Hello! How's everyone doing? Me? Going a little crazy. I'm trying to get so many little things done before Christmas, and not having a lot of luck. I start out every holiday with so many good intentions, and it all seems to unravel as Christmas closes in. Oh well. So I'm not Martha Stewart, but at this time of year I sure wish I had all the little minions she has to do her bidding! I could sure use the help!
One good thing though, at least I'm pretty much done with my Christmas shopping! That's cool! I still have to finish decorating the tree and the house, and I'm having a bunch of people over for the holiday, and I'm not one bit prepared really. Ugh!
But, on the plus side, at least I have family and friends that are actually willing to come to my home for the holiday. And I've been invited to a few get-togethers where I'll have to do little except show up and have fun with my friends...so, there's that. I guess I should just stop complaining and get busy!
Monday, December 9, 2013
Hello everyone! How's it going today? Great here! I have a tutorial for some cool holiday wine glasses that you could still crank out in time to give as a gift! (Or keep them for yourself, like I'm doing!(Hee-hee!) I'm not a big fan of the little wine charms; they disappear, and let's face it; when I'm making merry I have a tough time remembering which marker was mine! These will make it much easier! They are pretty simple, but a little time consuming...but as I said earlier, you'll have enough time before Christmas. If you stay with it, you can finish a set in an afternoon, even with drying time. If you would prefer, you could use champagne flutes and save them for New Year's. Or do both! Hey, go crazy!
You'll need wine glasses, obviously...you can buy new, you can use glasses you already own, or you can find some thrifted glasses (just run them through the dishwasher to sterilize them). I used thrifted glasses. You'll also need frog brand tape, chalkboard paint (I used Valspar spray), Zinsser cover stain primer, a sewing measuring tape, a dry erase marker, white vinegar, a sponge brush, paper towels, post-it notes, and maybe an Exacto knife or razor blade.
This post will seem a bit "wordy", with a lot of info you may think unnecessary, but I wanted to throw in some detail and tips, especially for someone who doesn't paint much. Hopefully it will help! Clean the outside of the glass with the white vinegar. This will help remove any residue that may keep the paint from adhering. Let it dry.
Decide how big you want the "label" of paint on your glass to be. You want it big enough to write a name, or jot a little sentiment easily. I made mine 3" wide and 1 3/4" high. Also, if there are any little flaws in the glass, like a little scuff or a tiny air bubble, work it so that the flaw is behind the paint to conceal it! I decided that I wanted the "label" to be 1/2" down from the top of the glass. If you are having trouble deciding where to locate the "label" or how large to make it, use the post-it notes to make a trial "label". Just cut it the size you're considering and stick it on the glass to get a rough idea for it. Measure down 1/2" from the top (or whatever measurement you come up with), mark the glass with 3 little dots with the dry erase marker for taping. Tear off a length of frog tape to go across the top of the glass. When you apply it to the glass, use the middle mark on the glass as a guide, keep the tape as straight as you can along the marks, but adjust this so that it looks right, rather than staying exactly on the marks. Because the glass is curved, it won't look right if you follow the straight line too precisely.
Measure 1 3/4" down the glass, make 1 "dot" marking in the center, and apply another length of tape using this mark as a guide. Again, start from the center dot and concentrate on getting the top edge of the tape to look right and bunch the bottom edge up a little bit to conform. When you're done, check your measurement from top to bottom to make sure you're relatively straight and haven't gone crooked.
Measure 3" lengthwise on the tape, mark it, tear off another 2 lengths of tape, and apply them to the ends of the 2 pieces already on the glass, at the markings, to make a "box".
When you look at the taped glass straight on, it can be hard to tell if your "box / label" is even. Turn the glass so that you're looking at the "label" from the opposite side and it will be much easier to tell if the "label" is even.
To soften the edges of the "label", and help disguise any "wonkiness" there might be in the taping, tear off 4 small lengths of tape and tape off an approximately 1/8" area across the corners.
