Today I'd like to show you how to make a beautiful, intricate piece of art which is really easy to make, you just need basic sewing skills. Basically, if you can thread a needle you can do this. This took me an evening, with one eye on 'Call the midwife' and it was really fun to make. The stamp, is called you and me and is designed and handmade by Nula, from Noolibird. You might recognise it as I used a smaller version in my how to make a simple rustic card for Valentines last year. I love this stamp, it's just so pretty and I find it incredibly useful as it suits every occasions. It's also ideal as a wedding gift, or for wedding craft, for making invites, the table plan, thank you cards, labels etc Now I plan on using this stamp for making gifts, such as artwork, lavender cushions, bunting and who know what else. All of which I'll share of course, starting with today. This is how I created some simple, yet beautiful art for the wall ... I might even make one for Mrs Miggins next door.
What you need ...
'You and me'
Available from Noolibird in a variety of sizes. One above is the largest.
Stamp pad foam
Available from Noolibird or online.
Motif fabric paint
This one in 'leaf green' is available from the Noolibird site, if it's not listed just email Nula and she'll pop it on your order. Failing that any fabric paint will work.
Beads to embellish
Before you head out to buy beads, look at your old costume jewellery to see what you can pull apart. My bead collection comes from either old jewellery or jewellery found in charity shops!
Piece of fabric and a picture frame
Both the fabric and my picture frame were source at charity shops.
Embroidery hoop (optional)
This is very handy and makes sewing much easier.
Matching needle and thread.
Make sure your needle isn't too thick, else it won't fit through your bead.
Make your own ink pad buy cutting the A4 size piece of foam into a smaller piece, a little larger than the stamp you're using. Apply the paint to the cut n dry foam with a paint brush giving an even coverage all over the pad. When you have finished stamping you can either wash the cut n dry foam out and re-use or you can put the foam pad in a zip lock bag and use it another day.
Once you've stamped your fabric, let the ink dry. Once dry, turn it over and iron it. This makes the ink colour fast, so it won't run if washed. Though since this is art, and not a cushion for eg, there won't be much need for washing it. I used fabric that was quite thick for a slightly rustic faded look. If you want a clearer, more defined image then choose thinner fabric with less weave.
The fun bit! Pop the embroidery hoop onto your fabric (this holds it nice and tight while you work) Thread and knot your needle and begin embellishing! I started from one side and worked my way over, using the stamp to guide me. I just put my needle up through the fabric, put a bead through the needle went back down through the fabric ... then I moved over and across to the next bit, gradually adding little beads here and there.
There are no rules when it comes to adding beads, but I'd suggest using no more than three or four colours ... I used a large emerald stone, a tiny green bead, a tiny gold one and tiny red one. Either space them out evenly or add them as you might see them on a tree, a cluster of berries here, a cluster of leaves there etc. It only took me a couple of hours during the evening to finish one tree ... and that's with one eye on 'call the midwife' ;-)
When you have finished adding beads remove the glass from your frame and dispose / recycle it, as we don't need it anymore. Next we need to make sure the fabric is pulled nice and tight when it's in the frame, if it looks baggy your work won't shine. You can do this by either taping the fabric down (though this doesn't always last / work very well) so the best method is to turn it over, and sew the sides together. This is very easy, just thread a long bit of thread, start in the middle and just sew back and forth, back and fort etc until you've sewed two sides together nice and tight, then sew the other two sides together. Then make a cuppa and admire your finished artwork!