Monday, April 29, 2019

Dishwasher Pod Mini Trash Can (or Storage Canister) with Duct Tape

I always enjoy a good duct tape project. Duct tape is durable and bright and fun to play with, but trying to get it to look professional can be a bit of a pain. A few years ago, I covered a Cascade pod canister with duct tape to create a little storage canister. After much trial and error, I figured out how best to approach the project, which saved me a ton of time when I raided my stash of recyclables for a new project.

I had two dishwasher pod canisters in my saved for crafts recyclables box, so I dug out some fun new duct tape that I hadn't gotten a chance to use yet and got ready to work. I highly recommend using a cutting mat and a rotary cutter when working with duct tape, you can measure and uses scissors, but it will be much easier with a rotary cutter. The tape sticks to even the non-stick scissor blades, but doesn't seem to stick to the rotary cutter (probably because you're only cutting it on the non-sticky side). It's also a lot easier to keep your lines nice and straight with a rotary cutter and a straight edge.

I chose some fun patterned tape (unless you are painting your existing lid, try to choose tape that has a bit of the color in the lid--in my case green) and a coordinating solid and made some sheets of duct tape. I learned from my first time trying this project that applying the strips of tape directly to the canister all the way around doesn't work well. It's just tapered and curved enough that the tape gets wrinkled and is difficult to apply straight. I also tried making a large sheet of duct tape to wrap around the canister, that didn't work so well either (same problems with wrinkles). So I learned that you have to make a sheet of duct tape for each side of the canister. For the 90 ct Cascade pod canister, the wide side measures 6 inches wide by 6 1/8 inch tall.

The narrower sides of the canister measure 4 1/2 inches wide and 6 1/8 inch tall. The finished project looks a bit better if you start applying the narrow sides first and smooth the wider sides over the already taped narrow sides. So after you have an overlapping block of tape stuck down to a cutting mat, use a straight edge to cut your rectangles to the correct dimensions.

Then carefully smooth them onto the canister. This worked ok, but having the stripe in the middle of the duct tape sheet was difficult to keep lined up (and as you can see, the cascade logo shows through a bit.

So this one turned out ok (and that tie-dye tape is super fun), but there were still a few tweaks to be made to the process to keep the corners a bit neater, etc...

So I decided to move the solid colored tape to the top of my duct tape sheet and to cut all 4 sheets from one large sheet of duct tape. I used a geometric patterned duct tape, but I intentionally didn't line the pattern up (I did try to make sure that straight lines lined up, but I didn't line up the pattern) so that when it overlapped at the corners, it wouldn't be the only place that it didn't match up, in effect camouflaging the corners. The large sheet was 21 inches wide and 6 1/8 inches tall.

Then cut the 4 1/2 inch wide sections first for the narrow sides and peeled them off of my cutting mat.

I lined it up with the bottom of the canister as best as I could.

Then I smoothed the center down from the bottom to the top, tucking the top edge of the tape under the lip of the canister.

Then I smoothed the tape from the center out to the edges. These techniques gave me the smoothest and straightest application of the tape sheets.

I repeated those same steps on the opposite narrow side and then on each of the wider sides until the canister was covered. The tape lined up great! The photo above shows the corner that was the most uneven (pretty good, right?).

These canisters make great mini trash cans for your car, but could be used to store lots of little things. It's such an easy thing to reuse--the duct tape just makes it more fun!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Alcohol Ink Galaxy Tile

Months ago, I cut a bunch of shapes out of some dark blue vinyl with my Silhouette cutting machine. I made some monograms for our electric toothbrushes and some meeple coasters, but I still had a Tardis (Dr. Who's time machine) cut out and waiting for a project, so I decided to put it on a ceramic tile and try to do some galaxy alcohol ink. I have played around with galaxy spray paint and had a lot of fun, but I hadn't tried to make space-y nebula-y alcohol ink patterns.

So I got out my craft mats, alcohol inks, a six inch ceramic tile, my Tardis vinyl decal, and some canned air.

I weeded (peeled the excess vinyl off) my decal and set it aside and located my space-y colors (pitch black, indigo, purple twilight, a couple other shades of blue and some silver and gold).

