Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jumbo Cherry Charms

I am going to start sharing some of my own and other people's crafty DIY/tutorials! I've been inspired by many people who are willing to share their "little secrets" and I would love to inspire that same creativity in someone else. So first up, I'll show you how to make LAMC's jumbo cherry charms. This is a method that I came up with myself after I had a dream about making cherry charms. (Yes, a lot of my crafting ideas come from dreams, is that werid? lol) Some exact techniques won't be divulged, but this is a basic guideline that you can tweak any way you like.

Materials needed:
  • Wooden Craft Balls (The size is up to you. I like to get the 1-2" for jumbo cherries and the small ones like 3/4" for mini cherries. You can make whatever size you want. But you don't want to go above 2" because the weight is a factor.)
  • Air Dry Clay (I get plain, uncolored clay)
  • Craft cord (I like green metallic craft cord for cherries. You can find this with the knitting and crochet area of most art supply stores.)
  • Glue (I won't divulge what type of glue I use since I had to go through a lot of trial and error to find what works try out different kinds and see what works for you!)
First, you'll need to gather your materials and set up a work station. I like to work with 6-8 wooden balls at a time and I set them up like so:
Then you want to take out your clay, work it a little, and fill each ball with a bit of clay. (Again, I am not going to reveal my method since it took a great deal of time and patience to get it right but this is a general DIY to get you going!)

Here's the type of clay that I use:
Pictured below is a 1" ball filled with clay. Once you fill it with clay, you'll need to make a hole in the clay. Depending on how much clay you filled the hole with, once you make your hole, it will overflow. (You want it to overflow. If it doesn't, use more clay.) Simply scrape the excess off evenly and let your clay dry. I usually wait a couple of hours or so. You could sand the clay after it's dry if it's uneven, but once you perfect the scraping method you shouldn't have to.

Once your clay is dry, move on to painting. I picked a bright red acrylic paint for my cherries but you can pick whatever shade of red you like. Paint all sides and let them dry thoroughly. You'll have to paint in sections and that's what you see here. I leave the ends for last so that I have something to hold on to while doing the sides. In the bottom left corner, what you see is a completed paint job.
If you are short on time, you can stick your cherries on a dowel or paint brush end and paint them that way. Make sure to keep them from touching if you try this method!
Finally, once everything is dry, you take your craft cord and cut off a string and fold it in half. The size of your string is up to you. I make mine long enough that they'll fit around a door knob. Then you squeeze glue into the hole and stick both ends of your folded craft cord inside and hold it there for a minute or two. You want to use enough glue to hold your cord but not so much that it runs out of the sides. It's all trial and error. Let your cherries dry for 24 hours before handling. As for handling, they are pretty sturdy with the right glue. However these are not toys and are not to be handled roughly. Keep away from small children and animals, please!
Once your glue is dry, pick up two and they will look like this:
To give them that classic cherry look, tie them in a loose knot at the top:
A bunch of jumbo cherries!
Hangin' in the car, yo! (If you want to hang them where they will be exposed to sunlight, be sure to varnish them properly!!)
Mark your page with them!
There are so many things you can do with these...and I know the creative minds out there will think of many more ideas for them that I have. I hope you'll try them out and if you do be sure to link me pictures if you do!

Happy crafting!

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