Showing posts with label decor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label decor. Show all posts

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Soldered Christmas Ornaments

Recently, I informed you that I have picked up soldering again after years of being away from this medium.  I wanted to deviate a bit from jewelry this time around, so I made some soldered Christmas ornaments.  Both the front back of the ornaments depict Christmas themes so they will look pretty hanging from the tree when viewed in any direction.  Here are a few of them:

Retro 30's Ornament - Front

Retro 30's Ornament - Back

Santa Ornament - Front

Santa Ornament - Back

Victorian Girl Ornament - Front


Victorian Woman Ornament - Front

Snow Scene Ornament - Front
Singing Family Ornament - Front
Singing Family Ornament - Back
 
For added sparkle and interest, prior to soldering, I embellished several of the images with glitter glue. The solder was also colorized and a Christmas charm was attached to the front of the ornament. A complementary ribbon hanger was added for the final finish.

All of the ornaments are being listed on Etsy this week. You can easily get to my Etsy shop by clicking the "shop" link header at the top of this page or on the link in this paragraph.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

DIY Waterproof Photo Tile Coasters Tutorial

I have been wanting to post this tutorial for awhile now.  Handmade coasters make great gifts for Christmas or any time of the year.  I will be the first to tell you that you can find other photo coaster tutorials on the internet and on Pinterest, but many of them are not waterproof.  This means that your efforts to create a beautiful DIY project are essentially ruined the first time someone places a glass on your coaster.   That is how this tutorial is different than the others out there.  Not only will I tell you how to make your coasters waterproof, I will also let you know about my product preferences based upon my own tried-and-true personal experiences.  (Why reinvent the wheel twice, right?)

I made this set of coasters for my parents, who celebrated 51 years of marriage this year.  They have everything they need so it makes it difficult to buy gifts for them.  I figured the coasters would be something they would not only  use, but also enjoy since they capture moments from their many years together.







DIY WATERPROOF PHOTO TILE COASTERS TUTORIAL

Supplies:

Four 4x4 ceramic white tiles
Four 4x4 pictures printed from ink jet or laser printer (do not use developed photos)
Pencil or pen
Scissors
White glue (I used Aleene's Tacky Glue)
Gold leafing pen or gold marker (I used Pilot gold marker)
Resin (I used Annie Howe's for this project)
Felt pads, round (about 3/4" inch in diameter)

Important Note:  Please make sure your work surface is covered with waxed paper, a plastic sheet or garbage bag, or something similar so you don't ruin your table!

Tutorial:

1)  Select 4 white ceramic tiles that will serve as the base of the coasters.  Set aside.
















2) On an inkjet or laser printer, select four photos for the coasters and print them out.  Make sure they are at least 4x4.  It's okay if they are a little bigger than 4x4, as they will be trimmed, just don't make them smaller than this size.   The ones I selected are memories of my parents over the years.

















3) Using one of the coasters as a guide, turn the coaster upside and center it over the photo.   Trace around it with a pen or pencil.  Use scissors to cut out images.  Repeat this process for the remaining photos.















4) Use your desired type of glue for adhering the images to the coasters.  I prefer to use Aleene's Tacky glue on most of my projects.   First, it's tried and true - but it also works well for adhering paper-based crafts.





5) Squeeze the glue randomly over the coasters.  Don't go crazy - the idea with this is that you will have enough glue to spread over the coaster, but not so much that you have a dripping mess. 















6) Using your finger, spread the glue evenly over the coaster from edge to edge.















7) Carefully lay the photo on top of the coaster.  Run your finger over the image, ensuring that all wrinkles and bubbles are gone.  Let the coaster dry at least an hour.  (Tip: If you don't allow the coaster to dry before beginning the next step, you will cause your image to wrinkle and pucker. Trust me on this one. :)  )

















8) Use the same technique as described in Step 5.  (Note:  Some people swear by using Mod Podge for this process.  I don't recommend it.  I have found that when using Mod Podge to decoupage images I print from my ink jet printer, the Mod Podge lifts the colors off of the image, making them faded and barely visible.  I have destroyed many a project by using Mod Podge for this purpose.  So - I just avoid using it all together.)


















9) Use the same technique as described in Step 6.  Make sure that all edges of the photo are coated with glue.  Failing to do this will result in the photo becoming damaged by the resin and/or liquids.















10) When all of the glue has been spread over the photo, it will appear white.  (This will turn transparent as the glue dries, so don't worry.)















11)  Allow the coasters to dry thoroughly.  They are considered to be dry when there is no white showing.

Images after glue has been applied and allowed to dry.



















12) Use the gold marker or leafing pen to apply a gold edging around the outside of the photos.  I like to use this technique because it gives the coasters a more finished look than when left plain.














13) Once completed, your coaster will look like this.  Allow the gold to dry for several minutes.


















14) Use your resin of choice to coat the top of the coasters.  For this project, I used Annie Howe's Luxe jewelry grade resin.  I have had very good results with this resin.  It looks crystal clear when dried, and it does not turn yellow over time.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions for mixing the resin.  Use a Popsicle stick to apply the resin evenly over the entire top of the coaster.  Make sure resin is applied evenly from edge to edge.  You don't need to put a heavy coat on top of the coaster.  A thin one will do.  To cover 4 coasters, you will use approximately 4 ounces of resin (one medicine cup full.)  If you see any bubbles form after the resin has been poured, hold a heat gun several inches above the coaster.  This will help to dissipate the bubbles.  Let coasters harden thoroughly.  Depending on which resin you use, this can be anywhere from 24 to 72 hours.



















