I've been having fun painting clothes pins lately! I've just added these to my etsy shop, MamaWestWind. They are awesome little clothespins to hold your play silk collection. They're easy for children to pin and un-pin for themselves at clean-up time and displaying the silks on a line at their eye level means the silks are always accessible to the children. I've found that friends coming over are always attracted to the bright colored rainbow on the wall! So needless to say they get played with often. These little gnome pins are also just fun for play & imagining with as well. For those who would like to make them yourself I'm offering this tutorial for your own personal use.
If you'd like to buy them check my shop. If when you read this you don't see them at my shop, convo or email me and ask and I will make you some.
You can find packages of clothes pins at your local craft supply store.
First, lightly sand the clothespins. Sometimes they are a bit rough. Sanding keeps them safe for little hands and if you sand the inside, the wood won't snag your play silks. I take sandpaper and fold it in half and then putting it inside the pin slot, lightly sand both sides at once. After sanding, paint them. I like watercolors because I love the translucency of them. I use Stockmar watercolors and mix them with a little vinegar instead of water to help the color stain the wood. (Warning, if a child puts them in their mouth, the color will start to come off). Make sure you use a non-toxic, AP certified watercolor or other paint of your choice. Stockmar is non-toxic of course. I've also had fine results with Reeves watercolor, also AP certified. And Reeves you can find at your local art supply store.
After painting, lightly sand with a buffing paper to make them smooth. Watercolor gets into the wood fiber and raises the wood fiber a bit making it slightly rough. Buffing will make them smooth again. Beeswax the pins. Here's a recipe for the beeswax finish. This will hold the color in better and maintain the moisture in the wood.
Now, time for the hat! I use 100% wool felt.
Here is the shape of the hat laying flat. (sorry, no pattern, I don't know how to do that on the computer
quite yet.) Start sewing with the knot inside the top of the hat. Of course you could simply glue the hats but I'm always afraid it will look messy or that it could be easily pried apart my wee fingers.
Fold the hat to make the gnome hat shape.
I'll let the pictures do the talking now.
Knot the end on the inside of the hat.
Then glue the hat on using craft glue.
This is the way it looks from the back.
And from the front.
And with some friends!
Don't forget to add the eyes. I use a sharpie marker in blue or brown and add them after the beeswax layer so the color doesn't run. You may want to wait to do the eyes until after the hat is on to see where you want them.
And now you have a lovely set of gnome clothespins for your little ones!
Until next time...