I started with the metallic inks in the center of the tile so they would show behind the vinyl decal. I squirted some ink onto the tile and thinned it a bit with rubbing alcohol (using a mister bottle) and then used canned air to spread it out.

I added more silver and rubbing alcohol until the metallic ink covered all of the center of the tile. The Ranger metallics are pretty opaque and don't spread too easily, so it was almost like silver paint on the tile, so it provided excellent coverage.

Then I started swirling my space colors around the edges and blowing them out. To start, I used the pitch black and the purple to get some good coverage. Then I added the indigo to get the dark shimmery blue in the mix.

After I had good coverage with the colors, I started adding a bit of silver and some of the Pinata white and some splashes of rubbing alcohol to create star-like patterns

When I had most of the tile covered except a Tardis-sized void--I let the design dry, and then I used some wide painter's tape as transfer tape on the decal.

I carefully applied the decal onto the tile and used the back of my thumb nail to burnish the design and make sure it stuck to the tile.

I peeled back the painter's tape slowly to make sure that all parts of the decal were sticking to the tile. It was a pretty simple decal, so there were no problems. I should have left the ink to cure for about a day or so, though, as a bit of ink peeled up along the edges of the tape (the ink is just a bit more speckled after peeling the tape off). A few of those speckles would have just looked like stars, but with a line of them, I opted to do a bit of touch up with some ink over those areas.

When I was all done, I had a conquered my first galaxy alcohol ink pattern! Between the metallic inks and the indigo inks shimmery nature, this tile is really amazing when it has sunlight shining on it. The pictures don't quite show the full range of iridescent color, so I'm really pleased with how it turned out and I can't wait to make more galaxy tiles!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Alcohol Ink Splashed Mugs

I've been itching to ink some white ceramic stuff that wasn't tiles for a very long time, so when I came across these plain white mugs at Big Lots, I picked them up knowing that I was going to ink them.

The mugs were a fairly matte finished white. I pealed the price stickers off and gave them a quick washing.

I wanted to keep the ink fairly minimal and let it flow onto the mug in stripes just along the bottom. I picked Turquoise ink from Ranger and dripped it onto the mugs. I kept the mugs horizontal while I was inking so the ink would drip around the mug. If it wasn't flowing as much as I wanted, I used a very small paint brush dipped in rubbing alcohol to get the ink flowing a bit more. Once I had a few stripes with some interesting blobs, I set it aside to dry and repeated it with the other mug. I had a few stray ink trails that I had to clean up with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol, but otherwise, it was pretty simple.

To break up the turquoise color, I added some Pinata gold ink in two loose stripes over the turquoise.The Pinata gold flows better than the Ranger gold does, so it worked pretty well for this, I just kept adding ink and turning the mug until it met up with the opposite end of the stripe.

I repeated the gold stripes on the other mug and ended up with two pretty inked mugs. It was a fun challenge to do a minimal design that only took up a small portion of the mugs, and I think they turned out pretty cool. However, I'm not really sure how best to seal them. I know I could put mod podge over them pretty easily (even a dishwasher safe version), but the matte finish of the mugs would be hard to match, and if I use these for beverages at all, it can't be applied to the whole mug. Also, since they are mugs, I'm not sure about getting the designs or the sealant hot. Anybody try a project like this and have advice about sealants? I'll keep you posted on what I end up trying!

Monday, April 8, 2019

Splatter Dripped Alcohol Ink Easter Eggs

This isn't the first time I've used alcohol ink to decorate plastic Easter eggs...and I assure you, it won't be the last. It's a ton of fun. But before I talk about the splatter eggs (shown above), I need to share a story about a craft experiment that fizzled.

I first set out to test a weird idea I had about dipping plastic Easter eggs in the alcohol ink much like you'd dip a regular egg in egg dye. I figured it could be a cool looking project, and I love testing out new application methods. So I cut the top off of a plastic solo-type cup (I think this one was Hefty brand, so you know, whatever you've got). Then I squirted some rubbing alcohol in the cup followed by 4 or 5 drips of the most saturated alcohol ink color I had (indigo) to see if it even sort of worked. I dropped the plastic eggs in the ink and swirled them around and some ink transferred. That was good enough for me.

