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Project

Sitting Pretties

These figures are created on metal roof flashing with collage fabric and paint. Once folded, they can sit on a mantle or bookshelf. This is a unique and whimsical way to display your family photos.

Materials

  • Lightweight metal roof flashing (.0101 ga)
  • Matte gel medium
  • Ink pen
  • Colored markers
  • Fabric
  • Extra trims: rickrack, ribbon, buttons, etc.
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencils
  • Aqua acrylic paint
  • Cream acrylic paint
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sandpaper
  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Sanding sticks
  • Sitting Pretties template

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Make a black-and-white photocopy of a photo with the person(s) looking at the camera.

  2. Step 2

    Cut out black-and-white photocopied head and neck.

  3. Step 3

    Sketch out bodies on tracing paper or use the Sitting Pretties template.

  4. Step 4

    Make a black-and-white photocopy of sketched-out bodies.

  5. Step 5

    Paint paper body using acrylic paint -- paint shirts one color and arms and legs cream; allow to dry.

  6. Step 6

    Cut out figure. If you added arms that will lay over the pants or skirt, also cut out where they lay over the pants or skirt.

  7. Step 7

    Cut fabric for skirts or shorts (use Sitting Pretties template or cut freehand). Also cut trims for belts and other details.

  8. Step 8

    Cut roof flashing to size, then sand lightly on both sides. Wipe with a dry paper towel to remove sanding residue.

  9. Step 9

    Place photocopied head, painted body, and fabric cutouts on the roof flashing to check placement.

  10. Step 10

    Glue all elements using a thick layer (like buttering bread) of matte gel medium applied with a paint brush; brush a final, thin layer of matte gel medium over entire surface, brushing away any bubbles under fabric. Allow to dry.

  11. Step 11

    Flip over and glue a fabric backing on reverse. Allow to dry.

  12. Step 12

    Cut out figure; sand if there are any sharp areas.

  13. Step 13

    Draw in details such as belt buckles, collars, and purses with thin markers; add rickrack trims to skirt.

  14. Step 14

    Use your hands to bend at waist and knees, then display.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, September 2007

Reviews (33)

  • 30 Aug, 2010

    smsski and wherearemyglasses: gimma a break...what color legs did you want her to say...the kid is cream colored! If she was doing another color she would have said so...this piece is about the project not pc..and ms "mantel"...maybe you should get a job as an editor. This is Martha Stewart ...talking about crafts...don't be so negative and picky.

  • 14 Aug, 2010

    Cream coloe for arms and legs?? How about brown people.?? Just say" skin colo"r and everbody will be happy.

  • 12 Jul, 2009

    "Mantle" is misspelled. It should be "mantel."

  • 7 Jul, 2009

    Claudine you are so generous to share your project so we too can make these sitting pretties!! They are awesome!!

  • 7 Jul, 2009

    what about our animals? i would love dog and bird templates? Martha can u do this?

  • 7 Jul, 2009

    I love this idea. What great Xmas gifts this would make. Now is the time to start making them and I'm going to do that. Thanks.

  • 4 Sep, 2008

    Ruth

    hi there! the template can be hard to find. I made a tinyurl to the link. here it is: http://tinyurl.com/sittingpretty

    hope that helps!
    claudine
    www.collageartist.com

  • 10 Jul, 2008

    Does anyone have the template for Claudine's "Sitting Pretties"? I have searched this web site high and low! I even looked in Claudine's book and they are not there! Thanks so much!

  • 25 Apr, 2008

    I have been making these for birthdays since I discovered this site last year.
    And yesterday presented my 81 year old mother in law and her twin sister with their sitting pretties.
    They are such fun to make but 1 problem here in England I cannot get the flashing I have searched the internet but with no luck.
    I have to use large aluminuim trays and try and adapt which is fine but I dont think as neat.
    When I discovered this site and Claudine while browsing very late one night I was so impressed that I ordered her books the following day and they are now my favourite bedtime reading.

    For anyone who has not tried this project give it a go and have fun and all you lucky ones in the USA have the perfect materials readily available

  • 16 Apr, 2008

    Isn't metal roof flashing very "sharp"?? Won't little girls be tempted to play with these things that look like "dolls"?? I would think it would be much better to use another material in place of "sharp metal roof flashing". Go to a craft store, there "should" be a better substitute. Just a thought. I know that when I was a child under 10, that I would have definitely wanted to play with these, ESPECIALLY if they looked like me and my family. I think it would be VERY tempting for a child.

  • 31 Mar, 2008

    yes you can use white glue that will work too. Matte Gel is an acrylic medium that dries waterproof and works as a sealer as well. but use what you have :) have fun!
    claudine hellmuth www.collageartist.com

  • 19 Mar, 2008

    What is Matte Gel Medium? I couldn't find it at Joanne's Fabrics, Lowes or Home Depot. Can I use all purpose white glue or amazing goop instead?

