Burlap is a very popular fabric to be working with right now. It’s got a very natural feel and inspires a lot of creative possibilities. I’ve been making a lot of things with burlap and today I’ve got a project that combines burlap with Cloud Clay!
Now these are two media that you may not consider combining in the same project but, in fact, they go quite well together. One of the features of Cloud Clay is its ability to stick to itself so for this project I wanted to apply the Cloud Clay to the fabric and the solution was to sandwich the fabric between two pieces of Cloud Clay.
As soon as two pieces of Cloud Clay are pressed together they’re only too happy to stick fast. Here’s how to use this feature to make a cute Cuff with Cloud Clay accents:
To complete the project you will need:
- AMACO Cloud Clay: White, Red
- Felt in colors of your choice – I used grey and two shades of pink
- Needle and thread
To begin, take a piece of burlap long enough to wrap around your wrist comfortably. Typically, you’ll want a little more than 8-9″ of burlap to start with. Pull some threads out of the burlap so the Cloud Clay can poke through the holes in the burlap and form a nice join with itself.
I pulled three long threads out of the middle of the burlap and then every eight threads on the short edge I pulled out another two threads. This gave me a nice even grid to work with. Depending on how coarse your burlap is, you may want to adjust the number of threads that you pull out. Basically, you need to make square holes smaller than the embellishments but large enough to get good adhesion for the clay.
Condition some White Cloud Clay so it is nice and pliable and then add a tiny piece of Red clay to it to make a pale pink color. Put some of this clay aside and add another small piece of Red Cloud Clay to the remaining pink clay and make a slightly darker pink clay. Continue until you have 3-4 shades of pink clay.
Pinch off small pea-size pieces of the colored Cloud Clay, roll them into small balls, and press them over the holes in the burlap, then flatten them slightly. Use a range of colors so you have a pattern of Cloud Clay pieces that go from light to dark and back again.
Now take some half pea-size pieces of Cloud Clay and roll them into balls. You’ll place these under the burlap directly under each of the Cloud Clay pieces and then press lightly to adhere them. Make sure the topmost flattened balls are nice and round as they’re the side that shows.
Because the Cloud Clay pieces are bigger than the holes in the burlap they won’t pull through it and the Cloud Clay pieces on the back will keep the pieces on the front in place and secure. Check that everything looks good and set aside to dry while you do the sewing.
For the cuff, take three pieces of wool felt and cut them into the lengths to use for the cuff. The inner piece (grey in this case) needs to be wider and slightly shorter than the outer pieces. You need to make the cuff large enough so that you can pull the cuff on and off your wrist without requiring a clasp but not so large that it falls off!
Start by sewing the gray felt into a circle to make the base of the cuff. Over the top of this add a piece of dark pink felt – it will be narrower and just a little bit longer than the grey felt. Sew it to the grey felt using small stitches and coordinating color thread.
On top of that, add another layer of lighter pink felt – it will be narrower and just a little bit longer than the previous piece of pink felt. Sew it in place.
Once the Cloud Clay on the burlap layer is dry, you can add it. Use small stitches and make a stitch over each of the burlap threads to make sure that the burlap won’t fray any further and to affix it to the felt layers below.
The finished cuff is a quaint and unusual mix of Cloud Clay, felt and burlap, a little bit chunky, and a lot of fun!
You could take this design idea a step further and instead of using small balls of clay, make your own molded embellishments by pressing small pieces of Cloud Clay into a mold. Place the molded shape on top of the burlap and press another piece of Cloud Clay to the back of it to make your piece is secure.
You can make your own molds using a molding compound and buttons or other found objects or you may find small molds used for candy making that will have nice design elements you can use.
by Helen Bradley for AMACO (www.amaco.com)