Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Treetop Quartet Crepe Paper Tutorial: Part I

February is finally here!  I've been waiting for it.


Would you like to make something special this February for Valentine's Day?  I've been working on this crepe paper wall hanging for a little while.  It features a sweet feathered friends quartet with a "Let Me Call You Sweetheart"  singing telegram.

This project can take some time, but can be made quite inexpensively.  Let's get started with Part One.  It will take you more than one day to make this project.

To make a crepe paper circle you will need to cut a 5 ft. length of crepe paper streamer.  Bring the two short ends together.  With a long needle and a long piece of strong thread (double knotted at the end), sew a running or basting stitch about 3/4" inch in from the edge of the long side of the crepe paper.  (You will be sewing through two thicknesses of the crepe paper.) As you pull the needle through the crepe paper, it will begin to form a ruffle.  When you reach the folded end of the crepe paper, knot the end of the ruffled edge, but do not cut your thread.

Now you are ready to form your circle.  The crepe paper will be somewhat flimsy.  I try to form the circle by curving the ruffled part onto itself.  If I didn't pull the ruffle too tight while sewing, the back end and the front end will meet with one layer between.  (If you need some extra fingers to help hold your crepe circle together, try using clothes pins.)  Once your circle is "shaped,"  begin tacking it with your remaining thread.  I tack through all the layers all the way around the ruffled circle.  One of the photographs shows my tacking stitches in red.  These stitches go all the way to the back.  When you have gone all the way around the ruffled circle, finish off with a knot and clip your thread.  You will need three white crepe circles and three red crepe circles.

Using a tacky glue (NOT Elmers -- too runny), add extra fine glitter to your red circles as desired.
I used Cherry Ice Smooch Spritz to spray my white crepe circles, but you could also raid your child's watercolor paint set and with a barely wet brush add some red paint as desired.  (Practice on your extra crepe paper.)  I found the Smooch Spritz in the scrapbooking ink isle at my craft store.
Allow drying time.


Now we're ready for the wire framing.  First, find the "valley" between the two layers of your crepe paper circle.  Your wire is going to hide between these layers.  You may have to cut through some of the crepe to make a continuous layer, just don't cut through your gathered ruffle.  Using 24 gage floral wire (I found it in the floral section of my craft store), begin wrapping around the center of a red circle.  Wrap 4 times before carrying the wire over to the white circle.  Wrap the white circle in the opposite direction you wrapped the red circle.  Wrap around the center between the crepe paper layers about 4 times.  Bring the wire to the top of the white circle and form a hanger between the white and red circle.  Bring the wire back down around the red circle wrapping around once.  Good job!

Add a white circle underneath the red.  Wrap the wire 4 times around the center ruffle between the crepe paper layers.  Your wire frame will seem very flimsy.  Don't despair!  Make a figure eight with your wire by going back up to the red circle and wrapping around it 1 more time in the opposite direction.  Come back down to the new white circle and wrap 2 times around it.  Now add your second red circle.  Wrap around the center 4 times. To secure it to the frame, wrap the wire around the white circle that the new red circle doesn't seem to be attached too.  Come back to the new red circle.  Wrap 2 times.


Are you ready for the bottom row?  Wrap 4 times around the new white circle.  Then, bring the wire back up to the red.  In the opposite direction, (like a figure 8) wrap 1 time.  Come back down to the new white circle.  Wrap 2 times.  Add the last red circle, wrapping 4 times.  Take the wire up to the white circle above the new red and wrap around 2 times. Secure the wire after cutting with wire cutters by slipping the end underneath another loop of wire.  Ta-da!  The hardest part is ALL DONE!


Wow!  I think that's plenty for today.  It's already pretty . . . Don't you think?

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us."  Ephesians 2:4

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