit, Clay Conditioning Machine
- DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Honey Brown, Spicy Mustard, Bright Orange, Cadmium Red, Light Cinnamon
- Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven
- Polyform Sculpey Bake & Bond
Directions for faux wicker technique:
1. Condition Burnt Umber clay and run through clay conditioning machine several times. Roll clay into tube and load into clay extruder. Extrude entire load of clay. Fold strand in half; twist clay around itself to 1/8″ width. Continue twisting until clay looks like rope.
2. Wrap aluminum foil around recycled paper tube; dust lightly with cornstarch. Wrap rope strand around foil tube four times, pressing pieces together lightly. Apply tiny dots of Bake & Bond; press together. Use chisel tip on tool to blend ends into rope. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to bake on parchment-lined baking sheet in oven for 10 minutes. Let cool.
3. While faux wicker pieces are baking and cooling, condition Cadmium Yellow Hue clay. On last pass through clay conditioning machine, set thickness to third thickest on machine. Place clay flat on work surface. Use leaf shape cutter to cut eight petals for each napkin ring. See Photo 1. Cut out center circle for each napkin ring.
4. Pinch petal ends into points to shape. Squeeze ring of Bake & Bond on circle; press eight petals evenly spaced around circle. See Photo 2 and Photo 3.
5. Cut Burnt Umber circle for flower center. Use detail tool to add random seed dots and create texture. Press flower center on center of each flower and spot glue with Bake & Bond if needed.
6. Apply Bake & Bond on top of cooled faux wicker napkin ring. Press flower on to napkin ring and return to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool.
7. On covered work surface, lightly paint wicker Honey Brown and wipe off excess paint. Lightly paint petals Spicy Mustard and wipe off excess paint. Dry brush Bright Orange on center of petals and Cadmium Red on area close to flower center. Use tip of chisel tool dipped in Light Cinnamon to add tiny dots on petals. Paint flower center Light Cinnamon and wipe off excess with paper towel. Let dry and remove napkin ring from paper tube.
1. The softer the clay, the easier it is to extrude, so run clay several times through clay conditioning machine before beginning.
My husbands family is German and we love to celebrate with an Oktoberfest Party. We invited a few friends over to enjoy the good food, great drinks and have some wonderful conversations. The party was a hit with decorations provided by Oriental Trading Company. The food and the recipes were all mine. Well almost mine, I managed to get the Raspberry Beer Punch out of my husbands Great-Aunt Catherine a few years into our marriage. You can find beer punch recipe here. I also served his dad’s potato salad and you can get that recipe here. The Beer Cheese Recipe is really all mine.
We had a hot dog and sausage toppings bar with almost anything you could think to put on a bun with meat. I made curry wurst too. Gary picked out a bunch of seasonal Oktoberfest beers.
Our German Beer Girl was a hit. Especially since she served shots of Apple Schnapps. We decided to name her Hilde.
Supplies for DIY Oktoberfest Party Decorations:
To make the DIY Oktoberfest Party Decorations:
- Trim off the edges of the pretzels as shown
- Cut a piece of ribbon to go around the throat of the bottle.
- Glue got the ribbon into place.
- Add a Glue Dot to the top and the bottom of the pretzel on the back side.
- Adhere to the front of the bottle covering the spot where the ribbon connects.
I chose to use Glue Dots because the hold firmly in place yet are easy to remove when you need it to come off. The glue dots are easily removed from the glass bottle. The bottles were used during the party for the lemonade served to the kids. I wanted them to feel like the party was for them too. There were also fun little Duckies in Lederhosen hanging around the table. I can almost guarantee that the duckies were in a bathtub floating around when they went home.
If you would like to see more of the party you can visit the Oriental Trading Company blog. If you are looking for another authentic dish to serve try the German Style Potato Salad or Beer Cheese Dip and for party decoration ideas try the Oktoberfest Party and for fun Party Favors
Leather & button pillow – Fringed leather circles create a bright earth tone palette of colored flowers on this plain muslin fabric. Embellish with assorted odds and ends buttons for a multi-layered, textural accent. Use any color combination
Materials for button pillow:
- Muslin fabric, 1/2 yard
- Eco-Craft Eco-Friendly Fiberfill
- Leather scraps from a furniture store or Tandy Leather Factory Odd Lot Sides Assorted Colors Leather (9830-70)
- Assorted tan buttons, 16
- Sewing machine and thread
- Sizzix Big Shot Die-Cutting System and Bigz 3-D Fringed Flower Die
- Beacon Adhesives Quick Grip Glue
Basic Supplies for button pillow:
- scissors, ruler, pencil, straight pins, sewing needle
Directions for button pillow:
Cut muslin fabric into two 14-1/2”x14-1/2” squares. Pin squares, with right sides together, along three sides, leaving one side open for stuffing.
Use 1/4” seam allowance to sew squares together using sewing machine, stopping 1/4” away from corner. If your sewing machine has a needle down function, use it to pivot pillow cover 90˚. If your sewing machine does not have a needle down function, carefully pivot pillow cover without pulling too much thread from bobbin or needle.
Trim off excess bulk in corners. Turn right side out and stuff with fiberfill. Hand sew opening closed or use sewing machine to finish open edge.
