DIY: Mosaic Tray

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a tutorial for you today from Sand and Sisal to make a sea glass mosaic serving tray. You can find the original post here.  What I love about this tutorial is that it’s a basic tutorial that doesn’t have to be applied to only sea glass. You can use tiles, flat stones, flat glass tiles, or broken plates. This process can be applied to anything you’d like to turn into a mosaic, which is possibly why I love being able to write about a process like this.

For this you do need some specific supplies, but they are things that you might have lying around, or they’re easy to find at any hardware store. You’ll need a wood serving tray (you can buy one new or you can check second hand and vintage stores to see what’s around), spray paint, enough sea glass or tile to cover the area of your tray, some ready to use tile adhesive, premixed grout, a toothed trowel, a pallet knife, a rubber tile float, and a sponge.

Your first step – if your tray has been finished, is to sand the tray with 100 grit sand paper to remove any shiny lacquer.

Your next step is to give the try a couple coats of the (wood suitable) spray paint in the colour of your choice.

With a toothed trowel, apply a thin coat of adhesive to a small part of the tray base and comb the teeth through the adhesive. If you’re using a large trowel, you can use a pallet knife to spread the adhesive into the small corners and edges, and then comb it afterwards.

For the best result, try to work in small sections. It’s important that the adhesive is applied in a thin layer. you don’t want it oozing over the tiles. Start pressing your sea glass (or other tiles) into the adhesive. The tile should sit about half way in the adhesive.  Follow the package directions for the adhesive to set up.

After you’ve placed all your tiles, you can pull out the grout. Put some grout on the float (the rubber scraper thing) and start pressing  and smearing it into the sea  glass so that it gets into all the crevasses and into the edges. Don’t worry about smearing it on top of the glass – it will be smoothed and wiped off the top later.

Once your tray is covered, scrape any excess grout off the top with your float.

Your last step is to clean up that mess! Use a wet sponge to clean up the edges of your tray and to remove the layer of grout from the top of the sea glass or tile. When it looks mostly clean, let it dry. When it’s dry, the glass will look a little dusty, and this is when you can take a clean, damp sponge and buff the glaze off the glass to let it shine.

Et, voila! Your tray is done and ready to be used, or gifted to some lucky friend.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


DIY Crushed Glass Coasters

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

 

I have a super easy but really beautiful tutorial for you. If you were looking to make these as a gift, or decorate your own coffee table, they’re pretty simple and super impressive. The original tutorial can be found here.

You will need some supplies. You’ll need some cork coasters. I would recommend trying to find ones that have a small lip, like these from IKEA.  You will also need a decorative filler (you can explore a local craft store or even the garden/aquarium sections of a dollar store to find something you like).  The filler doesn’t have to be crushed glass, it can be anything you find that you like. Small stones, wee crystals, beads of varying sizes… really whatever you like.

You’ll need whatever colour spray paint you’d like your coasters to be, and some  Mod Podge Dimensional Magic Glue. This type of glue is recommended for the effect that it gives. Most crafting stores will carry this brand of glue or you can ask your helpful salesperson what they would recommend.

Your first step is to spray paint your coasters and let them dry. Next, take your decorative filler and fill your coasters. You just want to use a thin layer, you don’t want to actually fill your coasters. Use your dimensional magic and fill in the coasters. You’ll want to make sure that all of your filler is submerged in the glue so nothing is sticking out. One container of the glue in the size linked above will fill 4 coasters, FYI.

Let them dry for 24 hours, and you have an impressive gift, or addition to your room.

 

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Put a Cork in it: DIY Etched Wine Cork Shadowbox

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers.

I have a tutorial for you this morning on making your own etched shadow box from Sometimes Homemade. As an FYI, this isn’t a tutorial for creating a shadow box, but there are plenty of tutorials online. Just keep in mind if you’re making one, to leave an opening at the top to pop corks inside. This tutorial is going to focus on glass etching a box that has already been put together, and you can find them online or at craft stores. Just remember to look for a top loading shadow box, otherwise, you’ll need to drill a hole for the corks to be dropped in.

This is a great gift for any wine drinker, as not only does it preserve their great wine drinking memories, but it looks pretty awesome as a piece of art, too. You’ll need some supplies which you may have to visit a craft store for, anyway. You’ll need the top loading shadow box (make sure to get one big enough to hold a number of corks – 12×12 is a decent size), etching cream (Martha Stewart is easily found at craft and hobby stores, and might come with a brush), a medium sized craft paint brush, rubbing alcohol and cotton balls or cloth, and lastly, a stencil. You may also want a box cutter to cut out finer details on your stencil, depending on what you’ve chosen.

