Denim Paper Pins
Learn how Kate Podwolsky transforms demin from old jeans into a charming paper heart pin.
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Materials and Tools:
old blue jeans
blender (craft dedicated)
20-gauge copper wire
small hand towel or paper towels
heart-shaped cookie cutter
Delta Ceramcoat matte water-based varnish
small paint brush
1. Cut approximately 6" x 8" rectangles of denim (jean legs are easiest to use). Cut into long strips approximately 1 inch wide. Noting the direction of the white cotton threads on the reverse side of the denim, cut across the grain at a sharp angle to cut into small strips, making sure the white threads are cut.
2. Add a large pinch of denim scraps to blender three-fourths full of water. Blend thoroughly until soupy.
3. Pour pulp into strainer. At this point you can store the pulp in the refrigerator up to six months.
4. Place a small amount of pulp into container of water and swish around to make a soupy mixture.
5. Using fingers, scoop about 1/4 cup of the mixture into heart-shaped cookie cutter that has been placed on a towel or several layers of paper towels. Using another soft cloth, press the pulp into the cutter, pressing out some water.
6. Using a small butter knife, gently press around the edges of the pulp inside the cutter to press down edges that may be sloped up around the cutter. Move the cutter to a smooth surface, such as a kitchen countertop, and continue gently pressing the water out.
7. Gently push the denim heart out of the mold. If strings of denim remain on edges, leave them on until dry and trim with scissors.
8. Place denim heart on cooling rack to dry naturally, or on warm setting of oven. When dry, it will be lighter in color and very lightweight.
9. Using water-based varnish, paint the edges and then one side. When dry, paint edges again and then the other side. Repeat at least once or twice more, making sure to paint edges each time.
10. Using needle-nose pliers, press the tapestry-type needle into the heart to make a hole for a wire coil, one hole on each side of the bottom point of the heart.
11. Cut wire into 3-inch lengths and, using needle-nosed pliers, coil into flat circles, leaving a small "stem" of wire.
12. Put a small amount of Super Glue Gel or jewelry/craft glue on this stem and push gently into small holes punched by tapestry-type needle. Adjust coils if needed.
13. Glue pin back on back of heart. Note: Don't forget to remove your pins from clothing before washing. Even though they are sealed, they are still paper.
Christine French from Cleveland, Ohio, shows how to make one of her specialties, a "milagro" pine cone wall hanging.