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Project Tutorials >

Spun Cotton Pear Ornaments ~ How to Create Jeweled Fruits ~ An Embellishment Tutorial



In this tutorial we paint and embellish spun cotton pears to create a whole bushel of ornaments that look just as good displayed in a bowl as hung on a tree.  Creating high-impact fruits with just a few supplies is delightfully simple.  Custom painting techniques paired primarily with deco beads plus a mix of millinery leaves yield stunning fruits, while wooden toothpick "stems" add a touch of realism.  After making an orchard's worth of ornaments that vary widely from realistic to not-found-in-nature, we're certain of one thing: spun cotton and deco beads make the perfect pair! Finished ornaments measure approximately 1-3/4" tall to 3" tall.

Supplies: Spun Cotton Pears (SC230, SC035, SC014), Velvet Leaves, Foil Leaves, Lacquered Leaves, Deco Beads, Glass Glitter, Mica Flakes, Wire Stems, Toothpicks, Paints, Paint Brushes, Clear Drying Craft Glue like Alleene's, Scissors, Skewers or Pipe Cleaners, Glove for Sprinkling Glass Glitter, Paper Plate to Work Over When Glittering

Step 1: Using a pipe cleaner or skewer as a "handle," paint your spun cotton pieces. Let dry.

Apply paint straight from the bottle in pretty already-mixed color; metallic paints add extra interest and dimension while flat colors cover evenly as a great base for embellishing.

Use a dauber to achieve a dappled or blended effect.  Paint the pear a base color all over then in a different color dab and blend to achieve the desired look.

To get a dappled or faded look with a brush, simply apply multiple colors and blend minimally.  This painting style is particularly striking when further embellished with deco beads, as we'll see below.  The bolder, messier and more variegated the better: deco beads will smooth yet highlight the color variations for an exquisite effect.

Paint Note: The colors we used are shown below right. Top row L-R: Citrine, Wild Wasabi, Cool Bisque, Moon Yellow, Daybreak, Yellow Ochre.  Middle row: L-R: Halo Pink Gold, Crimson, Wine, Apple Red, Festive Fuchsia, Pink Melon, Mandarin.  Bottom Row: L-R: True Gold, Halo Violet Gold.

Step 2: Embellish with deco beads, glass glitter or mica flakes.

2a.) Apply clear deco beads.  Clear deco beads are our favorite embellishment for creating jeweled fruits and the main embellishment used in this tutorial.  Clear deco beads jewel any color painted underneath by reflecting and enhancing the paint style.  Boldly dappled paint jobs are elegantly accentuated while monotone colors are enhanced and intensified.  Our preferred size for larger fruit is 1mm deco beads and for more subtle texture we like the .5mm size for any size fruit.

-- Paint an even coat of glue in the areas you wish to apply deco beads.

-- Pour deco beads over glue and tap off excess.  Let dry, then brush off any excess with a dry paint brush.


2b.) Apply glass glitter.  Glass glitter is a classic and much-loved fruit embellishment.  The sugared finish of clear glass glitter makes fruit sparkle while highlighting the color beneath, like the red, pink and green pears below..  Alternatively, colored glass glitter applied in a graduated sprinkle adds sophistication.  We stuck with gold and silver for our sprinkles, like the burgundy and copper styles below.  A graduated sprinkle + clear glitter all over creates a dimensional look while slightly muting the pear's color, as seen on the light green and yellow pears below.

To apply one glitter all over:

-- Paint an even coat of glue on the whole fruit. 

-- Spoon glitter over glue and tap off excess.  Let dry, then brush off any excess with a dry paint brush.

To create a graduated sprinkle:

-- Paint an even coat of glue on the whole fruit. 

-- Wearing a glove, sprinkle colored glitter over the fruit in a selected area and allow some to fall organically onto the nearby areas.  Let dry, then brush off any excess with a dry paint brush.

