February 15, 2012

Lace Crowns -- Quick Microwave Method

Update:  In January of 2013 I shared a second quick-method for making lace crowns that does not use a microwave.  Click HERE for that tutorial.


Who wouldn't feel like instant royalty with one of these lovely handmade crowns?



I often lament how little time there is left at the end of the day after chores, responsibilities, and my own creative projects, to try any of the amazing crafts I've been inspired by on Pinterest.  But when I saw the lace crowns made by Joyfolie, I was wonderstruck.  If I could have twitched my nose and transported myself immediately to my local fabric store, I would have.  Lacking magical powers, I corralled the kids and hopped in the car.


This project is a beautiful way to repurpose
bits of vintage jewelry

Because the idea is nothing short of brilliant (in my opinion), creatives all over the blogosphere are adding their own unique spin to this project whose origin I've traced back to  Bitter Betty Blogs.  


I Like Shortcuts...and I'm  not ashamed to say it.

Here's where my version comes in -- I'm usually short on time.  Even when I have time, I'm terribly impatient.  Waiting for paint or glue to dry is like....well..."watching paint dry". When I read the back of my bottle of fabric stiffener, I noticed that there was a "microwave method."  It took a few trials and tweaks, but ultimately I figured out a quick, easy, and very rewarding way to make these lovely lace crowns.


Lace Crowns -- Quick Microwave Method 
makes ONE 18" crown

  • 1/2 yard crocheted lace
  • (Also look for "Cluny Lace" or "Dyeable Cotton Lace".  You can find the lace I used for these crowns HERE)
  • Fabric Stiffener (I used Aleene's Stiffen Quick) 
  • Small bowl
  • Tacky Glue
  • 1 sheet posterboard
  • scissors
  • clear packing tape
  • paper plate or parchment paper
  • thin butterknife or offset spatula
  • sewing pin
  • Gold or silver metallic paint**
  • Rubber gloves
  • Paint brush
  • Hot glue gun or a jewelry adhesive (I used Aleene's Platinum Bond Glass & Bead) 
  • Vintage jewelry, rhinestones, jeweled scrapbook trim, etc...


I tried other types of lace, including some vintage lace, but found that crocheted lace is the sturdiest and least likely to burn in the microwave. The lace sold at my local "Beverly's" chain came in several colors. The white works well for a silver crown, and the beige is a good choice for a gold crown.

Step 1:  Place lace in a small bowl and cover with fabric stiffener.  Soak for 15 minutes.


Step 2:  While lace is soaking, prepare a crown form by cutting a 20" x 4" strip of posterboard.  If using a smaller piece, cut two 10.5" x 4" pieces.  Overlap by a 1/2" and tape together on the front and back.


Step 3:  Roll the posterboard in to a tube, 17.5" in circumference, and secure with packing tape.

UPDATE:  Some readers have experiences some trouble with the lace sticking to the posterboard.  I recommend lining the posterboard (on the outside) with packing tape to provide a non-stick surface.


Step 4: Remove lace from bowl, allowing excess to gently drip back in to the bowl.  Return excess stiffener to the original bottle.  Wrap the wet lace around the base of the posterboard form.  I used a spot of tacky glue to hold the overlapping ends of the lace together.


Step 5:  Put crown and form on a paper plate or piece of parchment.  Microwave on high power for 30 seconds.  There may be some crackling sounds in this initial phase. Continue to microwave in 30 second increments (depending on the power of your microwave, you might be able to go up to a max of 1 minute increments), until the lace is dry to the touch.

Step 6:  Remove plate from microwave and completely spray the crown (while still on the form) with stiffener.  Return to microwave and microwave in short increments till it is dry to the touch.

Step 7:  Repeat the process of spraying and drying until you've achieved the desired level of stiffness.  For me, I found that 7 spray/dry cycles was sufficient.

Step 8:  Remove crown from the form.  You may need to slide a butterknife or offset spatula underneath to help loosen it.  If some of the stiffener has closed up some of the holes in the lace, you can easily clean it out with the end of a pin.


Step 9:  Return the crown to the plate and microwave for an additional 30 seconds to a minute.  When removed from microwave, crown should be completely dry and stiff.  Set the crown aside while you set up your paint.

