Monday, May 30, 2016

Double Embossed Domino Pendants

I had so much fun the first time I embossed dominoes, that I had to try it out again. This time I thought I'd use some different stamps and try layering the embossing. It didn't work out quite as well as I had hoped, but I thought I'd share what I learned.

First I stamped alcohol ink onto my dominoes. I don't have process photos of this step because I inked them up while I was working on another project, but I took pictures of it the first time I made domino pendants if you want a step by step of the process.

After my dominoes were inked, I sprayed them with some matte clear acrylic sealer so the ink wouldn't smudge or smear.

After the sealer was dry, I grabbed my cork trivet, some embossing powder, a clear ink pad, and some stamps and got to work.

I put the ink on my rubber stamp and then set the domino on top of the stamp. The clear ink is the consistency of thin vaseline, so as long as you don't jiggle it around as you stamp it down, you'll have a clear stamp.

Then I poured some powder onto my domino. Then I dumped off the excess and tapped the domino a couple times onto my paper plate to remove any sticking around for the ride.

Then I put the domino on a cork trivet (any heat proof surface will work) and use a heat gun to set the powder.

IT didn't come out quite as clearly as I would have liked, but I decided I could layer another leaf over top (but I forgot to take a photo of that--but it's in the photo at the top of the post).

I thought layering the stamps would be an interesting twist on this project. I tried using silver with blue on this next one, but the layering didn't turn out quite as good as I had hoped. The powder was speckled instead of solid on the second layer and I was not as happy with the clarity of the stamp from the regular rubber stamps (the clear ones I used last time seemed to work a bit better).

But I picked the one that I thought turned out the best and I glued a bail onto the back to make a cute necklace. I can't wait to make more domino pendants, so I'm sure I'll work out the kinks.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Patriotic Bottle Cap Buttons

I've made a couple sets of magnets with bottle caps in the past. I saved my own bottle caps from a variety of beverages and spray painted them when I made the magnets, but I found some crafting caps at Tuesday Morning for $1.99 for a bag. They were navy blue, so with Memorial Day coming up, I thought it would be a great opportunity to make some patriotic pins.

So I searched the internet for some images that would be the right size and shape. I inserted them into a Word file so that I could size them to 1 inch. I printed them out on some matte photo paper and then cut them into strips so that they could be cut out with a one inch circle punch.

After the circles were punched, I used some Tacky Glue to glue the circles into the bottle caps. Any glue that would keep the paper from floating up in the Diamond Glaze is fine.

After they have been glued down, let them dry for a few minutes to make sure they won't float.

Then fill the caps with the Diamond Glaze. There will be bubbles. If you squeeze the glue out steadily while turning the bottle cap and don't lift up the nozzle, you'll get fewer bubbles. Larger bubbles can be popped with a toothpick, but smaller bubbles will be stubborn. I had to tap and gently shake the caps until they rose to the surface. As the glue dries, more bubbles will float to the surface. So check on the caps after a half an hour and tap them out again.

The Diamond Glaze takes several hours to dry. I left mine overnight to dry. By the morning they were completely clear.

Then I used some gel super glue to glue some pin backs onto the back of the bottle caps. 

When they dried, they were ready to be pinned on your favorite Memorial Day or Fourth of July weekend outfit. I found the images with the most color seemed to work the best. The white paper turned a little translucent in the glue. A different kind of paper may help this issue. Let me know how yours turn out in the comments.

Monday, May 16, 2016

More Glazed Alcohol Ink Washers

A couple of weeks ago I used some Judikins Diamond Glaze to make some of my alcohol ink washers shiny. It didn't go quite to plan, so I thought I'd try some Dimensional Magic.

At first it went much better. The nozzle on the Dimensional Magic is much finer and allowed me to put down a nice ring of glaze. However, the glaze is thinner than the Diamond Glaze, and it ran into the same problem of several of them losing surface tension and collapsing into the hole in the center.

Also, the Dimensional Magic seemed to react with some of the washers and made the colors run together. As you can see in the photo above with  some collapsed glue that dried with a red tint.

I'm still trying to figure out how to make the glaze work. There are a couple of brands I haven't tried--and maybe the Diamond Glaze in the smaller bottle with a finer tip would work better.

