Monday, January 16, 2017

Alcohol Ink Decorated Pressed (Textured) Glass Bowl

I was at Dollar Tree the other day, and I was looking for things to use alcohol ink on that I hadn't yet. It's a strange sort of affliction: "Could I put alcohol ink on that?" "What about that?" I was looking for a plain glass plate as I haven't inked any plates yet, but they didn't have any, but they did have this pretty pressed bowl. I haven't done any bowls yet, and I certainly haven't inked anything that had this much texture, so I figured it was worth a dollar for the experiment.

I grabbed some inks, my craft mat, my applicator (I made my own) and some felt.

I picked twilight purple, sailboat blue, and pool to start. I dripped the colors onto my felt (three or four drops of each color to start).

I made a first pass with those colors and wasn't getting too much coverage. I had to stamp a lot and press fairly hard to get it onto all of the raised areas of the bowl's design.

I kept adding drops of ink and added a few additional colors to add depth to the colors (raspberry, clover, and a tiny bit of watermelon). It took quite a bit of stamping, but since I kept the colors all on the cool side of the color wheel, I was able to keep the same felt for the whole stamping process.

You can see after I got most of the bowl covered, there were still some raised areas that weren't inked. I had to go back over with more ink to make sure that all of the raised areas had color on them. Then I added a couple dots of raspberry pink to brighten up some of the darker areas. When I was finished with adding color, I put a little rubbing alcohol on the corner of a paper towel and I cleaned up any ink that got on the glass above the textured pattern.

I was really happy with how it turned out. It took a bit more ink and a bit more pressure than most glass projects do, but it came out really cool. The ink sits on top of the textured design and highlights it. It turned into a really neat decorative bowl. If you plan to handle your bowl or keep it near any alcohol based liquids, be sure to seal it with some spray sealer or mod podge.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Layered Cut-Out Bookmarks

It's been a pretty cold and dreary start to 2017, but I did manage to make a project with some of the cardstock I marbled with spray paint ages ago. It was so much fun to make, but I always forget I have it to make projects with. Well, since I'm trying to get better at using my Silhouette for projects, I thought this was a perfect excuse to use some of that cardstock to make some bookmarks.

So I used one of the free designs that Silhouette gives you--a tag design. I stretched it out so it was about six inches long and grabbed a couple other free designs to cut out of the bottom of the tag. 

They cut out very easily. I was worried since the cardstock is a bit thick and just a smidge wobbly from the water and paint. I just dialed the blade up one notch from the recommended cardstock setting to compensate for the paint, and it worked perfectly. You could easily cut out the bookmark shape with ascissors and cut out a design with a paper punch if you don't have a cutting machine.

To make the bookmarks more rigid and provide some contrast for the cut-outs, I layered them on top of some colored cardstock. I traced around the bookmarks and cut the paper out.

Then I had to figure out how to adhere the two piece together. A good quality glue stick would be a good choice, but I didn't have any, so I went with some double sided tape.

I applied my tape to the back side of the marbled paper and then stuck the two sides together. Then I used a regular hole punch to make a hole in the blue cardstock and attached a ribbon. These would be a great candidate for running through my laminating machine to preserve them, but they're pretty sturdy as is. I look forward to learning how to make more projects with my cutting machine.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Best of the Blog 2016

Happy New Year! To celebrate 2017, I thought we'd take a look back at last year's most popular posts (and a few of my favorites).

1. This year's most popular post, by far, was the one where I used my Cuttlebug to emboss aluminum foil. I also used some dies to cut out some shapes (as seen in the photo above). I guess this one was popular because it's such an easy project. It's always fun to take something (like aluminum foil) that we have around the house and make something really cool with it.

2. My second most popular post was the one where I tested 90% vs. 70% rubbing alcohol as blending solutions with alcohol inks. Though I think the post's popularity is due to the cool splatter tile I made with the rubbing alcohol and an eye dropper.

3. This year's 3rd most popular post was a compilation post of all of my alcohol ink glass gem tutorials. These glass gems continue to be one of my most popular projects. They are so much fun to make!

4. My 4th most popular post this year was when I used a contact paper heart to make a resist pattern with alcohol ink on a ceramic tile. It turned out so neat that I can't wait to make more!

5. My number 5 most popular post was the only non-alcohol ink post of the bunch this year. I used some 4th of July star napkins to decorate dollar store altar candles. This is one in a long line of decorated altar candles, but it's really fun to see one of the projects get a little extra attention.

Honorable Mention: This year's 6th most popular post and honorable mention (especially since it's only been up since November) goes to my tutorial where I inked glass gems and added foil tape to the back to create more shimmer and opacity.

The rest of my highlighted projects are favorites of mine that haven't had as many page visits.

My first of this year's "favorites" is my plastic wrap alcohol ink glass bottle. This was a new a fun technique and the bottle turned out really neat (it might not quite come across in the photo, but it's really iridescent in person).

My second favorite for the year is these little faux stained glass pendants I made with glass slides and aluminum tape. They turned out so classy, and I can't wait to come up with new ways to use these glass slides!

Next up was my wire wrapped button charms. I think these little button pendants turned out great and were really simple once I got the hang of the wire.

