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Autumn Window Display Fall 2013 Concept Design by Rachel Hirst


Conceptual Work

Concept 1: Old Frames

Concept 2: Aspen Grove

Concept 3: Giant Leaves/Arboretum

Selected Concept: Giant Leaves “Arboretum”

Composition Work:

Selected Composition and Final drawing:

Material Testing

Creation of Giant Leaves Step 1: Do sketchbook work Step 2: Clip branches to correct size Step 3: Wrap wire into leaf shape, securing wire to top & middle of branch

** I made a variety of species of leaves, all different shapes and sizes Notes: - Wire outline worked better and took significantly less time - Pliers and wire cutters are essential tools

Sketchbook work to determine methods:

A total of 5 leaves were created, using different techniques to test different materials and methods for each. Material tests to find the successfulness of: - Color fastness - Texture - Process - Textile choice

Dye testing:

- Done on book pages, burlap, and cotton materials. - Tested on both wet and dry material - Dyes were then mixed to achieve desired colors for each different leaf

Notes: After dyeing the materials, the ‘red’ dye was too pink. To solve this issue, a different color would be better. I mixed yellow with the red to achieve various shades of orange.

Leaf 1 ~ Book page/Maple Materials: - Old book pages - Mod Podge - Paint brush - Scissors - Dye in Spray Bottles - Additional twigs - Hot glue

Step 1: Mod Podge book pages onto wire frame using paintbrush. Apply to both sides, leaving branch exposed Time: 45 minutes + drying

Step 2: Trim edges

Time: 10 minutes

Step 3: Dye with yellow and orange dyes in spray bottles, allow to dry for a couple hours Time: 5 minutes + drying

Step 4: Trim additional branches and glue into vein pattern on same side as exposed branch Notes: Book pages were quick to glue down and took the dye well. Dye only absorbed to areas that weren’t covered in mod podge, so I left the exposed side clean before dyeing. Twig veins were also fairly quick and easy to place (Took about 20 minutes).

Leaf 2~ Burlap/Oak Materials: - Burlap fabric - Yellow and orange dyes - Alene’s Fabric Stiffener - Scissors - Hot glue - Embroidery Floss - Mod Podge Step 1: Dye fabric with yellow and orange dyes in spray bottles

Step 2: Trim two pieces to approximate size of wire form

Step 3: Use Alene’s fabric stiffener (mixed with equal parts water). Submerge fabric in stiffener, wring out, then place over metal leaf form. Repeat with both pieces, place one on front and one on back, leaving the stick exposed on one side. Step 4: Trim edges of fabric Step 5: Hot glue edges of fabric together Step 6: To make veins in leaf, mix one part mod podge with one part water. Submerge embroidery floss in mixture, then place on leaf in vein pattern. Let dry and trim excess. Notes: Burlap took dye well, but Alene’s stiffener wasn’t necessary to give the leaf its shape (and it had to dry overnight.) Adding veins in this method worked well.

Leaf 3 ~ Cotton/Maple Step 1: Dye fabric with red and orange dyes in spray bottles

Step 2: Trim one piece of fabric to approximate size of wire form

Step 3: Using sewing machine, sew a vein pattern into cotton fabric.

Step 4: Use hot glue to attach cotton to wire form, since it’s only glued to one side branch will remain exposed. Step 5: Trim excess fabric, leaving 1/4� around wire. Hot glue edge, rolling fabric over the wire to hide any visible metal wire.

Materials: - Cotton fabric - Red and orange dyes - Sewing machine - Thread - Hot glue - Scissors

Notes: Cotton fabric could have used more dye, but was easy to manipulate. Sewing veins took about 30 minutes. The translucency of the thin cotton fabric added interest, it would look nice layered in front of other leaves when hung.

Leaf 4 ~ Chiffon/Japanese Maple Step 1: Trim chiffon curtain to approximate size of leaf - two layers (one for front, one for back) Step 2: Using tacky glue and paintbrush, brush glue onto wire form and press chiffon onto glue. Repeat for back side, this time leaving branch exposed. Tip - put glue on 4-5 inches at a time, then press fabric down.

Step 3: Trim edges of fabric

Step 4: To make veins, use a needle, embroidery floss, and a basic stitch.

Materials: - Chiffon curtain fabric - Alene’s Tacky Glue - Paint brush - Scissors - Embroidery floss - Needle

Notes: Since the chiffon fabric was already dyed, it cut out a step! Tacky glue dried very quickly, and stitching veins on by hand took a little longer (30 minutes for a small leaf) but has an added hand-made feel. Translucent fabric is a nice effect.

Leaf 5 ~ Burlap/Dogwood Step 1: Dye fabric with spray bottles Step 2: Use Alene’s fabric stiffener, submerse fabric then wring out, let dry over wire form Step 3: Trim edges to about 1/4” wider than wire form

Materials: - Burlap fabric - Orange and yellow dye - Alene’s Fabric Stiffener - Scissors - Hot glue - Embroidery floss - Mod Podge

Step 4: Hot glue edges, folding over Step 5: To make veins on the leaf, use one part water, one part mod podge. Trim pieces of embroidery floss to correct size, submerge in mod podge mixture, then place on burlap leaf. Let it dry, then clip excess thread.

Notes: Using only one layer of fabric with Alene’s Fabric Stiffener was easier with this leaf, but still not completely necessary to give leaf its shape. Darker embroidery floss was used on this leaf, my personal preference is for a color that matches the leaf better (like the Oak leaf).


Tools needed for installation: - Drill - Ladder - Twine - Screw hooks (one for each leaf)


Note: Single item budget based on prices I found to make 5 leaves, and hypothetical budget based on prices to make 15 giant leaves.

Giant Leaf - Materials:

Cost of single item

Cost for entire display

Sticks: 18 guage wire: Book pages: Burlap: Cotton fabric: Red Chiffon/Curtain: Alene’s Fabric Stiffener: Dylon Fabric Dyes Red Yellow Mod Podge Hot Glue Sticks Tacky Glue Embroidery Floss Thread Twine Screw Hooks

Free (found in backyard/park) $4.95 from Lowe’s $0.50 used book from GoodWill $2.99/yard $2.99/yard $3.17 from Savers $7.99 from JoAnne’s

Free $4.95 $2.50 $5.98 $8.97 $10.00 --- (not needed)

$2.99 from JoAnne’s $2.99 from JoAnne’s $7.50 $3.99 $3.29 $0.50/color $1.99/color $7.99/spool $1.18/2-pack

$2.99 $2.99 $7.50 $3.99 $3.29 $3.00 $5.97 $7.99 $9.44

Total Cost: $79.56

Time Investment

For each indivudal leaf:

- 5 minutes to trim branch - 20 minutes to bend wire - 1 hour for dye to dry (but material for all leaves is dyed together) - 30-40 minutes to attach fabric/paper - 20-30 minutes to add vein detail - 20 minutes to trim edges of fabric/paper

Total: About 2 hours per leaf, not including drying times If 20 leaves were made for the window display, it would take one Approximated installation time is 1-2 days.

week. 208.869.1387

Window Display Concept  

By Rachel Hirst