Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tutorial - Antique Shop Awning

The Society of American Miniaturists (S.A.M.) held a workshop in February 2013 to make a "Treasured Collectables" shop or Antique Shop.  It came with a nice awning but I wanted to modify it slightly.  Included below is a brief tutorial on how to make the awning.  I was inspired by photos I found on the internet of a Laduree confectioners shop in France.

Photo 1
Frame is made from pieces of mat board cut to sizes in photos above.  The three pieces at the top should be glued together  in a "U" shape as shown.  They form the back brace (will be glued to the building and to the fabric of the awning). 

The lower frame (rectangle shaped) has 2 long and 2 short pieces.  The shorter frame piece measurements are hard to see in the photo but they are 1" long by 3/8" high.  Glue two longer pieces to the inside of the shorter pieces.  The final depth of the finished frame is 1 inch (the width of the short piece). The two pieces in the lower left of Photo 1 (marked 7/8 x 3/8) are braces for inside the rectangle to keep it's shape (see photo 2 background).  Glue those in. Cut the 3 skinny strips - they will be used later.

Photo 2
I rounded the top edges of the back brace slightly using a sanding stick so it would be a gradual slope when fabric is glued around it.

Photo 3
Back brace after sanding (above).  Glue this to the center back of the rectangle as shown in Photo 1.

Photo 4
Pattern for fabric.  I used edging scissors to make the scalloped edge.  BEFORE CUTTING THE FABRIC, first cut the scalloped border on the lower edge of the fabric.

Photo 5
Next seal the scalloped edge with glue to keep it from fraying.
Photo 6

Then  trace the pattern on the fabric with pencil then go over it with a thin glue line - again to prevent fraying.  After it's dry you can cut on the pencil line.

Photo 7
Photo 7 above shows placement of the frame on the fabric.  The two flaps on the outer sides will fold in and become the sides of the awning.  DON'T GLUE YET.

Photo 8
Angle the very ends of the skinny strips as shown above.  These support the curved front of the awning.

Photo 9
Glue the skinny strips as shown in photos 9 & 10.

Photo 10
You can see how the strips are mitered making a smooth transition from the square (rounded with sanding stick) frame.  Don't worry about the wrinkles in the strips.  Sort of adds to the character.  After the strips are glued you can glue the fabric to the front edge of the rectangle frame (it is glued in Photo 10).

Photo 11
Now this is a bit tricky.  You will fold in one of the flaps and glue it to the short edge of the rectangle frame (the 1 inch long side).  Then you will match up the side and front curves to each other and kind of pinch them to make a seam.  I like to use Crafter's Pick Ultimate glue because it seems to hold very well on fabric.  I wasn't worried about it soaking through since I intended to paint the entire thing black.

Photo 12
Better veiw of the seam.  Just a little warning - my two sides looked different from each other.  Takes some trimming and pinching, trial and error to get it to look right.  Use enough glue so you can trim the seam down almost to the gap.  Let dry thoroughly before doing any trimming of the seam.

Photo 13
With both my curved seams done I glued the fabric to the skinny strips.  Note that your side piece (fabric) should be a triangle that fills in the space between the awning and the wall so there shouldn't be huge gaps between the fabric and wall it will be glued to (you won't really be gluing the fabric to the wall - just the frame.).

Photo 14
Seam looks ugly but it will be painted and trimmed a little more.

Photo 15
You can see in the photo above I should have ironed my fabric before I started.  Thought painting it would take the creases out (wrong!).

Glue the top flap over the U shaped brace.

I painted the entire thing several coats of acrylic black paint.  It soaked in and looked kind of ugly for a while but after it was all done it looked very convincing - like an outdoor canvas.  I also painted all the pieces of mat board framing in case they ever would be visible from someone looking into the window.

Here is the finished awning.  You can see the skinny strips through the fabric - just like a real awning.  I edged the scallops in white paint like some of the photos I saw of real ones.  Hope you find a use for one of these on your mini shop or store front!  I hope to add some tutorials on how I finished some other items in this project later.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Tutorial - Draped Flag on Flagpole

Our club is hosting an all day workshop in February with the theme "Schoolhouse of Yesteryear".  Here is a project from my own prototype for the event.  Every school room needs a flag so the children can say the "Pledge of Allegiance".  Here is how I made mine.


Fabric flag (or print your own on computer fabric sheets)
Fray Check (fabric edge sealer)
Bug pins or very thin silk pins
Steaming board (see this link from my previous blog entry)
Steam iron
Fabric glue or tacky glue
Needle and brown thread (to attach flag to pole)
Supplies for flag pole

Flagpole and stand:
bamboo skewer (from the grocery store – for grilling – thin ones)
beading spring ("cord ends") to fit on the skewer
filigree ball – 4mm or larger for a finial
bead cap and wooden craft button for base
stain or stain pen
Drill and drill bit (same size as skewer)
Black acrylic paint
Straight pin (flat head)
Wire cutters to cut pin
Hand drill or pin vise and drill bit to make a hole the size of the pin
Super-type glue for metal/wood

Directions for Flag
I found a flag on the internet and resized it to about 2 inches by 4 inches before printing it on the fabric sheets.  In the photo above you can see my trial and error with attempting to age them with tea (full strength, half strength and no tea).  I Fray Checked all four edges close to the printed area. 

Cut out flag allowing an extra 1/4 inch on the flagpole side for a hem.  Fold over and glue a hem on the flagpole side (side with the stars).  With a needle, poke two holes in the folded hem, one at top and one at the bottom where flag will attach to the pole

Put a pin in each of the holes you made in the left side of the flag and pin it to your pin board.  Now pull the top right corner down as far as it can go – just as if it were hanging from a pole with no wind—and pin it. 
above shows unfinished flag next to a finished (pinned) one
Gently ease the bottom right corner down close as possible to the previous corner and pin it.  (Ignore the drawings under the wax paper - from a previous project)
Pinch the folds toward the center line and pin until you get something that looks like this (may have to remove pins and adjust them a few times):
Pinch and move pins trying to keep it narrow for a realistic draped look.
Pinch and re-pin some more.

Steaming – I hold the iron over the pinned flag for 30 seconds or so while blasting it with puffs of steam.  Let dry.  When fully dry (overnight?) you can spray with UNSCENTED hair spray (a tip from Judee Williamson).  Remove it from the wax paper and it should hold its shape.

Make the Flagpole
I cut my bamboo skewer to about 7 inches long.  Sand one end of the pole (will be the top) to a taper so the spring will fit over it.  Stain the flagpole with a stain pen (works great for something tiny like this!)  Drill a hole in the button (and bead cap) if necessary to fit the flagpole bottom end in.  Glue the bead cap on top of the button to cover the buttonholes.  When dry, paint entire base black.

Glue the spring to the top of the pole.  I also drilled a tiny hole in the very end of the flagpole so I could secure the filigree ball (finial) on with a flat head pin.  Cut the pin if necessary to fit the hole you drilled.  I left the spring and filigree ball gold as they came from the package.  Glue the pin through the filigree ball into the hole with super glue.

To attach the flag to the pole I drilled two tiny holes on the flagpole at the points where the holes in the flag would be.  Use needle and thread to attach the flag through the holes in the flag and through the holes drilled in the flagpole.  Knot and cut.  Depending on how the flag looks it might be necessary to put a little glue on the pole and ‘squish’ the flag against the pole for a proper draped look.
Watch for more tutorials from this schoolhouse project coming soon!