Saturday, December 19, 2015

How To Paint a Stained Glass Themed Piece Using Sharpies

Once again Sharpies are the go-to artistic product.  The ink is transparent and permanent and creates a stunning effect on glass. 

To make the stained glass plate in the picture above you will need:

1)  Glass plate - If you'd like to make a stained glass plate like the one pictured above, you will place your picture face down onto the front of the plate so you can see your picture through to the backside and begin tracing.  You will be drawing onto the wrong side (back side of glass) so that the plate can be used to serve on. However, you may only want to use it for decoration and then it won't really matter what side you use to draw on.

If you are going to make a candle holder, you will need a piece of glass that's open enough to have a piece of paper inserted into it so you can draw your stained glass outline on the side that's facing out (more about where to get your images below).

I like to buy my glass pieces at Dollar Tree, for you guessed it, a dollar!  However, you can also purchase glass pieces in bulk if you'd like them delivered to your door for a reasonable cost.

2)  Sharpies, the best artistic pen ever (oops, I think I said that already!).  The ink is permanent, so prepping the glass is not necessary. Once it dries, the ink does not rub off the glass, love this feature of Sharpies.  It might take a day or two for the ink to really dry permanently where it can not be smudged off by pushing on it with a cloth.

In addition, the ink dries transparently so the color just comes through when there is a candle or light placed inside.  Gorgeous effect for a candle votive.  (Is there anything a Sharpie can't do???, lol!)

3)  A picture of a printed stained glass scene that you would like to transfer to your glass piece.  The way that I get pictures is through an image search on Google.  Try the following method:

- Type words into Google that have to do with what you want your picture to be of.  i.e.  If you like dragonflies, type 'dragonfly stained glass' into your Google search box.

In the images of the plates I made, I typed 'hummingbird stained glass' and 'peacock stained glass' to get my image choices.  There are so many to pick from you might have a problem deciding on which one to try first!

- When the results come up, select 'Images' from the choices directly below the search box.

-  In another window, open up a word processing document.

-  Go back to your dragonfly images, select a picture you would like to transfer.

-  Left click on the image, it should make the image bigger.  Right click over the larger image that you see.

-  Select 'Copy Image'.

-  Go back to your Word Processing document.  Right click with your mouse on the blank document, click 'Paste'.  Your stained glass picture will appear.

-  Resize the picture using your mouse by clicking on the outside line of your stained glass picture, so as to fit your glass piece you will be making.

-  Print your picture.  It doesn't matter if it you only have a black and white printer, however, save your word document with your picture in color for reference when you are painting it with your Sharpie markers.

- If you are making the candleholder, then take your printed picture and place it inside your glass piece so that you can see the image from the outside.  Use scotch tape to secure it so that it doesn't move while you are tracing the outline of your picture with your black fine point Sharpie.  If you are making the plate, then tape the picture face down on the front part of the plate and draw on the back (the part of the plate that will touch the table).

- Trace your image with your black Sharpie.

- Let the ink dry for about a half an hour just to make sure you don't smudge the black with your colored Sharpies.

-  Color in your image with your Sharpies (you might want to use the broad tip Sharpies for this part, or perhaps the ultra fine tip for smaller pictures depending on how intricate your design is).  Again let it dry for an hour or so.  Within a day the colors will be really secure so much so that you will not be able to rub them off with your fingers.

-  At this point, you can seal your colors onto the glass using a foam paint brush and Mod Podge, which is basically a glue that dries transparently. If you would like to, sprinkle some fine irridescant glitter over the wet Mod Podge for an added effect and more sparkle.  However, I don't think this part is necessary to keep the color on the glass.

- If you made the candle holder, then take a small candle and place it inside your painted glass and watch the beautiful colors shine through!

This luminary could be made without a picture inserted because
it is just squares and circles, you could use a ruler... this is just beautiful!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Clothespin Snowflakes Tutorial

Learn how to make these gorgeous snowflakes at the link below, easy peasy, but oh so pretty!  I think I will make these for my neighborhood ornament exchange party.

There are so many ways you can make snow flake ornaments, see pics below, have fun!

Here is the video link:

Using spray paint to make the process a little easier and faster

You can also purchase premade wooden ornaments (click the pic above) to save time!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Learn How To Make a Wire Wrapped Ring

If you would like to learn how to make a beautiful wire ring like the one pictured above, then watch this short video below given by Rachel Murgatroyd of Wire Guild.

They look very elegant but are really very simple to make.  Imagine the possibilities!  (Warning:  this may become addicting).  What lovely gifts these rings make...

Of course, the more you learn about making wire rings, the more advanced your projects can become. I would recommend starting with a simple ring and then moving along to more detailed ones (pictured below) in the future if you find that you enjoy working with wire.

I will tell you that I have made quite a few of the simpler ones pictured above and have yet to try the more involved versions, although they are on my 'To Do' list!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

How To Make Beautiful Wooden Christmas Ornaments

I love handmade Christmas ornaments and I love the feeling I get when I see a beautiful old-fashioned Christmas scene.

So that's why I decided to make my own Christmas ornaments by transferring a beautiful scene onto a piece of wood using a simple decoupage method.

Decoupage is simply the art of adhering paper cutouts to another surface with a sealant like Mod Podge (Matte Finish or you can buy their version of a photo transfer medium which works really, really well!).

You can very easily make beautiful handmade ornaments like the ones pictured above (follow the directions below).

