Thursday, July 27, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express - Kimono Tree Topper

Every year Mystery Playground works on ornaments for a mystery-themed Christmas tree. And our theme this year is a salute to...Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. We do this in July so you have plenty of time to get your materials together and make your own for December. 

This week, Lorainne Masonheimer has come up with a fabulous tree topper reminiscent of one of the big clues in the book...the red kimono. 

12” x 12” red cardstock
Red silk-like material
Black silk-like material
Gold trim
Needle and gold thread
Black ribbon
Black self-adhesive pearls
One wooden craft stick  3/16” x 5 ½”
Glue dots
Multi-medium matte glue with brush
Small circle punch
One brad
X-acto blade
Stitch witchery glue
Iron with board

Step One:  Cone Base
Trace a 12” circle onto the red cardstock and cut out.  Measure and place a small mark at 6” to mark the center of the circle.  Off the center mark, measure 6½” and cut a straight line for a 6½” x 12” cone.  Cut the red material to 7½” x 13” and use glue dots to adhere the material to the paper.  The glue dots will hold the material in place until the multi medium matte glue is applied.  Take care to not stain the fabric by carefully brushing the multi medium matte glue underneath the material to permanently glue the material to the paper.  Press for a flat seam.

Bring the sides of the circle together pulling one end over the other to form a cone with about a 4” circle at the bottom.  Hold it together and make sure the lower ridge of both sides overlap as evenly as possible.  It doesn’t need to be perfectly flat as it will look straight on the tree.  Make small marks to indicate glue placement.  Place glue dots next to the marks, reform the cone and press to the glue.  While holding it together, punch a hole into the bottom corner of the top overlap as shown.  Insert a brad to firmly hold the cone’s shape.  Using the x-acto blade, make 2 slits opposite one another about 1” from the top of the cone.  Slide the wood craft stick through the cone with both sides equal in measure.  Brush multi medium matte glue along the seam of the cone, press and let dry. 

Step Two:  Cut Fabric
To create the Kimono, cut the red material using the following measurements:   Two sleeves are 5½” long x 3” wide, one center back panel is 7½” long x 4” wide, two outside panels are 5” long x 3” wide, one collar is 5” long x 1”.  To create the black panels, cut two middle panels to 6” long x 3” wide.  Cut the black ribbon to 19” long and set aside.  There will be 8 pieces of fabric.

Step Three:  Glue, Assemble & Embellish
Using Stitch Witchery Glue and an iron, hem each fabric piece following package directions.  Allow the glue strip to cool completely before pulling the paper off, folding the material over the glue and reapplying heat to fuse the fabric together.  Glue the bottom of the kimono sleeves together leaving a loop open at the top.  Each sleeve will measure about 2¼” wide by about 2½” long.  Hand sew the gold trim to the center of the back panel to form a dragon.  Glue the black panels to the center red panel at an angle as shown and glue the red outer panels to the black panels.

Using glue dots, wrap the collar around the tip of the cone and press into place.  Carefully brush multi medium matte glue under collar and press into place.  Take care to not place glue onto areas that will show as it will stain the fabric. 

Place glue dots onto the top of the wood craft stick.  Carefully press the kimono sleeves to the stick. To hold the back panel in place, run a line of glue dots down the seam of the back of the cone.  Press the back panel to the glue dots hiding the seam as shown.  Using the multi medium matte glue, carefully brush the back of the mid and outer panels and press to the cone.  Using small glue dots, adhere a 2 ¼” piece of black ribbon to the front of the kimono to form the obi (sash).  Fold the black ribbon in half, glue dot the edges, wrap it around the top of the kimono and glue dot to the cone.  If desired, place three medium sized black self-adhesive pearls onto the front bottom right of the kimono and two at the bottom of the obi as shown.

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