 This is my favorite brand for metallic paints.  I purchased mine at Michael's crafts.  They run around $10 a bottle, but the effect is well worth it.  The gold and silver shine like the genuine article.
Step 10:  Wearing rubber gloves to keep your hands clean, paint the crown, inside and out.  Do not be surprised when the crown goes soft with the application of the wet paint.  It will stiffen, harder than ever, when it dries.


Step 11:  Gently slide the wet crown back on to the posterboard form.  Set aside to dry.  You can use a hairdryer to help speed up the process, but DO NOT return the crown to the microwave. 

Step 12:  When crown is dry, attach bits of glitz and finery with a hot glue gun or jewelry glue.  I used bits of broken vintage jewelry that I dismantled with the help of tin snips.


The only trouble is, they're so lovely that they're hard to part with!



69 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, these are so pretty!!! Totally princess worthy, and much nicer than the felt variety! I like the shortcut too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow- love these! I to do believe I need to make one!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What lovely crowns! So pretty! I like your shortcut version as well! Patience is not a virtue of mine, either!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an amazing idea!! Thanks for sharing it. I can see how this will work great for children's theater productions.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. I love all the beautiful details that you've added to the crowns.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love using fabric stiffener and never would have thought to use the microwave. You're a genius! The crowns are just lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This would be so fun for a princess themed birthday party. You could make and paint the crowns ahead of time then let the girls decorate them with beads, jewelry pieces, ribbon and rickrack from the craft store clearance rack.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello,

    This is a new discovery, here are some new collections for babies created by
    Adam Stevenson, in his shop preview Pomme d'Adam http://genries.free.fr/

    New wall art to tell stories.
    Immerse yourself and your home in the enchanted world
    of this collection specially designed for the nursery and baby!
    Sweet dreams !

    Nice day

    Adam Stevenson - illustrateur
    Pomme d'Adam http://genries.free.fr/

    ReplyDelete
  9. OHMY!!! I NEED ONE OF THESE!!! aka the Oak Island STAMPQUEEN, moi needs these! Hmm..if you open an etsy shop---or want to sell me one-let me know---PLEASE! Blessings,
    Sharon (sentbysharon@aol.com)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Everyone was so busy or sick this weekend that I never had time to make it to the craft store. Next weekend!! I just love these!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great idea! Love it. So fast and simple but the result is BEAUTIFUL. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  12. How beautiful! Saw your link on the CSI Project site and was happy to see someone tried that Pin:) Great Job!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm dropping by as The CSI Project guest judge this week. Great job! These would make such fun favors for a birthday party. And I love that you found a way to make it faster. They turned out lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I just saw another blog with these and thought they were adorable! Thank you so much for the tutorial!!

    Coming over from CSI Link Up party, please visit my link up at http://creativecowgirl.co/2012/03/09/pinterest-inspiration-a-birthday-splat-mat/

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fab! thanks for the tut, I pinned it again on pinterest and gave you a thumbs up like this on babble :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Mine stick to the poster board BAD and then, tore it apart. When I painted it, I taped the poster board back together and then, since it was painted inside SMS out, it stuck again. My crown has bits of paper permanently attached to it. :-\ any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi R.J. I wasn't able to find your email address, so I hope you'll be able to find my reply here. I'm so sorry to hear that your posterboard was sticking. Two things to try -- Try a different type of posterboard that has a glossy finish. I used Elmer's brand because it's nice and thick and has a glossy side. Another thing to try would be to wrap the posterboard form in packing tape to create a waterproof barrier. I hope one of these two methods helps. I appreciate you letting me know about the potential for problems with the project; giving me the opportunity to put a solution out there. Best, Jenn

    ReplyDelete
  18. These are awesome! Quick question- what stiffener did you spray on?
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am curious why you did not use spray paint for the crown. I was thinking that might also speed things up. Was there a reason you did not use that? This is a fabulous idea. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great point BrewsterFamily! I went with the gold and silver paint because I always keep them in my craft room and love the results, but I don't see any reason why metallic spray paint wouldn't work. That's an excellent time-saving idea! I'll have to do some experimenting to see if I like the results just as much. Thanks for contributing to the crafty conversation!

