Monday, December 6, 2010

Handmade Holidays - Scarves Au Natural

In my journey to create Yule traditions I've been asking around the blogging community. Many of you have provided me with some excellent ideas, & I'll definitely be trying them out this year.

One that I plan to try taking to heart is a suggestion from Faerie Sage - a homemade pledge. The homemade pledge is a promise to only give gifts that are handmade. This can be handmade by you, or by another. I really like this idea because as we all know, handmade gifts are always the best. They leave us with the best smiles at creativity (A watercolor wedding card from my friend), and laughs for hilarity (The macaroni/bean collage my friend did of him and his girlfriend for their anniversary. It's a little hard to tell the people apart from blobs.). I suppose they're also ones that leave us with the best look of what-is-this-and-what-do-I-do-with-it faces (The Yooper condiment rack my husband and I got at our wedding. It was a bicycle wheel with various condiments hanging from duct tape. Needless to say, it quickly migrated to deer camp.). And while this certainly does still involve me giving gifts around Yule, it's something I think I'll like.

In the spirit of the handmade giver, I would like to pass on a craft I did with my middle schoolers last week. These silk scarves are very fun and easy to make - especially if you need a last minute gift for your witchlets to construct for the family. They're also the perfect donation - the kids will be donating their scarves to local chemotherapy patients this year. Enjoy!

P.S. This can be a very clean process with adults, but a VERY messy one with kids. Do this outside, on concrete, on plastic, or on carpet you plan on replacing anyway. :)

Examples of finished scarves from Karen in the Woods
Supplies Needed
 - white scarves (cotton or rayon works as well but not as nice) - For the silk scarves
 - zip lock bags
 - vinegar (red, white or cider) OR bad wine
 - steel or copper (galvanized steel works but will not give dark colors)
 - dying materials - plants, dirt, teas, coffee (see list below)
 - marking pen

STEP #1 - Lay a silk scarf out flat on your work surface. If it's a windy day you can spray it with a bit of water to keep it from blowing around.

STEP #2 - Sprinkle your dying materials on the scarf. Some of my favorite materials include black tea, dirt, green tea, herbal teas, black beans, herbs and spices. Take a handful of your chosen plant, sprinkle it on half the scarf. Add tea, dirt, or another plant.

STEP #3 - Fold the scarf in half and roll up tightly. The pattern you roll the scarf in will affect the pattern of the finished dyed scarf.

STEP #4 - Wrap the rolled scarf tightly with either copper or steel wire. Label the zip lock bag with the date and if you choose - what materials you used on the scarf.

STEP #5 - Put the scarf in the bag and pour in vinegar or bad wine. You can use a lot of  vinegar, to cover the entire scarf for an overall effect, or just a small amount so that part of the scarf is left white. If you're storing the bag inside it's best to put it in some sort of container in case it leaks.

STEP #6 - Let sit for two weeks. Then take the scarf out of the bag (use gloves or you will stain your fingers!). Remove the wire and shake off the excess material.

STEP #7 - Let dry for two weeks. Then you can hand wash in cold water with Woolite and iron. The heat from the iron seems to be the final heat set. After that you can machine wash, gentle cycle if you wish.

If the scarf isn't very colorful, never fear. Simply use it again.

Produce, Plants and Other Foods to Try
red cabbage                                                                     
black beans
sweet potato


Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Wow what a neat idea! I want to make these with my daughter, she'd love it! So will I :)

Faerie Sage said...

Wow amazing what a wonderful and amazingly kitchen Witchy craft I just love this!

faerwillow said...

~these are absolutely gorgeous...i am so excited to give this a try!!! thank you for sharing such and the thought of donating them to those enduring such trying times is just teach our littles the importance of giving without expecting nothing in return is a priceless gift to give...much l♥ve and light upon you and yours~

D.Suplicki said...

What a beautifully witchy idea! I have everything except scarves laying around the house, but DO have some white wool yarn that I may give this a try with. :)

Witch of Stitches said...

Great idea - can't wait to give it a try! Thank you for sharing this. XO