Monday, September 28, 2020

Washi Tape Binder Clips

Like many of you, I'm working from home right now, so I thought I'd revisit a craft project from several years ago to upgrade some of my office supplies and add some color to my home office. I used washi tape to decorate some tiny binder clips (that were the same width as my wider washi tape) back then, so this time I wanted to try to decorate some larger binder clips.

So I got out some well used binder clips and my bin of washi tape. I used both a scissors and a craft knife in this project. The scissors worked better when cutting off the role and if the tape was very paper-y. But the craft knife worked well for cutting the tape when it was on the binder clip.

I tried applying the tape horizontally on the binder clips, but the edges wanted to peel at the corners, so vertically worked better. I used two pieces of tape on the wider (3/4 inch and 15mm) rolls and 3 pieces of tape for the narrower rolls of tape.

After I applied the tape along the edge of the binder clip, I flipped the clip over and cut the washi tape along the top edge.

Then I smoothed the tape down and into place. The tape that had non-geometric patterns seemed to look the best with the overlap. I guess you could measure the tape to the exact right size and trim it, but that didn't seem worth my time to jazz up some old binder clips.

I used a craft knife when cutting along that top edge, and it worked very well on some of the tapes, but on the more paper-y tapes, it would tear. This half inch roll cut very neatly with the craft knife.

I whipped up a bunch of these cute binder clips in about a half an hour. I had a lot of fun, and now all of my binder clips are cute and colorful!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Patio Door Handle Refresh

The interior handle on our patio door broke last week. We found an almost exact match to the old handle online, but when it arrived, the exterior handle was quite a bit different from the old one on our door.

However, the old one looked like this (photo above), so my husband put the new handle on the door and took the old one off. I put the broken handle straight in the trash, but after I saw how the new exterior handle fit the door, I saved the old one.

In addition to the handle leaving a hole that would need to be patched from torrential rains and freezing temps, it also sat a quarter of an inch off the door.

It was hard to get a picture of this, but the new handle had posts that didn't fit into the existing holes, so without drilling larger holes (which may not solve the problem) or cutting off the posts (which would solve the problem, but would be a pain), we'd have a gap and a hole. And even if we did get it sitting on the door properly, there's still a hole above the handle. Safety aside, the darn thing would probably freeze up during the first ice storm of the year, so it needs to be fixed.

So the easiest thing to do is just to put the old handle that covered all the holes and fit snug on the door back on. It was dirty and chipping paint, so I enlisted dear husband to clean the handle with some warm soapy water.

Then I tore off a little section of 200 grit sandpaper and roughed up the paint and smoothed out all of the chipping paint (and made sure no more would chip off). After I got the surface fairly smooth, I washed the paint dust off the handle and dried it with a paper towel.

I grabbed a cardboard box and went out on the patio with a can of white gloss spray paint. It was excellent spray paint weather today (70s and breezy), so I was able to spray a few light coats on the handle to get a good base coat of paint.

You could still see the areas where the paint had chipped off after spraying it, so I knew it would need more coats. I let it dry for 15 minutes or so before coming back to spray it more.

I propped the handle up on the side of the box so I could get the sides of the handles covered with paint. I let it dry and then came back out and flipped the handle over and sprayed it again so I was sure to get the other end of the handle. So after 3 or 4 trips outside and about an hour of dry time in between coats, the handle was looking good, but not done. I brought it in and sanded any bumps or drips or places where the paint cracks were still visible. I wetted down the spray paint to get a smoother sand, and then I took it back outside for one last coat.

Once the paint had a chance to dry, I brought it inside to finish drying. The handle looks nearly brand new, so I can't wait to put it back on the door. I'll give it a day or two to cure a bit (it was still a bit tacky) before we see if it solves our door handle problems.

After it dried, we put it back in it's old spot on the door. I'm really satisfied with how the handle has turned out so far. Of course, now I need to find a magic eraser to clean off the door jam because the handle is so white! But, it's such an easy little project if you have an exterior handle that needs a little bit of love.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Glazed and Flamed Alcohol Ink Washer Necklaces

When I was first learning how to use alcohol inks, I tried stamping ink on some hardware store washers and made necklaces. This project became one of my most popular posts. I've revisited washer necklaces many times over the years with different techniques and sealing processes. This time, I wanted to make some washer necklaces that I would be sure to wear.