    Jenn

    ReplyDelete
  21. Can this method be applied to making masks you think?

    ReplyDelete
  22. What if you cover the posterboard with parchment paper?

    ReplyDelete
  23. How about covering the posterboard with parchment paper?

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have a bottle of Aleens fabric stiffener, but it doesn't spray. Can I just put it in a spray bottle? Also is it safe to put any fabric stiffener in the microwave, or does it HAVE to have microwave directions?
    Thanks, Tammy
    misstammymoore@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have a bottle of Aleen's fabric stiffener, but it's not in a spray bottle. Should I just put it in a spray bottle? Also it doesn't have "microwave directions" is it still safe to put in the microwave?
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  26. where can i buy crochet lace?

    ReplyDelete
  27. I found my crochet lace at our local Beverly's chain in the fabric department with the ribbon and lace sold by the yard. I've also seen it online.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello! I found your lovely blog this morning through your vintage postcard post featured on The NorthEnd Loft. I liked what I saw so much, that I have stayed around here, poking through your tutorials and reading parts of your blog! I am definitely subscribing as soon as I send this comment, really lovely blog filled with great ideas.

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi!
    I made a crown, and when I put my crown by its self the last time in the microwave it collapsed in on it's self..lol...I made it stand back up and am in the process of painting it. Any suggestions? I love love this idea!
    Lacey

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love these crowns!! I am also way too impatient to let glue and paint dry! These will definitely make it into the line up!

    ReplyDelete
  31. cute!!! sooo wanna do this 4 my 3 yr olds birthday party. thnx 4 sharing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I attempted to used your directions to make a small crown for my 7month old last night... mine didn't fair so well... I read the other comments and saw someone else had the same problem as I did with the stucking to the non-shiny poster board. Also I didn't buy the Stiffen QUICK.. I bought the regular one and it was a MESS!!! It bubbled and became ugly when microwaved . Finally I watered it down because it was super thick, and just let the crown dry over night.... I will be trying this again with the right materials!! Thanks for posting it!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I teach art and we usually use liquid laundry starch for paper mache. I wonder if you could soak the lace in it, place it around the form and just let it dry rock hard overnight...or in an oven w/pilot light. Might have to wrap the form in saran wrap or wax paper, but I might have to give it a try! They are lovely...

    ReplyDelete
  34. I am totally going to have to raid my mom's lace stash!! My daughter would LOVE one of these!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Completely brilliant! Thanks for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
  36. hum amei a ideia OBRIGADA QUE DEUS CONTINUE ABENÇOANDO SEUS DONS ,E POR COMPARTILHAR SUAS LINDAS IDEIAS BEIJOS FIQUE COM DEUS BEIJOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    ReplyDelete
  37. adorable, and thanks for tutorial.
    But talk about patient, that seems like a lot of patience to do 7 times in and out. I must be even more impatient. =)

    too cute...blessings
    barb

    ReplyDelete
  38. Genius, thank you! Im a photographer and the photography sites sell these for $30 each! And thats with no embellishments. Im so excited to make one on my own for much, much less. Definitely going to paint it pink! I'll just have to go borrow someone's microwave! :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi. I am also trying to create this and in the processes as I type. I was unable to put the quick stiff in a spray bottle and spray it was way too thick. I am painting the last few coats on but my issue with that is i think it is going on too thick and now the holes in the lace are being filled up. It isn't turning out see through like yours. Any thoughts? What type of spray bottle did you use?

    ReplyDelete
  40. What color of paint did you use for the blue? 2nd question, what type of a spray bottle did you use. I tried it and it would not spray out of my bottle...... Thanks for any help you can provide.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Grant, first I'm so sorry that the project didn't go as smoothly as hoped. Second, I'm sorry for the lapse between your post and my reply. Blogger caught yours and several other comments in the SPAM filter, which I only discovered just moments ago. It definitely sounds like your Quick Stiff was thicker than mine. I was able to put mine into a spray bottle that I purchased from Smart & Final. Painting it on is a great idea as an alternative, but it sounds like it was pooling inbetween the holes in the lace. I'm thinking that perhaps painting, then dabbing with a lint-free cloth or paper towel might help with the areas where it pooled. The silver crown does seem to have a bit of a bluish tint in the photos, but it is simply the Iridescent Silver paint from Golden. I've heard that some of my readers have had success using a metallic spraypaint as an alternative. I definitely want to give it a try. Seems like it would be a lot easier than painting.