And the last of my favorites from 2016 are my embossed domino pendants. Though figuring out the best way to ink the dominoes definitely included a bit of a learning curve, but they were so much fun to emboss. I look for excuses to wear these necklaces as often as possible!

It's always fun to look back at a year's worth of projects and see which ones had the most page views and which ones were neglected favorites. Here's to another year of crafting!

Monday, December 26, 2016

3D Paper Christmas Ornament

I hope everyone is enjoying a Christmas coma of sorts on the day after. I have one last Christmas ornament tutorial to share with you. If you follow the blog, you know that I recently got a Silhouette Cameo. I'm still learning how to use it, but I thought I'd share one of the projects I did just before Christmas.

The Silhouette store has been giving away all kinds of holiday designs since Thanksgiving. So I decided to throw a few of them up on the screen and cut them out of some Christmasy scrapbook paper.

The ornaments came out great! They were even easy to peel off of the mat. The other two designs I chose to cut didn't work out as well (one didn't cut all the way through one of the letters and the tree design's cut out didn't look right once it was peeled out). But that's ok, we're here about the ornaments anyway.

If you don't have a cutting machine, any ornament shaped cutout can be turned into a 3D ornament. You just need 4 of the same shapes. Then fold them in half like I did in the photo above.

I hemmed and hawed about what kind of adhesive to use to attach these ornaments together, but decided on some photo squares (double stick tape). I cut them in half to get them small enough and stuck them along the edge and a couple in the center.

You only need to put tape on two of your ornaments.

Then attach half of one of your un-taped ornaments to one side, and the other un-taped one to the other half (as shown above). Then you can take the last ornament (with tape on it) and lay it flat onto these two halves. Then just bend the sides so that your ornament makes 4 nice 90 degree angles and you're set.

I strung it up and hung it on the tree immediately. I can't wait to make more projects like this one in the future. It's so much fun to see the paper come out with the intricate patterns cut on it. But really, you can do this project with any ornament shape--ornate or simple.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Recycled Christmas Card Ornaments (Part 2)

On Monday, I showed you all how I used my Cuttlebug machine to cut a whole mess of old Christmas cards into ornament shapes. Of course, you could just punch holes in them and hang them up or use them as gift tags as they are, but I just had to take it a step further and make them double sided and glittery!

I paired up my cut outs as best as I could and punched holes in most of them. I also tried out gluing a silver thread in between the layers on a few--this worked, but was a bit of a pain. After I picked out my two matching halves, I set them on a paper plate and used Mod Podge to glue them together.

I spread the glue on with a foam brush. Be sure to put enough glue on that it can absorb a bit and still have enough glue left that you can put the two halves together and slide them around just a bit, but not so much glue that it comes oozing out as you press the halves together. It may take a bit of practice to figure out how much to use. Some of the cards curled up a bit as they were glued, so after I glued the halves together, I pressed all the edges together carefully and I put them under a case of pop to set up a bit. A few heavy books would be a good option too.

After they dried for a while (left them to dry for about a half an hour), then I used the foam brush to dab more Mod Podge along the edge of the ornament. Then I dipped the ornaments into a bowl full of glitter. 

The larger ornaments were sometimes a bit tricky to get into the bowl, but I found that I could scoop up the glitter and let it fall down the ornament and get them covered.

When I was all done, I had a pile of glittered ornaments. I let these dry for about an hour before I came back and put my finishing coat of glue on them.

To seal the cards and make them stiffer, and most importantly, keep the glitter from shedding, I covered the entire ornament with a layer of Mod Podge. I set all my ornaments on a piece of parchment paper and glued one side, let it dry, and then glued the other side.

These turned out great! Aside from a lot of waiting for glue to dry, this project was fun and easy! Now I'll be keeping a special eye out for Christmas cards that I want to turn into ornaments when I receive them! Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Recycled Christmas Card Ornaments

I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a hoarder. Especially when it comes to stuff I can use for craft projects. I have a couple of boxes full of greetings cards, just waiting to be turned into something. So I dug out some of my old Christmas cards and some ornament shaped dies that I found a Tuesday Morning earlier this year. If you have a die cutting machine, you could use circles, stars, or ornaments to cut out your cards. If you don't have a die cut machine, a mason jar lid or a star template to trace around would be easy options.

I cut out a bunch of different sized ornaments from my cards. I found that it was often easier to run the dies through upside down (A Spacer, C plate, Card, Die, B plate) so I could see what the die was cutting. It worked out fine since the shape was simple and the card stock wasn't difficult to cut.

When I was done, I ended up with a pile of paper ornaments. You could hang these on the tree as is or use the ones without writing on the back as gift tags. I hope to jazz a few up and hang them on the tree, so stay tuned for a post with the finished project.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Ornament Round Up Volume 2

A couple years ago, I made a post sharing all of the ornaments that I've made for the craft blog over the years. Since then, I've made several more Christmas ornament projects, so it's time to do another round!

Check out the rest of my ornament posts on the original Ornament Round Up link.

Note: I've been on a bit of a hiatus from crafting due to the end of the semester (this week is finals week) and my grandmother passing away. I'll be back at it next week with a new tutorial!