To apply colored and clear glitters:

-- Paint an even coat of glue on the whole fruit. 

-- Wearing a glove, sprinkle colored glitter over the fruit in a selected area and allow some to fall organically onto the nearby areas.  Spoon clear glitter all over and tap off excess.  Let dry, then brush off any excess with a dry paint brush.

2c.) Apply mica flakes.  Mica flakes never fail to delight us with their sparkly vintage texture.  Each flake is slightly different and, as a natural mineral, has a few dark flecks and flakes mixed in that yield a look we love.  These darker pieces can be pulled out prior to application, or pulled off of a mica dusted fruit before the glue dries, if you prefer a more uniform flake color.  We used the flakes as-is but they can also be ground with a mortar and pestle if you want a finer texture.

We especially love the look of foil leaves paired with mica-encrusted pears that have been painted lighter colors.

-- Paint an even coat of glue on the areas you wish to mica.

-- Spoon mica over glue and tap off excess.  Let dry, then brush off any excess with a dry paint brush.  Any flakes that stick out too much can be gently pulled off.


3.) Create wooden stems.  If you don't have access to tiny wooden twigs, you can easily use wooden toothpicks and a little paint to create your own.  For interest and variation, paint toothpicks with a mix of gold and brown paint.  We used True Gold and Espresso.  You can mix the paints evenly for a uniform color, or mix with different ratios for more variation like would be found in the natural world.

Allow paint to dry then carefully cut pieces at the pointed end that measure 5/8" to 3/4" long.  Glue stems into top holes during the addition of hangers and leaves.


3. Add leaves and stems.

Second only to paint and embellishment, the addition of leaves provides an easy way to completely customize your pears.  Velvet and foil pair well with all embellishment styles for an elegant look, while lacquer looks retro and festive.  Leaf color plays a significant role and can take your pieces from realistic to fantasy.

Two easy leaf configurations are shown below left: 2 leaves with elevated stem and hanger with leaf  and stem.  These examples are the jumping off point for all leaf looks we employed in this tutorial.  We used exclusively brown paper-wrapped wires to emulate twigs when making hangers.  For the 2 leaves with elevated stem, the twisted wire acts as the stem instead of adding an additional wooden toothpick stem.

To add leaves and stems individually or in groups: fashion a wire hanger by twisting a paper-covered wire around a paint brush handle, trim ends, trim stems from desired leaves leaving enough to glue into the fruit (3/4" to 1"). 

To fashion "2 leaves with elevated stem" follow these steps as illustrated below right.

-- Twist a paper-covered wire at center around a paint brush handle.  Twist 2-3 times to make a hanger, leaving tails free.

-- Stack two leaves under hanger, lining up base of leaves with bottom of the hanger twist.

-- Twist all wires tightly together.  Twist portion should be 2-3" long.

-- Bend leaves downward into desired position.

-- Determine desired stem length and cut off excess.  Remember that part will go into the hole on top of the fruit, so a longer stem is better (you can trim more off but you can't add any back on).

To fashion "1 leaf with elevated stem" do as above, but with 1 leaf instead of 2.

To add any hanger, stem and leaf configuration to the fruit, apply glue into the top hole then place desired pieces in to hole, adjust placement and let dry.





Brown Paper Wrapped Craft Wire ~ 0.6mm ~ 8" long

Brown Paper Wrapped Craft Wire ~ 0.6mm ~ 8" long

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Green Paper Wrapped Craft Wire ~ 0.6mm ~ 8" long

Green Paper Wrapped Craft Wire ~ 0.6mm ~ 8" long

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White Paper Wrapped Craft Wire ~ 0.6mm ~ 8" long

White Paper Wrapped Craft Wire ~ 0.6mm ~ 8" long

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12 Green Velvet Leaves ~ 1" Long

