Thursday, March 22, 2018

Easter Egg Wreath Repair

6 years ago I made a wreath out of plastic Easter Eggs. It was one of my first in depth projects I posted on the blog. I was super pleased with how it turned out since it was made out of old plastic eggs and Easter grass that I just had laying around, but it looked brand new.

Every year since then I have dutifully hung my egg wreath on the door each Easter season. This year, I discovered that the wreath had fallen off of the shelf (it probably got bumped when getting out Christmas decorations) and broke. Two eggs fell off and a few got broken when it fell on the concrete basement floor.

One of the broken eggs I was able to find a matching egg in my stash and simply swapped out the top halves. I added a little extra glue to it just in case it didn't fit perfectly together. The other egg--the purple one, I couldn't find a matching half for, but I did find a few eggs that were pretty much the same color. The top half of the egg wouldn't fit on the old bottom half, but the whole egg did sit neatly into the bottom half of the old egg. So I just glued the whole new egg into the old bottom half with hot glue, and you can hardly tell.

When I was done gluing back on the eggs that fell off and replacing the broken pieces, I added a little bit of Easter grass in a few places (with a chopstick) and then gave it a good hair cut. After 6 years, the grass had started to get a little hairy looking, so a little trim was needed.

All in all, it has held up pretty well. The eggs have started to fade a bit and the bow is a bit more smooshed than it used to be, but otherwise, it still looks great on my front door.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Spray Painted Plastic Galaxy Eggs

Over the last couple of weeks I have been digging into my stash of plastic Easter eggs to jazz them up. I used washi tape and decoupaged Easter napkins to decorate the eggs, but this week, I decided to break out the spray paint. And, arguably, I think this project turned out the best of all of my plastic Easter egg projects this year.

I grabbed a cardboard box and split the eggs open so they would lay flat and not roll around in the box. I started out with a teal spray paint (Rustoleum's Lagoon).  I made a few quick swipes across the eggs and then let it dry for a few minutes.

Next I grabbed a purple spray paint (Krylon Plum) and followed up with a Blue (Krylon True Blue). I knew I didn't want complete coverage of any one of the colors, so I painted in stripes and zig zags across the eggs trying to cover the plastic underneath, but not the other colors of paint.

I finished it off with some silver spray paint (Rustoleum Metallic Silver) that I tried to spray on in speckles as best as I could. I held the can a little higher and moved it rapidly over the eggs. After the silver spray paint, I was feeling pretty good about the project. They were looking really pretty. I let them dry for a couple hours so that I could put the eggs back together.

After I put the eggs back together, I realized that the coverage looked pretty good from the tops of the eggs, but the sides were still really bare. I didn't know how to spray the sides without them rolling around in the box.

I grabbed an empty egg carton and set the eggs in the carton on their sides. I used the lid too since I needed to lay the eggs on their sides and I couldn't use every egg slot. The two eggs in the middle on the lid did roll a bit, but the others stayed put, and it was much better than free floating in the box.

I repeated the process on both sides of the eggs with the teal, purple, blue, and silver paint. If I do this project again, I'll probably try for a darker blue since the blue and teal paint sort of blended together a bit.

But the end result is so sparkly and pretty. It's hard to capture in a photograph. And...aside from figuring out how to keep the eggs from rolling, this project was super simple and fast (only slowed down by dry times).

Monday, March 12, 2018

Decoupaged Plastic Easter Eggs

Last week I used washi tape to decorate some plastic Easter eggs. This week I wanted to use decoupage to decorate the eggs.

So this craft post starts out with a craft fail. I wanted to make comic book eggs. I thought they'd be adorably geeky. I had a bunch of free comic book day comics in a stack, and I thought as long as I cut out the small panels and perhaps spritz the paper with water (a trick to make the paper more malleable and less likely to wrinkle), it'd work perfect. I even grabbed a larger plastic egg to try it out on. But no matter how much mod podge I used, the paper just wouldn't wrap around the egg, and, therefore, wouldn't stick.

So I had to switch gears. I knew I needed to use tissue paper or a napkin to get the paper to adhere to the egg. So I used what I had on hand--some old Easter napkins. They had design that consisted of a big bunny surrounded by pastel colored squares.

I used a larger egg and applied glue to the whole egg and carefully applied the big bunny. I wrapped the large square around the egg. I had to cut the napkin in a few places to get it to lay sort of flat. I did also end up having to cut a couple small squares of blue from the napkin to fill in the gaps. It was a bit lumpy, but it worked. The blue egg did end up showing through a bit though.