The stencil is the cool part. This is one that you can design yourself or print out something to personalize your gift. If it’s a wedding gift, you can monogram the box with the bride and groom’s initials, or give them a logo to go with their last name. You can do this freehand, or if you’re handy with the computer. You can also find lots of different printable stencils online, so make sure to do your research for what you’d prefer to do on this one.

For your first step, you should clean the glass with the rubbing alcohol and cotton, and allow to dry thoroughly. While it dries you can cut out your stencil and temporarily adhere it to the glass where you would like it to be.

Apply a thick and even layer of the etching cream to the glass that is exposed through the stencil. You are going to want it thick, so apply at least two thick layers, if not more. Only put the etching cream where you want the etching cream. You can’t really remove the effects once it gets put on the glass. After the cream is dry/set, about 15-20 minutes (see directions on your product) you can rinse away the residue and you should come out with etched glass underneath. If you’ve missed spots or it isn’t as etched as you like, you can go over your spots a second time and repeat the process.

And you’re done! A personalized, super cool way to give a really neat and affordable gift that is sure to impress.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Finger Armor

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Happy Sunday, all!

Continuing our trend of decorative and useful tools, this week we are focusing on a small but essential bit of sewing paraphernalia: the humble thimble. I don’t often have sewing projects that call for extra finger protection but when I do, it’s because the fabric is super thick or stubborn. I have a traditional old-fashioned metal thimble that was my grandmother’s but I think my idea of thimbles has been thoroughly expanded by those available online! First and foremost, I adore the simple and tasteful design on this leather thimble by Holly Hawk Designs:

Very elvish looking with the pretty little tree!

I also appreciate the ability to customize designs on wooden thimbles available for purchase from Becky’s Craft Shack:

I mean, asking for a sloth thimble would be just perfect!

If you want something soothing and elegant, this Nephrite Jade thimble from Jade Mine Canada is just gorgeous:

Jade is also said to enhance creativity.

By far one of the coolest and most unique thimbles I found, though, was this blown glass one by Eighth Planet Glass:

Though this one makes me want to bust out my blacklight like it’s the 90s again.

I may give one of these a whirl someday when my Grandma’s gets a well deserved retirement. Next week, I think I will give my crochet tools some love, starting with some amazing yarn bowls!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Stained Glass Chess Set

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I feel like I’ve been posting a lot of stained glass stuff… but I just can’t help myself. It’s so pretty.

This one of a kind chess set was made as a gift from father to son and is just stunning. The pieces are elegant in their simplicity, and the sort of art deco like accents compliment the medium very well. With the lighting element in the base it just makes me want to put it somewhere safe and never touch it again, lol.

The designer is stained glass artist CHRISTIAN BÉLANGER, who has over 30 years experience in the medium. He and his partner run the studio Art Vitrail where they can do repairs to existing stained glass works, such as Tiffany Lamps, restorations on antiques, and conceptual designs for new pieces. You can find a gallery of their work here to peruse through if, like me, you enjoy the beauty of this medium; this one is probably my personal fav. 🙂 A quick heads up though that the site is all in french, so I can’t recommend contacting them for work unless you know the language.


DIY: Wine Bottle Chandelier

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!
I have for you a super cool tutorial that is relatively easy but still will take some time and some tools. The end result is super cool, and there are a number of different ways that you can do something like this.

There’s a number of different styles, and a number of different complexities in doing the electrical wiring for this. I thought this one was super cool. To do this you will need wine bottles – these ones were clear and then painted for colour, but you can absolutely do regular wine bottles if you like the green/brown hues.  If you’re liking the look of this (the original can be found here at Mod Podge Rocks Blog), and others like this tutorial, you might need this previous post on how to cut bottles safely. Make sure you follow the steps to sand down the edges, and if you would like to take any labels off, now would be the time.

This tutorial uses Mod Podge sheer colours, but there are methods to make the colours yourself with just one jar of Mod Podge (see if you can find a sheer one) and food colouring. You can find my tutorial for the ratios and the how to on the colour here (including how to set it). Use whichever you have the time and comfort level for. You’ll need the basics of the world of crafting, so craft paper/wax paper or a non stick craft mat, a craft knife, and you will also need the pendant light hardware kits which you should be able to find easily at any hardware store, or at an online retailer like Amazon.

Whether  you make your own colours or buy pre tinted Mod Podge, your first step is to get the inside of your bottles covered. You can do this by adding a generous amount of glue/colour to the inside of the bottle and swirling it around inside until it is covered. Try to get as far up the neck as possible so you get consistent colour all the way up. Do this to each bottle. Whether you use the same, themed or different colours is up to you. If you’re making your own colours, remember that you can change your one batch of colour just by adding other colours of food colouring to change the tints. You’ll either need to follow the directions in the previously mentioned tutorial for baking the wine bottles, or you will need to let them dry overnight (sitting on the mouth of the bottle to get maxiumum air flow) After they’re dry, if you want to add any stencils or glitter, now is the time.

