Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Making of a Medallion

The finished medallion.  It's gracing the wall above the toilet in our hall
 bathroom.  I'm happy to get something in there decor-wise because the
walls have been bare-nekked for way too long!

Step 1:  Choose your paper.  I chose to get an old book with yellowed
pages that I could cut apart.  I got this study guide for smart kids who
want to get into a prep school and hang out with other smart kids for
$2 at Goodwill.  You could also use magazine pages, copy paper, craft
paper...  just about any paper you like that has enough body to hold a
cone shape.

Step 2:  Tear out pages.  I didn't really count, but I'm guessing I used
somewhere round about 50 pages.  I made sure I had text printed on
both sides because I wanted that look but you can tailor that to your
own personal tastes.

Step 3:  Cut the pages down to squares.  I used the full width so I just had
to trim about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom to make a square.   If you want
smaller cones, cut smaller squares.  It's that simple... and really, there are no
hard and fast rules.

Step 4:  Cut a disk from cardboard.  I had a big piece of clean corrugated
cardboard that had been used as packing to protect the top of our kitchen
table during shipping when we bought it last summer so that is what I used.
I wanted a finished medallion that was about 24" so I started with a 12-inch
circle - exactly size of our dinner plates!  It was nice having something easy
to trace... And a box cutter or exacto knife would have been a better choice
to cut it out, but Derek took that from the toolbox for something a few days
ago and didn't put it back.  And I decided to just fight it out with the craft
scissors instead of hunting down the box cutter.  It was hard on my fingers
and didn't give me nice crisp edges, so I'd say it's probably not the best bit
of strategic thought I've ever had to go with the scissors on this.

Step 5a:  You're going to need a way to hang it on the wall when you're done
and I've found it's easiest (on you and the medallion) to add a loop of yarn
now.  Just use a yarn needle and punch through.  If you want to be all fancy
schmancy you could use ribbon or picture wire or maybe you have an even
better idea?
Step 5b:  The hanging loop is on the other side and the ends are poking out
here.  I tied these off in a secure knot and then hot glued them down as flat
as I could.

Step 5c:  Cover the side with the glued down knots with some of the paper
you'll be using for the cones.  Trim the paper flush with the disk (I hadn't
done this yet when I snapped the picture). This has ended up being a not-
really-necessary step both times I've made a medallion but I do it anyway,
just in case.  My thought was I didn't want bits of cardboard to show
through any gaps in the cones when I glued them down.  Plus I think it
helps secure the hanging loop.

Step 6:  Now you're going to get back to all those square pieces you cut and
form them into cones.  Secure on both edges with a bit of glue.  The first few
always seem very awkward to me but then I get the hang of it again and it goes
not just faster but I get a more consistent shape.

Step 7:  Glue the cones down to the disk starting with the outside row.  Like
I said, I wanted to finish at 24-inches so I cut a disk that was 12 and glued
the cones down so that 6-inches extended past the cardboard all the way
around.  Don't worry about the little spaces between them.  They will be
filled in when you put the next rows on.  This is part way through row 1.
(Note:  I used hot glue for this whole project.  I think it is the best choice
to be able to hold everything together quickly.  But realize that when they
named it hot glue they meant HOT glue.  It will burn you!  Possibly
severely. So be very careful!!  And keep your kids away while you
are working on this project.

And this is part way through row 2.  See the gaps filling in?  Just keep adding
cones in concentric circular rows.  Pull the edge of the cones inward slightly
with each new round. To do that you'll need to start trimming off the pointy
end of each cone after row 2 and finally in the center, just nestle them in in
whatever direction you can fit them.

And that's how I ended up with this!

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