Thursday, April 20, 2017

Summer Party Lights

Nothing says "party" like bright, shiny, decorative, paper foil lanterns and color changing LED lights!


They're quick'n easy to make using double sided,  6" x 10" assorted Rinea® Paper Foil available in craft packs online @

Empty disposable bottles of water - small (one per lantern) 
18 gauge wire stem
Crystal stickers (to embellish)
Color changing LED tea lights
+ a few tools:
Paper trimmer
Wire cutters
1/4" Hole Punch
Adhesive runner
Scissors or Craft knife

1. Measure around the bottle at the widest point below the top.  Bottles vary depending on the manufacturer, but mine was 8".  Cut the top from the bottle about 4" from the bottom.  Do not discard the top.

2.  Cut a rectangle of foil paper 1/2" longer than the diameter of the bottle and 1 1/2"- 2" wider than the height of the bottom piece of the bottle after it has been cut.  My bottle was 4.5" tall and 8 " diameter, so the piece I cut was 8 1/2" x 6".

3. Using the rounded tip of a ball point pen, or an embossing stylus, score a line along the length of the piece of foil half an inch from the top and bottom edges.  Emboss a second line one inch from the top and bottom edges.  It will be one half inch from the first line. Fig. 1.  Cut strips, half inch apart between the embossed lines from end to end across the foil. Fig. 2.  I use the channel in my paper trimmer to score.  I also like the little arrows on each side of the cutting blade to indicate where to start and stop each cut between the embossed lines.

  Fig. 1    Fig. 2


3.  Fold the top edge down along the scored line. Fold back then repeat along the bottom edge.  Apply adhesive along the top and bottom edges, Fig.1,  then fold the edges down to secure. Apply adhesive along the side, from top to bottom. Fig.2  Roll the piece around the bottle overlapping the opposite end on top of the adhesive. Fig.3

Fig.1    Fig.2 


4.  Punch a hole at the top edge of the lantern where the ends overlap and a second hole at the opposite side. This will be for the ends of the wire hanger. Align the top edge of the lantern with the cut edge of the bottle then punch holes in the bottle through the hole in the lantern.  The lantern should sit snugly around the top of the bottle, but if not, add a little adhesive to hold it in place. If you would like to add crystal stickers, decorative Washi tape, ribbon, or other embellishments around the top and bottom edges of your lantern, it can easily be done at this point.  You can also add your choice of embellishments while the lantern is still flat, but remember to mark where the holes will be punched along the top edge and to leave 1/2" at the end where the ends will overlap.

5. Cut a 9" piece of wire for the hanger.  Curve it at the center around a small glass, or similar then turn the ends outwards.  Place the ends thru the holes from the inside of the bottle outwards on each side of the bottle then either bend upward to secure, or curl around needle nose pliers, a pencil, or similar.


6. The lantern will be longer than the bottle, so push gently upwards from the bottom to create the lantern effect.  Your lanterns will sparkle in the sunlight,

but as the sun sets, place an LED tea light in the bottom of the bottle.  I found these color changing lights at Michaels, but simple LED lights are just as effective.  



NOTE: Let the lantern rest on a flat surface level with the bottom of the bottle as shown above on the right, or gently push the bottom of the lantern up a little further for a more rounded effect.

                     The pink lantern was created in the same manner, but instead of placing the bottom of the bottle inside the rolled paper, the top of the bottle was placed facing downwards in the top with edges aligned. Keep in place with adhesive if necessary.  The top of the bottle was also embellished with sticker crystals.


With the top of the bottle facing upwards, this lantern can be placed on top of an LED light on a solid surface. e.g. table, or candlestick.

It can also be used with a hanger.  Simply place the LED light upside down into the neck of the bottle with the flame facing downwards.


 With so many bright shiny lanterns, you are going to rock your summer parties! Enjoy!

Y'all come back now.............

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Etching with etchall®

If you follow my blog, you'll know how much I love working with glass. I even took a class on glass cutting about 25 years ago, but soon realized that that wasn't for me. I think it had something to do with the band aid in the supply kit...

I first met "etchall Barbee" at the Arts & Crafts trade show in the early 90's. I also loved decorative painting and fell in love with the idea of being able to paint on an etched glass surface.  The prep work was so much easier and a lot faster than sanding and sealing wood.......   Since that time,  I've created a number of etched glass pieces, so I thought I'd share a variety of ideas and techniques to inspire and encourage your itch to etch.....   Most of them have been featured here on my blog, so if you'd like detailed, step by step instructions, enter "etched glass" in the search bar and they should come up.  Let's go!

1.  Let's start with some dip'n etch projects that are quick and easy.


I love colored glass, so I picked up some colored glass pieces from the dollar store and even found a couple on the clearance shelf at my local supermarket. You can also find them at your local craft store, but make sure you have a coupon.....   The challenge with some colored glass pieces is that it isn't colored glass at all. More often than not, it's clear glass with a colored coating on the outside - can't be etched - on the outside, but you can etch the inside!  You can tell if it's coated by looking at the bottom.  If the glass is color coated, the bottom will be clear.  If it's colored glass, the bottom will be colored too - like a wine bottle.  

Check out these glass pieces before and after etching them on the inside.  Always wash and dry glass pieces thoroughly first, then simply fill with dip'n etch liquid.  Leave for 15 minutes, then pour the dip'n etch back into the container.  Quick'n EZPZ....


And these were decorated with beads...  The mason jar is colored glass, so it can be etched on the inside or the outside, or both.


This painted vase was also etched on the inside, I simply filled it to the brim with dip'n etch.  

The pieces below were etched on the outside by immersing in a plastic container that was just a little larger than the pieces.  The heart shaped bottle looks like sea glass. I etched the milk bottle so I could paint the cherries on it.


The mason jars were also immersed in a container of dip'n etch.  (I used an empty soda bottle a little larger than the mason jar for this.)  The designs were created using a star punch and strips of etchmask™ used for creating your own stencils.  For the votives and wine bottle, I used Peel Off star stickers. The light comes from a light stick in the wine bottle.



Here are some more etched bottles using dip'n etch.  They each have an LED tea light under their hat.


And here's a glass plate I etched so I could paint it with regular acrylic paint. This is just one of the projects featured in my book, Garden of Glassware, a decorative painting book by Leisure Arts.

2. These projects were etched with etching cream.

I designed and cut my own stencils for these using etchmask and my Cricut Explore. 





I etched the candlestick bases with star stickers (negative etch) then placed a small, multi colored LED tea light under the base of the candlestick. I loved how the stars reflected on the wall. You can see the base design on the second photo.  The top is a light shade kit, also from etchall.


The feathery look on the painted plate and the rim of the cookie plate was created by using a sea sponge to dab the etching cream onto the surface.


And here's etching on china. The pig was placed in dip'n etch and the letter M was etched onto the center of the plate with cream then enhanced with gold rub'n buff. The Aloha sign is etched slate.  The lantern has a different design etched on each side of each piece of glass which gave it a dimensional effect.



I used the same layering technique for the winter frame.  4 individual designs were etched on both sides of 2 pieces of glass which were then layered in a float frame......


I hope you enjoyed this round up of etched designs and will try some etching yourself.  You'll be amazed how professional your projects will look - perfect for your own home, or to give as a gift.  Don't forget to use the code on the Designer Crafts blog for a special discount.  Enjoy!

Y'all come back now............

Yours truly,
Julie :)