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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wedding Centerpiece Tutorial


While I usually spend my time knitting, I have been busily working on my DIY barn wedding, scheduled for September 10, 2011 (9/10/11).  I know, it probably seems ridiculously early to be working on this stuff, but when I say DIY, I mean seriously, hardcore, insane-that-someone-has-time-for-this DIY.  Perhaps you might think I'm a bit of an overachiever, but I'm actually just a control freak   really frugal.  This first tutorial is for one of my centerpieces, which I first saw over at Wedding Gawker, which led me to Songbird's version of this project.  Songbird's bowl is made from plaster, which dries white.  However, I wanted to use ivory doilies, so I had to modify this project a lot, hence the seperate tutorial.  Enjoy!


Materials:
Cotton doilies, 10"
Fabric Stiffener (available at craft stores)
Bowl or dish smaller than your doily (I took my doily around the store and draped it over dishes until I found one that looked good)
Wax Paper
Plastic sandwich bag with zip closure
rubber gloves (optional)


I was lucky enough to find these 2-packs of cotton doilies at my local dollar store.

First, you want to lay out a piece of wax paper over a flat workspace.  Place your bowl/dish upside down on the wax paper. 

Open your zipper bag and add about 2tbsp of fabric stiffener to the empty bag (just eyeball the amount).

Add the doily, and add more fabric stiffener (about twice as much as you added before the doily).  Now you need to squeeze out the air and close the bag. 

Knead the bag until the doily is thoroughly saturated.  It should be tacky and moist in all areas. 

If you are using ivory doilies, you will notice the doily is white where it is saturated, so it is easy to tell when it is ready.

Take the doily out of the bag, squeeze excess stiffener into the bag (if necessary), and drape the doily over your bowl.  You should be able to center it easily, given the patterns in doilies usually have a center hole.  Again, this does not have to be perfect.  Part of the charm is that every one of these comes out different!

You will see that your doily wrinkles around the sides.  If you still like a little symmetry, make sure these wrinkles don't all end up in one spot.  pinch the doily on the other side of the bowl to evenly spread the excess fabric.  This also ensures that the finished product will not tip over from uneven weight.


The bottle of fabric stiffener I used recommended allowing 24 hours for the doily to completely dry.  I only needed 12 hours, probably because Michigan in November tends to be very dry.  You will know it is ready when the color is uniform, and the doily has a very "crunchy" feel to it.  When completely dry, pry your doily off your bowl (carefully!), and set it right side up to allow the inside to finish drying if necessary. 


Add decorative items into your dish as you see fit, and enjoy! 

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