There was a time not long ago when I would look at craft projects made with vintage costume jewelry and a pang of sadness came across me. It seemed like such a shame and waste. All that beautiful jewelry that had been torn up to make kitschy home decor and seasonal items, it made this costume jewelry collectors heart hurt. Think of the revamped vintage jewelry that could be made!
Lately my feelings have changed. What once made me sad now excites me. I used to loathe those jewelry covered trees at the thrift store mounted on black velevet and now I want to scoop them all up and hang them on my wall with pride. There are some fantastical examples out there. This Little Piggy, Junkmail 050269 and Dally have some of my faves. I started to make myself a jewelry covered tree, but I had a better idea. Jewelry covered Christmas trees can only stay up around the house for a month at most without making you look like those weird neighbors that keep their Christmas lights up all year long. My concept was a Floral Fro that could adorn your walls all year long!
The idea for Floral Fros came to me as I was flipping through a book I found at a thrift store called Hair Today. It’s a gold binder full of hair style pictures (front and back) straight out of the 70’s. The bottom of each picture says “Hair Style of the Month Chicago, IL”. I have been going through a silhouette phase lately and decided why couldn’t I combine the two looks together. With that I chose my favorite profile from the book, scanned her in, turned her black and white in Photoshop and printed her out on some sturdy paper.
Next I needed to cut out a piece of felt to the exact size of my head, this is where I started racking my brain for tracing ideas.
I placed a piece of parchment paper over my hair style hottie and was able to clearly see the picture and trace her outline. I cut out this piece of paper making a pattern and pinned it to some white felt. I then cut the white felt out in the same exact shape as my woman’s head.
My black and white woman needed a protective top coat so it was time to rev up my heat press and bust out the laminating paper. I cut off all her perfectly coiffed hair, ran her through the laminating machine and then trimmed her up.
Next the fun part. I keep my craft supplies in drawers sorted by colors. This is a system I use mostly for things I only have one of. I hit my white drawers and started pulling out all the earrings, pins, pearls and what not that I could find.
In my line of work it pays to have very little discretion when shopping for craft supplies. It just so happens that I have 3 whole drawers full of white and cream odds and ends that came in darn handy for this little project. Once upon a time on a trip to Rhode Island I purchased a huge bag of single clip on earrings from several different costume jewelry designers Coro, Sarah Coventry and more. Lucky for me white was apparently a hot color for clip on earrings in the 50’s and 60’s.
Using my pliers I removed the backs to all the earrings. I then placed them within the pearl trimmed outline of my Floral Fro and once I had everything placed exactly where I wanted it I went back and glued everything down.
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