I knew it would work a lot better to apply smaller pieces of paper to the eggs, so when I was decoupaging the regular sized eggs, I used the pastel border of the napkin cut into squares.

I painted on a bit of glue, stuck on a square and smoothed out the paper as carefully as possible. Then I repeated the process a gazillion times. One of the main struggles with the eggs is that they don't have a side you can hold onto or set down, so your hands are always in the glue. When your hands have glue on them, they stick and can tear the paper or smudge the design. I ended up doing the top half of two eggs, then letting them dry for about 45 minutes before doing the bottom half so that I had some dry areas to hold onto as I finished.

When the eggs were completely covered, I let them dry before attempting to seal them with more glue.

Then when I sealed the eggs the first time, I slathered them in enough glue that my fingers would slide around on the paper and didn't stick. I then smoothed the paper down as best as I could with my fingers (washing my hands between each egg). Then I let the eggs dry again and painted on a second sealing coat with my foam brush. I tried to turn them regularly as they dried so they didn't stick to the plate.

In the end, they turned out pretty cute, especially the patchwork eggs. But they were a pain.

Here's what I learned: Decoupaging small plastic Easter eggs needs to be down with thin flexible paper (like napkins or tissue paper) cut into small pieces for the best results (say an inch or less). Apply the paper and glue to half the egg and allow to dry before trying to finish covering the egg or your fingers will stick and tear the paper up.

I hope these tips help you if you choose to decoupage plastic Easter eggs!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Washi Tape Easter Eggs

It's that time of the year again! Time to start hauling out your Easter decorations! When I opened up my tote I noticed I had two unopened bags and a gallon ice cream sized bucket of plastic Easter eggs. I don't host a hunt, so it was time to do something with all my plastic Easter eggs. Of course you could make a wreath or decorate them with alcohol ink, but I wanted to do something a bit different.

In addition to my crazy stash of Easter eggs, I also have a growing stash of washi tape. Washi tape is just decorative masking tape, so the projects are always super easy (as easy as peeling and sticking most of the time). So I dug out all of my pastel or bright colored tape and got to work.

My first attempt was a traditional horizontal stripe. It looked a bit wonky, but undeterred I kept taping.

I added another stripe and yep, total wrinkly mess. Turns out flat tape on very curved surface is not such a hot combo. I finally discovered that carefully taping along the seam in the egg with a tape that doesn't have a geometric pattern is your best bet for a horizontal stripe. But if you come into this project expecting it to be neat and tidy, you will be disappointed. 

So then, I started to embrace the wrinkly tape-ness of it and the project got a lot more fun. I did horizontal stripes--with two strips of tape making 4 stripes and some with 4 strips that nearly covered the egg. Then I tried just starting at a diagonal and trying to keep the tape relatively flat and letting it take me where it wanted--I ended up with some cool criss-cross patterns (like the star and leaf one below).

These didn't turn out quite as neatly as I expected, but they were still quick and a ton of fun. If you have a stash of plastic Easter eggs and washi tape, why not give it a whirl!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Mod Podge and Tissue Paper Tin Can

Well, hubby finished off another giant tin of peanuts, and I couldn't very well just throw it in the recycling (any one else suffer from this problem?). The last peanut tin I spray painted. This one I decided I would opt for some classic tissue paper and mod podge. I've used tissue paper and mod podge on glass and plastic in the past, but never on a tin can, but it's the perfect choice for covering things that have curves....the ridges on these cans mean tons of curves.

I picked out a tissue paper that had all over color on it because they are a little sturdier to work with and because the can is darker in color and I didn't know how much would show through when the paper was wetted with the glue.

I measured the paper against the can and folded the paper over. I find this to be the easiest way to get a fairly straight cut with a scissors. I just slid my scissors along the fold to cut my piece of tissue paper out. Using a rotary cutter and a big ruler works even better on tissue paper.

After I cut my piece the length of the sheet of tissue paper, I wrapped it around the can and cut it so there would be about an inch of overlap (to cover the little bits of glue that the original label was stuck on with--from the spray painted can I knew that the glue was very hard to remove).

Then it was pretty simple. I painted on some glue and lined the top (straightest) edge along the rim of the an and let any excess hang off of the bottom. If you're too lazy to measure and cut very carefully, this is the easiest way to make the finished product look neat without all of the edges being exactly perfect.

