Monday, February 27, 2017

Recycled Peanut Container turned Condiment Canister

Just a quick recycle craft tutorial this week. You know you might have a problem when you need to make a special container for your hot sauce packets. That being said, I needed a special place for my hot sauce packets. :)

So I salvaged a peanut container from the recycling and made a label by finding a photo of some peppers and then searching for a transparent logo to drop over the top. I put it all together in word and added my own glowing text. Then I printed off the whole page onto regular printer paper (24lb white).

Then I cleaned the label off of the peanut container. It was a stubborn one. It required a trip through the dishwasher, scraping, goo gone, more scraping, more goo get the idea. But once it was clean I measured the area that the old label covered and cut my new label to size with a paper cutter. This particular container called for a 3 1/2 inch tall by 8 inch wide label.

Then I used a foam paintbrush to apply a thin layer of mod podge and applied my label.

I painted the glue onto the container and carefully wrapped the label around the front and sides of the container. Then I let it dry for a few minutes so the paper wouldn't be damp and likely to tear.

After it had had a little bit of time (say 10 minutes or so) to set, I then put a thin layer of mod podge over the whole label to seal it. Be careful not to brush aggressively on ink jet printed images--they can smear. I put a layer on with a light touch and then just smoothed out any areas that looked goopy. If you think it's not sealed enough, it's better to put on a thin layer and let it dry then to add more glue when it's wet. It would be much more likely to smear or tear.

I waited about 30 minutes before filling it with hot sauce and popping it in the fridge.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Simple Knotted Suede Bracelet

I bought myself a subscription to Martha Stewart Living last week. It was on sale--I don't usually buy magazines. After I rolled my eyes at Martha's calendar for March (which listed her plans for starting her garden and throwing birthday parties for her grandchildren), I came across a little project for a bracelet that I could do (and had all the stuff to make). Then, I went into my craft stash and got the things I needed and actually made it. Seriously, how often does that happen (and from a magazine no less and not the digital wonderland of Pinterest)? The answer--I can't remember ever making something I saw in a magazine.

Well, there's a first time for everything. I started by fishing some charms out of my bins of jewelry making stuff. I found some skeleton keys, an owl, an Eiffel Tower, a shamrock, and a little blue circle that says "Happiness." I started by using some jewelry pliers to attach jump rings to the charms. If you've never made any jewelry, jump rings are one of the first things you master.

They are just little rings that you can pry open and pinch closed to attach beads and charms to chains or necklaces. They are pretty easy to work with if you have some small pliers. If you don't have a set of jewelry pliers, a needle-nose pliers will work, but it may leave marks on the jump ring.

After I put rings on all of my charms, I strung one onto about a foot of faux suede cording. The magazine suggested a foot, but I found out later that if you have a bigger wrist (as I do) you'll probably need more.

Then I made a loop (the bracelet) and tied one of the free ends in a regular overhand knot over the other side of the cord. Then I repeated it on the other side. (Picture of overhand knot below if you can't see it in the picture above.)

Then you have a bracelet. Just trim off a bit of the extra cording and you can slide the knots to adjust the size of your bracelet. This first one I tried to make turned out tiny. I am not tiny.

So to get a better idea of how big I needed my bracelet, I tied one knot and then slide it onto my wrist and had my husband help me tighten it to about the size I wanted. Then I could tell how much cording I needed, etc... Once you have one made that's about the right size, the rest are easy peasy. I ended up needing about 18 inches (I did not measure, so I'm guessing it was about 18 inches) of cording to make my bracelets (I have a large wrist--7.5 inches tight, 8 inches for a loose bracelet). 

After I knew how long to make them and about how far apart to space the knots, the rest took minutes to make. These should be a lot of fun to wear and easy to stack with each other and other bracelets. Maybe I should try more projects from magazines. :)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Punched Tissue Paper Valentine's Day Heart Bowl

Happy almost Valentine's Day! I'm so glad I could squeeze one more Valentine's Day project in this year! I had one of those heart-shaped glass bowls you can get at Dollar Tree and I wanted to jazz it up. I just couldn't figure out what to do. Years ago, when I first started working with tissue paper and mod podge, I tried to use a paper punch to cut out shapes of tissue paper to decorate a glass candle holder. It didn't work. Not even a little. I totally had to shift gears and work with patterned paper. Since then, I've done tons of tissue paper and mod podge projects. Not too long ago I saw a tutorial for another one of those projects where they punch tissue paper with paper punches...and in my head I was like: nope, nope, nopity nope, can't be done. Then I kept reading. They said they had to layer the tissue paper by folding it over several times before it would punch. I had tried punching a couple layers the first time, but not several. Oops. Time to try again! 

