Whether you are doing some last-minute decorating for Christmas or New Years, making gifts, decorating your home, or just gearing up for winter creative projects, this post is a toast to using what you have. I saw this burlap pillow/art in a store window in San Francisco and it’s the perfect example of how we can gather assorted objects (aka junk) and combine them to make something that is truly more than the sum of its parts. Artists have long called this “assemblage.”
This is the perfect example of a synergetic project.
Here are some guidelines for combining a bunch of found objects (aka junk) so that it looks elegant and thoughtful:
- Choose objects that are similar in scale. As you can see on the piece above, most of these items are similar in size. None of them are radically larger, heavier, or otherwise outstanding from the others.
- Pick a color range and choose some shades to predominate. In the piece pictured, copper, white, gray, peach and black and the colors that unite the composition.
- Find an element that can tie all the other objects together. In the picture it’s the peach ribbon that runs across the pillow that unifies all the other objects.
- Have fun. Your appreciation of the objects used, and that spirit of enjoyment and whimsy, will come through. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
- Now on to another “use what you have” direction:
I started off with a galvanized container.
Next I looked for things to fill this container. What did I have? Sticks and branches that had fallen from the trees in a recent storm.
I cut the twigs and branches so they were all a similar length. This is one thing that ties this arrangement together. The contrasting elements are the natural twigs and the man-made, hard element of the container.
I put the twigs in the bin, and they looked good, but I thought that they needed a bit of color. So I went down to the basement to see what I could find.
I had in mind some sort of poles or sticks that were painted bright colors, but I didn’t have anything like that. I did have, however, some old glass bead and wire garland, which was popular about 10 years ago, so I brought that up.
The garland was brittle, and pieces kept breaking off as I untangled it. This worked well with the arrangement, however, as I could wind those short pieces that broke off onto separate twigs, twisting the wires to hold them in place.
Finally, I looked into the ribbon bin to find another element for the arrangement. I settled on a burlap ribbon – something that would both compliment the natural elements in the arrangement and contrast a bit with the colors and textures of what I already had in place. I made a bow out of the burlap ribbon and left long wire ends to tie around the twigs for additional support from wind.
Finished! A new deck decoration that was made completely out of what I already had on hand. Total time spent: 30 minutes.