Monday, April 27, 2020

Plastic Wrap Alcohol Ink and Spray Paint Cylindrical Vase

I've been enjoying finding new ways and different objects that I can try out the plastic wrap method for applying alcohol ink. I came into the possession of several of these cylinder vases and was trying to think of what I could do with them. I had some success using the plastic wrap method on a glass vase where I used spray paint, so I thought I'd try that again, but this time with a different shaped vase, some lighter colors of ink, and a different color of spray paint.

So I laid out my craft mat, a sheet of plastic wrap (I used Glad Cling Wrap--not press and seal), and some alcohol inks.

Making sure the plastic wrap stayed a bit rumpled, I squirted and dripped my alcohol ink on in a random pattern until the plastic wrap was covered in an area about the size of my vase.

Then I set the vase onto the plastic wrap and wrapped it around the vase. Then I set it aside to dry. When using this method with vases, be sure to put something underneath them to catch whatever ink seeps out of the bottom while it dries. I usually just leave it on a craft mat until it's dry. It takes 12-24 hours for the ink to dry completely (depending on temperature and humidity). I usually just leave it for a day and then come back to it. The nice part about this method is that if you're busy, you can leave the plastic wrap on it indefinitely until you have time to peel it off. I got busy with other projects and our early spring weather turned back into winter for a while, and since I knew I wanted to spray paint this one, I left the plastic wrap on it for about 3 weeks. I didn't notice any adverse affects from waiting to peel the plastic off.

You can see how much lighter the inks appear after they've dried. Some inks stay really saturated in color on glass, but most turn very translucent.

The last time I made a spray paint backed vase using this method, I sprayed the vase before I inked it. This time, I thought I'd try spraying it afterward. I already had the outside covered in plastic wrap, so I just made sure the top edge was still secure but not folded inside the vase and got to painting.

I selected the off white paint sort of on accident. I went down into the basement where I keep my craft supplies and meant to grab regular white paint, but when I got upstairs, I noticed it was off white (Heirloom White). I figured it would work and give a softer appearance that would go nicely with the softer colors, so why not?

I gave the inside of the vase a couple of light coats of spray paint and left it to dry for about an hour.

The conditions were good for spray painting (warm and dry) so the paint dried quickly. I peeled my plastic wrap off and was left with a lovely vase.

Leaving the plastic wrap on and painting after the inking was completed and dried worked out pretty well. Next time I may want to tape the top edge to get a perfect paint line, but I had very little spray over, and the off white paint looked lovely with the pastel shades of ink.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Plastic Wrap Alcohol Ink Bowl Interior

A couple months ago, I used the plastic wrap alcohol ink method on a small white ceramic bowl that I picked up ages ago at Big Lots. It turned out so well, that I decided I'd try it again, but this time, I'd ink the inside of the bowl instead of the outside.

I laid out some complimentary alcohol inks and a sheet of plastic wrap on a craft mat.

I dripped several shades of ink onto some slightly crumpled plastic wrap until I had an area covered that was roughly the size of the interior of the bowl.

I flipped the bowl onto the plastic wrap and carefully smooshed it into the bowl and tipped it back over. The ink squished together a bit more on the interior of the bowl than the exterior, so I was glad I used complimentary colors.

I left it to dry for a day or two and then came back and peeled the plastic off.

The colors were pretty, but the Indigo took over. Indigo alcohol ink is a pretty shade of blue, but it often ends up dominating.

There was also a bit of ink that got on the outside of the bowl. It didn't mix as much, so it was delightful colors, but unfortunately, it smeared in places and didn't cover evenly, so I removed it carefully with a paper towel and some rubbing alcohol.

So, it's totally possible to ink the inside of a smaller bowl with the plastic wrap method, the ink will probably mix a bit, and inking the outside is easier, but I still think it turned out rather pretty. It will make a lovely bits bowl once I've sealed it.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Making a Fabric Olson Face Mask

I don't sew too much. I learned when I was a kid, but I always hated following patterns, so I bought one of those little sewing machines (that is intended for teenagers to use) on a Black Friday sale and used it to mend the occasional clothes and make neck coolers and other little projects. But, last year, I decided it was time to buy an adult sewing machine. Since I wasn't going to suddenly become an avid sewist, it didn't make sense to spend a ton of money. So, I had narrowed it down to two possible machines that were under $200. Then one of them went on sale on Amazon, and I bit the bullet and bought the machine. Then it sat in the box for a year. Because who wants to learn how to thread a new machine? Well, this crazy crisis hit and I knew it was finally time. They were now recommending fabric masks for running errands and any other time you wouldn't be able to maintain 6 feet of social distancing. So, it was time to make some masks (oh and the sewing machine was a breeze to thread--thank you YouTube).

