Monday, September 29, 2014

Spray Painted Plastic Flower Pot Refresh

I'm still crazy busy with school this semester.  So here's another quick project.  I grabbed a couple of sad looking flower pots that were the same shape and size but were two different colors and totally beaten up.  I took the drain tray off the bottoms and washed dirt off of the pots.

Next I grabbed a few cardboard boxes and a can of black spray paint and went out onto the deck and gave them several coats.  Thin coats work the best on plastic, so don't be discouraged if it doesn't look like it's covering right away, just let it dry and keep on putting coats on until it's a good solid color.

Since it's fall here, I picked up some matching mums to plant in my newly refreshed flower pots, but the local Home Depot was pretty picked over and these sad plants look a bit like weeds right now. Hopefully with a little TLC I'll have have some flowers that look as nice as my newly painted pots!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Alcohol Ink Terra Cotta Pot

The Fall semester is in full swing.  I have a full load of classes and papers are coming in, so what's the best medicine? Why a quick craft of course!

Back when I was painting my ombre terra cotta pots, I found one that I had painted silver (by hand with craft paint), but it was beginning to chip and look a little sad in places, so I grabbed some silver spray paint and gave it a good coat to shine things up.

After my pot was painted, I set out my craft mat and grabbed my alcohol inks. I didn't want to overwhelm the pot with color, and I didn't know how well the ink would work on this surface, so I decided to just color the rim of the pot and see how it looked.

I picked out some bright complimentary colors and dotted them on to my applicator.  Then I applied them around the rim and onto the top edge of the pot.  To avoid the colors getting muddied and mixing, I grabbed a second piece of felt and dabbed on some colors to brighten and fill in what I had inked in my first pass.  After two trips around the pot, I was satisfied with the color.  

The ink didn't stipple and sit on the surface as much as it does on some super smooth surfaces, but it still turned out super cute. So after letting it dry a few minutes, I took it outside to seal it up.  I used a matt clear acrylic sealer and made a couple of passes by turning the box around and spraying along the rim of the pot.

Afterward, I ended up with a bright and shiny new decorated pot--now I just have to figure out what to do with it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall Pen Bouquet

Last week I posted about making some ombre painted terra cotta pots.  In a quest to find something useful to use them for (since they are kinda small for putting plants in for any length of time), I decided to make a pen bouquet. I have made these in the past.  They make great gifts for administrative assistants, receptionists, or anyone who works someplace where people steal your pens, but they are so cute, inexpensive, and easy to make, that you can easily make one for your own desk at home too.

You'll need:
silk flowers
a wire snipper
stick pens with caps removed
green floral tape
a pot
gems or river rocks

Start by cutting your silk flowers off of their bunches. I used a pliers that had a wire cutter built in, but anything capable of cutting wire should work. Leave a stem (at least a couple of inches long, but no longer than your pens) and if they have leaves, remove them or push them up to the flower's base. My flowers had the kind of leaves that could be slid up the stem, so I slid them up to the base of the flower.

If you've never used floral tape before, it takes a bit of getting used to, but it's nifty stuff.  You can buy it pretty much anywhere that sells craft supplies and it's usually pretty inexpensive.  Floral tape sticks to itself and it stretches, so to use it, start by wrapping a loop around the top of your pen and the stem of your flower with the tape tacky side out (yeah, counterintuitive I know). I say tacky because the tape isn't really sticky.  But as soon as it starts sticking to itself, you're good to go.  You can wind it up to the top edge of your pen and then just overlap it and stretch it as you go down the length of your pen. 

When you get to the writing tip of your pen, cut off about an inch extra and stretch it and stick it back onto itself to create a clean finished edge. Rub the edge down a bit and you're good to go. The stem is now secured to the pen and the pen now looks like a stem--handy.