So I grabbed some seasonally colored pink and red tissue paper. I folded three sheets of pink paper over 4 or 5 times, smoothed it out and shoved it in my larger (about an inch) heart shaped punch. And...amazingly, it worked! I had perfectly punched hearts.

I continued punching other colors of paper until I had a nice big pile (I didn't need this many hearts--but I didn't want to have to stop and punch more. I used about half of these).

Next, I used a foam brush to apply a layer of mod podge. I then applied the hearts. I decided to keep mine all facing roughly the same direction and to not worry about the gaps along the top and bottom edge, but to try to fill in all the gaps in the middle by layering hearts. You could apply these going all different directions if you'd like, just pick a method and go with it. As you're applying the hearts, try to keep your fingers dry. You may have to stop and clean them periodically. As soon as they get sticky, that's when you start ripping holes in your tissue paper.

After I made my way around the bowl once, I was fairly pleased. There were just a few gaps I wanted to cover up and a few places where there were too many of the same color in the same area, etc... So I let it dry for a couple minutes so that I wouldn't tear anything when working with it.

Then I carefully dabbed glue onto the areas I wanted to add hearts and layered them over top. The above photo was after I finished applying hearts. It doesn't look too different.

Then I let all the hearts dry for about a half an hour and applied a layer of mod podge over top to seal it. Be sure to check any of the hearts that were layered over top of others to make sure they are all the way glued down, then apply a thin layer over the top of everything. Let it dry and you're good to go.

So I was pleasantly surprised that I could finally get the paper punch method to work, and now I can't wait to try it on other projects. Maybe I'll finally make the candle holders I wanted to make 3 years ago. Happy Crafting!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Alcohol Ink Decorated Valentine's Day Canister

A couple years ago I found a metal flower pot at Dollar Tree and decorated it for Halloween. I've used it every fall as a candy dish and it's held up really well, so when I saw another one of these metal flower pots at Dollar Tree, I grabbed it and decided to make a Valentine's Day Canister.

I started out by grabbing my alcohol ink supplies (inks, rubbing alcohol, applicator, felt, craft mat). I got some new craft mats (mostly so they'd be less dingy looking in the blog photos). In addition to my inking supplies, I also grabbed a roll of painters tape. I laid out some strips of tape to make a small sheet on the craft mat, and then I used a permanent marker to freehand a heart. It was a bit sloppy, but I knew it would get the job done. 

I carefully peeled the sheet of tape up off of my mat and cut it out with a scissors. I had to go back over a couple spots with my scissors because the tape had stuck to the blade and left some uneven lines. After it was cut out, I stuck the heart onto the metal canister as close to the center as I could.

Then I started stamping the ink on. I used 4 colors of alcohol ink: Raspberry, Watermelon, Wild Plum, and Salmon. These color names aren't terribly descriptive. Raspberry is a hot pink, Watermelon is a pinky red, Wild plum is slightly purple magenta, and salmon is a coral-y pink. The ranger inks have several shades of pink, so I'm sure other color combos would work just as well. I have quite a few of the sets from Ranger, but I don't have either of the sets that have a truer red, or I could have gone that route instead. But the pink came out beautiful and bright. 

I made one pass over the canister with the felt and as I ran out of ink, I added some rubbing alcohol to thin things out and finish covering the whole surface. Then I grabbed a clean felt and added more ink and stamped over any of the areas that seemed too washed out or smeared from the rubbing alcohol. Then I had to put some ink along the edge of the felt to stamp along the rolled edges of the flower pot on the top and bottom.

Considering how much ink it looks like I used to cover this fairly large surface, it wasn't that much--probably about 20-30 drops of ink all told. After I had covered all of the nooks and crannies, I set the pot aside to dry for a few minutes.

Alcohol ink dries pretty quickly, so after that few minutes, I was able to carefully peel up my heart. Since it was such a simple shape, there was hardly any bleed-through. I didn't even have to clean up the edges. But if you do have some ink bleed under the edge of the tape, just put some rubbing alcohol on a q-tip and run it along the edge to clean it up.

I think it turned out great and was a fairly simple and quick project. It turned out such a vibrant shade of pink, too. I can't wait to fill it with goodies!