Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Canvas and Aged Metal Bird's Nest Cuff

I'm so excited to share this project with you! The other day I was cleaning up my spot at the table and I saw some painted canvas, a handful of beads, two colors of tulle, wire and a ziploc of rusted nails we'd rescued from a road side piece of furniture. The contrast between the soft, frayed canvas and the scratchy old nails was so inspiring that I had to make something that instant. When inspiration comes that easily I think you owe it to yourself to accommodate it.

Cuff bracelets are such a fun addition to your wardrobe - I like wearing mine over top my cardigan sleeves - adds a little color. Now that I've made one, I think you'll be seeing a lot of these on my blog in the future.

Since the muse was strong I didn't pause to take photos of the steps - I just had fun.

The basic idea is to tear canvas into strips. To do this, snip in a little bit at the edge and then tear your canvas. It's easy and very satisfying. Canvas strips are really useful for everything from wreaths to garlands to tags so I usually tear a whole bunch at once. Then paint the strips, rather haphazardly, with watered down acrylic. You could use watercolor spray, ink or whatever colorant you want, but since I never know what I'll be using it for I prefer watered down acrylic because I know it won't react with water later.  For example,  I don't want this cuff to turn my wrist green if I sweat. Ew.

Cut the canvas a little longer then you'll need for your cuff. It's better to trim it down then not have enough. Cut a piece of batting the same size and cut a second piece of canvas for the inside of your bracelet. Set this piece of canvas aside.

Next, decorate the front. On the canvas itself I added pan pastel, paint splatters and stitching (hand and machine). This is the step where you sew your canvas and batting together. It gives the cuff a little heft and is wonderfully soft peeking out of the edges. The machine quilting and embroidery  hold it all together.  For embellishments I sewed on a twisted tulle flower, beads and  wire bird's nest attached it to rusty nail 'branches'.  Just keep adding stuff until you're satisfied with how it looks.

For the closure, make a loop with tulle and sew on a button. Easy as can be.

The second piece of canvas covers all the stitching and the ends of the loop. You can hand sew the embellished front piece to the backing or fit it in your machine - if you dare - I dared and broke a needle as I wasn't quite as savvy at not hitting anything hard as I thought I was. Next time I'll probably blanket stitch the edges together.

I've worn this one several times before taking the photos and it's holding up great. The only change I'd make is that next time I'll use a hair elastic for the loop closure as the tulle is stretching out a little with use. 

I also don't recommend protruding rusty nails on the wrists of mom's with small children. 

Tulle and beads from: Gauche Alchemy


Carmen said...

Gorgeous. You know what I'm waiting for now? One of your puffy skulls as a wrist cuff :D

Maggi said...

This is so cool!

CathyR said...

Very cool. What a neat idea.

Mim Smith Faro said...

Super cute!

Lesley said...

Pinned this... Gonna do this with my daughter.

donna!ee said...

very kewl! thank you much for sharing :)

MaryC said...

Adorable! Grand use of a new skill too.

Shar said...

Too cool! Beautifully done!

Tracey ~ GardenOfGrace said...

What a fabulous project!! Love how you wrapped the nail with wire! ~ Blessings


Jenn Erickson said...

Wow...WOW! I absolutely love the mixed-media look of this beautiful cuff -- the button, the stitchery, the metal and pearls...wonderful!

Such a pleasure to have you link up with "A Little Birdie Told Me..." at Rook No. 17. Spotlighting your post on my Facebook page today!


Nancy Wyatt said...

How did I miss this, oy! I heart this! xoxo