CRAFT IDEAS TO INSPIRE
In her latest series, Elizabeth Harbour explores different materials to create a collection of beautiful handmade decorative pieces
In her latest series, Elizabeth Harbour focuses on different kinds of materials to create decorative items
STENCILLED WATER LILY PLACEMATS
Add a pretty, personalised finish to a tabletop with tailormade decorative mats with a lily motif.
YOU WILL NEED
Newspaper (lay on worksurface before starting) PVA glue White matt emulsion Small paintbrush Tester pots of matt emulsion – Elizabeth used Muted Rose (pink), Pasture (green), White Petal (white) and Harvest Field (yellow) from Homebase (homebase.co.uk) Plywood circles, 17cm in diameter, from Hobbycraft (hobbycraft.co.uk) Scalpel and cutting mat Re-positionable book covering Pencil Tracing paper 2cm-wide cotton spool Tea towel Royal & Langnickel stencil brushes (artuk.royalbrush store.com) Small decorating brush Matt acrylic clear varnish from Hobbycraft Felt and all-purpose glue for underside of mats (optional) 1 Make homemade gesso primer by mixing 1 part PVA glue to 1 part white emulsion and prime both sides and edges of each plywood circle. Once dry, paint in pink emulsion. 2 Cut out three circles, using a plywood piece as a template on the paper side of the re-positionable book covering. These will be used to create the stencils. 3 Draw a water lily design (or visit elizabethharbour. co.uk for a template) on a piece of paper and copy onto tracing paper. Transfer the petal part of the design to the paper side of one circle, making sure it is central, and the flower centre and leaves part onto the second circle, so the two stencils line up. Cut out the petals and the flower centre and leaves with a scalpel on the cutting mat. 4 On the third circle, draw a circle 0.4cm in from the cut edge. Draw around a cotton spool, with the top edge of the spool touching the drawn circle and repeat around the circle, then cut to create a scalloped edge (this is included on the template). You may need to adjust the design to fit in the last scallop. 5 Lay a tea towel on a surface, peel off the back from the scalloped-edge stencil and stick onto the material. Peel away from the tea towel and repeat again. This will make the stencils less sticky, so they won’t take off paint from the placemats. Position the scalloped-edge stencil centrally on one placemat and paint an even covering of green emulsion over the edges of the circle, being careful not to apply too much paint at once. Leave to dry, then remove the stencil and repeat on the other mats. 6 Prepare the petal stencil as before, then stick onto one of the placemats, again making sure it is central. Using a small hog hair paintbrush paint streaky brushstrokes with white emulsion over each petal, following its shape. Once dry, remove the stencil and repeat on the other mats. 7 Continue with the last stencil (centre of the flower and leaves) preparing this as before and position on one placemat. Paint the leaves with green emulsion and stipple the centre of the flower with a stencil brush in yellow emulsion. Allow to dry and repeat on the other placemats. 8 Paint dots in yellow using a small paintbrush around the edge of the scalloped design on each placemat and leave to dry. 9 Once dry, apply three coats of clear varnish to each mat. 10 Finish by sticking smaller circles of felt to the back of each mat with all-purpose glue if you wish.
This is a simple and effective printing technique that is easy to do and can be used to add pretty detailing to kitchen linens, cards and furniture.
YOU WILL NEED
Cotton apron Newspaper and masking tape Oval and paper tray doilies from cake decorating shops or Amazon (amazon.co.uk) Scissors Metal ruler and pencil Small sponge roller Red speedball fabric screenprinting ink from Handprinted (handprinted.co.uk) Old plate Half a metre of calico or cotton Paper lace heart doily by Dovecraft from ebay 1 Iron the apron and lay it flat on a newspaper-covered surface. Tape down the edges you’re going to print, covering the sewn hem by 1cm. 2 Unwrap the doilies and remove any loose punched pieces. You’ll find that the doilies are attached to each other – peel off a couple at once for a stronger stencil. 3 Cut the long edges of the tray doilies so they have 3cm of plain paper along one edge. For the sides of the apron, match and stick the ends of these together with masking tape to make two long strips. Repeat to make a strip for the top (neckline) and another for the bottom edge. 4 Position the doily borders along the top and sides of the apron 0.4cm from the masked edge. Secure the paper edge with a long strip of masking tape. Double over small pieces of tape and place under solid areas to hold it in place. Cover up any perforations you don’t want to print with tape. 5 Place an oval doily on the apron’s front centre. Stick down the edges so there is a generous border to prevent ink printing on the apron away from the doily. 6 Dip the sponge roller into the red ink and wheel onto an old plate until evenly covered. Start by rolling over the oval doily, being careful to apply ink to the cut-out areas only. Roll down and lift the roller, rather than wheeling it back and forth as this will move the doily out of place. Practise on a piece of calico or cotton first, especially if you want to see the printed patterns of different doilies. 7 Continue to print the sides and the neckline, using the same technique as before, being sure not to move the doilies. Recharge with ink when necessary. Leave to dry or speed up the process with a hairdryer. 8 When the ink is dry, remove the doily strips from the sides, top and middle. Mask off the printed lower edges with tape and position the bottom doily strip 0.4cm from the masked hemmed edge. Run tape along the straight doily edge and print as before. 9 Position the lace heart doily in the centre of the printed oval design, mask off the edges with a border of tape and print as before. Allow the ink to dry, remove tape and doilies and follow the ink-setting instructions.