Well, it's official, the holiday season has begun. Start it out right by checking out my collection of DIY Christmas ornaments.
Monday, November 30, 2020
Monday, November 23, 2020
After last week's domino project, I had an urge to work with dominoes again. I decided to try out the plastic wrap application method to see if it would work on dominoes.
I selected a veritable rainbow of alcohol inks and dripped them all over my sheet of plastic wrap.
When the plastic wrap was filled with ink, I dropped my dominoes onto the ink and wrapped the edges of the plastic around the dominoes. When I do this again, I'll try to make sure to have enough inked plastic to wrap around all of the dominoes. Some of my dominoes were inked on the backsides and some weren't.
I let them dry for several days before unwrapping them, but they're usually dry after being left for 12-24 hours (depending on humidity levels and how much ink was used and how porous the surface is, etc...).
Between the rainbow of colors and the ink getting a bit smooshed when I moved my pack of dominoes off to the side of the table to dry, they got a bit muddied in color, but they worked. This surface works perfectly for alcohol ink application like this. So I'll definitely try again!
I got a few good ones out of the batch and proved the concept. Now I just need to take these dominoes and the ones from last week and make something with them.
Monday, November 16, 2020
I've had an application technique for alcohol ink floating around in my head for awhile. I've seen ink applicated in rainbows with foam brushes and makeup sponges, but I always thought it wouldn't look as pretty when I tried it myself. I've used foam brushes to apply ink to the edges of tiles and in other areas where I want a solid color, but I hadn't tried striping the ink.
So I got out some dominoes and a foam brush so I could test this striped application method. I chose some colors that I thought would look nice next to each other. I added an orange when I had space for more ink on my foam brush.
I used the tip of the inks to draw a line of ink on the foam brush and just stacked the lines of ink on top of each other. I couldn't really see the ink (except that hot pink raspberry color) on the foam brush, but I could tell where it was wet.
I took a picture of the inks before I painted them on the dominoes so I could remember what colors I used: Sunset Orange, Raspberry, Purple Twilight, Sailboat Blue, and Clover.
Then I brushed the ink across the domino. I adjusted the position of the brush to get more blues and more oranges, but it was immediately stripe-y and beautiful. The lines blended together as they dried.
The ink lasted so long I was able to double brush some of the dominoes to get darker colors and added a little extra orange to a few. Each different method created a slightly different look
I let them dry for an hour and the colors continued to smooth a bit as they dried, so they hardly looked stripe-y at all. But, I did get some ink on the edges, so I wetted a paper towel with some rubbing alcohol and rubbed the edges of my dominoes on the damp paper towel to remove the excess ink. The hardest part is keeping the ink off your fingers so you don't get more on the domino edges as you are cleaning.
I had a few that didn't quite turn out or got a bit of rubbing alcohol on them while I was cleaning, so I stamped their surface on the alcohol soaked paper towel to create a texture to hide the defects.
They're not quite as pretty as the striped ones, but they are still cute.
After I cleaned the edges, I put them in a cardboard box and gave them a good coat of Kamar Varnish to set the ink.
Monday, November 9, 2020
It's early, but some of my neighbors hung their Christmas lights today. I can't say I blame them, it was 75 degrees here this weekend (which is pretty atypical for November). But of course they didn't just hang them, they turned them on! So, I knew it must be time for me to at least start thinking about Christmas crafting. At last year's family Christmas, my Mom set out a few boxes of stuff she was going to take to the thrift store, and I saved this set of three ceramic elves that we put out every Christmas when I was growing up. One of the elves had a broken hat and chipped ear. The other two were pristine in all of their slightly sloppily painted 1970s glory (that's a guess, I have no idea how old these bad boys are).
So here's a look at the damage. One pointy hat broke off at it's tail.
The same elf also had some damage to his ear.
Upon closer inspection, I determined the bottom of this figurine was much less stable than the other two elves--hence the broken bits. So, I looked at it's bottom. It was a mess. But now I have it's stamped number saved for posterity (though I'd eat my shorts if I found out these were worth anything beyond nostalgia).
To smooth out his chips, I grabbed a small piece of sand paper and some old emery boards. I sanded down his broken hat and a few other odd bumps on his hat and attempted to smooth his chipped ear a bit. Then I sanded the bottom of his tree bench base as smooth as I could.
I wiped the areas I sanded with a damp paper towel. Then I got out some craft paints. Fortunately, my green was a really close match.
It probably could have used a tinge of yellow, but I was too lazy to run downstairs and dig through my stash of paints to find a suitable color to mix it with. I did my best to cover all of the big imperfections on the hat and let it dry a bit.
Then I repainted the sanded base (it got a second coat after this--even though no one is ever going to look at it but me).
I mixed a tiny bit of brown with a bunch of white paint and touched up the chipped ear. I also put a bit of white paint on his beard and wiped it off with a paper towel to cover up a bit of the overzealous dark paint wash.
After the paint had dried, I took all three elves out onto the patio with a can of Kamar Varnish. After the craft paint dried, it was really matte compared to the rest of the figurine, so I gave them all a quick coat of spray varnish so they'd match. The nice thing about Kamar Varnish is that it can be painted over later if needed, and it gives a nice satin finish--not too glossy.
I think his hat turned out great! Now I can set these silly elves out every Christmas for many years to come (even with the menacing knife pointed at the doll--he's carving the toy, really!).
Monday, November 2, 2020
Still in a Halloween haze? Well, as you transition into the Thanksgiving season, check out my fall crafts collection. Some of my favorite Thanksgiving appropriate crafts are highlighted below.
How about a recycled Christmas Cookie Tin spray painted and decorated with scrapbook paper.
The classic pen bouquet done in fall colors!
Dollar store Jar/Altar candles covered in cute Thanksgiving napkins with mod podge.
I enjoyed making this tissue paper transfer plaque!
I had a ton of fun making these decorative Thanksgiving tiles with alcohol ink and some vinyl decals.
And a recent craft that's still Thanksgiving appropriate: Alcohol Ink on Laminating Film Sun Catchers.