Monday, January 28, 2013

Upcycling -- Vintage Shabby Chic Victorian Tussie Mussie Cone with Stick Pins

This is my first ever Tussie Mussie!  Until Trudi (an amazing hostess on Life on the Scrapbeach) put up a swap for Tussie Mussies, I had no idea that TUSSIE MUSSIE was the name of those AMAZING cones I'd seen out there in the craft world, generally decorated in a Victorian theme ... so again, I apologize for the title but I figure there are a lot of old, out-of-touch ladies in the world like me who type in a blur of words when searching for stuff and just cross their fingers that they pick up something... at least I hope there are cuz I don't want to be alone!!

Below are a few photos on how I made this, don't want to bore you with them, but if you want me to do a tutorial or need more info just message me and I'll try to help the best I can.

By the way, does anybody besides me think the words "TUSSIE MUSSIE" sound a tad bit ... shall we say ... NAUGHTY?

I started with a 7x7 square of thin chipboard (as you can see I used 20-24pk soda boxes to save $ and feel like I upcycled something) - Sand the glossy printed side so it can take paint/glue better.  Paint the inside unless you plan on decoupaging it also.  In this case I painted it white, used a crackled medium, then topped the crackled with a pink paint.  Fold the square at an angle so that you have a tip on one end.  You can either leave the angle top or cut it off after you hotglue it together -- DON'T HOT GLUE YET! See that little wire loop at the bottom? If you plan on adding a dangle, it's easier to add the loop now.  These I just made out of some wire from Home Depot and hotglued that baby in the corner before I glued the side down.
HINT:  To make the chipboard roll easier, spend a minute or two making it flexible around your hand and getting it into the shape you want it to be.  Don't worry too much about little creases and dents as these add personality to your piece and if you decoupage it, mostly they will be unnoticed. 
You could easily staple the cone closed as long as you remember where your staples are and just put an embellishment over it so the staple isn't obvious.

After I painted the outside a coat of white I realized the pink was too bright for my embellishments so I watered down some of the acrylic white with a little water and did a wash over it.  The one on the far left is already white washed and I just did a tiny spot on the one on the right so you can see the difference.

After the paint dries, it's time to decoupage!

I was reminded on Pinterest of a trick my mom used to do by watering down regular school glue, such as Elmer's (about 1/2 water 1/2 glue - if you use a lidded jar you can save the rest for a later project.  (Just a note - if you ink the edges of the paper you tear for decouping, you will end up tinting the glue a bit but I liked the colour).  Start by adding a piece of paper by putting a light coat of glue on the paper and a light coat on the cone.  Press it smooth.  After a couple it might get a little messy so it's a good idea to have a wet cloth ready to wipe up messes and your fingers.

Decorate with strips from the theme you wish, or newspapers, or sheet music, or just use paint and use the glue as a sealant -- even draw your own!!

 Decorate the cone in whatever theme and embellies you have.  This pink flower was a scrap of pink organza material that I used the make several circles out of (crudely cut - I didn't measure anything), lightly heat the edges over a candle till the material curls and glue the curled petals together - slit a hole in the middle and stuff the stamens throught the hole and hot glue the back. I added some white ribbon roses, faux pearl strands, a leaf from an old plant.  The big pink lace around the top is placed over some cream Tule and then a piece of decorative lace/pearl trim over the large pink lace (I attached everything with hot glue).

Don't forget to DECORATE THE BACK! Remember when someone looks at your TUSSIE MUSSIE they'll check out your rear too.  .... .... Told you TUSSIE MUSSIE sounded naughty! :)

Under my pink flower are a couple layers of lace (bottom layer is a ribbon with pink beads) and some Muslin that I lightly dyed with Tim Holtz' Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  I put a few drops of the refill ink in some water.   Put in some strips of torn muslin (some 1/2" some 1/4" just varied) -- and let soak a little, I'm impatient so I wringed the water out, rubbed the material briskly on the ink pad all over and rubbed the wet material together and it gave a nice effect you can't see in the pictures.

Photo with a ruler so you can get an idea of the width.

Added a dangle that I made out of a lot of pastel pearls.
And a fun crown adjacent to a very large acrylic crystal.  I took off the crystal from a votive chandlier I found at a craft store closing sale.


Counting the handle the entire TUSSIE MUSSIE is about 18 inches or so. For the handle I knotted together each end three pieces the length I desired for a handle.  The handled should be big enough to go over door handles and to let the tussie mussie lay nicely on the wall if it is hung there.  This particular handle is made of lace intertwind with faux pearl string, a thin piece of the dyed muslin, and another faux pearl string. Hotgluing the knots where I knotted all three pieces together onto the sides (glue them a little toward the back, to me it looked ackward with the handle glued exactly on the sides) -- If you wanted you could glue the handles on the inside OR even better would probably be to make holes in the locations you wanted the handles before you started decorating.
And then I made some seriously BLINGED Stick Pins for this cone.  Initially I had some minkie fur in pastel pink filling the Tussie Mussie but found this satin material and lined it with polyfill.  I  didn't want it to be hard to remove in case the recipient wanted to make a SECRET HIDING PLACE, so I made the filler and satin into a little pillow that pulls right out and you have a nice place for a secret treasure or take it completely out for some cute flowers or some other items ... my nieces would probably store their Sharpies in there /sigh.
I haven't tried to get many members to join, maybe my first give-away will be a tussie mussie and stick pins ... hmmm hmmm ...


  1. This is so romantic, I love the shabby chic look :O)

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  3. GOT your addy :P checked my email! :D Sending it out soon, probably in the next 3-4 days. Love your work!