Position leather on die cut machine. Die cut 16 flowers from various colors of leather in small, medium, and large shapes following manufacturer’s instructions. Randomly mix and match small, medium, and large flower shapes in different colors together. Apply glue between flower layers; press together to adhere. Let dry.
Use needle and thread to attach button onto center of each flower.
Use pencil and ruler to mark placement of flowers on pillow front. Use needle and thread to attach flowers onto pillow front by sewing bottom layers onto pillow. Knot and clip thread ends.
A simple tasty and budget friendly side dish that looks and tastes gourmet. My kids love to dip them in ketchup and the adults like them in bruschetta. If you really want to kick them up another notch you can serve sour cream and chives too. If you have leftovers they are great the next morning with breakfast.
Ingredients for Rosemary & Parmesan Crusted Potato Bites.
- 2 pounds petite potatoes, halved
- 2 ½ tablespoons rosemary infused olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 Shredded Regiano Cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions for Rosemary & Parmesan Crusted Potato Bites:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Coat the bottom of a 9×9-baking dish with the olive oil, and then evenly distribute the salt, pepper, garlic and thyme over the olive oil. Sprinkle on the cheeses over the seasoned oil.
- Place the potato halves, cut side down, on top of the cheese mixture and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced. Precise baking time will depend on the thickness of your potatoes. (you can spay oil over the potatoes to keep skin crisp)
I like to serve the potatoes with sour cream my husband likes them with sour cream and chives. The kids like to dip them in ketchup. Gasp, I know ketchup. They are kids, what can I say but it goes on almost everything. Occasionally they get fancy and add salsa. You can accessories them with what ever your family likes.
Please join us and discover new recipes for potatoes this weeks secret ingredient. There are over 40 blogger participating in the potato round up. The cake in the image has me totally intrigued. I think I will try it. If you try my recipe I would love to know what you think.
An InLinkz Link-up
A fall burlap centerpiece that you can make quickly, with ease and not break the budget. This DIY project is made with pine cones from the yard, recycled cans, burlap and scraps from your stash. Burlap is one of my go to materials for fall. I think burlap feels like the perfect material to use for autumnal decorating and it is neutral in color so it goes with almost anything. Plus it adds a nice texture and a warm feeling. I like to pair it with jute cording and cream colored embellishments.
Supplies for Fall burlap centerpiece:
- Tin cans – cleaned and dried
- Cotton lace
- Jute cording
- Acrylic paint and paint brush
- Pine cones
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Covered work surface
Instructions for Fall burlap centerpiece:
- Wash and dry tin cans. Select 2-3 different size cans. Apply orange paint to the exterior of the can. You can leave it thin and wispy or apply another coat. Allow paint to dry.
2. To cut burlap start on the finished edge. Measure the amount needed by holding it up to the can and deciding the amount of coverage desired. Snip a cut mark into the burlap. Follow along a thread of the burlap and this will help to keep your lines straight.
3. Once you have cut along the edge of the burlap, then you can remove a few strands of the burlap to create a fringed edge.
3. Use the hot glue gun to adhere the burlap to a can. Then use the burlap ribbon to wrap around the other two cans. Adhere the burlap ribbon with hot glue.
4. Cut the cotton lace to size and adhere with the hot glue.
5. Cut jute cording with enough extra to allow for a knot. Wrap around the can and tie in a knot. You can trim the excess.
6. Trim a couple of the pine cone leaves off with scissors or remove with your fingers. This will help the pinecone to adhere to a flat surface better.
7. Apply a small dollop of hot glue onto the knot and place the pinecone onto the dollop. Hold in place for a few seconds. BE CAREFUL not to touch the hot glue. It hurts!
8. Add plants of your choice to the tin cans. Fake succulents were used in the burlap centerpiece.
If you would like more Fall decorating ideas try these links:
Recycled jar harvest terrariums
Simple Fall Tablescapes
Monogram door hanger
If you would like some stunning vignettes check out this link at 100 Directions
Halloween door decorations – Make a monster mouth for your front door. I chose to use Oly*Fun from Fairfield Processing because it is available in Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Joan Fabric and Hancock Fabric. Plus it is in cheap and weather friendly. It is great for decorating outside and it can be reused year after year. Our neighborhood does not have trick or treating so we do not get very elaborate on or decorations. I wanted to make something with little effort and big impact. Thus the front door decoration. Our door is a double door and we just painted it black instead of the green I planned. The green door would have been the perfect monster or Frankenstein.
I work with Fairfield and Adtech and they send me product to create with and I would not use them if I did not love them. I chose the Cool Tool because it will not melt the Olyfun, it is safe for the kids and it will hold up to the weather. This project took about 20 minutes total. It might have taken less if I was not doing it with two cranky kids.
Supplies for Halloween door decorations:
Instructions for Halloween door decorations:
- Cut the red Oly*Fun to the size of your front door.
- Cut enough white triangles to go along the top of the mouth and the bottom of the mouth. I let the kids cut them. This assured that they were uneven and unique.
- Adhere the teeth to the mouth with a low temp glue gun.
- Cut two eye shapes out of white.
- Use a red Sharpie to add veins to the eyes. to finish off the eyeballs.
- Add either black or blue Oly*Fun to the bottom of the eyes.
- Adhere to your front door and enjoy.
Click on the link below to see other quick and easy Halloween crafts.