Most people tend to imagine a modern, cozy outdoor wedding when they hear the words ‘rustic chic’, but believe it or not ‘rustic chic’ isn’t exclusive to weddings! The rustic style focuses on celebrating the beauty of nature through earthy tones, natural textures and a sense of organic warmth. Simply put, rustic design is design that uses organic elements in its most natural state. Rustic chic is the balance between natural elements and modern style. Rustic chic is defined by the use of stone, wood, rope, burlap, canvas etc and is based around a natural theme. It’s usually handmade, simple and the emphasis is on the materials.
This rustic chic jar is a lovely little project for a Sunday afternoon. It’s perfect to use as a centrepiece on your dining table or perhaps even as a wedding table centrepiece. You can also use this technique to decorate bowls and vases that would make beautiful stand alone centrepieces.
Things and tools you’ll need
• A jar (with or without a lid. Jar hacks is all about versatility!)
• Optional: White or beige acrylic paint (I actually used some magnolia wall paint that was lying around from a previous home decor project)
• PVA glue
Using polymer clay
Polymer clay is an extremely simple and versatile medium to work with. One of the biggest advantages of working with polymer clay is that you can cure it by baking it in a home oven. Even if you don’t have access to an oven, there are many types of polymer clays that you can harden by air drying. If you are using an oven to cure your creations, read your manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid any problems. Over heating polymer clay can release toxic fumes.
How to make polymer clay roses
1. Knead your clay till it’s soft and pliable.
2. Take a small bit of clay and roll it into a snake around 3 cms long.
3. Flatten the snake and roll it from one edge to the other like you would roll a carpet. This is the centre of your rose.
4. Take a small bit of clay and roll it into a ball. Then, flatten it to make a small disk. This is your rose petal. It doesn’t have to be a perfectly circular disk as these are the petals of your rose. The bigger your ball of clay the bigger your petal will be. The bigger your petals, the bigger your rose.
5. Make 5-8 petals first and start arranging them around you centre (the carpet roll you made in step 3). Don’t press too hard as you arrange the petals, but apply enough pressure to ensure that the petals are sticking on. Once you start arranging your petals you will begin to form an idea of how big your rose will be and you can adjust the number of petals accordingly. More petals = bigger rose.
6. Create folds in your petals as you go along to give a more natural feel.
7. Once you’re done making your rose, carefully flatten the bottom to form a good base to apply the hot glue onto later this the process. Alternatively, you can carefully cut off a part of the bottom with a craft knife to achieve a flat base.
8. Make as less or as many roses as you need. Make roses in different sizes to give an interesting look.
9. In addition you your roses, you can made other small embellishments that go with the gothic/rustic theme. These could be other filler flowers, twigs, bows etc. I made a few swirly ropes to go with my roses.
10. Arrange the roses and other embellishments on a baking tray.
Even though good polymer clay is usually certified to be non-toxic, I’d suggest reserving a separate baking tray for your polymer clay projects. If you don’t have a separate baking tray, line your tray with baking paper so it makes the cleaning process easier later.
11. Bake your roses in your home oven according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, most clays do okay at 275°F for 10-20 minutes. Remember that the curing time for polymer clay depends on it size and thickness (and the brand). So keep an eye on your clay to ensure that it doesn’t scorch/burn.
12. Once your clay has hardened, get it out of the oven and let it cool.
How to make your rustic chic jar centrepiece
Clean, wash and dry your jar. Get rid of any labels. If you’re using a plastic jar and are struggling to get rid of the sticky label, check out my tips on Jar Hacks 101, or simply opt to cover your entire jar with rope.
(Optional) 2. Paint your jar and the lid. It doesn’t have to be a perfect coat of paint. The rope will cover all of this up. The paint ensures that any tiny gaps that show through the rope are covered by the paint. If you want to do a variety of jars or bowls using this technique, you can have the rope covering different sections of the jar /bowl. Or you can try different styles of ropes in different thicknesses. Or you could even used different colours of paint to make your jars pop.
3. Once the paint dries, decide how you want your rope to go around the jar. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Maybe you want rope around half the jar. Maybe you’re more comfortable winding the rope from top to bottom. It’s completely up to you how you decide to go about this step. I started by gluing the tip of the rope to the bottom edge of the jar.
4. Apply PVA glue to the jar and wind your rope as you go along.
5. Once you’ve covered your jar with as much or as little rope as you like. Hot glue the finishing tip of the rope to your jar.
6. Grab your cooled down roses and other embellishments and work out the compositions you’d like to glue them on in.
7. Apply a dollop of hot glue on the flat base of your roses and glue them on the jar in the pre-decided compositions.
8. Let your glues dry and let everything set for a few hours.
And there you have it! A gorgeous gothic rustic chic jar centerpiece for your lovely home.