  • 10 Mar, 2008

    opps! the link gets cut off in my comment box, here is a tiny url:

    http://tinyurl.com/2waar6

    just copy and paste the above link for the template on the Martha Stewart web site.
    claudine hellmuth www.collageartist.com

  • 10 Mar, 2008

    sunlake -
    you can download the template here:
    http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/2007Q4/tv3004_09...

    just copy and paste the above link :)
    the template is also on the written instructions page as well.
    claudine hellmuth
    www.collageartist.com

  • 10 Mar, 2008

    I cannot find the template for the Sitting Pretties on Martha's website. Please advise whre I find them. Thanks.

  • 8 Mar, 2008

    So sorry you are having trouble watching the video. Maybe after the weekend they will be able to correct the problem and it will play properly. Keeping fingers crossed it works for you!

  • 8 Mar, 2008

    This is a cute project. However, directions poorly wirtten; where were the editors? Also, author seems tt think that all flesh is "cream". I used pencils instead of acrylic paint

  • 7 Mar, 2008

    I also tried to watch the video but it cut in and out......very annoying......would love to see how to make the sitting pritties.

  • 7 Mar, 2008

    I also tried to watch the video but it cut in and out......very annoying......would love to see how to make the sitting pritties.

  • 7 Mar, 2008

    I have been trying to watch the video for the sitting pretties and I have not yet been able to watch the whole video. This is something I am so excited to make. Would really like to see the video before i start to make one. I am wondering if there has been a problem for anyone else trying to watch it?

  • 6 Mar, 2008

    I loved!!! the idea on the show, I think is very fun do with the kids and family, and a wonderful gift idea. Thanks Martha for having your claudine idea on the show. Love it!!! Love it!!

  • 6 Mar, 2008

    I just saw the show with Claudine Hellmuth last night and it was wonderful. I have been a fan of Claudine's for a couple of years now (not as long as I have loved Martha) and she always has the cutest ideas. Thanks for having her on the show and maybe she can come back again soon.

  • 4 Mar, 2008

    I am so thrilled that you are all enjoying this project! Just an update with a message to answer some questions:

    The flashing is VALLEY ROLL flashing, Lowes sells Union brand, Home Depot sells Gibraltar. Neither label says the gauge anywhere on the label. As long as you get the kind that is silver it will be thin enough to cut with regular scissors. When you are at the store you should feel the top layer at the corner of the roll and it should be easy to bend back and forth with your fingers. Then you will know you have the right one!

    claudine hellmuth
    www.collageartist.com

  • 4 Mar, 2008

    I am so thrilled that you are all enjoying this project! Just an update with a message to answer some questions:

    The flashing is VALLEY ROLL flashing, Lowes sells Union brand, Home Depot sells Gibraltar. Neither label says the gauge anywhere on the label. As long as you get the kind that is silver it will be thin enough to cut with regular scissors. When you are at the store you should feel the top layer at the corner of the roll and it should be easy to bend back and forth with your fingers. Then you will know you have the right one!

    claudine hellmuth
    www.collageartist.com

  • 2 Mar, 2008

    I love Claudine's work, so was excited to see her on Martha's show! I'd love to see her again! This project is easy and so much fun to do! My next one is for my 90 yr old Aunt. I can't wait to see how it turns out! Thanks Claudine and Martha!

  • 2 Mar, 2008

    Love the segment. The project was easy to do and my kids loved it. They see themselves sitting on the shelf and say "look I can sit on the shelf." Thank you Caudine--great idea. Would love to see more of your great crafts.

  • 2 Mar, 2008

    I was searching for this segment when my search brought me here and I want to comment. I saw this segment last year and LOVED it! Claudine Hellmuth is a delightful instructor- she's funny, easygoing, enthusiastic and completely positive that anyone can make these. She's right. She was thorough and clear in her directions and when I did this project at home for Christmas, it looked every bit as artistic and professional as hers! Yaaaay! I'm looking forward to more projects from her!

  • 23 Nov, 2007

    hi there! so glad you enjoyed my segment! I just wanted to answer your questions!

    Sorry you had trouble finding the right weight of roof flashing. My brand does not mention the weight anywhere on the label and we had a terrible time figuring out what gauge is was. After much research we discovered if you just buy the lightest weight also called "economy" you should be fine!

    You can use any type of gel medium or glue that you prefer to complete this project! have fun!

    claudine hellmuth
    www.collagea

  • 18 Nov, 2007

    I love this craft so much! The only problem I had was finding the correct weight of flashing because Claudine did not mention that it comes in all weights. After watching the video, I figured out how to make this and it is darling!

  • 18 Nov, 2007

    I love this craft so much! The only problem I had was finding the correct weight of flashing because Claudine did not mention that it comes in all weights. After watching the video, I figured out how to make this and it is darling!

  • 18 Nov, 2007

    I love this craft so much! The only problem I had was finding the correct weight of flashing because Claudine did not mention that it comes in all weights. After watching the video, I figured out how to make this and it is darling!

  • 12 Nov, 2007

    Unable to locate Matte Gel Medium in my area, May I use Liquid Medium?

  • 12 Nov, 2007

    Unable to locate Matte Gel Medium in my area, May I use Liquid Medium?