Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Faux Sea Glass

I love sea glass!  In fact I love anything that has to do with the beach.  My sister and I have spent countless hours collecting shells and sea glass from beaches from the west coast of the US to the east coast of England.

It's not surprising when I kinda fell in love with some sea glass vases I saw in an online catalog.  I was about to "add to cart" when I suddenly realized I could make my own at a fraction of the cost and here it is:

I've been Spring cleaning lately and discovered a box full of these little heart shaped glass bottles. I wish I could tell you where I found them, but you can use this technique with any glass.  All you need is etchall® dip'n etch reusable glass and mirror etching liquid and a plastic container slightly larger than the glass piece you want etch.  You can find an inexpensive collection of glass bottles and vases, etc at your local Dollar store, or even Goodwill.

Here's what you do:

1.  Fill the bottle with WATER then place it inside the plastic container.  Fill the container with water until the water level reaches the top of the bottle.  Remove the bottle and the water level will fall. Mark the water level on the outside of the plastic container with a marker.

2.  Pour the water out of the container and the glass jar then dry both pieces thoroughly.

3.  Fill the plastic container with dip'n etch up to the mark you made.  Fill the bottle with dip'n etch then carefully place it inside the container.  Leave for 15 minutes.

4.  Remove the bottle and pour the dip'n etch back into the dip'n etch container.  Pour the dip'n etch from the other container back into its original container to be used, again and again.  Rinse the bottle thoroughly with water.  NOTE:  I etched 3 bottles, so after removing the first one, I poured the dip'n etch into the second bottle then placed that into the liquid in the container.  After 15 minutes I repeated the process to etch the 3rd bottle.  After you have finished, return all the dip'n etch liquid to its original container.

The bottles are now etched on the inside and the outside giving each piece the look of sea glass.  Leave pieces plain or embellish with shells, charms, beads, etc - anything you like to match your décor.  This is such an easy process and the results are fabulous.

CAUTION:  Please read directions on the container carefully before starting your project.  This is an etching product and it will etch other shiny surfaces like granite, porcelain sinks, etc.

You can find etchall® glass and mirror etching liquid and crème at  Click on the graphic below for their dip'n etch special, just in time for Easter.  Don't forget!  This product is re-usable, so you'll be able to make a lot of faux sea glass! 

Enjoy!  Y'all come back now..........

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Connie Crystal - Designer Crafts Connection Challenge

As with most little girls, my granddaughter loves bling.  Me, not so much.  I've never been a "blingy" type person, but I DO love to challenge my creativity with products I wouldn't normally use on a regular basis.  That being said, I was really looking forward to receiving the samples from Connie Crystal.  They have these mesh sheets of crystal rhinestones, so they can be cut apart into a variety of sizes of squares, rectangles and strips.  I received two,  12" x 1.5" (this is not the size of a full sheet) samples of crystals, one on white mesh and one on black, and went to town.


I had already purchased a marquee letter "J" for my granddaughter's "boudoir" and was ready to decorate it.  I covered the outside with gold Duck tape and the inside with holographic silver card stock.  It goes without saying that it really sparkled when lit, but it needed a little something extra to make it sparkle during the day - strips of crystals of course!

Now it looks flashy all the time....!  I still had lots to play with so I added single strips to the outside of a Deflecto acrylic frame; just the bling it needed for said granddaughter's boudoir.  The rhinestones can be glued, or stitched to just about any surface.  I used 1/8" wide tacky tape for these projects.


Using tacky tape, I also glued a border of the black mesh rhinestones around the inside edge of a wood laser frame I'd painted black and used to make a clock.

Last, but not least, I had to make a piece of jewelry; after all, these are rhinestones.  I measured my wrist then cut a piece of the black mesh about 1/2" shorter.  I attached a bar fastener to each end then added a closure with a jump ring. It took me less than 20 mins to make and most of that time was spent looking for the jewelry findings I needed....


This is such a great product for adding a little fun and sparkle to your life! Hop thru the DCC Webring (using the blue logo in each sidebar) to see what crafty goodness the other designers are rocking out.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now.........

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Sunday, March 1, 2015

National Craft Month - String Art

March is National Craft Month so Designer Crafts Connection (DCC) members are sharing tips on how you can "make it yourself".   I can't begin to tell you how many times I've walked into a store, found something I like then thought, "I can make that".  If I end up buying it, it's usually because either, A I don't have time to make it, or B it would cost more to buy the supplies I don't already have.  Let's face it, I'm a frugal crafter.....

Pinterest is continually inspiring people to make it themselves, but you can also find inspiration on TV, in magazines and even from store displays.  For example, I love Anthropology for their unique store designs.  I snapped a photo of their string art display in December 2013 and, since I saw a lot of string art at CHA, I thought I'd share a few ideas on how you can make some of these yarn wrapped stars yourself - on a smaller scale of course.


These large stars would make great decorations for the holidays.  Cut some large, multi pointed stars from poster board then wrap with metallic yarn.  You can find string art instructions on a separate tab here on my blog.  They're for smaller shapes, but the technique for wrapping is the same. 

In the late 90's I used to teach classes on Spirelli, which is basically string art for paper crafting.  You can use punches, or dies for the shapes, but I cut mine on a digital die cutting machine.  You can always cut around the edge of circle shapes with decorative scissors to create the notched edge.  The technique has been around for years.  It's fun, easy and quite addictive.  Here are some of my projects featured on the cover of Paper Creations magazine with a close up of a layered Spirelli piece and a couple of samples on scrapbook pages.

 Technically, string art is a little different and usually thought of as a children's craft, but it popped up in a number of places at CHA as a home dec item.  Here are some of the photos I took on the trade show floor.  I can imagine you'll see some turning up in your local craft stores in the not too distant future.


What's not to love, right.....    and here are a couple of designs from a collection I created for a manufacturer a few years ago.

You can find inspiration everywhere, so next time you see something you like take the bull by the horns and "Make it Yourself".....   Enjoy!  Y'all come back now......

Yours truly,
Julie :)