At any rate, I took my best glazed washers from the last two projects and was able to make a couple of necklaces out of them. If you have any tips for glazing washers, let me know in the comments.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Embossed Ceramic Tiles

I've been trying to come up with some unique ways to use ceramic tiles since my last trip to the hardware store to stock up. A couple of weeks ago I made an art plaque with some tissue paper and a 6 inch tile, this week, I wanted to use some 4 inch tiles to make a craft. I love experimenting with the small ceramic tiles as the plain ones only cost about 13 cents a piece. That's a totally reasonable price to pay for an experiment, so I thought I'd try embossing powder on the tiles.

I assembled my clear ink pad, some cute stamps from the discount section at Michael's (I think I picked them up last summer), some black embossing powder, a cheap 4 inch ceramic tile, and a cork trivet. Then I plugged in my heat gun and got started.

I coated the stamps with the clear ink (which is about the consistency of vaseline and works great for embossing powder--it sticks like a dream) and carefully stamped it onto the tile, then I dumped some black embossing powder onto the ink (like you would dump glitter onto glue) and then tapped it off. The first thing I noticed was that the embossing powder really clung to the glossy surface of the tile. So I did my best to wipe away the excess with my finger. I'm sure I could have removed more with a small paint brush, but I soldiered on. I ran the heat gun over the surface until the powder turned glossy. It took longer to heat than most surfaces that I've embossed (which makes sense given how insulative ceramic is). I tried wiping the tile down with a damp paper towel before giving it a second try. The powder clung a little less, but was still pretty stubborn. I think if I did this again, I'd try it out with a tile that had a less glossy surface, but they still turned out pretty neat.

You could seal these and turn them into coasters or just use them as decorative pieces, either way, the experiment mostly worked. I just have a few kinks to iron out.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Glazed Alcohol Ink Washers

My most popular post on this blog is a project I did a few years ago with alcohol ink where I stamped washers (yes, the kind from the hardware store) and made them into necklaces. It's a really easy and fun project--and if you have the inks, it's pretty inexpensive too. After I had added more colors to my ink collection, I revisited the project and made some more necklaces. In the comments section I had gotten some posts about how I should coat them with resin or dimensional magic so they would be all glazed and shiny. I thought that was an excellent idea.

To start out I grabbed my alcohol inks and applicator, laid down my craft mat, and cleaned some washers off with rubbing alcohol. I put a square of felt on the applicator and dotted a few different colors of alcohol ink onto it.

I stamped at the washers 3 or 4 times to cover the washer and you get a light watercolor look with not very good coverage.

So I kept stamping. 3-5 more times and you'll get a darker watercolor look. You'll get better color coverage and some of the colors will start to mix a bit. Sometimes, I stop here. But I wanted more of a stippled look.

So I kept stamping. Eventually, the ink will start creating these little bubble-like stipples. That's what I was after.

But I thought it had gotten kinda blah as the colors mixed, so I put a little bit of green (clover) onto a clean felt pad and stamped a bit. It came out marbled and very contrasted. I liked it like this, so I stopped and switched to different washers.

I made a bunch in a variety of different colors and set them aside to dry.

Then I tried to glaze them with Diamond Glaze. I don't know if it was the consistency of the glue or the size of the nozzle, but it didn't go as well as I had hoped. First off, I had them on paper plates, but over half of them had glue dripping off of the sides and filling their center (like the one above). So I used a toothpick to pick them up and put them on some wax paper so they wouldn't glue themselves to the plates as they dried. This dumped most of the glue off of the washers as I moved them. So I let them dry for a day and came back to try and do a second coat. I was more careful and put less glue on the washers, but that left ridges in some of the washers, and others still lost surface tension and ended up with glue all over. I was able to move the glue around a bit with a toothpick, but getting that nice slightly domed clear glaze that I had hoped for, just wasn't going to happen. I did end up with a few that turned out nicely, but several of them had bubbles in them that I couldn't pop with a toothpick and shaking or vibrating was out since the surface tension would bust and have glue all over. I even tried using a lighter (which is a trick I saw someone use online with epoxy resin) over the surface--this sort of helped, but only for the big bubbles.

So, I'll probably turn the few of these that did work into jewelry, but I didn't glaze all of these that I stamped, so I might try some Dimensional Magic to see if it works better on this project. I'll let you know how it turns out. If you have any tips for non-epoxy glazes on washers, let me know in the comments.