Transferring images can be a pretty tricky business and there are many ways to do it.  Below is a video explaining how to transfer an image using a mixture of simple white school glue and water:

You can make beautiful ornaments to decorate your own tree or you can make personalized ornaments for family, friends and neighbors.

First, you need the supplies - they are:

- a picture to transfer onto your ornament (you can print one on a color laser printer from your computer)

- small wooden shape(s) (these have pre-cut holes so you wouldn't need a small drill)t

- white acrylic paint

- foam paint brushes

- extra fine glitter (optional, for embellishment)

- a container to hold water to soak your image in (you probably have one in your kitchen somewhere)

- clear acrylic glossy finish sealer

- a small drill to put a hole in your wooden shape (I use my dremel tool)

- and finally a ribbon or hook to put through the hole in your finished ornament.

You can find free images everywhere on the computer just by typing things into Google like "Christmas winter scenes", "snowman scenes", "old-fashioned Christmas scenes".

After you hit 'Enter', click on "Images".  See what results you get.  Use your imagination and find a picture you like and would love to see on an ornament every year when decorating.

The picture can be black and white or color.  You can even use a picture of your family that brings back great memories from the past year.

There are really no limits, although I don't recommend using a stock photo unless you want to pay for it. (Stock photos will have water images over them in your image search results).

When you find a picture or pictures you want to transfer, put them into a Word document to resize them.  Here's how:

1.    Type a phrase into Google like "winter Christmas snowman scenes".  Hit 'Enter'.

2.    You will see a choice somewhere on your screen saying, 'Web, Images, Video, Shopping, News, More..."  Click on 'Images'.

3.    You will likely get quite a few results.  Decide on one that you like.

4.    In another window, open up a word processing document.  I use Microsoft Word 2010.

5.    Go back to your winter scene images.

6.    Hover over the image you like with your computer mouse, left click on the image to make it bigger.

7.    Hover over the image with your mouse again, this time right click on the image.

8.    Menu will give you choices, select 'Copy Image'

9.    Go back to your blank Word document, right click, select 'Paste' option.

10.  Your image should appear.

11.  Left click on your image and resize the image using the Picture Tools.

12.  You can go back and get more images and add them to the same document page to be printed so as not to waste paper.

13. You don't have to, but if you are going to print an image in color and want to avoid wasting color ink, then print the images in black and white first and make sure the size is right for your wooden shape before printing in color.  Or you could do a print preview which gives you the real size image on your screen and hold your wooden piece up to the screen to see if it will fit.

14.  Print your images on a laser printer.

15.  Using your foam paint brush, paint your wooden images with the white acrylic paint (this will make your images stand out more when you transfer).

16.  Let the paint dry for at least a half an hour, add a second coat and wait another half an hour for it to dry.

17  Take your printed laser image and brush the front of it (yes, the side with the ink) with your favorite transfer medium be it Mod Podge, white glue, or Golden Gel Medium (which is another way to transfer an image).

18.  Next, also brush the transfer medium onto the wooden piece that has been painted white (after paint has dried).  Make sure it's a good layer of the medium without letting it get too messy (sort of how you would butter a piece of bread).

19.  With both sides having a wet coat of the transfer medium, place your image face down onto your wooden shape.  Smooth it out with the side of a credit card so there are no bubbles.

20.  Let it dry over night.

21.  Take a clean wet foam brush and wet the top of your wooden image with water as if you were painting it with paint.  You will see the colored image start to come through.

22.  Let the water dry for about five  or ten minutes.

23.  Very, very gently take the tip of your finger and rub the paper off of the wooden piece.  This is how your image is going to show through.  You are basically rubbing the blank part of the paper off of the colored image layer by layer and into the painted wood.

24.  Repeat steps 21 & 22 until you have nothing left on your wooden piece but the ink, which now should appear to have melded into the white paint (transfer complete!)

25.  You can now embellish the color with art markers or colored pencils.  Add glitter by rubbing a glue stick over the parts you would like to embellish.

26.  Drill a hole into the top with your dremel tool if your piece doesn't have a pre-cut hole in it.

27.  Spray with acrylic sealant.  Wait for it to dry for at least 24 hours.  Add your hook.  Beautiful!!!

Be creative, and be happy!

Learn How To Make These Gorgeous Temari Balls

The beautiful Japanese temari balls pictured above would be just the perfect centerpiece for a dining room table or, because of their meaning, you could make them into Christmas tree ornaments to give to family and friends.

Traditionally, temari balls were made from the fabric of old kimonos.  In Japan, parents would wrap each temari ball with a small piece of paper containing a wish for a brilliant and happy life written on it.  They would give their children this gift on New Year's day.

  The children would never know what the wish was.  The outside of the ball then be decorated with threads in a beautiful design.

Sometimes a temari ball would be wrapped with a bell or rice grains to make noise, and it is said that they were wrapped so tightly that they could bounce.

Temari balls are considered to be highly valued and treasured gifts that symbolize true friendship and loyalty.  The bright threads and colors used to create each unique temari ball are a symbol of wishing the recipient a wonderful life filled with happiness and prosperity.

There are quite a few books available that
 can teach you more about this beautiful art form 

Today in Japan, to be considered a "temari artist" requires intense training and skill,
 although one can still enjoy this art form on a more casual level by creating their own
 with the books and videos available.

Please watch this video to learn more about how you can make temari balls, too!

Be creative, and be happy!