Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Animal Portraits

Okay, I sheepishly admit that this next project was stolen inspired by this etsy seller: Rachel Loves Bob

Go there. Buy her stuff! Her prices are more than reasonable for something this creative of this quality. But I wanted to see if I could make some myself. I have inherited a pretty impressive button stash from my grandma's sewing cabinet, so I was set there. I made a quick stop to the craft store and picked up some cheap embroidery hoops and some black woven fabric from the clearance bin. Probably about $3 total spent on this project.

As soon as I got home I started sketching animal heads. I knew I wanted to keep it to heads only, because I liked the more formal silhouette style.

This is when I realized that I cannot draw.


Enter my multi-talented husband, who never ceases to surprise me. He whipped up some sketches for me in no time. I started with a fawn head, as they are my favorite animal.

My Steps
1. Cut out the outline of your animal head.
2. Load your fabric into the embroidery hoop.
3. Trace your outline, using fabric chalk, onto your fabric.
4. Sew buttons! It looks best if you try to overlap them so hardly any fabric shows beneath.

I actually completed almost the entire fawn button silhouette before it became apparent that the shape was too blob-like. You really have to choose a distinct, yet simple, silhouette so it is recognizable. I took it apart and started over. I had Dan sketch a rabbit and an elephant and started the steps over.

After I finished I washed any chalk that was still visible and tucked the remaining fabric behind the hoop. A little fabric glue kept the unruly pieces out of sight.

 Can you spot the two rabbit buttons?

I really liked this project because it was surprisingly quick to do. In the future, if I can compile a large stash of assorted orange buttons, I might like to make another one to commemorate my cat, Crispy.

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