We all love a good recycle craft, right? There’s something so satisfying about repurposing old or discarded items and making them beautiful again. That’s what designer Kathleen George did when she picked up a handful of madras ties at the second-hand store. She refashioned a Spring Topiary & Easter Eggs from the pastel, plaid neckties. I have the DIY for the Madras Plaid Spring Topiary today, and I’ll share the Madras Plaid Easter Eggs tomorrow.
To make a Madras Plaid Topiary, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 12” cone and 4” ball
- Wood dowel, ¾” x 4”
- Madras plaid neckties, three
- Lightweight, iron-on fabric stabilizer
- Trims, such as rickrack
- Pearl head pins
- Acrylic craft paint in a coordinating color
- Yes! Paste or other craft paste
- Low-temp glue gun
- Tools needed: Scissors; serrated knife; old candle or bar of soap; 1” putty knife or table knife; stiff bristle paintbrush; iron; sharp pencil; needle & thread
To make a Madras Plaid Topiary:
Make the topiary form:
1. Wax the knife blade with an old candle or bar of soap, and cut the 4” ball in half.
2. In the rounded side of one half ball, use the tip of the knife to make a ¾” deep hole for the wood dowel. Do the same in the center bottom of the cone.
3. Glue the wood dowel in the half ball base and in the bottom of the cone. Check to be sure the topiary stands straight before the glue dries.
4. Paint the dowel and the base in a coordinating color. Let dry.
Prepare the ties:
5. Clip the threads that hold the ties together at the back. Remove the liners from inside each tie. Iron the fabric flat.
6. Cut six, 13-1/2” x 3” pieces of fabric stabilizer. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, iron two pieces of stabilizer onto the back of each tie. Be sure that the stabilizer runs straight with the pattern in the fabric.
7. Cut out six tie shape pieces using patterns.
8. Cut four, 4” x 3-1/2” pieces of fabric stabilizer for the base and iron onto reverse side of tie fabric. Using patterns, cut out four segments.
Cover the cone and base:
9. Using the tie pattern and a sharp pencil, mark six segments all around the cone.
10. Spread a thin, even layer of Yes! Paste onto the cone with a putty knife.
11. Following the lines marked in Step 9, position a fabric piece on the cone, with the point extending below the bottom edge. Smooth down the fabric piece with your fingers. Paste the top onto the top of the cone.
12. Repeat, covering every other section on the cone. Cover the three remaining sections, slightly overlapping the first pieces.
13. Glue trim along the “seam” lines. Pin the ends in place with pearl head straight pins.
14. Cover the base the same way. Remember to cut a slit as indicated on the pattern so that the fabric will lay flat on the curved, half ball.
15. Glue trim around the base.
Optional: Make fabric flowers:
1. Cut 2” x 6” fabric strips for larger flowers, and 1” x 3” strips for smaller flowers.
2. Iron strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.
3. Stitch a gathering stitch along the open edge. Pull threat slightly to gather and then knot off. Do not cut the thread.
4. Begin to roll the flower from the end with the thread still attached. Roll tightly at first, and then more loosely as you go. Stitch the bottom together as you go to hold it together.
5. Glue roses to the base, and insert a pearl head pin through the centers.
6. Glue a fabric rose to the top of the cone.
You might even have a stash of old ties on hand, so I hope you’ll think about using them for a few spring crafts. I’ll share the eggs tomorrow.