Hello all, I’m happy you’re here!  It’s been a whirlwind few days.  Traveled to CHA, the Craft and Hobby Association’s trade show, a little over a week back.  Saw some wonderful art, met up with some old and new friends, and survived the onslaught of massive creativity brimming from all corners of that convention hall.  Then worked to present the best and most inspiring finds to share.  Whew!

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Today on Home and Family, I demo-ed some cool paints from Viva-Decor.  (Click here to watch video.)  These folks had a visually stunning booth at CHA.  The theme was Alice in Wonderland, and it was truly a feast for the eyes — teacups and Cheshire cats included.  I wanted to highlight some of their new products, as well as a few that are staples in their artistic arsenal.

More than anything, I wanted to jump-start any brides-to-be out there who are wanting to have a hand-crafted wedding.  You can do it!  First on the agenda, the bridal bouquet.  I am fascinated by fabric flowers, and love the vintage look they embody.

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What you’ll need:

At least 5 different types of synthetic fabric — polyester, nylon, etc.  This is necessary, as the process of making the flowers involves fusing the edges.  If you use natural fabrics (silk, cotton) the edges will burn rather than fuse.  Not a good look.  Choose lightweight silkies, chiffons, lace, organza.  Also consider color.  If all the elements are one color, the bouquet may just appear as a ball of a single color.  Contrast helps highlight the main color. (For one bouquet, I began with 1/2 yard pieces of 7 different fabrics.)

Needle and thread

Jewels, crystals, fabric paints, cast-off jewelry pieces, etc.

Compass or saucers, glasses, or bowls to use as circle forms

Water-soluble marking pen (found in fabric stores)

Candle

Bouquet form

Felt (optional)

Determine the exterior diameter desired for your flowers.  My roses were 3-1/2″ across.  Stack fabrics one atop the other, pin in place, and use the water-soluble pen to mark circles, starting with the exterior diameter.  Cut.  Then create circle stacks 1/2″ smaller until you have 4 or 5 different sizes.

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In preparation for the next step, have a glass of cold water or ice cubes handy, and set up your workstation in a well ventilated area — melting of fabrics can create stinky fumes.  Ice cubes are just in case you touch a melted edge before it has cooled.  Protect your paws!

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Carefully hold the edges of the fabric circles over the candle flame until the edges begin to melt and curl.  Continue turning the circle until the entire edge is finished fusing.

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When you have completed finishing the edges of all your circles, assemble.  Stack the circles, gradually working toward smaller circles until satisfied with the result, then stitch together.

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To create dimension, turn the flower over, and pinch in half.  Take a few stitches to hold pinch in place, and knot.

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Turn flower right side up.  Add a center to the bloom.  This is where the crystals, pearl paint, glitter, or old earrings come in handy.  Go crazy with the accoutrements!

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When you have plenty of flowers, begin assembly on the bouquet form.  I also added ribbon roses to my arrangement.  My tutorial for ribbon roses is here.  When using wider ribbon (1-1/2″ wide), begin with a length of 30″.  Attache the flowers to the form using long pins or low-melt hot glue.

Mirror Paint

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Viva Decor’s Mirror Paint was fascinating to me.  Make any non-porous surface into a mirror?  I want it!

It’s really cool, but a bit difficult to work with.  It’s new, so maybe I need more practice, but I found it pretty tricky.  Some tips and insights:

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On glass, it’s hard to get complete coverage.  I mostly didn’t mind that — I like the vintage/mercury glass look.

A second coat works to fill in the voids, but sometimes I found that in an attempt to apply more paint, I only succeeded in lifting the prior coat.

Use a sponge with small cell-structure, for better coverage.

Pouring and swirling the paint in the vessel, without use of a sponge, doesn’t provide more even spreading.  Stick with a sponge applicator.

The paint dries in about 30 minutes, and when it does, the mirror-sparkle is surprisingly shiny.  Better than any mirror spray-paint I’ve used.

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Pearl Pens

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Dimensional paint pens aren’t new.  And these pens aren’t new for Viva Decor, but I like them. Here’s why:

Old pens had a tendency to create “elf hat” pointed dots.  These are always rounded, lovely little dots.

They come in 25 colors.

One tube ($5.99) makes more than 700 quarter-inch pearls.

Items are machine-washable after being ‘pearled.’

A couple of tips:

When working on tulle (wedding veil), PATIENCE and a light-touch are requirements.  I learned to ‘float’ the pearls on top of the fabric.  And if you mess up, wipe away the paint with a q-tip when wet, or peel it off when it’s dry.

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Also when making a veil, begin by applying tiny pearls.  Once dry, you can apply a larger pearl over it if you like.

Resist the temptation to touch the pearls to see if they’re dry.  They take about an hour to cure, and if you tempt fate and give them a nudge, they will dimple and look not-pretty.

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OnSetViva Paint

Have fun, and make something beautiful!