When the pens and flowers are all attached, then you can arrange them in your flower pot.  My pot was pretty small, so I made 6 small fall colored mum pens and then stuck them in the pot filled with glass gems to keep them in place.  Now I have fun flower pens that no one will steal.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Craft Update: Mod Podge Dyed Mason Jars

Last year I tried my hand at a project that was floating around the internet--dying mason jars different colors using food coloring and Mod Podge.  It worked pretty well.  I was able to dye a jar a lovely shade of purple by mixing food coloring with Mod Podge and swirling it around and letting it dry, but over the past year, the color has been slowly changing.  By this summer, it has turned into a lovely shade of teal--all of the red food coloring has faded away.  I'm not sure if the HyVee food coloring I used is to blame, or if it's a liquid food coloring problem.  The jar is still pretty, even though it's a completely different color, but I thought I'd share this bizarre transformation with you all.  Anyone else try this project and have something similar happen?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ombre Terra Cotta Pots

I was digging through my old flower pots looking for something to plant some seedlings I had been growing in, and also looking for a new project, when I stumbled onto some small terra cotta pots.  I decided to spray paint them some bright colors, but I didn't know how to make them special or unique.  I decided to try an ombre effect with the spray paint. Like most of my projects, I had no idea how it would turn out.

I started by placing my pot inside a cardboard box. I sprayed one with a base color of bright purple and the other with a base color of orange (almost the same color as the terra cotta, but a bit brighter). I gave them each their own box since I was spraying them such different colors.

After a couple light coats with the pots turned over, I flipped them and painted the rim and just around the top of edge of the container.  I knew that whatever I used them for, I probably wouldn't need the bottom inside to be well coated, so I focused on the top and rim of the pots.

I let that dry for about an hour before I flipped it back over and sprayed the very bottom with a coordinating color.  For the orange pot, I sprayed red onto the bottom.

Then I carefully sprayed the bottom edge of the pot, but turning the box and focusing my spray right at the bottom of the pot and making light passes.  The lip of the top edge of the pot got a little red on it, but when you turn it rightside up, it just looks like a shadow and not like a mistake.

On the purple pot, I sprayed some teal paint, but the spray paint had a different kind of nozzle and I had to focus my paint on the bottom surface of the pot as it sprayed too wide of a beam to spray horizontally along the sides of the bottom, but it still turned out ok in the end (notice this pot got a little teal on the rim too).

Both pots ended up with two distinct colors.  I was so happy my little experiment worked out!  I put some glass beads into both pots and tried them out as pen cups, but I might have something else in store for them in the future.  They turned out really cute and were very easy to make--the toughest part was waiting between coats.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Craft Update: Gerber Daisy Wreath

Back in May I made a wreath out of some daisies that I dyed with alcohol ink to make a cute summer wreath.  It's been hanging on my front door for most of the summer and has faded to more end of summer hues.  I thought I'd post some before (on the left) and after the summer (on the right) photos so folks could see how the alcohol ink fades in the sun.  The pictures aren't all that different, but in person, the hues have become a bit more muddied in color and lighter as they were set in with the sun.  Overall it did pretty well considering I have had it hanging in the sun (although on the north side of our house) for 4 months pretty much non-stop. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Alcohol Ink Trivets

I found out that 6x6 porcelain tiles only cost 48 cents at Home Depot, so I had to buy a couple and alcohol ink them up. I laid out all of my alcohol inking stuff on a craft mat and got to work.  For this first one, I played around with bright colors and a can of air.

I started out with all similar colors and then decided to spice things up a bit. I had a ton of fun using the bright colors and watching how the air can moved the ink around.  When using the canned air the ink dries super quick and makes the ink easy to work with--no need to wait for a layer to dry before adding more ink.

Alcohol Ink Tile Trivets

I layered on lots of brights to fill the tile and jazz things up a bit.

Alcohol Ink Tile Trivets

After I was satisfied with all of the colors, I tried my hand at making a landscape.  It was much harder than I thought it would be. I tilted the tile and used rubbing alcohol to lighten up and remove in areas. I used a q-tip dipped in alcohol to clear off the area for the sun and then applied my brightest gold alcohol ink. I redid the orange-y red layer several times and never got it to look quite right, but it was a lot of fun to play with and I hope I can figure out how to really do landscapes in the future.

I was satisfied with the paint splotch tile, so I decided to seal it up.  I took it outside with some clear acrylic sealer and sprayed a couple of coats onto it.

Once it had dried, I cut out a piece of white felt the size of the tile and grabbed my tacky glue (a glue gun would work fine too).

I applied glue around the outside edge and then made an X and put a few dots in between, then I applied the felt onto the back of the tile.

I let it dry for a few minutes and I was done.

I don't know how heat resistant these tiles are with the acrylic sealer on them, so I'll probably stick with using it as a candle trivet, but I think it turned out super cute!

Alcohol Ink Tile Trivet