I smoothed the paper on and continued around the can until it was all glued on. Be careful not to rub the paper with wet or glue covered fingers as the paper will tear. If it tears, you can apply a second layer of paper or a small patch before you apply the sealing coat of glue.

Afte the paper was glued on, I trimmed the paper hanging over the bottom so it was all about the same length. Then I carefully painted glue along the bottom edge.

Then I used my fingers to fold the paper over the edge and smooth it down. Suddenly it all looks neat and tidy again.

Then wait a few minutes for the glue to set up a bit so the paper isn't as likely to tear before painting on a thin sealing coat of the mod podge. Once that's dry, you're all done.

Now I have a nice bright can with a lid. Perfect for storing craft supplies or any small collection of stuff (toys, cards, game pieces, crayons, sharpies, you name it).

Monday, February 26, 2018

Sealed Alcohol Ink Plate

I had hoped to post about sealing last week's plate post on Thursday, but it was so rainy and dark that it took until the weekend to get good photos. So you'll get them on your regularly scheduled post day, but I have a new project that I'll post on Thursday!

This plate turned out pretty neat, so I knew I wanted to seal it. The best option for decorative dinnerware is the dishwasher safe mod podge. I've used it on a few crafts now and it does work, it just takes a month to cure. It's also a bit thicker and takes longer to dry than regular mod podge. I opted to use a paint brush with soft bristles over my usual mod podge applicator of a foam brush because I was worried that brush strokes would be very visible on the glass. I applied three thin coats allowing plenty of time between to dry.

If you look at the plate's back, you can easily see the sealer, but if you set it on a table or even hold it up in the sun, it's pretty much invisible--which means it turned out perfect!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Flamed Alcohol Ink Glass Plate

I might be a bit obsessed with starting alcohol ink on fire. I tried it out recently on a ceramic tile and then again on a mirrored candle plate. After a recent trip to Dollar Tree, I had some plain glass plates. I decorated one with mod podge and a napkin for Valentine's day, but I had some leftover, so I just HAD to try the flamed alcohol ink technique again.

On my previous attempts at flamed alcohol ink, I cleared off my ceramic stove top...which is probably the best option, but it was full of dishes, and I was being lazy, so I set up on my kitchen table. I was, by now, familiar with how much flame comes off of the ink, so I cleared the table, set out a Teflon craft mat (they are designed for using in heat presses, so they they are heat safe) and to protect my table from the heat, a cork trivet, then I set my little old cookie sheet on top to keep everything contained. I had my alcohol inks set up to apply to the plate, but I moved them away when I brought out the lighter.

I dripped a generous amount of alcohol ink on the plate as it needs to be wet to catch fire. I even dripped along the outer edge, which was probably a bit of a waste since the ink and the fire pretty much stopped at the plate's edge.

I used an eye dropper to drip a little bit of rubbing alcohol on the plate and then lit it on fire with a long handled lighter. It put out some fairly large flames based on what I had attempted with this technique so far. The flames mixed and set the ink on the flat bottom of the plate very nicely--they almost mixed a bit too much. But the ink on the edge of the plate just dried and remained unlit.

So after the flame went out on the plate bottom, I started adding ink to the edge of the plate in 3-4 inch sections, dripping a bit of rubbing alcohol on it, and lighting it up. I turned the pan and just repeated this around the plate with a variety of different colored inks.

Some areas needed extra applications of ink, and others spread out nicely. I also added a few drops of ink to the plate bottom to get more color definition and lit the individual drops to get them to mix and spread as I went.

Once I was fairly happy with the color mix, I pulled it off of the cookie sheet and set it on the craft mat to dry. The places where the ink pooled remained tacky for several minutes, which is longer than most alcohol ink projects take to dry.

Once the ink was dry to the touch, I flipped the plate over and used some rubbing alcohol squirted on a paper towel to clean along the edge. The alcohol ink pooled a bit on the pan as it ran down the angled edge, but it wiped right off the front of the plate.

The flamed alcohol ink is such an interesting technique. It's difficult to control, but it intensifies and mixes the colors. It's a pretty addicting process, and I can't wait to find more surfaces that this technique will work for.

The sun was shining when I finished inking the plate, so I took a few photos and brought it in to seal it with some Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge. It's currently drying (and cloudy), so I'll try to share a couple photos of what it looks like with a few coats of mod podge on it later this week.