Sunday, February 20, 2011

Queen Bee Lightbulb Ornament

Bee My Valentine

Technique: Recycled, General Crafting

screw in candelabra light bulb, cleaned out
black and yellow chenille sticks
little bees (mine were made from ribbon)
hot glue
styrofoam ball & paperclay (or large wooden bead)
acrylic paints
glass and tile medium
masking tape
cake decorating stamens
spray varnish or sealant

hot glue gun

Abdomen: Using masking tape create a stripe in the middle of the lightbulb. Following the manufacturer's directions, mix some yellow paint with glass and tile medium and paint the stripe. Allow to dry thoroughly. Apply the little bee's using hot glue.

Thorax: Determine which side of the abdomen is your best side, so that you know which will be your back. Starting at the back wind black and yellow chenille sticks around the screw in part of the globe, securing with hot glue as necessary.

Arms: Find the centre of a yellow chenille stick and fold the ends in towards that. Leave about 1/4" of yellow free at each end (for hands) and wrap the remainder in black chenille, you will most likely need to use two sticks to fully cover the arms. Bend at the elbows and glue into position at the back.

Head: You can get wooden beads that are specifically designed for using as heads on clothespin dolls, but here in Australia they are proving very difficult to source. I have had to become very creative! If you can get those beads, then they are the perfect size, go ahead and use those. If you can't get them, you can use either a small styrofoam ball just as it is, or cover it with a thin layer of paperclay like I did. I prefer the paperclay coating to the plain styrofoam ball because it's a nicer surface to paint on, but do whatever works for you. DO NOT cover a styrofoam ball with polymer clay, the baking process will release toxic fumes from the foam, always use paperclay when using foam.

Give your head 2-3 coats of yellow paint, drying between coats. Paint on details of face, spray with clear sealant or varnish and then wrap black chenille around the rest of the head, using hot glue to secure where necessary. Use stamens or bits of chenille as antennae.

Finishing: Glue head into position on top of the lightbulb. Make a bow out of the raffia and glue onto the back of the bee for wings. Give your bee a little heart to hold. If desired, you can write a cute little phrase on the heart such as "Bee Mine!"

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