I love celebrating small holidays with a few art projects – it’s the elementary ed major inside of me. When I saw this pin for St. Patty’s Day specimen art, I couldn’t wait to try it out!
I got started last weekend and I’ve had this cute little project hanging up all week, which gave me plenty of time to blog about it before the holiday… but I just couldn’t find time to type it up before today… I blame it on the time change! And well… I must admit there was another reason for my hesitation. This specimen art involves some free-motion sewing… which didn’t exactly turn out loopy and perfectly flowy… in fact, the “lucky” looks more like a deranged third grader learning to write cursive. But I’ve decided to go with it! The further away you stand, the better it looks! Up close… not so much.
I’m still hanging this up on my “bulletin board”… at least for a few more days until St. Patrick’s Day!
Shamrock Specimen Art
Time: 2 hours (Seriously, I put this together before church last Sunday, in between showering and getting dressed and a million other little things.)
Cost: Probably free, since you can use scraps
- cardboard or poster board (whatever size you want)
- batting (the same size as the cardboard)
- background fabric (a few inches bigger than the cardboard on all sides)
- scraps of green fabric (I used two 5-inch squares)
- sewing machine
For a full tutorial, look to the original source here. Lots of detail and great pictures! I tweaked the original idea a bit– I didn’t have a shadowbox frame, so I used a smaller piece of cardboard and attached a ribbon for hanging. The steps below are a brief overview – now that you’ve seen my finished product, follow at your own risk 🙂
1. Cut your scraps to the right sizes – use the cardboard/poster board as your guide, as it will be the finished size. (I cut off the flap of a cardboard box.) The batting layer should be the same size as the cardboard, and the background fabric should be a few inches larger on all sides.
2. Mark where you want each shamrock placed – I used a ruler to make five rows of three at intervals of 1 1/2 inches.
3. Cut hearts out of the green fabric. (Each shamrock has three leaves, with one four leaf clover in the fourth row.)
So 12 clovers + 1 four leaf clover = 40 hearts altogether.
4. Sew each shamrock onto the background fabric. The original tutorial has a great explanation of how to secure each leaf in place, including a short stem. Don’t bother to clip your threads until the end.
5. Write the word “lucky” in pencil (I used a water-soluble fabric pencil). Sew on top of the word, tracing the letters. Go over the letters twice.
I tried to lower the dog feeds and free-motion stitch on top of the outline, but I had a lot of trouble with it. So I ended up just straight stitching as best I could, twisting and turning the fabric as I went. The result… well, less than perfect.
6. Press the fabric to get rid of wrinkles and puckers (as much as possible). Use your fingers to fluff each leaf, so it stands up off the background a bit.
7. Layer the batting on top of the cardboard, then center the background fabric on top. You can see I used super fancy scotch tape to attach the fabric to the cardboard, including a length of ribbon for hanging.
If you wanted to be more fancy/permanent, you could use something like super glue or a hot glue gun.
All done! Hang and enjoy 🙂 My happy little specimen art and shamrock garland are all ready for St. Patrick’s Day!
Once again, Pinterest has saved the day! I’m linking up to a few of my favorite Pin-spiring link-ups:
Hey, that’s Pin-tastic!, hosted by I Love You More than Carrots
Bake, make, or decorate… but most importantly, do!
Monday Funday, hosted by C.R.A.F.T.