So instead of testing out some crazy new techniques or mixing fun bold colors, I went with methods I knew would work and went with monochromatic color mixes so that I could actually match them to my clothes. I enjoyed flaming the ink on washers, so I set up my craft mat with a cork trivet and a small sheet pan covered in tinfoil. I got out a small jar for some rubbing alcohol, a fine tip brush, and a pipette. I picked out some larger washers from my stash and got out my alcohol inks and a lighter.

I started out with some shades of blue. I dripped some ink on each half in two different shades and then lit them on fire (I removed the ink from the pan while lighting on fire, then brought them back to take the photo after the flames had gone out). It didn't look like much to start with, but it created a nice base of colors to start with.

I added drops of color, and light them on fire until I started making a pattern. Certain colors seem to work better than others--some of the blues just disappeared on the silver background of the washer. When I had some good drops, I came back in with my fine tipped brush dipped in rubbing alcohol. I made little dots in the ink with the brush. If the ink ever got too dark, I used the pipette to apply a little more rubbing alcohol and lit it on fire.

I repeated the same process with 4 shades of purple next. I even tried a black, silver, and white washer, but I didn't get any clear process photos.

I set them aside to dry for a day and sprayed them with a quick coat of Kamar Varnish to make sure the ink wouldn't react with the glaze. I've had some trouble with glazing washers in the past. The glazes sometimes run off the edge or center of the washers. So I decided to make a drying rig. I cut some squares of cardboard roughly the size of the washers (they look kinda like graham crackers). Then I cut a bunch of tiny squares to hold the washer up off of the larger cardboard square in case the glaze ran.

I cut the centers of the squares so that any glaze that did drip, wouldn't stick to the washer. I used some E6000 glue to buildup my corners, but there are probably much better glues to use for this--hot glue and plain white glue would probably be better options, but I had E6000 in a tube that was about to burst right on the table next to me, so I went for it, and it worked fine. I glued a couple of the little squares in each corner.

Then I tested it out. It held the washer up and provided an outlet for any dripping glaze. They weren't terribly pretty, but they looked like they would work.

A while back, I tested some of the popular glazes and determined that of the three I had, Mod Podge Dimensional Magic was my favorite for washers. It's a bit thicker and has a nice small nozzle. It's also pretty widely available--so bonus. I set my washers up on their new little stands. I also put them on a paper plate to catch the glaze.

I squeezed on a few circles of glue on each washer and then used a toothpick to spread the glaze as close to the edge as I could without being afraid it would drip over. I was careful not to put too much glaze on, as that makes it more likely to drip over the edge.

I popped the bubbles that came to the surface with a lighter and a toothpick. Then I let them dry. In the picture above, they had been drying for a couple hours and had started to turn clear, but were still quite wet. I left them to dry over night.

The next day they were dry and glossy clear. My little stands kept them high and dry and none of them even dripped. I should have bought a lottery ticket. I cut some faux suede cording to turn my washers into necklaces.

I folded the cord in half and pushed the loop through the hole in the center of the washers and then threaded the two ends through the loop.

I was really happy with how these turned out. They aren't as colorful as some of my past washers, but they turned out perfectly, and I can't wait to wear them!

Monday, September 7, 2020

Plastic Wrap Alcohol ink on Spray Painted Tin

After a having some trouble with last week's tin, this project was super simple. I had an empty Harney and Sons tea tin, so I decided to give it some color!

The original printed label on this tin was pretty light, so spray painting it white was a breeze. I gave it one good coat on all sides and let it dry.

I got out a craft mat and a roll of plastic wrap.

I laid out the plastic wrap flat while keeping some wrinkles and covered it in drops of alcohol ink.

Once the plastic wrap was covered in ink, I placed my tin on the plastic wrap and wrapped it around the tin.

After the tin was covered in the plastic wrap and ink, I left it to dry. It usually takes 12-24 hours to dry enough to peel the plastic wrap off without the ink smearing. You can leave the plastic wrap to dry indefinitely if the surface you are inking is slightly porous (like paint).

I ended up letting this one "dry" for almost a week before I pulled the plastic wrap off. But You can see the colors are darker and not quite as bright after the ink has dried.

I peeled the plastic wrap off of the tin and was left with some fun color combinations! Such a fun and fast project!