Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Ornament Collection

Merry Christmas from Sarah Jane's Craft Blog! Check out all of my Ornament Tutorials here: Christmas Ornament Collection.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Transparency Film Photo Ornaments

A long long time ago, I bought some printable transparencies (in grad school, like 10+ years ago) back when people still used overhead projectors. Several years ago, I made some ornaments with my leftovers sheets. At the beginning of the holiday season, I bought a bunch of blank ornaments from Michael's. I've been using my plastic ornaments, but I also had some flat glass ornaments...and as it turns out, exactly one leftover sheet of printable transparencies. So I decided to make a set of photo ornaments for my family.

I opened the photo in Word so I could easily see the size in inches. My ornaments were 3 inches, so I used the circle/oval frame to crop the photo to the right size. Then I copied it 3 more times to fill the sheet. It was my last sheet, after all. I wasn't about to waste it.

I followed the instructions on the package of transparencies. There's a slightly rough side that needs to be put in on the side that prints and then I had to let them sit and dry for about a half an hour.

After they printed, I held them up to see how they turned out--a bit more transparent than I'd hope, but successful. Which is good, since I only had one sheet. :)

So I gathered up my ornaments and a scissors and some tools to work the pieces of plastic down into the ornament (a bamboo skewer and a pair of tweezers).

I carefully cut the circles out of the transparency with my scissors. The circle frame from Word was a nice guide for cutting them out.

Then I carefully rolled the plastic up to fit through the opening at the top of the ornament. I rolled it ink side inward so that it wouldn't scratch or scrape the ink off as I squeezed it into the ornament.

A couple of the plastic circles popped right back open when they made it into the ornament. But a couple of them, stayed a bit folded over. I used the bamboo skewer to readjust the transparency and it popped right back open.

If the picture wasn't quite straight, I used the tweezers to tilt it back into place. Generally, the transparencies went into the ornaments very easily. The flat ornaments work very well as the round ones require a lot of adjusting and some stuff (like glitter or fake snow) at the bottom to keep the transparency upright and centered--the flat ones do not.

In the end, the hardest part of this whole project was cropping the photo to the right size and then waiting for the ink to dry--otherwise, it was super easy and quick.

The ornaments did end up a bit see-through on the tree and might work better hung on an ornament stand, but they're still pretty neat.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mod Podge and Holiday Napkin Ornaments

Last week I shared a project made with a package of clear plastic ornaments I got at Michael's. This week I used the same ornaments with mod podge and some holiday napkins to create some cute ornaments. I saw these black napkins at Walmart and thought the foil snowflakes were really pretty, so I bought a pack to craft with (and maybe use as napkins, we'll see :)).

So I got out my glossy mod podge and a foam brush and two of the plastic ornaments (and a paper plate to work over).

After opening the package of napkins, I found that only the front fold was foil embossed, the rest of the napkin was covered in gold ink--still cute, just not as cute. So I cut out the foil snowflakes from 3 of the napkins for my 2 ornaments (that's 2 napkins' worth on the plate above). I used a regular scissors and cut hexagonal shapes around the snowflakes. The embossed shapes meant that the black napkin was pretty well adhered to the second layer of the napkin. If your layers come apart or are loose once you cut your shapes, just pull the backing off and use the top layer.

Then I spread a thin layer of mod podge onto the ornament with my foam brush. Be careful not to use too much glue--the napkin will wrinkle/bubble and it will be more likely to tear once the glue has soaked in.

I pressed one of the snowflakes into the glue from the center out, creasing the napkin along the edges to get it to wrap around the spherical shape.

Then I just continued gluing snowflakes onto the ball until it was completely covered. I tried to make sure all of the edges were glued down, but there were probably a few loose edges and creased napkin areas that could be glued down, but I let it dry instead so I didn't rip the napkins while they were wet.

Then I worked on the other ornament while I let the first one dry. By the time I had covered the second ornament, the first one was ready to be sealed. I glued down a few loose edges and them put a thin layer of glue over the whole ornament--smoothing as I went.

The photo above shows the first ornament beginning to dry, and the second ornament after I had just finished it's sealing coat. I left them for about an hour and they were ready to hang.

These turned out really cute--a bit wrinkly from trying to wrap something flat around a sphere--but really cute. As I was doing the project on these new ornaments, I realized that you could totally use old beat up colored ornaments for this project too. I may have to find a few old ones to upcycle. Happy crafting!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Alcohol Ink Ball Ornaments

On my last trip to Michael's, all of their blank ornaments were on sale, so I picked up a bunch of plain ball ornaments. I even got a box of clear plastic ball ornaments. In years past, I have used alcohol ink to decorate glass ball ornaments, this year, I thought I'd try the plastic ones out to see if they worked just as well. I also thought I'd try out using the Pinata Alcohol Inks to see if there were any substantial differences (now I know that doesn't make for a great experiment when I change two of the variables, but bear with me).

Anytime you work with alcohol inks, cover your work surface with a craft mat or parchment paper. Once the ink dries, it does stain. If the ink is still wet, you can wipe up spills with rubbing alcohol. So I laid out my craft mat and my inks. You can use Ranger Inks for this project too (and they are more widely available at craft stores) if you'd like, but I thought I'd try out the Pinata ones.

I grabbed green, because Christmas, and made three small squirts into the ornament.

Then I grabbed some canned air and stuck the straw nozzle into the ornament and gave it a few good squirts. The ink spread out pretty well, and it covered a lot of the ornament. If your coverage isn't quite that good on the first try, add a bit more ink and repeat. I then tipped the ornament over onto its opening to let it sit for a minute to dry a bit and let any excess ink drip out. I made a second ornament while I waited. Since Pinata doesn't have a red in their set, I used a drip of pink, orange, and yellow and spread that around the ball with the canned air. I had to add some additional ink to this one and decided to go with the gold.

It looked so festive, that I tried the gold out in the green ornament after it had dried for a bit. The ink dries really quickly, but the colors can mix together if you add wet ink to dry ink. The gold spread out pretty well and didn't mix too much with the green ink, so I was pleased with the results.

The Pinata Inks worked well for this project. The ink is a little more vivid and a little bit thicker than the Ranger Inks which actually works better for this particular project. The ink was darker in the ball than the Ranger Ink was in the glass balls. The plastic ornaments also worked well. The ink behaved very similarly to glass and the finished project was glossy and transparent just as you'd expect from glass without them being breakable. So I'd definitely make more of these ornaments with the plastic balls and the Pinata inks.