Again, look through from the opposite side to make sure the "label" is even and pleasing. Once you're satisfied, with clean fingers, press down the inner edges of the tape really well to keep the paint from bleeding under. Burnishing down these edges is THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP!
The taping down part of this project is the hardest part, so don't feel bad if it's sort of annoying! It is not at all difficult to do, it is just a bit tedious. But it will be worth it!
Now fill in the "label" with the primer. I really do prefer the Zinsser primer for priming unusual surfaces. I haven't found much of anything it doesn't work on. Make sure you're in a well-ventilated area, though; the Zinsser is pretty smelly! Apply just one coat and try to get it as even as possible. This is where the sponge brush is really handy; it applies the paint pretty smoothly on glass. Another good reason to use a sponge brush is it's disposable! I love the Zinsser, but it has to be cleaned up with mineral spirits, and I really don't like to bother if I don't have to. You could also use a small paint roller if you don't mind the cleanup.
Allow the primer to dry for about an hour or 2.
If you have to stop painting at any time, a good trick is to seal the sponge brush in a zip lock baggie and put it in the refrigerator or freezer till you can get back to it. It saves you from having to get a new brush.
After the primer has dried, tape pieces of newspaper around the primed "label" to mask off the rest of the glass, being careful not to tape over any of your primed area.
You can barely tell there's a glass in there now, huh? Rest the bowl of the glass in the tape roll to hold it in place while you spray.
With the Valspar chalkboard paint you are supposed to use 2 light coats of paint. Use whatever instructions your paint gives you. However, I learned that with the Valspar spray, you really DO have to apply pretty light coats. If you try to go heavier, the paint will crinkle and you will have to start over, and no one wants that! One quick sweep over each unpainted area, then wait and re-coat. Also, the can doesn't tell you this, but when you finish spraying, clean the opening where the paint exits with a paper towel or Q-tip or it will become clogged! Also sweep a test spray onto some newspaper before spraying directly onto your glass to make sure it's spraying properly.
Allow to dry for about an hour or 2. Then the best part!...
So satisfying! And you could tape off any shape you like for the label, really, or even experiment with die cut stickers with a "window". I'm not sure how easy it would be to remove the adhesive from the glass afterward, but you still have time before Christmas to experiment!
To care for the glasses, hand wash...I wouldn't trust the dishwasher, although I did scrub these with a kitchen scrubber and dishsoap and they survived just fine, so they're not TOO delicate. Be careful, though! (You also might need a little rubbing alcohol to remove any residue from the dry erase marker, and I recommended having an Exacto knife just in case you have a couple of little primer "hanger on-ers"! I did, but they scrape off totally easily! Just use care!)
These turned out so well, I'm going back up to the thrift store! They had a whole bunch of these balloon wine glasses, and if they still have them, I'm snapping the rest of them up and making some more of these babies!
Let me know what you think about these! I'd love to hear your comments!
Saturday, December 7, 2013
All you'll need is some Christmas themed fabric (for me, red and green plaid screams Christmas!), a couple of embroidery hoops (if you're like me, you have lots of these lying around already!), scissors, tape, a marker, a needle and thread, and maybe some red or green ribbon.
Lay out your hoops on the fabric, allowing about 1" to 1 1/2" around the hoop and mark a circle with the marker. Cut them out.
Place the fabric in the hoops, tighten the hoop and the fabric. Pull the excess fabric to the back, trim it down to about 1/2", and tape it to the inside ring of the hoop.
Turn the hooped fabric over and make sure it's tight and even. If you don't like ribbons, you're ready to hang. If you like ribbon, cut a length, tie it in a bow, and tack it on wherever you like, with thread. If you really, really, really hate sewing, you can tack it on with a dot of glue.
And there you go! Easy! And when the holidays are over, you can remove the fabric, and just put the hoops back with your sewing stuff!