Once the Christmas tree goes out the door and the needles get swept up, I'm eager to put away the red and green decorations and return to a more subtle version of home décor. Something lighter, yet still festive.
Natalya Aikens' fused snowflake centerpiece is just the thing. The snowflakes are light and airy with just a hint of sparkle.
Not only is the centerpiece easy to make, it's economical and earth-friendly, too, as each part is made from recycled materials most people have around the house.
This project makes a sophisticated display, but it's also perfect to do with kids on a wintry snow day.
Snowflakes: A Dryer Sheet Transformed
By Natalya Aikens
So how much laundry did you do over the holiday school break? Lots, right? Of course you saved your dryer sheets like a good fiber-hoarder. Now make all those used dryer sheets do one more job: add sparkle to a cold winter's day. Make beautiful, ethereal-looking snowflakes for a festive table centerpiece or decoration for the fireplace mantle. No sewing needed!
- Used dryer sheets
- Craft glitter
- White glue (Modge Podge® is perfect, but any clear-drying glue will work)
- Wide craft brush
- Scissors or craft knife
- White paint
- Toilet paper or paper towel cardboard tubes
- Wine corks
- Used CDs
- Straight pins
- Lay out the dryer sheets on a protected surface (I used waxed paper to cover my worktable). Mix the Modge Podge with glitter sprinkles; the more sprinkles, the more sparkly your snowflakes will be. I used a half empty Modge Podge container and just added glitter to the glue already in there. (Hint: when you close the container between uses, put a piece of clear plastic kitchen wrap over the jar before screwing on the lid, that way you won't glue it shut like I did.)
- Use a wide craft brush to spread the glitter glue mix over your dryer sheets. (Hint: let the painted sheets dry for about a half hour and then move them onto a piece of clean wax paper. That way you won't have a hard time peeling the sheet off the paper after it has dried.
- Once your sheets are dry, fold and cut out your snowflakes. Make them as simple or as complicated as you wish. This is a great job for kids. The dryer sheets with glitter glue are a bit tougher to cut than paper, so make sure to use sharp scissors to make the job easier on your hands. Cut a variety of sizes so that you have as many choices as possible when you start decorating.
- Paint the cardboard rolls and wine corks with light wash of white paint. Cut the cardboard rolls into several different lengths. Alternatively you can paint them with gold paint or add glitter to the paint for more glitz!
- Now make your display. (I used a clear glass cake plate to add more height.) Arrange the larger snowflakes on the cake plate as the base. On top of the large snowflakes put the painted cardboard tubes in varying heights. Balance the CDs on the cardboard tubes shiny side up. The snowflakes are arranged on top for the CDs, around the tubes and even sideways leaning on the tubes or CDs. I stacked a few snowflakes together with a pin and then stuck the pin into a painted wine cork.
How many different ways to display your snowflakes, using all recycled materials, can you discover? There's a challenge to consider for the New Year!
Natalya has many more easy ideas for turning recyclables into art using transfers, stitch, paint, altered photos, and more in her Quilting Arts Workshop video "Texture Transformation: Stitch, Alter, Recycle." Her tips and techniques will keep you busy all winter long.