The original poster used a light fixture like this. They didn’t use the switch on the cord, and cut the cord before that point since they manually are wiring everything together.

The wiring was cut about 2 feet from the bulb socket base, but you can do them longer or shorter based on the needs of your space. If there is a switch on your fixture, you can cut below it if you aren’t using it. Above if you would like to keep it.

Run the cut end of the cord up through the neck of the bottle so that the bulb socket fits nicely in the taper.

Expose the ends of each of the wires using your wire cutters to peel away the plastic coating (there will be 12 wires, hot and a neutral for each lamp or 18 if the kit is wired for a ground). This tutorial used a room that already had a simple ceiling fixture on a wall switch. This made it easy to take down and I just used the existing junction box and cover plate from the old light to mount my wine bottle chandelier. With the wall switch OFF (throw the service breaker for extra safety) take down the old ceiling light and find the white (neutral), black (hot), and green (ground) wires. Pull them down out of the box and make sure you have enough room to go back with the new wire bundle you’re going to create.

Next, combine all the neutral wires from the lamp kits together into one pigtail. Do the same for the hot and the ground if present. Use some electrical tape to help hold them all together while you get ready to connect them to the junction box. Using an appropriately sized wire nut, connect the white pigtail of the lamp kit to the white (neutral) wire from the ceiling. DO the same with the Black (hot) and ground (green, if present). Carefully push the wires up into the junction box and allow the weight of the lamps to be carried by the bundled lamp cords over the junction box support bar.

Slide the fixture cover you used from the old light up into place to cover everything.

You should be able to flip your switches and bring light! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and remember to work safely with any electricity!

Happy crafting.

~Megan


Stained Glass Creations

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I’ve been into stained glass a lot lately with my personal art projects, so I wanted to share an artist that has some pretty inspiring stuff with a modern take on the medium. Must be all this sunshine thanks to Spring coming in causing me to look out windows all the time. 🙂

New Jersey artist is Neile Cooper has a big thing for negative space in her stained glass and I kinda adore it. Combine that with her beautiful design work and you get some pretty stand out beautiful pieces. Not everyone can afford to get an entire wall made out of stained glass in their house, obviously, but the effect is quite striking. I love the way it almost blends into the nature around it.

For us plebeians with normal houses though, she makes some stunning sun catchers that you can check out on her etsy store. My personal favorite are the gemstone ones as I feel the colors and geometric lines lend themselves to it very well. She also makes some neat butterfly wing jewelry in stained glass style that is quite unique.


Tinted Decorative Glass

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Hey there Thursday readers!

Well, where we’ve just had Pi day, and it is indeed March, it’s snowy here, where I live, and it doesn’t look like the snow is going to stop anytime soon. Does that mean we shouldn’t be looking at spring focused DIY? Not at all! What better way than to do a craft that can be used for flowers and decor or for lining window ledges to get a smattering of colour. I am bringing for you a super easy tutorial for making tinted glass. Now, usually you see this kind of thing done in the form of beach glass, where glass jars are done in an aqua colour. This one is a little different because the tints used are really nice and vintage – like antique medicine bottles. I have used the tutorial from Fancy that Design House, and of course there many tutorials floating around, but as I said, I loved the colours that were chosen for these jars, and I love how easy it is.

I love the look of these and they’re so easy and can be used as really beautiful accents to any rustic decor, or to sit on windowsills to tint the light coming in. I also love that you can just save your old pasta, jam, mason or any jars you fancy to use for this, so it can be done on the cheap.

You will need some supplies, but they are minimal and you might just have them laying around the house. If you don’t, Mod Podge (or a similar craft adhesive) can be bought at almost any  craft store, and then the others you can pick up at any grocery store. Just make sure that outside of the jars, mod podge and food colouring that you also supply yourself with mixing bowls, some newspaper to cover your work area and to line a baking sheet (rather than using rather expensive parchment paper), a baking sheet, paper towels, and a stir stick or spoon. You’ll also be heat blasting them in an oven, so, you’ll need access to one of those too.

 

Your first step is to mix Mod Podge, water and food colouring in a small mixing bowl. For just one jar, you’ll need about 1 tbsp of mod podge with about 1/2 tbsp of water, so depending on how many jars you will be doing, you’ll need to bulk up your recipe as necessary. In this bowl you’ll also want to mix your food colouring. Depending on the colours that you’re wanting to do, you can start with a more green colour, and add drops of food colouring as you go to give you variations in your colouring so that you don’t have to make separate batches of the goo to have different colours. Just add a drop of whichever colour moves you after each one. Though the goo might look gross, rest assured when it dries it will be a glorious antiqued browish colour.

