Monday, April 27, 2015


There will not be a new craft tutorial this week. Finals start the end of this week, so I'm swamped with grading, and to make matters worse, I had the plague last week...ok, it wasn't the plague, but a really nasty cold virus/influenza-ish type thing that I'm still getting over. Needless to say, I missed a bunch of school at the wrong time of the semester, so I had no time or energy for a project.  So I thought I'd share a photo I took of my lilacs last week before I got sick.

If you're still in a crafting mood, here's a throwback to a project I did last spring: Alcohol Ink Dyed Silk Flower Wreath (Faux Gerber Daisy Wreath).

See you next week with a new project (fingers crossed, knock on wood).

Monday, April 20, 2015

Bottle Cap Magnets

I have been saving bottle caps from glass soda bottles and the stray beer bottle for a while now, figuring that I could totally craft something with them, so this week I've got my first bottle cap project.

First I spray painted them all black. You could leave them in all of their original multicolored glory if you'd like (or they may all be the same color if you're an especially loyal drinker). 2 coats over the backs, then I flipped them and did another two coats over the inside of the cap.

Next I printed out some photos from the internet onto some matte photo paper. I chose a wide variety from personal photos in black and white and color and a bunch of graphics from google searches. I figured I'd print off a ton to see what worked best. Then I grabbed my 1 inch circle punch and punched out circles. Not all of the images fit neatly into circles, so I ended up printing off even more.

Then I put a bit of Diamond Glaze (Paper Glaze or Dimensional Magic would both also work) down before sticking the paper on it and letting it sit for a moment, then I filled the cap with a layer of the glaze. After a few of the caps, I learned that squeezing the glue bottle continuously while turning the cap keeps the air bubbles to a minimum. The larger air bubbles can be popped with a toothpick, but the small ones are really stubborn and will only pop by tapping the caps repeatedly on the table.

Here's the same cap, nearly bubble free after tapping. One of the biggest problems I had with this project was the paper curling or floating in the glue. If I make these again I'll probably glue the paper down with a faster drying glue that won't make the paper curl before I put the glaze over top.

After they were all done, I let them sit on a flat surface overnight to dry, then I grabbed my tiny neodymium magnets and some E6000 (hot glue or super glue should also work) to glue the magnets on. These tiny magnets are strong and very attracted to each other. Gluing them on was a lot easier than some other projects because they were attracted to the bottle caps. So the biggest headache was that some of the glue squished out and I had to make sure it wouldn't dry into a glob taller than the magnet. 

When they were done, they turned out cute, but a bit dark. It seems like the glue muddled the ink from the printer a bit. So the images that had the highest contrast of colors turned out the best. Using a color copier or color laser printer would probably improve the results. Of course you could always use magazine pages or scrapbook paper too.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Refashioned Planter

Last year I bought an herb garden kit that came with this little galvanized planter. I grew my chives, parsley and basil, but they always looked a bit sickly--not something I'd want to cook with. So after a year of sad looking herbs, I cut my losses and was left with a rusty planter.  It wasn't heavy enough or expensive enough for me to want to really work to get rid of the rust, so I had two options, spray paint, or trash. I opted for spray paint.

I went out to the patio with a cardboard box and some oil rubbed bronze spray paint and got to work.

I sprayed the inside, and then flipped it over and sprayed the bottom and a light coat on the sides.

Then I set the planter on its side and sprayed each side with a nice finish coat. It was as good as new!  Now I can use my old rusty planter to store greeting cards or bills, or maybe even as a planter again. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Ombre Spray Painted Tins

Last fall I spray painted some terracotta pots in an ombre effect, and I loved the way they turned out, so when I had these pirouette cookie tins that I wanted to recycle into something useful, I knew I should try to spray paint them in some fun colors.

I started out by spray painting everything teal. This took several coats to cover up all of the printed patterns on the cans and lid. As always with spray paint, thin coats work best. It might press your patience a bit, but it dries pretty quickly, so take it slow to get good coverage. I had to turn the tins over once to get the tops better and had to lean the lids up to get the sides.

Once I was satisfied with the coverage on the teal paint, I grabbed a can of medium blue paint and pointed the nozzle about halfway up the can and covered half of the sides and the bottom with the blue. I turned the box as I sprayed to get full coverage. Then I let it dry.

Then I sprayed the bottom and the bottom quarter of the can with purple. I turned the box and kept spraying light coats until it was a saturated purple color. The overspray from the colors helps to mix and create an ombre effect. The blue could have been a bit darker, but it did really change the color of the teal, as you can see from the slight contrast between the top of the tins and the color of the lids.

I think these turned out beautiful just like the terracotta pots did. I can't wait to find these new storage tins a new home in my house.

Monday, April 6, 2015

As Seen on Pinterest: DIY Label Remover

A while back I tried a DIY Pin for removing that stubborn glue residue leftover from labels. It called for equal parts cooking oil and baking soda made into a paste, spread over area and let it sit for 10 minutes, scrub off, and you'll be clean as a whistle.

So I made my paste with some canola oil and baking soda.

I spread it over my bottle, and let it sit for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes I came back and started rubbing it off with a cloth, but I noticed from the small corner that I started wiping away, that it wasn't working, so I spread some of the excess paste back over that spot and let it sit for another 10 minutes, then I came back and scrubbed off the paste and rinsed off the bottle.

It was less gunky, but it was not clean--not even close. So I took my bottle back to the sink and cranked my water to hot.  I grabbed a scrub brush and I used a bit of elbow grease along with my hot water to try and get it clean.

After the hot water and elbow grease, it was sparkling clean. Unfortunately I can't rate this DIY with a conclusive pass or fail. The paste may have helped, it might not have. I read on another tutorial to leave the paste for 30 minutes, and I need to test a control (a bottle that I just try to clean with very hot water and lots of scrubbing) to see if the paste makes any difference. When I have another bottle/jar to clean, I'll update the rating. For now, it's rated: Fail?

If you've tried this DIY a different way and had success, let me know in the comments.