Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shrink Plastic Halloween Earrings

Aren't these fun? The images are from the current SU! set "Batty For You" & the retired set "Bitty Boos." I made them with black shrink plastic (like Shrinky Dinks). I really like the black because I don't think it looks obvious that it's shrink plastic.

First, stamp the image (straight up & down--it's a slippery surface--you can sand it in a criss-cross pattern to prevent sliding if you don't have a steady hand). On black, I recommend Chalk Inks...they showed up much more vibrantly than Craft or pigment inks.

Then punch the image out (I used a 1 3/8" circle punch for the image & a 1/8" hole for the jump ring). Be very careful when punching because the ink can smear. Also, make sure you didn't get ink on your punch because then you could transfer it to the next image. Next, all you need is a heat tool to shrink them. I keep a paper piercer in the little hole to keep the plastic from blowing away when I'm trying to heat it. The finished size is about 1/2" in diameter--perfect for casual earrings.

Finally, just add jump rings & earring findings. Going to a Halloween party? Give the hostess a pair of  "The ghostess with the mostest" earrings :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fall Festival Halloween Necklace

I've just been confirmed to participate in a Fall Festival at the Brambleton Town Center in Ashburn, VA on Oct. 10, 2-7 pm--so I thought I'd post a Halloween project I made for it (I've got it for sale in my Etsy store too). I usually do Christmas fairs so it was fun for me to make some Halloween items. Come visit me if you're in the area!!

I'd make some glazed mini-domino pendants with this same skeleton and found out that boys liked them so I decided to make some that were a little simpler and geared towards the tween set with the leather necklaces. I colored them with chalk inks and dabbed gently with my finger or a make-up sponge until the colors looked blended. Next, heat set the ink with a heat gun. I found if I did that before stamping the main image, the stamp doesn't slide and the image is crisper. So the main image was stamped with black Staz-On. I used a sharpie to color the sides black.

I invested in a Dremel hand drill and mini-vise that clamps onto my desk this summer so drilling a little hole near the top of the domino was a cinch. Then I used a jump ring to add the domino to the necklace. I also made a bunch of girly ones too--I'll post when I get better pics but here's one...an Irish Dancer:


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Custom Photo Pendant

I finally had someone ask me to make a photo pendant of her grandbaby. I was psyched to try out a black and white photo on an Othello game piece (the back of the piece is black). And how could you go wrong with such a beautiful picture? The photographer is Kelly Mihalcoe.

This was my first time working with a digital print so I had some new challenges. Just like other papers, it has to be sealed first before you add the epoxy resin on top. I tried Mod Podge but found that it yellows the picture a little. Next, I used Krylon's Preserve It! in Matte Finish. It's kind of funny making a picture printed on glossy paper look matte, but whatever, that's what I had on hand & the epoxy made it look glossy again. Make sure you spray the front AND the back of the paper to seal it. Finally, I added a rhinestone to her hair for the finishing touch.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Name Frame

I was asked to make a name frame for a little boy with an "Eric Carle"-themed bedroom. Hmmm. This is what I came up with:

SU's retired "Tart & Tangy" set was perfect for this. I punched holes through them to mimic the book. Then, the retired "Good Morning Sunshine" designer paper had this pear paper. I also used the coordinating pear stamp from the "Cheep Talk" set.

But the real challenge was how to make the caterpillar. Once I figured out how to achieve a similar look to the book, it was easy. I simply rubbed some craft spots across glossy paper (which came out looking like brushstrokes), then punched 1" circles out of each colored "stripe" on the paper. For the body I did a stripe of Old Olive & Summer Sun & a stripe of Garden Green & Night of Navy then alternated the circles. For the head, I made a stripe of Ruby Red with just a little Garden Green. The feet & antennae are horizontal punches in Close to Cocoa & Lavender Lace. For the eyes, I just punched holes in the red circle, then put a circle of Garden Green cardstock behind it. Then I drew around the eyes with Summer Sun marker (it just pushed the craft ink out of the way on the glossy surface). The frame, by the way is 12" x 5" & the Alpha Set for the name is Schoolbook Serif (I used a Stamp-a-ma-jig to get it nice & straight & Black Staz-On for a quick-drying crisp image).