Sunday, November 24

Making a Grungy Primitive Ornament

Let me start this post with two confessions that will make sense in a moment:

I love primitives.  I love colonial American architecture, decor, and life. 

I hate paying for things.  I'm not a thief (thou shalt not steal!), but if there's a way for me to make something as opposed to purchasing it (especially mass-produced items at big-box stores), then I'm all for it.

I'm busy making items for my shop, Punkin Stuffins.  I had a wonderful customer a few weeks ago who purchased nearly all of the pumpkins in my shop, which was great!  But now, I'm low on stock and need to make more items, and with the holidays fast approaching, I'm spending all of my spare time trying to restock.

Enter: primitives.

I've wanted to make some little primitive ornaments for a while now, but wasn't sure how to go about making the "grunge-y" look.  I came across some instructions on eHow, and decided to share my steps with you.  I think that there are several ways to make something look old and grungy, but this is a good starting point for anyone.

You'll need some instant coffee, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and water.  You'll also need a sponge brush, a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil, and an oven set to 170 degrees (because my oven won't go lower than that).

In a glass or other non-staining bowl, put a half cup of instant coffee granules, two teaspoons of vanilla, one teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, and two cups of hot water.  Mix together until everything is combined.

Place your fabric on the foil-lined cookie sheets and spread the mixture as lightly or heavily as you want on the fabric, then sprinkle on the allspice and rub it in with your fingers.

Bake at 170 degrees for 10 minutes at a time, checking until they are dry.  If you've stained both sides, you'll want to flip the fabric every 10 minutes.

Once dry, remove them from the oven.  Rub the fabric with your fingers to blend the stain and brush off any excess granules.  You can also use sandpaper to grind down the stain if you've applied a thick layer.

Embellish with embroidery and hand-stitching.  Here's mine!

I think that I'll be adjusting my stain formula because it was too much for what I wanted, but this is a good starting point for anyone interested in making prims.  Just have fun, and enjoy your handiwork!

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