I bought a roundtrip ticket to Achorage, AK on Saturday and promptly texted/tweeted all of my friends and family to inform them that they would all be receiving homemade Christmas presents this year.
And then I got started making them.
I should probably have people in mind when making Christmas presents, but to be honest I’m just winging it and hoping the perfect recipient emerges.
I’ve already made a huge batch of homemade cranberry-orange marmalade from oranges in my backyard, so that will be nice for some people. And then I got started on these little guys.
I think they’re pretty sweet little optical illusions. For now they are just miniature sculptures but I’m going to make them into necklace pendants and brooches.
And I’m going to tell you how to make them too!
I saw a tutorial on pinterest a while back that showed how to make cabochons using silicon molds and hot glue, of all things. The original blogger, Lilblueboo found all sorts of things,: bows, hearts, butterflies. However, when I went to Michaels, I only found an assortment of leaves?
Ah well, I thought, I’ll find something that needs leaves someday. Months later, while looking through pinterest boards and my craft supplies I hit upon the something that needed leaves.
My parents recently bought 9 acres of land and are building a house (a straw bale house, because they are that crazy and awesome). It’s a pretty long and narrow piece of land that slopes down through mesquite trees and cacti (and bluebonnets in the spring) to a line of oak trees along a creek. They’re keeping it uncultivated for the most part which means we wild animals use it as their habitat. We keep an eye out for snakes, and keep our animal tracking skills up to date by identifying various paw/hoofprints and droppings left along the trail. My very favorite thing to do on our walks is to collect things. The best things I’ve found are bones. It might sound creepy but I really like animal bones. But that is a story for another post. This one is about snail shells. And flowers.
I started noticing these little white shells all over (well not all over) the place. I pocketed a few, once I realized they were vacated snail shells. I have seriously never seen so many empty shells so far inland. And most of them were a very pretty ivory color.
So, to make this craft, I first cleaned the shells thoroughly with dish soap and boiling water. While they were soaking I warmed up my trusty hot glue gun and made my leaves. Like the original blog post said, it takes a little while to get the right method for filling the molds with hot glue, but the nice thing is that they cool quickly and you can trim the messy edges with scissors. I made a bunch and painted them green, I had to do several layers so the green was a really nice, bright shade.
When the shells were cleaned and dried. I painted them with just a thin layer of acrylic paint. I didn’t want the color to be too thick or bright, so you could still tell that the roses were shells. I went with several different colors so there was a variety in the bouquet.
Then I cast around to find something to put my little flowers on! A quick search of my craft supplies produced a bag of Rummikub tiles! After that is was as easy as finding some crazy glue (I wasn’t sure hot glueing something that was already made of hot glue would be the way to go) and arranging my little rosebuds! I’m going to add some teardrop bails to the back so they can be put on a chain. But I might put a pin on some so they can be a brooch too.
And I made a special one for my friend Jenn that was a little more macabre…
All in all, this was a pretty easy and fun craft to do for a library program or while watching tv. Especially if you already have some of the supplies on hand!