Monday, February 1, 2016

Front Porch Decor - Valentine's Edition

Today I'm wrapping up the front porch decor.  The Valentine's stuffies and banner are all complete, so I'm finishing things up with a couple little projects to put on my porch chair.  

I have some scraps of fabric left over from the other two projects, some bigger than others, but definitely enough to make a little pendant bunting.
These are a super quick to put together (30-40 minutes) and there are a lot of different ways to make them.  I'm going to sew two pieces of fabric together for each pendant and then sew it to a ribbon, but I've also used twine and hot glue before if you're not up for a sewing project.  That's how I made this bunting for my daughter's room.
I had very little of the pink Valentine's fabric left and so that kind of determined the size of my triangles.  I need a front and a back piece so I lined up my scraps and cut away with my rotary cutter and straight edge.  You don't have to have those tools to do this project, but it does make it easier. 
The triangle ended up being about 2-1/4" wide at the top and 3-1/2" long.  With my bigger pieces of fabric, I was able to cut it into a strip that was 2-1/4" and then cut those down to 3-1/2" lengths.  That way I could stack several pieces on top of each other and cut them at the same time.

Once all your triangles are cut, place two pieces wrong sides together and sew up one side as close to the raw edge as you dare go.  You don't have to bother with cutting off the threads after each one, you can just make a chain of pendants.  If you would rather, you could leave a wider side seam  and them trim down the edges with pinking shears.
A word of caution here, don't be tempted to sew all the way to the point.  You have to leave enough room for your presser foot to have something to hold on to when you turn your fabric to sew up the other side.  Otherwise this is what happens:
See how the tip of my triangle got pushed down toward the bobbin. This is a bad thing and might cause you to swear! It won't feed through the machine and you'll just end up with a huge knot and a higher blood pressure level.  This is about as far as you want to go before you change directions:
Once all your pendants are sewn together, separate them by clipping the strings and then trim down any fabric overhang you may have.
Line them up in the order you would like.  I don't have even numbers of my fabrics and so I just made my order random.  Stack them up and head back to the sewing machine.
This is where you are going to attach it to your ribbon, lace, or whatever you are using.  Bias tape also works really well for this.  Just leave six inches or so at the end of your trim so that you have room to tie it to something when it is finished.
I didn't really care about how the back side of my bunting looked, so I didn't bother to fold over the trim to cover raw edges on the back.  I just tucked the fabric about half way under the ribbon so that it wasn't sticking out the top and stitched through both.
As I was unraveling the ribbon I made this unpleasant discovery:
Come on man!  That is ridiculous.  I have never encountered this with ribbon before, but it happens all the time with yarn where you'll come upon the knot where the manufacturer join two pieces together.  So annoying!

In order to keep the ends of my ribbon from fraying I used this little helper- a lighter!  I couldn't figure out how to take a picture of myself holding the lighter, the ribbon, and camera all at the same time to show the actual process, so hopefully you can just see the difference.  The top ribbon hasn't been melted yet, and the bottom one has.  It just takes a tiny little touch to the flame and voila!  No more fraying ribbon!
Next I wanted to make a little floral piece to put on the seat of my chair.  I had seen one on Pinterest where they used a cone and filled it with flowers and paper hearts and thought it was cute.  I happened to have the grapevine cone as one of my Christmas decorations, and the flowers are from my Fourth of July decorations.
I pulled out the two red flowers and one of the white flowers as well as some leaves to fill the cone.  I think the only trick to flower arranging is making sure to have varying heights.  My mom always said to do everything in odd numbers, but since I didn't have three red flowers, or the space for more flowers, I'm just going with it.  Sorry Mom!

To make the hearts, I found some pink polka dot scrapbook paper I had left over from another project and some wire.  I cut four hearts total, a front and back piece to make two hearts.  My wire wasn't very thick, so I cut a piece long enough to double over.

I used hot glue to stick the wire in between the two layers of paper and then stuck them into my arrangement.

I finished it off with a little baker's twine wrapped around the cone

All done!  I hung the bunting on the back of the chair and put the floral arrangement on the seated, propped up by a large wooden dice.  

Yes, that is snow on the mat.  We live in a tundra.  And on a side note....if you paint your front door black, or any dark color for that matter, I would advise not using a satin finish.  It shows every. single. fingerprint and paw print. What was I thinking? ...Sigh... Can you tell we have little ones at our house?  ha ha
Thanks for visiting and Happy Valentine's Day!

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