Archive for December, 2010
This is a project that I wanted to do LAST year when everyone was on the whole “homemade coasters made with a tile” kick, but getting the girls to sit down and draw four pictures proved to be difficult. Luckily this year their attention spans were a little more prepared to handle the task. I used the same method of transfer as I did in the previous post with the waterslide transfer paper. I fall more and more in love with this product every time I use it.
These coasters were made specifically for each girl’s teacher. I have made baskets full of homemade goodies including Christmas coffee (a delicious blend that my family makes every year), sugar/cinnamon almonds, and homemade blackberry jelly. I think the coasters will look great nestled in with all of that.
So first, I scanned each girl’s photo into the computer, and added a border on Photoshop. Then, I printed on the waterslide paper and sprayed acrylic over it and let it dry. Then, following the instructions from the last post, I transferred each drawing onto a plain old, white floor tile. These were about 4.25″ square.
Once the transfers had dried, I coated each coaster with a generous coat of acrylic to seal it all in. Then, to finish the backs, I used a roll of cork liner. (I found mine in the shelf liner section of Home Depot).
Not being one to waste, I used a ribbon that was around the new sheets I just bought to hold the coasters together. I fashioned the bow out of the excess. I’m all about using what you have on hand!
I absolutely LOVE how they turned out. I think they’re adorable. Of course, I could be bias since my kids made them. I hope the teachers like them!
Have you ever heard of water slide decal paper? If you haven’t, let me introduce you to one of my favorite crafting products. I picked mine up at Papilio.com last year when I first discovered this product.
It’s a tradition that I make ornaments for each of my cousins every year, so last year I was looking for something a little more “professional” looking than, say dough ornaments or something. (which I actually still love) My research led me to this product.
It’s essentially gelatin on top of paper. You print an image onto the paper using your glossy setting, coat it a few times with a lacquer, and then you’re ready to add it to whatever surface you’d like. This year I was making ornaments for the Brownie troop I am now a co-leader of. I made sure to take a photo of each girl at our investiture ceremony so I would have something to work with. I took these photos, put them into Photoshop where I used a feathering on the sides so that the color wouldn’t have an abrupt edge to it. I also made a little thing that said “Oh My Honor…” with the troop number below.
After taking this photo, I took it to the garage and did about 3 or 4 coats of a clear, glossy lacquer. Once it was dry, I was ready to transfer the photos to the ornaments.
Last year I used ornaments that looked like this:
These were great because they provided a smooth, flat surface to which I could apply the transfer easily. The problem was that I ordered these online and this year I waited too long to get them, so I had to see what they had at Hobby Lobby. This is what I found:
These were great, but they posed 2 problems. The first one is that they were slightly convex. I know this would probably cause a little bit of an issue with the transfer, but because the curve wasn’t TOO bad, I figured I could make it work. The second thing is that they are clear. When you print on the gelatin, it doesn’t actually print the white out, so anywhere there would be white in your photo, would actually be clear. I thought to get around this problem, I could just fill the ornaments with something white and it would be fine. Well, that didn’t actually work, but I’ll show you how I got around it.
When you’re ready to slide your transfer onto your craft surface, you’ll need some warm water. Cut around your photo and dip it in the water. You’ll want to give it a minute or two until the decal begins to slide around on the paper.
Then, put your decal up against the surface of your craft and gently slide it off, and directly onto your surface. You’ll want to avoid getting bubbles underneath it, but if you do, don’t worry. You can use the very paper you just slipped your decal from to ease the bubbles out. You’ll feel that it’s still a little slippery, so fold your paper, slippery sides out, and use that to wipe the surface and smooth any air out.
From here, you can use a paper towel to dab the water off and let the ornaments dry.
At this point, you could be done if you wanted to be. However, because you can *sort of* see the decal’s edges, I wanted something to smooth it out, so I went over the surface again with the lacquer. I didn’t do this last year, though, so it’s up to you.
Now, if you look at the ornaments above, you’ll see what I mean about the color issue. Without white behind it, the image is pretty difficult to see. I noticed while the ornaments were sitting on top of something white, that the image was able to pop, plus I really liked the 3D effect of having the words above the picture. So, instead of filling the ornament with something white and having two sides, I decided to grab some enamel paint and paint what would now become the back of the ornament. (don’t mind the mess, this table has become craft headquarters)
So when they dried I was left with this:
I was really happy with how they turned out and I think the girls really liked them.
Now, if you are a visual learner and have to see how things are done, here is the video I taped LAST year before I even had a blog. I just shot this for some of my friends to show them how it was done, so it’s not the best quality. However, it walks you through the whole process. Enjoy!
And here is the ornament that was seen in that video:
This year I wanted to put together some baskets for Christmas, but if you’ve ever put a bunch of stuff in a basket, you know that nothing stays in place. By the time you get it to where it’s going, everything is mish-mashed around, if it stays in the basket at all. While at the Dollar Tree looking for tissue paper, I came across these nifty “shrink wrap & pull bow bags”. And the best part? They were only a dollar!!! I picked up all that they had on hand. I had already bought out the supply of baskets at the Goodwill, so I am ready to go.
This is what the package looks like. I imagine there are many different brands on the market, just make sure they say “shrink”.
The bag inside is really quite large, large enough to accommodate a pretty good sized basket.
Place the basket inside, get it all settled as to how you want it.
Hold it together at the top, and shrink wrap securely around the gift basket with blow dryer.
You will see that it starts to shrink around the basket, making a nice tight fitting. If you had a handle, or anything around the top, it would shrink right around it. I wanted to leave a little room at the top, so I just stopped the blow drying process once it shrank around the basket, yet still had space at the top.
The package included a decorative pull bow.
Pull it and secure it around the top of the bag.
There will be a lot of plastic left at the top, just cut it off with scissors at the desired height. The plastic will fit nicely around the basket, and hold everything in place. They turn out really cute.