Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tacky Crafts with Heather - NEON

"A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika" 
-Dorothy Parker

Hello Everyone!
Long time, no post eh? 

I made these by hitting some el-cheapo glass vases with a few coats of
matte white spray-paint and then tying some neon floss around them.

Welcome to the first edition of Tacky Crafts with Heather! I'm pretty excited about this, I fully intend to have LOTS of fun with this feature. Generally speaking, I don't consider myself to have tacky taste. I fully understand that the preceding statement is silly. I mean, who, when asked "Do you consider your taste to be tacky?" Would say "Oh, me! Me! I do! I love me some pink, plastic flamingos!" No one thinks they have bad taste. So, if you consider my taste to be bad while I'm creating posts about tacky crafts then the joke is on me ;-p 

Fortunately, I'm the sort of person who finds that kind of irony pretty funny.

Tacky crafts? Really?

Yes... Sort of. TCwH (look at the acronym I just made up) is NOT about making ugly crafts. Why? Two reasons. First, there's no trick to making something ugly. Don’t believe me? Try crafting when you’re sleep deprived or after a few glasses of wine and see what happens. Midnight – The urge to "create" hits, you collect your supplies, work your magic, step back and exclaim “This is sooooooo be-you-tee-full.” Next day, noon – You stumble into the kitchen, see the uh, "beautiful" creation on the table and say “Gads, why did I make a candelabra out of wrapping paper, paper towel, and toilet paper tubes?” (Oh, admit it, you’re going to be thinking about that candelabra for a while.) It takes zero effort to make ugly. Ugly tends to be the default. Second, I'm spending both time and money to make these so I want something that I like when I'm done. It's selfish, I know.

OK, so what is Tacky Crafts with Heather about?

I'm so glad you asked. TCwH is about taking something that is usually considered tacky and making it into something you might actually want to use. This could be easy, or, depending on the craft, a real challenge. I am seeking to answer the age-old question: “Does plastic canvas always have to be hideous?” Didn't you know that was an age-old question? (For the record, I consider plastic canvas to be the pinnacle of tacky.) I’m thinking that it doesn't have to be. We shall see.


So, I’m going to ease into tacky this month with crafts featuring NEON. I consider neon to be only slightly tacky. For example, I feel pretty comfortable saying that Grace Kelly (the queen of class) never said to Prince Rainier “Darling, I think we should paint the palace powder rooms a lovely shade of neon green.” Neon is one part tacky to two parts fun as opposed to plastic canvas which is three parts tacky. Oh, I'll also be trying to get past my stinky-ness at tutorials. Hey, I got past my stinky-ness at photography. I won't say that I'm good at photography yet, but I'm not embarrassed by my pics anymore. PROGRESS! Love it.

Onto the Tacky Craft!

First, all crafts begin with materials, and what could be better than some wonderfulness from Purl Soho!

The Neon-ness of these supplies isn't showing up in the pictures very well. They are VERY bright in person.

So here is the list of the materials:

And here is what you do with them:

1. Spray paint the branch outside
2. Cut a length of ribbon and tie each end to each end of the branch
3. Print off two copies of the flower patterns because the designs are nested and cut them out
4. Trace them onto the felt and cut them out too. I did more than one of some of the designs. Do whatever you feel. I put white on the front so the neon would be less bright.
5. Layer the white on the neon and stitch the white felt to the neon felt with the neon floss. I used a simple running stitch and just free-handed the design.
6. Hang the branch on the wall and start stitching the flowers & leaves to the ribbons. I hung them as I stitched them so I can see what looks best. Play it by eye.
7. When you like how it looks, hang it up!
8. If you don't want to see the backs of the flowers, cut two out of the neon and glue them to the backs of the flowers. I'm hanging it on the wall so I didn't do that.

And here is what you get when you do those things with that stuff:

TA-DAH! A neon, flower mobile thingy.

Here are some close-ups

So there you go! If you make this, tell me how it comes out, I'd like to know!

I shall see you soon!


  1. Love the flower mobile! Wow - it's gorgeous. And I do think that you have great taste. Happy to see you got your mojo workin'. :)

    - H

  2. hey heather, welcome back! now i get it! it takes creativity to make something tacky into something lovely. all for it!

  3. Pretty! I love, love, love felt crafts.

    I also love how the vases came out. How do you keep the matte white paint from scratching? Did you spray them with a polyeurethane after the white?

  4. I loved the vases, and could see the flower mobile thingy in a child's nursery - not planning on any more children myself - 'cause even though the rich and famous are keen on having babies in their mid forties I don't have their resources (ie a fulltime nanny) to make it work for me.

  5. Hi honey! Lovely crafting! So theraputic. I'm going to try to learn to crochet this weekend. Sending my love xxx

  6. Thanks Everyone!!!

    Carrie, I didn't do anything to them and they're still not scratched.


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