15) Once the resin has thoroughly hardened, turn over coasters and stick one felt pad in each corner.     This will help to ensure you don't scratch your table top.
















16)  And there you have it!!!  Your beautiful, handmade, one-of-a-kind coasters!!!




















I hope you have enjoyed making this project as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you.  Please don't hesitate to drop me a message if you have any questions about anything within this process.  Happy coaster-making!



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Spring 2015 Craft Show

Every Spring, there are a myriad of craft fairs taking place in Northwest Arkansas, where I live.  One of the festivals I enjoy attending each year takes place at the Springdale Convention Center (sponsored by the Ozark Regional Arts and Crafts Festivals).  This show always has something new, in addition to some of the same old favorites shared by vendors from the past.  This year was no exception.  I was able to pick up several little gift items for birthdays, Mother's Day and the like.

Here are some of my favorites from this year's show:

Vagabond Vintage sells all sorts of retro goodies and an assortment of treasures like spoon and fork jewelry (which I can't get enough of) and boho-style clothing that awaits the shopper in an old silver traveler trailer from the 50's.  Of course, I had to buy some of the silverware jewelry, which came with an added bonus - for every $20 purchased, the buyer received free silverware jewelry of their choice.  Not a bad deal, if I do say so myself.


Silverware earrings

Freebies with purchase = LOVE

Clothing and accessories for sale.

My daughter and girlfriend checking out the booth.

There was another booth that was also selling silverware jewelry.  I thought this necklace made of spoon handles was especially cute:

Silverware jewelry



Yummy smelling handmade soaps were quite a deal at $1.00 each.  I picked up several for little gifts:

Handmade soaps
This nifty repurposed faucet makes a cool little soap dish:




Crocheted vests, scarves and bo-ho clothing were all the rage at the show this year.  (Not handmade, though, unfortunately.)   I love them!  (Although, I have to be honest - the mark-up on these is considerably high.  I purchased a dozen or so scarves in Rome a couple of years ago from a street vendor and purchased them for two Euros each.  Granted, they weren't made in Rome, but boy, they were cute!)


This particular vendor is at the show every year and she always has the cutest Victorian-themed designs for sale.  She is one of my favorites.  I always stop by her booth.



Another shop which I find to be pretty awesome is the one which takes ordinary household items like teapots and spice tins and makes them into lights.  Love this!

Teapot lights

Spice tin lights

Spice tin lights

These layered religious bracelets also caught my eye:


And so did this hat which I was REALLY tempted to buy for someone special I know (he knows who he is):





As always, craft festival season is a favorite of mine.  I don't miss going to them unless I absolutely have to.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

China Head Butterfly Angel Doll Ornament Tutorial




I can't walk through a store without thinking that something intended for one purpose can actually be used for something else. That was the case here. I found some beautiful Christmas ornaments and home decor items that I thought would make a really unique angel...and a project was born...

In the supplies section, I've listed approximate measurements based on the items I purchased. Feel free to adjust the sizes to the items you have on hand. To make this project, you will need:

China doll, clay, paper mache or porcelain doll head (about 2" long). My doll head is made from polymer clay which I molded from a vintage China doll head I have on hand;
A butterfly wing ornament (5" tall by 6" wide);
Tassel - 6" long;
Sheer flower ornament with wired beads or a large silk flower;
Batting - one strip measuring 1 1/2" wide by 10" long;
Tulle - 1 1/2" wide by 20" long;
Satin ribbon - 1/4" wide by 15" long;
Beaded trim - 1/8" wide by 15" long;
Glue gun and glue sticks;
Scissors



Directions:

1) Cut the hanger off of tassel. Glue the hanger to the center piece of the butterfly.  Set aside.


2) Put hot glue on top of the tassel and set doll head on top, pressing it into place. Let cool.


3) At the back of the doll's left shoulder, place a dab of hot glue. Attach the long end of the batting to this shoulder and bring batting around to the front, wrapping the doll in a criss-cross pattern. Be sure to end wrapping at the back of the doll. Hot glue the end of the batting in place.



4) Repeat the wrapping process with the tulle as shown in step #2.


5) Disassemble flower by dividing it into sections and clip these into individual petals with scissors. Clip off the beaded wires (if they are attached to your ornament) If your flower does not have beaded wire, you can make your own by threading several colored beads on thin gauge craft wire and giving the wire a twist around the bead to keep it in place. Attach 3 beads to each wire; make a total of 7 wires. Leave 1/4" at the top of each wire so it can be glued into place.



6) Apply hot glue to the top edge of the beaded wire. Stick the wire underneath the gathered waist of the tassel/doll so it is hidden underneath the gathers at the waist.


7) Beginning about 1" down from the waist of the tassel/doll, glue flower petals around the tassel using hot glue, slightly overlapping the petals. At the waist, glue a second row of flower petals around the tassel.



8) Criss-cross satin ribbon at the shoulders of the doll, working from back to front. Glue into place. Glue satin ribbon and beaded trim around the waist. (I wrapped the trim around the wait twice.)



9) Use hot glue to attach the back of the doll to the butterfly.


And there you have it - a unique and beautiful handmade ornament doll for your Christmas tree!   Be sure to stop by regularly.  I have more Christmas projects up my sleeve to share with you during this lovely holiday season!
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