Thursday, December 15, 2011

Antique Music Paper Ornaments

Two weeks 'til Christmas, and I'm JUST now getting you my version of Miss Mustard Seed's Christmas ornaments that I've already been promising for two weeks.

Photo courtesy of Mustard Seed Interiors.

Let's just get right to it.  I use old hymnals for this project.  They're the perfect size, have plenty of double sided pages, and usually already have that nice aged look to them.  The ornaments I'm going to show you are pretty large, but you could easily use the same method with even smaller pieces.

To remove the pages, score as closely as you can to the binding, and gently pull out.  They should release pretty easily.

Take your sheet of music paper and fold it in half length-wise.

Fold it back and forth a few times, and it should easily tear apart.  If it doesn't, use scissors.  My paper is pretty delicate, and you don't want it to rip.

Starting at one end, accordion fold it like you used to when you were a little girl making paper fans.

Try and make your folds the same size.  They will end up like this when you're done.

Three half sheets will be full enough to make a full circle.  The accordion strips have to be attached together.  To do this, match up one end of one that points up with the end of another that points down.  

Use your hot glue gun to put a strip of glue along one side, match the two together, and press.  Be careful though- hot glue's really hot! Ask me how I know?...

Once you have a long strip of three half sheets, you'll wrap the end around and glue an end going up to an end going down as you did before.  If you happen to have two ends going in the same direction, just remove one of the last folds to get them in the right directions before gluing.  It should end up looking like this:

To get the flattened, circular fan shape, cup the circle in your hand and gently pull the top in as you push down.  It will gradually start to flare at the bottom.

Put a dab of glue in the center and hold it together, then turn it over and do the same on the opposite side.  You now have a flared circle.

You can put some glitter on the edges, put your string on it, and leave it as it is if you like at this point.  This is how Miss Mustard Seed's look.  I take it a few steps further. To make the inner circle, take one of the long set of three strips you've already made.  Push the accordion folds tightly together, and cut it in half.

Glue the ends together just as you did for the larger one.  Then gather it in your hands and dip the ends in glue.

Then dip the ends in your glitter.  I use a crushed glass glitter.

Then you'll need to sit it on top of the larger circle and push down, just like you did with the larger circle.  This sits it down in the grooves of the other circle so it looks more cohesive.

Very gently, push inward until the smaller circle closes in as well as it can on the larger one.  Put a dab of hot glue in the center, and hold it in place until it sets.

Pick up the two circles as a unit, and dip the outer circle in the glue, and then the glitter.

I finish the centers of mine with a set of vintage buttons attached with hot glue.

The last step is to attach your string.  I use a thin hemp string.  Punch a small hole through one of your seams so that you have double thickness for strength.  You want the hole to be big enough for your string to fit through, but not excessively big as to invite tears.

Tie a knot, and wait for your glue to dry.  It will dry clear, and you'll be left with pretty glass glittered edges.

Hang on your tree, and enjoy!

Hope you're all having a great holiday season!

Sharing at:
Savy Southern Style
2805 Potpourri Party

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Go ask. You never know what response you'll receive!

Sometimes I get SO lucky.  At least I think I do...but then again, I pick up a lot of stuff that I think is completely awesome, but most people think belongs in the dumpster.

Anyway.  I'm lucky.  I'm sticking by that.

Yesterday on my way home from the store, I drove by the corner house down the street from me and saw three guys with a trailer, and lots of wooden pieces (not complete pieces as I usually use that term, but actual little bits and pieces) sticking out.  Since I'm really good at being creepy, I stopped, and struck up a brief conversation.  I really was curious about the house- it has looked totally empty ever since we moved in.  The guy had just bought it, it had been empty over five years, and he was cleaning it out.

I was able to get in that I love taking old chairs, tables, dressers, small children, etc.  Okay, maybe not small children, but I felt like I should be telling him I basically take anything.  He told me he had found two pieces that were worth fixing (not dry rotted) that he was planning to keep, but really had more projects than he needed anyway.  He ran inside and came back with a captains chair from a dining table.  It was completely gray, but after some Clorox wipes, and Old English, it's back to it's self.  And that leather seat is in perfect, beautifully aged, condition.

He also gave me an old drop leaf table, and I pulled three drawers from an old treadle sewing machine cabinet out of his trailer.  The table needs a lot of cleaning, and some work, but it will be a cute a cute little farm table when I'm done.

This morning, the guy called back (because I was good enough to give him a card).  He had found another chair.  He told me it needed an arm repaired and reupholstering, but that I was welcome to come check it out.  I did.  I took it.  It has really nice lines, but it is really REALLY nasty.  Like- has mold growing on it nasty.

(Hello, mold.  Yuck.  Also- you can see the table in the background!)

I assume that I'll have to throw everything but the frame in the garbage.  No one wants an old moldy chair, even if it's been dressed back up in new clothes.  BUT- when she is all dolled up again, what a knockout she's going to be!  I just love that because I stopped and was a little creepy (again) and forward (again), that I saved a great old piece from being crushed and filling up a landfill.

Anyway, there she, and the table, sit on my front porch until hubs is home and not on call to help me maneuver them into the garage (because Lord knows what's hiding in that cushion, and it is NOT coming in my house until it's totally stripped down!).  My neighbors love me, you know?

Did I mention the best part to this whole find?  Not only did the guy take my card, keep it, and use it...but he gave me all this great stuff for the absolute best price- free...not that I would have given much for any of it in the condition all the pieces were in in the first place, but it's always nice for someone to just offer something to you.  It's also great that he has my contact info, so if he gets into another house that has some goodies in it, he knows who to call.

Moral of the story.  Sometimes it feels weird, and creepy, to go up to a complete stranger and ask if they have anything you want on a whim, but it can be totally worth it.  If you do this though, just be careful, and don't go into any houses alone, etc.  Common sense, girls!

Now, what should I cover and paint my new little chair in?  Ideas?

(More soon-- promise you'll have the ornament tutorial this week so you can make some fab ornaments BEFORE Christmas!)