How to keep a plant green forever.

20180831_180755

 

If you are anything like me, you will kill any living plant that is brought into your home.  Yes this includes the so called “hearty” plants.  I have found a solution. Faux succulents.  But not  the plastic ones that will sit on your shelves and collect dust. These are made out of wool, through a process called felting.

Felting can be done in several ways, my favorites are needle and wet felting.

Needle felting can be used to make shapes. The needle is super sharp, and has several barbs.  The barbs help make the felt fibers bind together. The more you poke your project, the tighter and more defined it will become.  This process teaches patience, you can go super fast, but you will probably stab yourself.

 

20180831_155608

 

The second process is called wet felting.  The way I felt, uses a zip lock bag, soap and water.  I begin by picking out my colors and layering them until I have a decent amount. Next I put the layered felt into the zip lock bag with water and a little soap. At first you just want to press the felt into place, you do not want to mess up the pattern. After a few minutes, you can then start to shift the bag more.  Again the more you move the felt, the tighter it will be. Once I feel like it is tight enough, I rinse it in the sink. You can alternate between hot and cold water to get the fibers to bind more. Typically with this method, I will tighten the fiber bonds with my “felting gun” before I cut.

Once the mat is as tight as you want, you can then cut out select shapes. After you have about 20 petals, you then use the needle to join them together.  I like to start from the outside and work my way in.

20180831_16100220180831_16101220180831_161518

After you have formed you succulent, you can put it into a votive, or attach it to another artsy item.

The best think about roving wool, is that you can find it in TONS of colors. The succulents do not have to be just green. If you would like a custom product just reach out!20180831_154714

Happy Crafting!

-R

Advertisements

Restored table

Have you ever driven past a discarded object on the curb and decided you HAD to have it? That is where the story of this table begins.  I was driving to work, when I noticed two tables. I immediately turned around, to get them. However, my car doors were too small for the large table so, I was only able to take the small one.

The table is made of walnut, so my neighbor says. It has 3 tiers, two of which are glass. I instantly knew that it would be used in my bedroom, for all of my nail supplies.  Why? Because every time I do my nails, I drag so many supplies out, and then leave them scattered all over the house. It is a horrible habit that I am sure D will appreciate its disappearance.

This is the third piece of furniture that I have restored this year.  I love the way that old furniture holds up.  We have many hand-me-down pieces at FroHHill, in all kinds of conditions. But how do you start?

 

I begin each project by removing any hardware. Remove any knobs or fixtures that may get in the way of sanding.  I usually like to leave the project in one piece, I don’t want to create any new holes or problems down the line.

 

Next you want to sand it down.  We really like our Ryobi sander. It is lightweight and affordable. Make sure you sand off any old varnish or paint, if it is left on, the stain will not take.

 

Next, wipe down the surfaces to remove any dust. On this particular project I hosed it down and then let it dry in the sun for a few hours.

 

Once it is dry, recheck all surfaces to make sure you have removed any previous coating.  If it is all off you can begin staining.

 

When staining wood, you simply brush it on. I personally like the foam brushes, the tend to cut back on the dripping. I made sure to cover the top of my glass, as well at the edges with painters’ tape. Once you have brushed the stain on, and it has set for about 5 minutes. Take an old towel and wipe it away. Make sure you use a clean section of towel each time. The longer you let the stain sit, the deeper the color.

There are a variety of colors that you can choose from today. Typically, the small cans are enough for one project. We got the pint, and It has been used on all three pieces that I have done this year. And I still have enough for one more project.

After the wood is stained and dried, you can then add any painted detail.  For this projected, I chose a copper hammered metal look for the bottom tier, as well as the wood you see under the glass.  I felt that this would be a nice addition to the project, and that it would brighten it up.  The hammered metal paint is supposed to be used on metal, but it worked just fine on the wood.

After all of the detailing is completed, you can then add a layer of polyacrylic. It is important that you do not shake this. If you shake it, then bubbles will appear on your surface, and it will not be easy to remove. Paint it on in a smooth fashion, and with the grain of the wood.

Once the first coat has dried, lightly sand it down, and remove any dust.  You are then ready to add your next coat. Again, keep it smooth, remove any drips as soon as you see them.  Repeat the process until you are satisfied.

I decided to add wheels to the table. I found some that fit the legs at the hardware store for about $5. They are able to swivel, but do not have a lock. The important thing to note, make sure you drill the hole deep enough.  I made sure the wheel was flush before securing the socket.  Once the hole was deep enough, I gently hammered the socket in, and then pressed the wheel into place.  The first one I placed, was not deep enough, and when I tried to drill it further, I bent the socket. Don’t do that 😊.

And that is it.  To recap, you need to find your project. Sand it down, remove dust, add stain, seal it, and enjoy.

Happy Creating

-R