Monday, February 23, 2015

Alcohol Ink Glass Gem Magnets

About a year ago I inked up a bunch of glass gems. I turned the most colorful ones into necklaces, but I was left with quite a few pretty gems and no use, well I recently got some tiny neodymium magnets and I knew just what to do with them first. I dug out my leftover glass gems and picked the birghtest of the smaller ones (the standard 1/2 inch-ish sized ones that you can pick up anywhere). Click on the link above to the original post to see photos of the inking process, but I simply put ink on the applicator and decorated the backs of the gems until I liked the color. I sealed these with mod podge because I made them in February--in warmer months I'd probably use clear acrylic spray.

You can see the tiny stack of magnets in the photo above.  They are strong little magnets and a bit of a pain to work with since they are so small.  After one failed attempt at gluing, I decided my best option was to spread the gems out on a plate, put a dollop of E6000 glue on each one, and then carefully pry off the magnet from the stack, set the stack down, and apply the magnet to the glass gem. The magnets are so attractive to each other that if they are too close, they'll pull right out of the glue.

I ended up having to re-glue about 3 of them before I learned to keep them apart. Then I let them dry on the plate overnight before using them so they wouldn't pull out of the glue again.

When they were dry, I immediately put them on my fridge. These magnets are great for holding up papers. I would be very careful with these magnets though--don't craft with them with kids and keep them in a sealed container, they are a very swallowable size. That said, they work great and I look forward to making more magnetic stuff out of them.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tip for Cleaning Wax out of Candle Holders

On Monday I posted a craft using some recycled Glade candle holders decorated with alcohol ink. Well, this is how I cleaned them out.

Step 1: Put in freezer and forget about them (the forgetting is optional)
Step 2: Take out of freezer and grab an old butter knife.  Pop wax out.
Step 3: Run under increasingly warmer water (or let the glass return to room temperature and crank the water to hot right away).  Once the hot water has softened any remaining wax, use a paper towel to clean and polish out the candle holders.
Step 4: Admire your work and decide what to do with your clean candle holders.

Putting the candle in the freezer helps to solidify the wax and helps it pull away from the edges of the glass.  This method doesn't work as well for those candles you have burned down to practically nothing...but it did help keep the tiny disk of wax together as I scraped at it with my butter knife, so it's a helpful step to freeze them regardless.  The candle above that had a fair bit of wax in it, popped right out.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Alcohol Ink Candle Holders

I love the holiday scented Glade candles--they're the best.  So after the holidays I always have a few candle holders with wax left in the bottom.  So I cleaned a couple (I'll share my trick on Thursday) and decided to decorate them with alcohol ink.

I knew I wanted to decorate them with mostly red to go in my family room since it has red accents.  So I grabbed some red and gold alcohol ink and got to work.

My first pass was designed just to get some coverage and see how the colors mixed together. I stamped the outside of the candle holders from top to bottom and tried to get both candle holders covered without having to add more ink (so the colors would match in the end). As you can see, it was pretty one dimensional and a little pink looking. So for the second and third passes I added blue and then a teal color to my mix of reds and finished them off with metallic gold.With each layer, the ink became a little more stippled instead of running together like in the first coat.

For some reason the metallic gold I added doesn't show up at all in the pictures, but it looks like gold leaf scattered throughout--it turned out really neat. These were fun to decorate and look great with candles lit inside of them. Don't forget to spray them with some sealer if they'll be in an area that might get spilled on (especially by adult beverages or alcohol based products like hair spray or rubbing alcohol).

Monday, February 9, 2015

DIY Valentine's Day Wrapping Paper

When I was a poor student I made quite a few batches of DIY wrapping paper. All you need is a roll of craft paper from the dollar store, some craft paint, and some foam paint stamps. I have been lucky finding rolls of paper on clearance and at dollar stores and I haven't made much wrapping paper lately.

I decided that Valentine's Day was a perfect holiday to get back on the wrapping paper crafting bandwagon since Valentine's wrapping paper is not that common. When you do find some, it's usually not cheap. Since I have a pretty strict dollar a roll policy for wrapping paper (unless it's amazing wrapping paper), I usually end up wrapping V-day gifts in tissue paper.  So I thought it was time to upgrade!

I dug through my paint stamps (I picked up most of these paint stamps at the goodwill outlet a while back or on clearance at various stores) and found a few Valentine's Day stamps and put some paint onto a paper plate. Then you just need to mix your colors together however you like and paint the stamp with a foam brush.

Then you can stamp away!  I stamped the "I love you" stamps with red paint first. The more intricate the stamps, the more careful you need to be about making sure the stamps are fully covered with paint and evenly pressed down--but even with script like these, they still look pretty good even when they aren't perfect.

Next I grabbed a heart stamp and painted it pink and filled in between the "I love yous" and layered them over the words on some of the ones that turned out a little less perfect and called it good. I was a little out of practice at making wrapping paper and probably should have stamped a bit closer together. If your packages are smaller (which is often the case for V-day gifts), your pattern should be closer together, but you can always decorate with a bow or some ribbon to cover any gaps.

I made two big sheets of paper for pennies (the other with some Xs and Os), and I can't wait to make more for the next gift giving holiday.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine's Day Altar Candles

At my last trip to the Dollar Tree, I saw some more altar candles, and I just couldn't resist picking up some more. This time I thought I'd whip up some candles for Valentine's Day with some layered tissue paper.

All you need is the candles, some Mod Podge, a foam brush, and your tissue paper. I decided to put a layer of white down first and then cut out some heart shapes to glue over the top.

Gluing the tissue paper on is pretty simple, but it tears very easily if the tissue paper is wet. So keep your hands dry and free from glue. Plan ahead and glue the tissue paper on in sections with one of the sides lined up as straight as possible so that you don't have to reposition the paper. After you've applied the glue to the candle jar, just tap the paper into place. It doesn't have to be perfectly glued down or smoothed out. Most of the wrinkles will smooth out to a more pleasing texture as it dries and any loose edges can be glued down later.

After you have the paper tapped into the glue, let it dry for about a half hour (or longer) to get the glue to set so you can apply more glue to the tissue paper without it ripping.

I came back to my candles the next day and put a little glue onto the paper and then tapped one of the hearts I cut out of the tissue paper onto the glue. I cut my hearts out using the standard fold it in half heart cutting method that I learned in elementary school. It worked perfectly. You couldn't tell that it had been folded once it was glued in place.

After I got my red hearts glued on, I let them dry just a bit before gluing some pink hearts over top in staggered patterns. Then after that glue sets just a bit, you can put a layer of Mod Podge over top to seal everything down and turn it more translucent.

Once the Mod Podge dried clear, the candles looked great. I can't wait to light them up!