You will also need to prep a baking sheet by lining it with newspaper. You’re now ready to pour the gross looking goo mixture into your jar and rotate it around so that the inside gets completely covered. Be ready with a paper towel when you get to the mouth of the jar, to catch any dribbles as you reach the edge, and make sure that all the glass is covered or you’ll have a bald spot.

Put your covered jar upside down on the covered baking sheet and repeat the steps above if you’re doing more jars. Remember to change up your colour mix a little! You want to let your jars sit upside down for about an hour so that any extra goo can run down the sides and exit. This will also help prevent streaks.

In the meantime, prepare another baking sheet by lining it with wax paper ( though I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to use parchment if it’s on hand, or even foil). When your waiting period is up, turn your jars right side up and put them on the newly prepared sheet. You might have leftover goo puddles, but that’s okay, just bundle them up and throw away the newspaper. Put your tray with the jars right side up in a warm oven (225 degrees F) for about 45 minutes. If you check after 45 minutes and notice streaks, leave them in a little longer. When your time is up and you don’t have streaks, remove from the oven and give them plenty of time to cool.

There’s just a few things to remember. Some streaks will be inevitable, especially the darker you go. These jars aren’t great for water, as Mod Podge is water soluble. So if you insist on putting things in there that require water – you could try putting a coat of water resistant sealant, but there’s no guarantee. Rather than fresh flowers, try getting some silk foliage, or dried flowers in the fall. My mother uses delicate branches from bushes in her garden and they look fabulous.

Happy crafting!

~ Megan

 


DIY: Stenciled Glass Tabletop

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Good morning Thursday readers!

I found something that’s super cool that I thought I should share with you, for anyone who has a table with a glass top inset who wants to spruce it up.  I am using this tutorial from Nomadic Decorator as a how to, and you can go to her website to check out the full tutorial for this and other really neat ideas.

Now that you’ve seen it, don’t you want to make it? You will need some tools and supplies for this project. Obviously, your clear glass surface (that has been cleaned with glass cleaner), a ruler, a stencil of your choice, stencil brushes and stencil cream paint. You can see the specifics of brand and paint colours in the original tutorial. There are paints that are designed for glass, though you can be a little less concerned about that if you are painting the underside of a table that won’t get bumped, scratched or cleaned. Which you use is up to you though.

With stenciling on glass, you need to paint your colours in reverse – so your background should be the last thing you paint. You will also want to make sure that your glass is clean so that dust, fingerprints or anything else won’t be forever painted onto the glass. So the first step is to do any foreground detail you would like first, and this blogger did copper specks all over, so she did that first by flicking a brush with paint on it to get a very fine spray.

The next step is to use the ruler to find the centre of the table, and put the centre of your stencil there. After your stencil is where it should be you can use one paint colour or a combination of hues to paint your design. Just remember to use your stencil brush properly, so rather than brushing in strokes, you will be tapping the brush up and down onto the stencil, so that the paint doesn’t run, or move the stencil or have a harsh blending of colours. This will almost be like painting with a sponge. Remember that you can have the paint be as thick or thin as you choose, and this technique will allow for a smooth transition between multiple colours. This tutorial mixes 3 different metallic shades, but use whichever colours speak to your soul. Just make sure your design paint is thick enough that you won’t see your background colour through it. You might need a couple of layers for this.

Your last step is to remove the stencil and use your background colour to paint over the entire stencil, making sure to get to all the edges. Again, you might want to do this in a couple coats to make sure that you get good coverage. You can also use a bigger stencil brush to speed the process along.

Though I can’t take credit for it, I thought that this was just a beautiful way to give new life to old pieces of furniture, and gives an option to those who are shopping through second hand and vintage stores a new idea for how to turn a regular coffee table (or something larger…) into something with a definite wow factor.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


Adorable Octopi Ornaments

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Like Sea Creatures? Well, then I have got some of the most adorable ornaments for you this Holiday Season.

This beautiful pieces was hand blown by Etsy studio Full Blown Glass. Based in North Carolina, they have a wide variety of all things nautical (which I respect as a fellow East Coast artist ^_~ ) but their Octopus Ornaments really caught my eye.

Their work is beautifully detailed, and their spheres are simply on point for shape and size. That it’s all hand blown means it’s just wizardry to me. Besides the decorative pieces in this shop (which include a face hugger ornament!) you’ll also find practical everyday use glass wear at their sister shop; Andromeda Glass. While they won’t get to you in time for Christmas, they do have some non-holiday decorations should you find yourself in need of a fancy straw or maybe a terrarium? If you love nautical creatures their shop is at least worth a look through. 🙂