12 Green Velvet Leaves ~ 1" Long

$5.95

12 Green Velvet Leaves ~ 1-1/2" Long

12 Green Velvet Leaves ~ 1-1/2" Long

$5.95

Clear German Glass Glitter ~ Fine Grit ~ 2 oz in Jar

Clear German Glass Glitter ~ Fine Grit ~ 2 oz in Jar

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Silver German Glass Glitter ~ Fine Grit ~ 2 oz in Jar

Silver German Glass Glitter ~ Fine Grit ~ 2 oz in Jar

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German Glass Glitter in Gold ~ Fine Grit ~ 2 oz in Jar

German Glass Glitter in Gold ~ Fine Grit ~ 2 oz in Jar

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Lacquered Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ Mixed Colors ~ Bundle of 15 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

Lacquered Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ Mixed Colors ~ Bundle of 15 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

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Brown Lacquered Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

Brown Lacquered Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

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Golden Yellow Lacquered Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

Golden Yellow Lacquered Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

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Purple Lacquered Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

Purple Lacquered Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

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Red Lacquered Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

Red Lacquered Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

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Teal Blue Lacquered Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

Teal Blue Lacquered Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

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Set of 12 Foil Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ GREEN

Set of 12 Foil Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ GREEN

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Set of 12 Foil Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ PALE GOLD

Set of 12 Foil Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ PALE GOLD

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Set of 12 Foil Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ RED

Set of 12 Foil Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ RED

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Set of 12 Foil Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ SILVER

Set of 12 Foil Paper Petite Rose Leaves ~ SILVER

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Lacquered Paper Rose Leaves ~ Mixed Colors ~ Bundle of 15 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

Lacquered Paper Rose Leaves ~ Mixed Colors ~ Bundle of 15 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

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Brown Lacquered Paper Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

Brown Lacquered Paper Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

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Purple Lacquered Paper Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

Purple Lacquered Paper Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

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Red Lacquered Paper Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

Red Lacquered Paper Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

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Teal Blue Lacquered Paper Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

Teal Blue Lacquered Paper Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

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Yellow Lacquered Paper Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

Yellow Lacquered Paper Rose Leaves ~ Bundle of 12 Old Fashioned Craft Leaves

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Set of 12 Foil Paper Rose Leaves ~ GREEN

Set of 12 Foil Paper Rose Leaves ~ GREEN

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Set of 12 Foil Paper Rose Leaves ~ PALE GOLD

Set of 12 Foil Paper Rose Leaves ~ PALE GOLD

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Set of 12 Foil Paper Rose Leaves ~ RED

Set of 12 Foil Paper Rose Leaves ~ RED

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Set of 12 Foil Paper Rose Leaves ~ SILVER

Set of 12 Foil Paper Rose Leaves ~ SILVER

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Set of 12 Small Velvet Pear Leaves ~ AUTUMN OMBRE

Set of 12 Small Velvet Pear Leaves ~ AUTUMN OMBRE

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Set of 12 Small Velvet Pear Leaves ~ DARK GREEN

Set of 12 Small Velvet Pear Leaves ~ DARK GREEN

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Set of 12 Small Velvet Pear Leaves ~ MOSS GREEN

Set of 12 Small Velvet Pear Leaves ~ MOSS GREEN

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Set of 12 Small Velvet Pear Leaves ~ PALE GREEN

Set of 12 Small Velvet Pear Leaves ~ PALE GREEN

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Set of 12 Small Velvet Pear Leaves ~ SAGE GREEN

Set of 12 Small Velvet Pear Leaves ~ SAGE GREEN

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Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ ARTIST MIX

Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ ARTIST MIX

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Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ AUTUMN OMBRE

Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ AUTUMN OMBRE

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Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ DARK GREEN

Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ DARK GREEN

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Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ MEDIUM GREEN

Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ MEDIUM GREEN

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Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ MIXED PINK

Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ MIXED PINK

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Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ PALE GREEN

Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ PALE GREEN

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Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ PALE YELLOW

Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ PALE YELLOW

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Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ SAGE GREEN

Set of 12 Petite Velvet Rose Leaves ~ SAGE GREEN

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