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  • #16
    Originally posted by docat View Post

    You can make these brooches to use until you get the silver ones. They really turn out nice hitting them with a little German Silver spray paint. If you click on the link, you can see what they look like. NOTE: the 2 on the far right are the type I make for the blouses. The blingy ones were just an experiment my girls did for fun with crystals and such.

    We generally make the kind with the flower on the right. Anyway, these are made out of the bottom of a soda pop can...hence the dome shape. I use a hole saw to put the hole in. I make them into brooches then by adding a brooch pin. Works for us anyway...at least until we can afford some silver.
    Those are wonderful, Docat! How did you cut them out? Tinsnips, maybe? How do you keep the sharp edges from tearing the blouse fabric underneath?

    (I can imagine your DD's doing the rhinestones. One of my DD's had one of those little machines that set rhinestones (I think it was called a Bedazzler). Any fabric that she could fit under that thing got all sparkly!)
    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

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    • #17
      Originally posted by LeannB View Post
      Those are wonderful, Docat! How did you cut them out? Tinsnips, maybe? How do you keep the sharp edges from tearing the blouse fabric underneath?

      (I can imagine your DD's doing the rhinestones. One of my DD's had one of those little machines that set rhinestones (I think it was called a Bedazzler). Any fabric that she could fit under that thing got all sparkly!)

      I used common kitchen shears, the type you get at Walmart for 2 dollars in the kitchen section...they are usually used to cut chicken up, but they are heavy duty and surprisingly cheap and work great. I've used the same pair for hundreds of them.

      Here's the best way to do it and a shorter way to do it:

      Best way:

      Freeze some water in a used pop can.
      Put something like a dishtowel to protect your sink and get a hole saw in your drill. We had a bunch of them around, but you can get the drill bit at any hardware store. You get one for metal. Stick it on your drill (I stuck mine on a battery operated drill driver!). Drill your hole in the middle. Aluminum cuts really easy.

      After you have your hole cut, let the thing melt. Dump out the water. Then get a nail file and file the hole so it is smooth. Any sort of file works.

      Then you get your kitchen sheers and poke a hole in the side of the can to get it started and then carefully go around the edge, right to where it starts doming out. I go around a few times, getting closer and closer to the edge. You'll find that those sheers cut very smoothly. But then I get some regular sandpaper and do the edges. It ends up smooth.

      Then take the sandpaper and rough the whole thing up.

      Next take a pink FOAM flower sticker from the kids' craft section at walmart. Those flowers are a nice size and they give some texture. They come in a pack with leaves too. Whole pack is like 3 dollars and makes a bunch of them. It's just something we found that would work.

      Then we took a regular paper hole puncher and punched a hole in the sticker. Then we placed the sticker over the concho hole, and the hole from the punch is smaller, so what we did is took a dowel rod and shoved it through there so that the backing of the sticker went through the hole tightly and the rest of the sticker ends up stuck to the underside for a smooth hole and a nicely finished look.

      Then because we had roughed it up with sandpaper earlier, it will take metal paint. I get German Silver paint. Then after it is dry, I usually hit it with some clear for protection.

      One thing my daughter did on some of them that looked pretty good...she took a black sharpie and outlined the outer edge of the flower. That gave it some depth and you could see it easier. She did that after the spraypaint and before the clear coat on top. Sealed up, it looks really good.

      Then we got brooch findings from walmart. To reinforce, we used a glue gun because it came with a sticky bar, and that's fine for flat objects, but this is domed. We kind of built up the glue a bit to make it work. We also did some with plain safety pins.

      The blingy ones were actually crystal stickers that they had gotten when Michael's was closing out some paper craft items. Hitting them with the clear, seals them in place. We hit them with clear on the back too, because on some of them, some sticky was in the hole area. Worked OK, but I wasn't too fond of the blingy ones. The others worked great...also, when you make them, you want to make a lot of them that match.

      They had some of those blingy stickers, but not enough to make the many conchos needed for one blouse.

      I haven't tried it yet, but I am thinking about making some with the smaller soda cans. They would make a smaller concho...but in reality, if you have a steady hand (which I don't have) you could cut the regular ones into a smaller concho.

      Oh, and the shorter way to do it is to eliminate the frozen water in the can part and just use an empty can. That will work, and in fact I stopped freezing them. If I spoil a can, I just throw it in the recycle bin. You have a little better control when they are frozen, but if you are doing a hundred of them, you'd rather just get it done and be through with it. Out of a hundred, I might spoil 8 or 10. We have so many...it's no big deal.
      Last edited by docat; 03-10-2013, 09:28 AM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by LeannB View Post

        How wonderful to have elders who could tell you tidbits like that! We have lost ours. Everything we know we have had to dig up from research. It would be so nice to talk to someone who remembered the old ways.

        I have one aunt by blood living. But evenso, I've had to do research too. I believe we should share more. That's why I want to give out my patterns and do tutorials and such.

        LOL and probably a hundred years from now an ethnographer will be looking at the archives of Powwows and learning how to make aluminum can conchos. LOL For us, it is because Silver is expensive, but really we are just doing what our ancestors did...using what materials were available to us.

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        • #19
          I used to own a Delaware blouse with a large ruffled cape on it. Somewhere I have the pattern for making one, from an old hobbyist magazine. The blouse is similar to Potawatomi examples I have seen.

          I have made lots of Hochunk Winnebago style blouses with ribbonwork and brooches on them. To be traditional, you definitely need the underarm gussets. Have made the more tailored armhole too when requested. If you are going to put brooches on the top, it is a good idea to line the yoke with an extra layer of fabric to help hold the extra weight.

          Ring brooches are less expensive than the wider washer brooches and might be an option for you docat.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Czechy View Post
            I used to own a Delaware blouse with a large ruffled cape on it. Somewhere I have the pattern for making one, from an old hobbyist magazine. The blouse is similar to Potawatomi examples I have seen.

            I have made lots of Hochunk Winnebago style blouses with ribbonwork and brooches on them. To be traditional, you definitely need the underarm gussets. Have made the more tailored armhole too when requested. If you are going to put brooches on the top, it is a good idea to line the yoke with an extra layer of fabric to help hold the extra weight.

            Ring brooches are less expensive than the wider washer brooches and might be an option for you docat.

            Yeah, I definitely need brooches. The thing is, I need a ton of them. I wish they made them in aluminum and made them in bulk. LOL

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