Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring Dollar Store Altar Candles

I've made decorated altar candles for most of the holidays, but I saw this adorable tissue paper the last time I was at Dollar Tree, and I knew I needed to decoupage something with it. Since they also sell the altar candles and Dollar Tree, it seemed like fate.

To make this project, all you need is a couple of dollar store altar candles, a jar of mod podge, a foam paint brush, some patterned tissue paper, and a scissors.

Using the candles as a guide, I cut out two squares of tissue paper. It's sometimes hard to cut, so I recommend folding it and using that as a line to cut along, or you could use a rotary cutter and a cutting mat. I've found that cutting it about a half inch longer than you think you'll need allows you to select the straightest edge along the top of the candle, and to wrap the bottom edge of the paper over the bottom edge of the candle for a finished look.

Once your paper is cut out, paint a line of mod podge along one of the candle's seams. Line the paper up as straightly as possible along the top ridge and along the seam. If it starts straight, it will be much easier to keep it straight.

Continue painting glue and tapping the tissue paper down gently over top of it. Be careful not to get glue on your fingers. Wet or sticky fingers is the most common cause of tissue paper tears.

Once I had glued all of the paper down, I tipped the candles onto their tops and glued the bottom edge of paper down. Then I did the other candle and left both of them to dry for a while. Leave them alone for at least 10 minutes (but 20 or 30 minutes is better) so that the glue has a chance to set up and you won't pull or tear the paper as you paint  your sealing coat of mod podge over the top.

Apply 1-2 coats of mod podge over the top of the tissue paper and let them dry until set. If you notice any tackiness or stickiness after drying for a few days, you can spray them with some clear acrylic sealer.

These just scream spring and looked great out on the patio table. Hopefully it will warm up a bit more so that we can use them for some nice grilled dinners out on the deck.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Etched Glass Candle Holder

In February I made my first etched glass project since I was a teenager, and it was so much fun that I've been thinking about what to do next ever since. I decided to make some candle holders, and after lots of thought, I decided on a bird design. I googled bird silhouette and looked through lots of designs before settling on one that was simple enough that I thought I could cut it out while still be detailed enough to be interesting. I ended up finding a design that I couldn't track down the original owner of (which is why I don't have a link to it). I pasted the image into Word so that I could easily resize it and flip the image so that I could have the birds facing each other in the final project. I printed out my birds onto some regular copy paper.

I grabbed a cutting board, my xacto craft knife, some contact paper, two square candle holders from Dollar Tree and got to work.

I cut my paper templates and a square of contact paper so they were all the same size so they would line up equally when I positioned them on the candle holder. Then I taped the template on the cutting board with some masking tape and then taped the contact paper over it so that nothing would slide around while I was cutting.

I carefully cut along the edge of the outline, trying my best to get it to get as close to the original as possible, but it doesn't need to be perfect to turn out pretty well, so don't stress out too much if your leaves look a little wonky, just do your best. Then once it was cut out, I carefully peeled it up, cutting along any edges that were sticking or that needed to be cleaned up a bit as I went.

Then I lined up my birds on the candle holders before I peeled the stencils I cut out off of the paper backing.

I peeled the backing off and carefully placed the sticker stencil on the candle holder. Then I used the back of my nail to rub all of the edges down so the acid etch wouldn't bleed under the edge.

I put my two candle holders with their stencils into the sink lined with some foil, but since they are square, putting down some parchment or a few layers of newspaper on the table would work too. Just be close to a water source since it's acid.

While wearing gloves, I used a foam brush to spread a layer of Armour Etch onto the stencil and then set a timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, rinse the acid off with lots of water. Use the foam brush or your gloved fingers to massage the etching cream off of the glass. Make sure it's all washed away before you peel off your stencils. Then dry to reveal your etching.

I loved the way these turned out, but they were hard to get a good picture of. Post your etching projects in the comments and happy crafting!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Dripped Alcohol Ink Dish

It's been unseasonably warm here for the beginning of March. Most of the days have been cloudy, though, so as soon as we had a nice sunny day, I went outside to work on a craft. I really loved the results I had when I dripped alcohol ink on a vase, so I decided to use the same technique on this dish I bought at Dollar Tree. It's conveniently shaped and sized to be a candy dish or candle holder or a bud vase, whatever you like.

I laid out my craft mat and grabbed my rubbing alcohol for cleanup. Then I picked some bright colors and flipped the dish over. I dripped them from the bottom edge of the dish and let gravity do it's job.

For some of the colors I traced the tip of the ink bottle down the length of the dish to help gravity along. And for some, I started a drip half way down the dish to provide some variety and depth.

I kept turning the dish and adding colors as I went along. The sun cast pretty rainbow colored shadows on the table as I worked. I just kept adding ink until the dish was mostly covered and I was happy with the pattern.

I ended up with a brightly colored dish that was as springy as the weather that day. If you don't plan on handling your dish, you can leave it as is. Otherwise, spray it with some glossy clear sealer or paint on a thin layer of glossy mod podge to avoid smearing or scratching of the ink.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Alcohol Ink Backed in Spray Paint Glass Gems

Ok, so I know I've done the alcohol ink glass gem thing a couple of times, but I got this idea in my head that it would turn out even cooler if I was able to cover the ink with something so that it was less transparent. I tried aluminum foil; it sort of worked. Then I had a stroke of genius...why not spray paint them. I figured white would be the biggest contrast, so that was the winner for this first attempt.

I dug out my glass gems (time to head to the dollar store, my stash is getting low--only had ones with weird shapes and flaws left) and my alcohol inks. I set up my mat and my applicator with felt.

Then I stamped them like crazy. I was reminded how the darker colors work a ton better on this project. I'd recommend using the Earth Tone Ranger inks on this project, but since they are being spray painted, I tried all kinds of different colors. I always gravitated back to the darker ones.

I even tried splattering one (bottom left), but I ended up going back over several of these gems with even more ink the next day.

After they were dry from my second round of inking, I sprayed them all with a thin coat of clear acrylic sealer (not pictured) so that I wouldn't have to worry about any possible bleeding with the white spray paint. I let the sealer dry and then taped them with some painter's tape so the tops of the gems wouldn't get any spray paint on them. This could have been done before the clear sealer, but doesn't need to be.

I sprayed them with white spray paint and let them dry overnight. When I came back to them, the inks were bleeding through the white on the backs. So I knew they needed another coat, I figured silver would look better on jewelry than white, so I sprayed my second coat in silver (not pictured).

Then I glued some bales onto the backs to make my necklaces. I usually use E6000 to glue on bales, but mine went missing, so I used superglue. It worked, but I nearly glued my fingers together several times.

I glued some strong little magnets onto the backs of the leftover gems and turned them into magnets.

Now the color on the gems pops regardless of what surface you put it on (or what clothes you wear it with). If you've ever tried anything similar--let me know in the comments. Should I try black or silver next?