Later this month I will exhibiting at an arts and crafts event at the Baumber Walled Gardens near Horncastle so I’ve been making various small items, including these Tyvek Brooches, for the sales table. Since it’s invention by DuPont, Tyvek has found uses in a huge range of situations. The fact that it is much stronger than paper and many fabrics, as well as totally waterproof, has led to it being used as a replacement for these materials in many applications. It is widely used in the construction industry but you may be more familiar with seeing it used as packaging, FedEx envelopes are made from Tyvek paper. If you don’t have the envelopes you can buy packs of Tyvek quite cheaply from Amazon.
Tyvek paper is extremely strong and durable and great for creative crafts as it can be easily cut, coloured using any paint medium, heat distressed with an iron and stitched by machine or hand.
I made my first brooch using this material when I was looking for a contrasting texture to use with my wet felted collars.
To make a brooch I normally cut out a piece of painted Tyvek in an oval shape approximately 4” x 3” and lay it between two pieces of tracing paper. You can use baking parchment or copier paper but I find I get a clearer picture of what’s happening to the Tyvek when I use the tracing paper. Once it starts to react to the heat things happen very quickly!
With the iron on its hottest setting I hover over the Tyvek, just touching the paper but with absolutely no pressure on it. The heat causes the paper to shrink creating bubbles on the underside and ridges on the top side.
When the paper is peeled back you will find that it has stuck a little but it cools down quickly and can easily be peeled off.
The next step is to cut out a piece of felt slightly smaller than the brooch and attach it to the back using a hot glue gun. This allows me to add the hand stitched knots
Another piece of felt is cut out and has a brooch back sewn onto it before being stuck in place, again using the glue gun.
I love the fact that each brooch is totally unique as this method of working means that non of the designs could ever be repeated. My only problem is letting them go as I love them all!