So I went full steam ahead with a Pink-y red made with Pinata's Magenta and a cup with some turquoise and aqua green shades to add to my cup of blue. I started dipping the eggs and then setting them down to dry until I had a a whole bunch of eggs with light color washes of ink on them.

The pink looked nice on the yellow eggs and transferred a decent amount of color, but you can see it wasn't leaving much behind--it was pretty washed out. It was leaving an awful lot of ink on my fingers though.

My eggs were leaving little pools of ink on the craft mat after I dipped them, so I moved them to a paper plate lined with paper towels to dry.

After leaving them to dry for about a half an hour, they were still dripping ink, so I cracked one open to find out why. The ink was sneaking in the little holes in the plastic eggs.

So I opened them all up and dipped them again. I just dipped each side of the egg in the cup and then set them out to dry again. In the end the eggs didn't get much color. So, can you dip plastic Easter eggs in ink like you can dip real eggs in dye? Sort of. You don't get the brilliant bright colors you're used to from alcohol inks. Though, I'm not completely done with this concept, but bare plastic eggs and thinned ink just don't quite work.

So the color washed eggs sat on their paper towel plate all week and I decided to jazz them up with some straight non-thinned down ink. I lined my eggs up on the craft mat and grabbed all of my brightly colored and pastel-y alcohol inks and started dripping.

I dripped ink on the eggs at random. I went through my stash of colors (below) once before reassessing.

I used about a dozen different colors. I wanted them to be bright and rainbow-y.


After the first pass, I went back and filled in with more color. Then I grabbed a bamboo skewer to stick in the hole to move and pick up the wet inked eggs. As I was hoping to move the eggs to a drying location, I noticed I had missed several areas on the backs of the eggs, so I kept inking.

After the eggs were covered in drips and splatters, I moved them to the paper towel lined plate (with the bamboo skewer) and left them to dry for a couple hours. It was a bit humid and the dripped ink stayed tacky for quite a while before drying.

But when done, the eggs were much more fun and bright. The color wash underneath the drips gives the eggs a bit of a grungy modern art look that's kind of fun and different. Dripping onto clean eggs would probably get you a slightly cleaner look. Either route you take, they will definitely be colorful!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Alcohol Ink on Iridescent Plastic Easter Eggs

A few weeks ago, I went to the Goodwill Outlet and picked up a cart full of stuff. One of the things I picked up was a package of large (like about 4 inches tall) iridescent plastic Easter Eggs. They were pretty and light (it's pay by weight at the Goodwill Outlet), so I tossed them in the cart.

After getting home and taking a closer look at them, I knew I wanted to ink them. Since Easter eggs are usually used to hide treats, these don't do a very good job of that. Some ink would make them more colorful and perhaps hide contents. I had used alcohol ink on plastic Easter eggs in the past (both stamped and blown), so I knew inking would work, but I had never worked with these iridescent eggs before.

After looking at the eggs, I decided that inking the inside would be a better choice. The shimmery coating was on the outside of the eggs and if I inked over it, it would probably be less shimmery.

I started by opening the eggs up and giving them a color wash in Clover green. I dripped a bit of rubbing alcohol in half the egg and dripped a few drops of ink into it. Then I swirled the ink around. If the ink is really thinned out, you can close the two halves together and shake it (be careful of the holes they put in the tops and bottoms of plastic eggs, though).

After I had a base coat of green, I flipped the halves over to dry on a paper towel. The ink likes to settle along the grooves where the two halves go together, so you might want to wipe the edge off.

Then I added some Pinata Blue and used a can of air to blow it around. Once I felt I had enough blue, I set them down on the paper towel to dry for a bit.

Then I added some Pinata Purple and blew it around with the canned air. Then I added a little more of the Clover green to finish it off.

I repeated the process for all three of my large iridescent eggs with the same colors so they would match as a set. I was a little worried about the halves matching up when I put them back together, but the ink blowing is random enough, that it doesn't much matter if the edges don't match up. The eggs were pretty to start with, and now they are super colorful and pretty!