Monday, September 18, 2017

Watercolor Rainbow Butterfly Cards

I participated in a card exchange at the end of the summer and decided to make my cards. I knew I wanted to use my new butterfly punch but I couldn't figure out how to use it. I figure you couldn't go wrong with combining it with rainbow paper. I didn't have any rainbow paper in my scrapbook stash, so I decided to make it.

I taped some watercolor paper to some foam board and mixed my colors with quite a bit of water to make a rainbow gradient across the paper in the traditional ROYGBIV order. This was a lot of fun and didn't take too much time. It really got me itching to paint some pictures again. I ended up making a few sheets of rainbow paper, but you could make 4 cards with one regular sized sheet of watercolor paper.

After my paper had dried, I cut it into fourths. I just folded the paper to guide my scissors, but you could also use a paper cutter to make it even neater. Then I used my butterfly punch to cut the silhouette of a butterfly out of the rainbow paper. I was then left with a lacy little butterfly to attach to the inside of the card.

Since I was just going for a blank notecard look, I kept it simple. I selected colored cards that seemed to correspond with the rainbow paper--peach for one side of the rainbow and blue for the other side.

I tried to use some double stick tape to attach the paper to the card, but it didn't get along very well with the watercolor paper. I also tried mod podge, but it wasn't very cooperative either--just too wet. Someone had recommended this glue in the photo above for paper: Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue. It definitely worked, but it was NOT user-friendly. I was used to glues that would wipe away with gentle rubbing when working with paper, like glue sticks or rubber cement. This stuff was permanent when wet and left big dark smears if you used a little too much near the edges. If left to dry, it remains super sticky, so it can be used like a post-it note and reattached. I'm sure there are situations when this stuff would be awesome, but I didn't care for it for general paper gluing purposes, so I'm still on the lookout for a good paper glue. 

So I glued the silhouette rainbow paper on the front of the card and the lacy butterfly on the inside. Then I wrote a quick note on each one. The ones without smeared glue on them turned out great, and I can't wait to get back into painting.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Recycled Tin Can

We bought a giant can of peanuts a while back at Big Lot. After my husband devoured them, I was about to toss the can in the trash when I realized it wasn't the usual foil lined cardboard, but was instead a full fledged corrugated metal can. It looked just like a big old coffee can with its resealable lid and all. So I knew I had to save it, if for nothing else than to throw nails in it in the garage. In my mind, I thought I could do something a little snazzier, though.

Probably the hardest part of this project (and not all that hard) was a step that I didn't get any photos of--removing the glue after I ripped the label off. It was that hard non-sticky label glue. My usual go to for excess glue is goo-gone. I sprayed it on the glue and waited a minute--nothing happened. So then I grabbed a butter knife and started to try to scrape it off. I didn't make much of a dent. Then, I decided to run the glue under hot water. This made the glue tacky again and I was able to scrape off most of the glue with a little bit of elbow grease and a pan scraper. After the hot water and scraping, most of what was left was sticky residue. Then I was able to use the goo-gone since sticky residue is its true strength. After I got the glue cleaned off, I set the cleaned can in a box and selected some spray paint.

I sprayed several light coats. The paint I selected is a hammered bronze. It has a bit of a texture to it, so it took a little more paint and a little extra drying time to cover the can than I'm used to.

Once it was dry to the touch (took about an hour and a half instead of the usual 10-20 minutes), I brought it inside to cure. I set it on a piece of tinfoil to dry for several days. The can turned out pretty good, but still looked very much like a tin can, so I knew I had to jazz it up somehow. I selected a striped washi tape from my stash and wrapped it around the top and bottom of the can (on the flatter sections). The great thing about washi tape is that I can peel it off and try out a new tape if I get sick of the stripes.

So now I have a can that I can store things in inside the house and not just in the garage. I'm pleased with how it turned out, but if I get another giant can of peanuts (or coffee) I'll probably decide to paint it a bright non-metallic color to further the illusion that it is no longer a "tin can."