Sunday, February 8, 2009

Distressing Tinsel, Chenille Stems/Pipe Cleaners!

Distressing Tinsel, Chenille Stems/Pipe Cleaners!

Do any of you like the look of aged Tinsel, those vintage raggedy distressed strands of glimmer and age, if you said yes, then you are in the right place. For years I have searched Antique Markets, Flea Markets, Garage Sales, Vintage Fairs and Online to get my hands of old Tinsel. When I have found it, the price is beyond reason, sometime sfetching $150 for a few feet at best. There are reproductions which look very old and save on your budget, but after awhile when you are using alot of it, the price can add up! That's when I said, if we can age paper, fabric, and other materials why not new chenille stems formally known as Pipe Cleaners, which come in a variety sizes, colors, and shapes, from Metallic to fluffy pastels, the colors are endless and always available, however if its a vintage look you are seeking, these bright shiny stems ususally cheapen the look since they are well new. I'm here to change that.

Now I know there are several vintage artists out there, all who have their own methods and techniques, after all, having options in art in what I love. For this project you will need the following:

-Chenille stems, in any shape, color, size or thin Metallic Christmas Garland
-Liquid starch
-Expresso, dark brown or deep taupe acrylic craft paint
-Old cookie sheet or metal pan
-Paper plate
-Water cup and large paint brush

1. Pour enough liquid starch onto a paper plate, covering the whole center of it.
2. Squeeze out 4 drops of acrylic paint into the liquid starch, stir, until you get a muddy and cloudy looking paint mix.
3. Now drop your chenille stem into the mixture, and with apint brush brush on the mix until coat, shake off excess and place on cookie sheet or metal pan to dry, about 10 to 15 minutes, repeat the steps above at least 4 times for the best grunge look.
4. Now when satisfied with the aging process, distress your tinsel to achieve that choppy sparce look, with a craft scissor, just randomly cut into the chenille stem, cutting out and trimming the stem.
5. Your done, start making some new vintage art.

-The liquid starch also works as a stiffener to dull and stiffen the tinsel, for that old brittle feel.
-For extra aging take a cheese cloth or a bingy cloth and dip into a can of shoe polish. Then wipe directly onto the already aged chenille stem, until you achieve that extra grunge.
-With hot water mix coffee, and tea packets until dark, place in an oven safe glass pan, pour in, about 1/4 deep, lay your vast batch of un-aged chenille stems into the glass pan, bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, all over ranges differ, so please keep an eye on the pan, so you don't have a burn batch.
-You could also use antiquing mediums as well!

For a demo of this, click on the link below. The video is a bit grainy, since I had to use my regular camera to film, until we get our Flip camera, then I will re-shoot for you, but for now, this shows you and can be used as a guide with the above instructions and tips!


Lydia said...

I like your clear style of explanation:)

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