Anyone else use whatever they have nearby as pattern weights? I have used nearly everything, but never an actual pattern weight! Most recently I was using the washers out of a backyard washer tossing game and they were nearly perfect, though a little large. So I set out to make my own pattern weights and I am here to share that process with you.
I will warn you, this project is a bit involved, but the results are beautiful and so fun to personalize to your own work space. Luckily, there a few points along the way that you can stop and still have functioning pattern weights, but if you make it to the end you won’t regret it.
If you plan to go the entire way with me, here is what you will need:
12 Washers – I used heavy weigth 2″ washers with a 1/2″ center
Card Stock Paper – Go crazy or not, whatever you want!
Mod Podge – any kind will do
2 Part Resin Material – I found mine at Lowe’s
Small Round Wooden Plaque – Mine is 5″
1/2″ Wooden Dowel – at least 6″ long
2″ Circle Punch (optional, but extremely helpful!)
Craft Room Supplies: exacto knife/scissors, paintbrush
Kitchen Supplies: disposable cups, plastic spoons or popsicle sticks, straw
Garage Supplies: Stain and polyurethane or paint, wood glue, drill, 7/16″ wood drill bit
I went to Lowe’s and dug through the drawers of washers until I found one that I felt would be ideal. These are nice and heavy, and a good size. You can certainly play around with other sizes, but these seem to work well for me.
To make things easy for myself, I bought a 2″ paper punch and used that to cut circles for my pattern weights.
I chose 3 coordinating sheets of card stock paper to use for my pattern weights, and cut 4 from each. I love that even the circles cut from the same sheet are not identical.
I used a washer as a template to mark the inner circle on the back side of the card stock, then with an exact-o knife, I carefully cut out this circle.
I then applied a thin layer of mod podge to attach my circles to the washers. I also applied a thin coat on top. Once dry, I went over with another coat of mod podge on top to ensure that the paper was completely coated.
STOP! If you have had enough and are happy with your weights, then you could easily use them as is. But if you are crazy like myself, you don’t go part way, you go all the way! So, all my fellow crazy crafters…. continue on.
This is the resin that I picked up at my local Lowe’s, though I am sure you can pick it up at any hardware store or craft store. You won’t need much, so my quart size box is a tad overkill!
I am sure that all 2 part resins have similar instructions, but I advise you to follow the instructions that come with whichever brand you buy. My instructions called for equal parts of resin and hardner, that were then poured into 1 cup and stirred for 6 minutes. The mixture was then poured into a new cup and stirred for another 6 minutes…. I told you you could stop above, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
I worked on a couple washers at a time for this step. Spooned a little resin on to a washer, then on to the next. I then went back to the first and worked out the little air bubbles and added more resin if needed. I did this until all 12 washers were covered and the bubbles were gone. Then you wait until they have cured, which for mine was 72 hours I believe.
I was a bit heavy handed with the resin application which led to resin spilling over the sides of the washers. The resin hardened to the bottom of the washers where there was contact with the cooling rack. Since you don’t want to potentially snag the fabric you are working with, I took a putty knife and chiseled the drips off.
STOP! Last chance to get off the crazy craft train. Now that you have beautiful shiny resin washer pattern weights, you can go on and use them. But where would you put them when you aren’t using them?!? No worries, I’ve got you covered.
I bought a round circle plaque from Joanns and a 1/2″ dowel. You will also need a 7/16″ wood drill bit, stain and polyurethane or paint to finish, and wood glue (not pictured)
I marked the center of my plaque,then used the 7/16″ bit to drill completely through it. I went with a slightly smaller drill bit to ensure a nice tight fit. I used coarse sand paper to sand down the end of my dowel until it fit into the hole I drilled. I then cut down my dowel to fit my washers and allow some extra on top for moving it around. I sanded each piece, then stained with my favorite color stain. Once dry, I glued my dowel in with just a dab of wood glue. A little goes a long ways. Once the glue has cured, I coated with 2 thin layers of matte polyurethane.
Ta-Da! Easy, right?! Now go sew with your pretty pattern weights!