    Jenn

    ReplyDelete
  42. No way. Now way! When I saw these I couldn't believe how cute they were! I have to drop everything else I'm making and try these this weekend!!!

    ReplyDelete
  43. What a fabulous idea! So very pretty. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  44. What a fabulous idea! So very pretty. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I love this and want to try it .,. but I cant find the right lace where did you bouy yours?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mariana, I purchased my lace at a local Beverly's store, but I have an online source linked in the tutorial. If you go to the materials list and click on the word "HERE" you'll be taken to an online store that sells the very same lace that I used for this project.

      Happy crafting!

      Jenn

      Delete
  46. Thanks for the tips. I have wanted to make one of these lace crowns for months. I guess I need to take a trip to the fabric store soon.

    ReplyDelete
  47. My friend and I made three crowns using your directions and I'm in the process of making a fourth (though this time I forgot to microwave it by itself, so hope it turns out okay) . The microwaving is tricky, this time my tape melted, but first time it was perfect! I found pearl looking beads at michael's and lined the base of the crown with them (We used hot glue for the first three and some of the beads have been falling off so I'm going to try a glue this time). I've found that having some sort of sturdy base helps the crown stay on, I even kept mine on while duck-pin bowling and it didn't fall off (this is without the use of bobby pins etc). Thanks so much for posting this, it's been a good project.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thanks for sharing, have you painted the lace before covering with stiffener? I think I will make one for a cake toper...or maybe this can ruin the cake :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jesemka, Because the paint is metallic, it probably wouldn't be a good idea to put it in the microwave. I do have another method that doesn't use the microwave and avoids the stiffener all-together. Here's a link: http://www.rookno17.com/2013/01/the-easiest-quickest-way-to-make-lace.html
      A lace crown would be beautiful on a cake. I did a little looking around online for non-toxic sealers. The Krylon website says that all of their products are non-toxic when dry. So, perhaps using a Krylon sealer would be the way to go.

      Delete
  49. Thank you so much for sharing this great project! I have a question for you, have you painted the lace before covering with stifferner? I will like to make one into a cake toper, do you think this is safe?
    I can't wait to make one for me too :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thanks for Sharing. They are lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Excellent idea, not only for crowns but will have to try technique to speed up drying of my other 3D thread follow projects!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Throwing my 9 yr old a summer slumber party, and we can't wait to do this! Thanks!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Throwing a summer slumber party for my 9 yr old, wonderful idea! Also planning a baby shower with a friend, so plan on making one for mom to be! Thanks so much!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Throwing my 9 yr old a summer slumber party, and we can't wait to do this! Thanks!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Throwing my 9 yr old a summer slumber party, and we can't wait to do this! Thanks!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  56. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Very pretty, and seems easy! My question would be, where could I find these kind of laces? Does it have to be cut, to look like a crown? Thank you.

    Marlene Detierro (Turnberry Towers Las Vegas)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Awesome! Thanks, mine are out of the microwave and ready to paint. Has anyone tried spray painting as opposed to brush painting and if so, what kind did you use? If not, how many crowns would you say one of those $10 bottles of paint cover? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  59. Lovely, mine are ready for paint now. Has anyone tried using spray paint instead and if so, what kind did you use? If not, how many crowns would you say one of those $10 bottles of paint cover? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Wow- these are gorgeous! What an interesting method too. I would LOVE to link to your how-to if you didn't mind.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Love this, I am impatient so the microwave sounds like a great idea. Will try this as soon as I get me some of the beautiful lace.
    Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Crowns is the excellent idea,i am also try by using Instant Adhesive Glue

    ReplyDelete
  63. Here's another few that I'm going to have to do!

    ReplyDelete
  64. I saw this idea and loved it! I actually used the technique to create a one of a kind lace mask for a masquerade ball. Add a few rhinestones and ta-da! It turned out so well! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy hearing from you! Thank you so much for taking the time to be part of the creative and positive spirit here at Rook No. 17! xoxo Jenn

Pin It button on image hover