My Lace Onion

A few months ago, my sister Rose, posted a very cool link on her blog. The link was for a lace lamp or light fixture. If you look at the link it is gorgeous and her instructions seemed simple and clear. I could do this! So the day that I was at thrift shops for hours, I did stumble upon a whole pile of beautiful doilies and they looked like they would be the perfect fit for the project. And so I embarked. Here is what I did step by step:

Supplies: On the blog it said to use wallpaper glue. I didn’t have any hanging around the house and so I looked it up online and found a recipe that seemed like it would do the trick.

Step One: First you make your paste. My first time around I used 2.5 cups flour, 8 cups water and 1/2 cup sugar. Following the online instructions I put the dry ingredients in the pot first, and mixed them thoroughly. Then I turned on the heat and slowly added the water. Well I guess I didn’t add it slowly enough because I quickly got a lot of lumps and couldn’t keep up with the way the mixture was expanding and starting to get very hot.

I paniced, turned the element to low and stirred and whisked feverishly trying to get rid of the lumps. However, I was too late and it started to burn and turn into more of a lumpy pudding instead of a liquidy paste. Fail.

I then decided to make another batch, this time following a different recipe. This recipe said to boil 2 cups of water, while mixing 6 Tbsp of flour, and 1/3 cup water in a separate bowl until there is no lumps. Once the water is boiled, add the mixture and let it boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and add 8 Tbsp of sugar. Let cool. I followed closely and this is what I got. It definitely looked better and more of a paste instead of a pudding.

Once the paste was cooled I began.
First, you brush on the paste on your doilies so that they are totally soaked.

Then you place each doily on your balloon, making sure that the edges overlap. Coat with another layer of paste. Repeat.

When all the doilies are put on, coat the whole balloon again so that you make sure you have a good seal. Tie a string around the top of the balloon and hang to dry.

After I had the balloon hanging, I decided to go back to my pudding mix and do something with it. It was going to be a pain to try to get rid of on its own and so I thought I should bake something with it. It was sweet, edible and was basically like “white sauce” that you use over waffles (for those of us who grew up with Mennonite grandmothers). So I called my grandma, told her the whole story and she suggested a layered Lady Finger cake. Perfect! So I got the Lady Finger cookies, layered them with the pudding, covered in chocolate sauce and put it in the fridge to set. In the evening we tried it, and let me just say the cake was a lot easier to dispose of then the plain pudding.

After two nights of drying, the balloon was dry and so I decided to take the plunge and pop the balloon. The moment of truth:

The lace collapsed with the balloon. I don’t know what I did wrong, but the lace did not separate from the balloon at all. Brent and I spent probably half an hour trying to get all the balloon from inside the lace.

When all was said and done, it was a lumpy, hollowed disaster!

One side worked:

While the bottom and the other side did not:

I tried to hang it, but it really didn’t look good, and so I resorted to putting it ontop of the fridge with a plant in it. It’s the shape of an onion and so I now call it my lace onion.

I don’t know what went so wrong. Apparently I can just wash the whole thing and start again. I may see if I can buy the actual wallpaper paste as I don’t think my own concoction was a good idea. If any one ventures in trying it for themselves, please let me know how it works out. Better luck to you!


4 thoughts on “My Lace Onion

  1. Sue! How hilarious. I think it looks good hanging though – and once you put a light bulb in it, it would look awesome. But the squished plant-holder version is a little ridiculous… 🙂

  2. Thanks for your honesty Rose 🙂 We had Jon and Char over tonight and I left the “pot-holder” version up to show them. We all had a good laugh about it. I think I may try to throw it in the wash and start again. I am determined to make it work!

  3. awe sue. that’s too bad. maybe the lace is too thick? i think i heard something about putting oil or something to keep the balloon from sticking. not sure though. maybe try a small version first?

    great attempt!

  4. I have also failed at this. I have tried all kinds od adhesives and luck..The doilies just fall off or break apart when dry. Very disappointed. Were trying to make for my daughters engagement party. Five very creative people worked on them….not even one turned out right.

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