Hello everyone! Just a quick intro from Rebecca before we get into the blog. Typically my mother does a post every other month on the even months, but she swooped in to help out this week as I was away on vacation last week and didn't have the time to prepare anything. She's the best! Now on to the good stuff:
Hello! It’s Suzanne, Rebecca’s momma, back today with a quick and easy craft that can be applied to any holiday. We don’t decorate much for St. Patty’s Day here in this French-Canadian household, but I’ve developed a bit of a reputation at work for having something seasonal on my office door, so I thought I’d whip up a quick and easy shiplap shamrock. I’m not really into glittery and shiny décor pieces, so this is going to have a rough and rustic country look. This is also a very forgiving crafting style, so any imperfections just add to the charm of the piece.
For this piece, I’m going to use a wooden shamrock shape and craft sticks (from the dollar store). I’ll also need some paint (black, white and olive green) and brushes, a craft knife, scissors, sand paper and some gloves (because I just had my nails done). I’m also going to need a glue gun and some glue sticks. Later, I added some burlap to the mix, to make a quick rosette.
First, I determined that I needed 24 craft sticks to make the shiplap – I did this by laying a bunch of them over the shamrock shape to see how many it would take to cover it. Then, I painted the shamrock black. I knew I was going to leave some slight gaps, so I didn’t want the raw wood to show through. While the shamrock dried, I cut the rounded ends off the 24 craft sticks and I painted 6 each of the craft sticks in shades of white and green. First, I painted the white ones, then added a little green paint to the white to make a sage-y green for 6 more, added a little more green for a darker sage for 6 more, then finally used the same brush I’d used for the black to paint the full strength olive green on 6 more.
Once those were dry, I laid the painted craft sticks over the shamrock to create the shiplap. I cut some sticks in half, some off center. I mostly wanted to mix up the colors and make sure the gaps in the rows were not lined up directly over each other. When I had an arrangement that I was pleased with, I started to glue the craft sticks in place. I didn’t measure the little bit of a gap between the ends of each craft stick and between each row – I just eyeballed it and it worked out just fine.
Once the glue was dry, I started to trim the ends of the craft sticks with the knife. The craft sticks from the dollar store are not very thick, so it was pretty easy to follow the outline of the wooden shape and trim away the overlap. Using the sandpaper, I sanded the edges to make them smooth and sanded over the top of the sticks, concentrating on the edges, to distress them a little. Some of the craft sticks did splinter a little, which was OK with the rough look I was going for. I then went back around the edge with the black paint to blend the raw edged of the craft sticks in with the base. I’ll be honest – I wasn’t in love with it at this point, but I continued to sand and smooth here and there, added a little more black paint to the edges, touched up some of the white and got it to a point of grubby chic that satisfied me.
I glued a small piece of jute (this was the original hanger on the wooden shamrock shape) to the back of the base and sandwiched the end under a couple of leftover pieces of craft stick to keep it secure. I wiped the whole thing down with a damp paper towel to remove the dust and it was done, but a little boring.
It definitely needed a little something more but I don’t have much in my stash that is St. Patrick’s Day related, so I poked around and found some burlap. Rustic shiplap and burlap seemed to be a good combination, so I decided to make a rosette of sorts for the center of the shamrock. I started by cutting a circle of cardstock just slightly smaller than I wanted the rosette. I then cut four circles of burlap and folded each in quarters, gluing them with the points to the center of the cardstock. I made a second layer with smaller circles and glued those over the spaces made by the original four folded pieces. I fussed and trimmed and pulled stray strings until I got a shape and size I liked. I then cut a small circle for the center, to cover the intersections of the folded bits and glued the completed rosette in the center of the shamrock. That nicely finished it off the shamrock without it being too over the top. Though not intentional, the whole thing hangs a little askew so the shiplap effect is slightly slanted, which I really like.
Cost wise, this was a very economical craft. The shamrock shape cost $1, the bag of 60 craft sticks was also just $1 and I used less than half of them. The rest of what I used are basic craft stash items and able to be used over and over. My suggestions after having completed this would be to keep the shape simple and leave as little overhang as possible when gluing down your craft sticks. The simpler the shape and the less you have overhanging it, the easier it is to trim the craft sticks to shape.
This is a technique that you could use for any holiday. Shades of pink and red would have made a sweet Valentine’s Day heart. Pastels for an Easter egg would be super cute. If you can’t find a wooden base shape to suit your theme, you could even cut one out of poster board. I hope you’ve enjoyed this idea and give it a try!
I am a 24-year-old crafter and baker from New Hampshire!