Monday, January 26, 2015

Valentine's Day Frosted Pickle Jar

The idea for this craft struck me while eating a hamburger.  Perhaps it was the pickle connection.  I knew that I wanted to make something Valentine's related with this cleaned out pickle jar, but I didn't know what. Then it struck me--heart polka dots. And I was pretty sure I had some heart stickers lying around leftover in the Valentine's decoration box. And sure enough, I did.  So I had everything I needed.

You'll need:
Frosted Glass Spray Paint
a jar
heart shaped stickers
and spray paint to cover whatever design is on your lid

I stuck my stickers on the jar in a random staggered pattern making sure the edges were secure so there wouldn't be much feathered bleed through.

Next I took it outside (yay warm snap!) and sprayed it in a cardboard box.  I gave it two good coats and then flipped it over to spray along the top edge before bringing it back inside. Then I gave the lid a couple of coats of red paint to cover up the dancing pickle. If you don't want to paint your lid, you can leave the jar as a luminary or candle holder, but having the lid means you can use it as a candy jar too.

Lastly I carefully peeled the stickers off of the jar. This was the hardest part of the whole project.  If you scratch too much along the edge, it might scratch off some of the frosted spray paint, and soaking the glass in water could make some of the frosted paint come off (since glass is such a smooth surface), so peel carefully and then you'll have an adorable polka dotted heart design.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mod Podge and Paint Window Clings

So I didn't get a post up last week for a few reasons. The first being that school started again.  But also because we started a puzzle over New Years on the kitchen table where I usually craft because it's the only place in the house with decent light.  This puzzle is quite possibly the world's hardest 1000 piece puzzle known to man (ok not really, but you get the idea), we're not even a quarter done with it after nearly 3 weeks.  It's a photomosaic puzzle which means there are no definitive edges to the images and the tiny photos repeat and are multiple get the idea, it's crazy hard. So I was already behind on my project...but then it just kept getting more problematic.

So I took to the little table in our front room to whip up a quick project, and well, in addition to being dark, it didn't go as planned. So another strike in getting the project posted to the blog. I am really on a roll, but I figured I'd let you see what happened so you can make your own adjustments and perhaps come up with something better.

I decided to make some window clings out of Mod Podge and craft paint. I saw this project on the Mod Podge Rocks blog a while back and knew that I wanted to try it. They spread their paint and mod podge out onto plastic blanks. I don't have any, so I thought parchment paper would be a good substitute. I should have used my craft mat, but I didn't want to ruin it if it didn't peel off. 

So I grabbed a container of mod podge that was just starting to dry out and dumped the contents onto the parchment.  You can see a few lumps below--I picked those out with my pallette knife before stirring in two shades of red craft paint.  Then I smoothed it out into a sheet.

I also managed to get a little more out of the container so I did some in purple. I noticed pretty much immediately that the parchment paper was starting to ripple from the water content of the paint and glue.  I hoped it would smooth out as everything dried, but it didn't. The inspiration post said to let it dry over night, but mine was still wet the next day. So I let it dry for two days.

Since the glue and paint were rippled, I figured this whole project was a bust, but I thought I'd try peeling the paint up came right off in one sheet.  So I'm confident if it was attempted on a different surface that it would be more smooth.

Another problem I had was that the red sheet didn't mix up very well.  It looked solid opaque when I spread it out, but apparently it wasn't.  So that mixed with the wrinkles made for a very artsy looking sheet of paint and glue.

I went ahead and cut out some hearts (I just printed a template out from the internet and cut around it so I would get the proportions correct).  And they were not as bad as I thought they'd be.  They are still really lumpy, but they kind of looked marbled and intentionally lumpy...or at least that's what I told myself.

So then I tried to stick them up on the window. They didn't want to stick. I remembered reading that warming them up would help, so I breathed on them until they stuck to the window, but they fell down shortly after I took the photos.

So yeah, this project was problem after problem. I learned--don't use parchment (and probably not wax paper either), be sure to mix the paint in thoroughly and spread it as even as you can, It will probably take a couple days to dry, and lastly that you may need a hair dryer to get these to stick--but perhaps if they weren't so lumpy, that wouldn't be such a big problem.

Update 2016: These are also not very reusable. I found them in the bottom of my box of Valentine's Day Decorations broken into pieces--they were completely brittle after 1 year.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Most Popular Posts of 2014

Happy New Year! The holidays have been crazy, and with time off from school and work, I hardly know what day it is. To reflect on the last year before I dive head first into the new one, I decided to examine my most visited posts of 2014.  I was a bit surprised by some of these, it turns out that the alcohol ink projects are well received. So here they are--the 5 most popular craft tutorials of 2014!

The #1 most visited post from 2014 was my alcohol ink glass gems project. These clear glass gems were so much fun to ink up and turned out great!

#2 this year is this martial arts belt display vase. Clearly there are lots of folks out there looking for an easy way to store and display martial arts belts. This project was going great until I tried to put the last couple of belts in the vase where the glass started getting thicker--so just be sure you have a vase that will fit your belts and you'll be good to go.

#3 for 2014 is my alcohol ink decorated glass vase. As with all of the alcohol ink projects, this one was cheap and fast and turned out beautiful.  I can't wait to decorate more glass candle holders and vases.

My #4 post of the year was a revisit to making alcohol ink washer necklaces which is my most popular post on the blog of all time (so far).

My #5 most popular post from 2014 was this project decorating DIY shrinky dinks with alcohol ink. I didn't think this was one of my strongest alcohol ink projects of the year, so I was surprised that it had enough visits to make my top 5. But it sure is fun to make something out of an empty bakery container (and getting to eat the cookies is a plus too).

Well that's the year in review.  I can't wait to share more crafting projects with you in 2015!