I used this pattern from Unity Point Health Cedar Rapids to make my mask because it had good coverage and a pocket to put extra fabric or a filter in (also, pleats scare me just a bit). Avera Hospitals are requesting the same mask, but have added instructions for attaching elastic or straps to their pattern. They have also updated the pattern to suggest adding a seam allowance to the existing pattern. This may have to do with people printing the pattern on default settings (with "fit to page" selected) or it may be because they decided the masks were too small for what they wanted. Regardless, if you're making masks for those two hospitals, follow their instructions. If you are making them for yourself, make them the size that seems to fit (you can easily adjust the size of the pattern in your print settings by printing the pattern pages at 90% or 110% etc...). I cut the patterns out with my print settings at 100% and did not add extra seam allowance (when I printed my pattern--those added instructions about the seam allowance were not there, so I assumed the dotted lines were the seam allowance). The masks are just big enough for my fairly large face and should be large enough to cover the nose and chin of most average adults.

I also watched this video to clarify some of the pictures in the instruction--also from Unity Point Health Cedar Rapids.

Since the pattern pieces are mirror images, I cut two masks with one set of pattern pieces at a time by folding the fabric and cutting on the fold. You can use all of the same fabric or three different fabrics, the choice is yours. I chose to use a contrasting fabric for the mouth/pocket pieces so that you can easily tell the inside of the mask from the outside.

Step #1: Place the face/front pieces right side together and stitch with a 1/4 inch seam allowance along the curved edge to make the front of the face mask.

(Completed Step #1 Above)

Step #2: Place the mouth pieces (they form the pocket that you can put a filter or extra fabric in) right sides together and sew along the long curved edge (again with a 1/4 inch seam allowance).

(Completed Step #2 Above)

Step #3: Finish the side edges of the mouth piece. Fold the straight side edges over 1/4 inch-ish and smooth with your finger until it lays flat enough to sew down. Then sew them in place.

(Completed Step #3 Above)

Step #4: Finish the longer side edges of the cheek pieces. This edge will not be seen in the finished product, but needs to be finished to avoid fraying when being washed. So you could serge the edge or just zig-zag stitch it, but the instructions suggest folding it over and stitching just like you did with the mouth pieces.

(Completed Step #4 Above)

Step #5: This is the hardest part of the whole pattern--and it's not too hard. Use the pattern pieces to help you line up the mouth/pocket piece with your cheek/side pieces. There's a dotted line on the pattern pieces. Line up your cheek pieces along the edge and place your mouth piece where the dotted line is. Pin your pieces in place.

Step #5 Continued: Then stitch the mouth piece on top of the cheek pieces by sewing along the top edge and bottom edge where the pieces overlap on both sides. This tacks the inside of the mask together and reinforces the pocket.

(Completed Step #5 Above)

Step #6: Next place your completed front/face mask piece right sides together with your now sewed together inside/mouth and cheek pieces. I pinned the mask at the straight side edges and at the nose seam on top and bottom to make sure it would roughly stay in place, then I stitched around the outside edge (with a 1/4 inch seam allowance) of the whole mask.

(Completed Step #6 Above)

Step #7: Then turn the mask right side out  using the pouch openings. Use a pencil or paint brush handle to poke the corners.

(Completed Step #7 Above)

Step #8: Then stitch your elastic or hair ties or whatever. I opted to go with the hair ties because it's what we had. I folded the edge over with the hair tie in place and carefully stitched along the edge of the fabric.

(Completed Step #8 Above)

After I got the hang of the pattern (watched the video) these came together pretty easily. Stay safe and healthy!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Plastic Wrap Alcohol Ink on Plastic Easter Eggs

I have a bit of a history with plastic Easter eggs on the blog. I've drip inked, splatter inked, and stamped them. I've spray painted and mod podged and even turned them into a wreath. So I was a bit stumped about what I was going to do this year. But then it occurred to me, I hadn't plastic wrapped them yet. It's my current favorite method of inking, so I'm trying it out on all kinds of surfaces.

So I got out a craft mat and my inks. I also grabbed some plastic wrap and a selection of pastel plastic Easter eggs. I usually buy these after Easter when they are dirt cheap so I can keep making fun stuff with them. There were a couple bags in my Easter box and I grabbed one of each color to start off.

I tore off a small piece of plastic wrap and selected colors I thought would work well with the base color of the Easter egg. This first one was pink, so I used a couple shades of red/pink and some blue and yellow as contrast. I set my egg on the plastic wrap, wrapped it up and set it aside to dry.

I continued with small pieces of plastic and coordinating inks. For this one I used blues and greens for  yellow egg. I tried to add some pink for some contrast.

I used more blues and greens on a blue egg and a bit of yellow for contrast.

After I had wrapped the eggs up in their inky plastic wrap, I set them aside to dry overnight. Be sure to leave them on an ink safe surface (like a craft mat or parchment paper) to dry as they sometimes will seep ink as they dry.

The next day I checked them and the ink appeared dry, so I started peeling the plastic wrap off each egg.

This egg was the one that had the most variation in color. For most of the eggs, the colors mixed quite a lot. So the ones that worked out the best were the ones that were sort of monochromatic. I'm guessing they mixed because it was hard to get the plastic wrap wrapped tightly (enough so it would stick to itself and stay in place) around the egg with out squishing the ink a bit. These didn't turn out quite as well as I hoped, but there's potential for this process to work really well on plastic Easter eggs if it's squished less or if colors are kept similar to the eggs. I might have to refine it a bit, but I still got some pretty cool looking Easter eggs.