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    Craft Wars: The Orange Challenge

    A statement necklace takes on a patterned tabletop, both incorporating this season's hottest hue.

    This spring orange is hardly just a fruit — it's a huge trend that's popping up everywhere from handbags to jeans to home décor. So for this installment of Craft Wars, we asked two top crafters to come up with something — anything — that was orange and homemade. They came back with one wearable item (a statement necklace) and one fabulous home item (a geometric-print table top).

    First, Jennifer from the Naughty Secretary Club made a fabric necklace inspired by her love of patchwork.

    Here's how she did it.

    1. Gather supplies. You'll need yarn, fabric scraps, a glue gun, chain, jump rings (literally just these dirt cheap wirey metal circles), pliers, scissors, and a large pendant.

    2. Collect your favorite fabric scraps — old tee-shirts, bad curtains, whatever — and cut them into roughly 2" x 1" strips. Line up the strips and attach them end-to-end with a glue gun. To create three flowers, you'll want three strips of varying lengths.

    See! Fabric strips! Easy!

    3. Form your flowers. Starting at one end, fold the strip in half (with wrong sides facing each other) and start twisting, rolling, and gluing. No need to get too fussy about it, just do what feels right. Continue until you have a flower in any size you want.

    4. Cover your pendant or backing. The necklace shown features a black plastic pendant, but you could use anything: a large single earring, key chain, wooden disc, a plate — whatever strikes your fancy! To keep up with the orange theme, I wrapped mine in orange yarn, using a glue gun to attach the yarn to the backside. Then use the glue gun to attach your flowers.

    5.Put a chain on it. Using two large jump rings and pliers (for bending them around the chain), hang the pendant from a chain of your choice. Since my challenge was orange I opted for this thick vintage orange chain. You can see how this trendy color stands out amongst all my other necklaces!

    And here's how it looks on. Perfect with a white summer tee!

    Next, Kara from Kara from Kara Paslay Designs made a cutsom tabletop pairing orange triangles with teal and navy blue triangles. This one is less glue gun and more electric saw, so get your toolshed ready.

    Here are the steps:

    1. Buy a piece of glass cut to the size of your tabletop from a local glass shop, or buy and cut a piece of Plexiglass yourself. The glass in this tabletop came from Home Depot. Almost everyone has a trusty Home Depot around, right?

    2. Cut your glass if necessary. Use a jigsaw blade that is designated to cut metal. The smaller "teeth" will allow you to cut through the piece more easily. Keep the edge very well supported to prevent cracking.

    3. Choose a pattern to paint onto your glass. The options are endless and you can keep it simple or make it a bit more complicated like the triangles shown. So get a bunch of contact paper, cut it into triangles (or whatever design you prefer) and cover your glass piece with them.

    4. Remove some of the triangles to paint on your first color. Then, the fun part! Spray paint through the openings. Use painter's tape in spots where the triangles didn't line up perfectly (it happens, don't beat yourself up). A guard (piece of cardboard) is also recommended so you don't end up spraying everything around your glass orange or blue or whatever.

    5. Once your first layer is dry, take off another round of triangle stickers and spray your second color. The spray paint will overlap on the back of your glass, but on the front your triangles will stay crisp.

    6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with however many colors you desire. You can also leave some triangles unpainted to allow the white of the table to show through. Allow your tabletop to dry — and voila! When all your friends come over and say, "Neat table, WHERE'S IT FROM?" You can say "I MADE IT THAT'S WHAT'S UP."

    OPTIONAL STEP 7: Change it up! If you tire of your pattern or just want a change of scenery, use paint thinner (if you used Plexiglass) or a razor blade (if you used glass) to remove the paint and start over with a clean slate! There's always more contact paper where yours came from.

    —Pippa Armbrester is a master crafter and writer. Follow her adventures in quilting and life on her website.