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resin

Craftiness

Recycled Bottletop Magnets – Valentines Day special!

14 January, 2013

I may be slightly addicted to making Bottletop Magnets. There is something so satisfying about such a tiny little canvas, using up something that would ordinarily go in the bin, and experimenting with what works with resin. These may be my favourites so far….

Bottle top magents scrabble maps

I am not an especially big fan of Valentines Day, y’know, commercialism, guilts, singles feeling rubbish etc etc. But I DO love an excuse for crafting.

Tim and I had begun a long distance relationship about a month before Valentines Day 7 years ago. It was a little opportunity to show each other just how head over heels we already were. I was on a bit of a candle making buzz around that time, I used to experiment with all sorts- old keys, flowers, flax. I poured my heart and soul into a big candle for Tim, using a few different kinds of New Zealand foliage. I sent it up to him, hundreds of miles away, in perfect time and he told me just how much he loved it.

It was only a few months later that he revealed how he lit it at the dining table (he LIT it?? Who LIGHTS candles??!) whilst sitting down for dinner with his whole family…. and it, um, caught fire. Foliage + candles = hazard.  His family must have thought me a bit daft.

Anyway, I know you are wondering how he could have competed with such a WONDERFUL pressie from me… Well! He blew my amazing, slightly perilous, candle out of the water. I returned home from university that Valentines Day to a box of chickens on my doorstep. Live chickens. A pair of chooks called Miranda and Gertrude he had adopted on my behalf.

We got engaged the very next month….

So here is another batch of bottletop magnets from me and seeing as there is only 1 month to go let’s make it a loved up Valentines Day special….
Valentines Day Bottle Top Magnets

HOW TO:

  • Buy your resin (this is an environmentally friendly resin, quite dear but a good amount will last FOREVER)
  • Collect your bottletops – the ones I am using here were picked up from a bar so have their edges pressed out from the auto-bottletop popper which is quite a nice effect, but it looks fine without too.
  • Choose your paper/ random objects
  • Play around- thin paper tends to go see through so choose card/ fabric
  • Mix up a small amount of resin- mix REALLY DAMN WELL, get right in there, until it is utterly clear and not misty
  • Pour it to the brim of your bottletops
  • Leave for 24 hours
  • Stick magnets on the back- I buy ugly magnets from secondhand shops and re-use those!Bottle Top Magents for Valentines Day
    I used these Loveheart sweets and am stoked with how they look- I did try other colours but only the white ones managed to hold their colours, so be warned.

I also cut up a map and placed small (from a travel Scrabble set) letters inside. I like the idea of using segments of maps from places that mean something to you both- where you met, first kiss and all that gushy stuff! And, Gosh, I LOVE Scrabble letters, these mini ones work a dream.Bottletop Magnets with scrabbleAre you already thinking about Valentines Day? Have anything planned?

PS I’d hate for you to miss a post… enter your email to get them pinged into your inbox. I won’t be spamalot, promise!


Craftiness

Tiny Resin Collage Craft (using just an old ice tray)

18 October, 2012

You know that old ditty “when in doubt, get the resin out”? I adhere to that in a big way.

I might have a little tiny trinket, a word from an old book, an image from a retro children’s book, or even a scrap of fabric, that I just love and want to show the world –  for me the solution is nearly always encasing it in resin.

It takes almost no skill and can be done on one of those days when you are completely lacking in creativity and nearly always turns out with a pro-looking sheen.

At the moment I am using up my Gedeo Crystal Resin, but soon will be moving on to try out a more eco version.

The key thing is to follow your instructions carefully and MIX IT TOGETHER REALLY WELL – UNTIL IT IS CLEAR AGAIN. (This is in caps because it is so critical, the only thing that will ruin it really, as it won’t set,  and then you’ll probably cry.)

I use the flexible ice tray, and fill them up to the level that I want my thing to be. I used a star mold last time, and made a scrabble letter pencil end and a tiny deer necklace.

This time I kept it plain, and filled every compartment in the tray with little papery experiments. I had someone in mind for every single one.

I popped them out after 24 hours – it is easier to get them out the quicker you do it. A couple I left in for a week and they were tough cookies, determined to stay in the tray.

Once out I drilled little holes into them, using the tiniest drill bit I have. I still need to sand the edges of them- I was kind of hoping these snaps would be a little more forgiving, mwhaha!

