Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Glass" beads

I made these beads!!!
While surfing Craft Gossip this morning I found this post about making beads from soda bottles and thought they looked very interesting so I checked the recycle bin for supplies - NONE!!!!!!!! All the plastic went out last week!! So, on my way home from my walk this I was on the look out and found three empty bottles which I promptly washed and disinfected so I could play!!
These are so cool!! They look so much like they are made of glass. I made all these beads from one center section of a medium plastic bottle. The ones I found had #1 in the triangle on the bottom. I cut the flat mid section into strips about 3/4" x 4", coloured them
with permanent Sharpie markers, rolled the strips around a pair of long needle nose pliers, tied them off with wire and used my heat gun on medium to heat the plastic to form a bead. The plastic shrinks and becomes thicker and in the process forms a bead. After this little bit of experimenting, I prefer to roll the bead so the inside of the bottle is on the outside of the bead. I applied colour to one side, the other side and both sides - they all look good. If you use a lot heat, the plastic will bubble and create a completely different looking bead - check out the top left light green bead in the first photo.
I expect that some of these cool beads are going to end up on a mixed media charm bracelet!! Starting to collect a few interesting charms that will look wonderful together!!
Thrifty Tip: Make cool beads using what is in your recycle bin!! If you don`t have Sharpies - any alcohol based markers will do like Copics. You could also use alcohol inks, liquid acrylic inks or acrylic paints though I would apply them to the side that will be inside the bead to leave the outside shiny and clear.
These would be great on book bindings, make great charms for a bracelet, or be very cool beads for making jewelry. You can customize the colours to your project or outfit!!
Have fun!! Leave me a comment and a link if you make some beads!!


Thank you cards

I had a Stampin UP party a week ago and I am expecting the goodies we ordered to show up this week so I made thank you cards for all those who came and participated in the fun afternoon and for those who placed orders, as well.
The decorative paper is my own creation - a mix of acrylic, fabric and glitter paint. I layered the decorative paper over white cardstock that had been laser printed with the greeting.
I added a bit of ribbon which I tucked behind on the left and overlapped with a 3" embossed scallop (Nestibilities) on the right. I added a die cut butterfly (Sizzix) over the scallop which has been embellished with stamping and an iridescent finish - nail polish!! It was the perfect blue/green colour and gave the butterflies just enough bling without being overwhelming. I layered this accent on the card front which is just 4.75 wide. These will be accompanied by #8 (6 3/4) envelopes.
I have taken a closeup of the butterfly to let you see the details and hopefully some of the shimmer!!
Thrifty Tip: Consider using nail polish when you are looking for a durable finish on accents! It comes in a million colours, can be purchased inexpensively and stays wet long enough to add glitter or other embellishments and and in some cases can be somewhat translucent which allows a lower layer to show through. In this case - the stamping was done first and the finish applied afterwards . When you paint it onto an absorbent surface like the cardstock I used here it will be less glossy but a couple of coats fixes that.