Some of them I made into key rings.

Some into a necklace.

I used a variety of papers- an old cowboy comic and a little piece from an old book.

I used some scraps of sewing fabric and cut up a few segments of a photo I’d taken of a million flying seagulls.

Easy Resin Craft

I couldn’t resist putting a bit of lace in, and I love how it came out, and then this little kids book image. These are my faves.

Others I have not quite made up my mind what to make them into, even though I know exactly who they are for.

What do you think? Any ideas for these tiny little collages?

Craftiness

Easy resin craft – Bambi and scrabble letters get Pompei’d

15 May, 2012

I want to let you into a little crafter’s secret. I’ve mentioned it once or twice before. It is the key to making stuff that really doesn’t look home made.

Sometimes homemade IS the look you want; mismatched fabrics, crazy collections of buttons, novice stitching. But other times you want to be able to say “I blooming well MADE it!” without stating the absolute obvious.

Let me welcome to the stage, Resin. Crystal Resin.

I whipped up some bottle top magnets a bit earlier and waterproofed a jar lid before, but today resin is moving up from supporting act to main.

I embedded some paper – a tiny cut out deer (I Pompei’d his ass) and a sentence that said “so busy dreaming” – I love that you can see the words all the way through as they curl round. I also cut up a few flecks of sweet wrapper to act as glitter. And thirdly a scrabble letter. No craft experiment of mine is complete without getting a least one old scrabble letter in there.

The thing I especially love is that you could put absolutely ANYTHING inside and it would come out looking cool. An insect flew into the resin as it set – it looked grotesqely nice before I fished it out. Imagine getting your kids to collect random objects and then setting them in?!It is a way of making something together that you can both be stoked with. (Pasta shape pictures only go so far, eh.)

“Here mummy! Here’s a slug!” “Oh, darling. Such a shame, it’s not going to fit into the mold.”

As you can see, I made a necklace and I made a pencil end – it funks up a boring object, transforming it into a  magical wand. But you could really do ANYTHING with these molds. Magnets. Brooches. Rings. Leave them plain and put them in people’s drinks along with the ice as a delight for their eyes as they sip. Party favours or place settings even.

Logistics
At first it doesn’t seem hugely cheap- I use Gedeo which at the moment is online for £12.95 for 300ml. I fill the molds only a third up, so this makes these come in at about 50p each, which I think is pretty bargainous for a gift or bit of jewellery.

Have you noticed, apart from using the drill, this is completely skill free?! If you don’t know how to use a drill I suggest you sort that out pronto. It will change your life. You know the little bits that you poke into the end of the drill? Do you know what they are called? Drill Bits. Yep, it’s true. If that genius simplicity doesn’t make you want to learn how to use it I don’t know what will.

Linking up with Lakota’s spanking new Ta Da! Tuesday.

Also, if you get a moment to vote for me in the MADS, in the Thrift and Craft catergories, that would be phantasmagorically wonderful!

What reckon ye? Got any imaginative ideas for these molds or things to embed?

Craftiness, Thrifty

Bottletop Magnets – a quick craft

7 February, 2012

A friend sent me some gorgeous magnets a few months ago and I instantly thought “Ooh, making these would be super easy.” (This is a pretty standard reaction from me- I have an engorged sense of self efficacy when it comes to art and craft – I’ll look at a Henry Moore sculpture and say “Baah, give me half an hour and a couple a quid and I’ll carve me own.”)

I forgot about the magnets until I saw a picture of some similar ones and Pinned them (Mum, it’s this new internet thing called Pinterest) onto my “Going to make” board. And you know what? I only went and did it.

I am a massive fan of varnishing things – it gives crafted things their mojo– but I have to say, RESIN is now where it is AT. It is the new varnish. (Which was the new laminating machine – remember those days of laminating everything?) It is like a beautiful, thick, non yellowing varnish.

These magnets were incredibly easy to make and gives me another way to use up all the tiny little images I find in vintage books and mags and things.

I am really happy with them although next time I make them I will be a little less stingy with the resin and fill them right up to the edge. I think my favourite is the cowboy on the polkda dots, or the super simple swallow, or the circus monkey saying HOORAY.

Linking up with the Pinaddicts Challenge – the awesome idea of each month taking one thing you have fallen in love with on Pinterest and whipping it up.  Are you a Pinterest fan? You should tooootally get involved 🙂