Monday, April 25, 2016

China Plate - Mother's Day Gift

It's Mother's Day in less than 2 weeks, so when the grandchildren spent the weekend, we decided to make something special for mommie.

I had a white lacey china plate, which was already pretty, but I thought it would look nice with a monogram in the center. It was also a good way to show the grandchildren that etching creme can be used for china too!  It's SO simple and SO pretty and only took us about an hour to make.

1. The first step is to either use a stencil you already have, or create a custom monogram with a digital die cutting machine.  I have a Cricut Explore and I used a font that was in my font folder on the computer.  We cut the letter "M" from etchall® etchmask (adhesive vinyl) inside a 4" square.  TIP: Centering it in a square is helpful when centering it on the plate.

2. Cover the stencil with a 4" square of etchmask transfer paper, then remove the backing from the etchmask. Place the stencil at the center of the plate then carefully remove the transfer paper. 

3. Use a pik tool, or point of a craft knife to carefully remove the letter "M".  Do not push the tool in from the cut edge, since this may damage the outline. Always find a thick spot to insert the tip and lift from there.  Make sure the etchmask is firmly on the plate.  Smooth away any bubbles that may be around the opening, otherwise the etching creme may creep under the edge. 

4. We then covered the area to be etched with etchall® etching crème. I usually pour the creme onto a different area of my project, then spread it across the open area to be etched with a squeegee, but it was easier to let the children use a plastic spoon to dip creme from the container and place it onto the opening. They used the back of the spoon to gently spread it over the area to be etched. They were very careful not to get any creme on any other areas of the plate.  It would have been better to cover the rest of the plate completely with pieces of leftover etchmask and/or transfer paper, but we were excited to get to the etching part and we forgot.... silly Nana.  Luckily it worked out just fine.

NOTE: In case you are wondering why I am comfortable letting my grandchildren use this glass etching product, etchall® etching products are ACMI certified, which means they have gone through rigorous testing and meet strict requirements. A copy of the certification symbols are in my sidebar on the left. This product has no noxious, or harmful fumes and, as with other craft materials and tools, they are supervised.

5. We let the creme sit for 15 minutes, then used the spoon to carefully scoop it up and put it back in the container. I have to admit that I did this part, since they had gone on to other things at this point. Waiting is not a strong suit with 7 and 10 year olds..... even if it is only for 15 minutes.

6. I washed away the remaining residue, but left the stencil in place for the next step. Rub'n Buff is a great product for adding a gilded look to etched areas; you only need a little.  Following directions, massage the tube a little before opening to mix the product. It has a tendency to separate like some paints.  Squeeze a small amount onto a soft cloth, or paper towel then, using a circular motion, gently rub the cream over the etched letter.  (A stencil brush works well too.) There are a few colors to choose from, but I used gold for this project.

7. After coloring, remove the stencil to reveal your gilded monogram.

8. I'm sure mommie will love this plate, especially since the children helped to make it!

If you read my blog regularly, you'll have seen other etched projects here and know how much I love etching all kinds of surfaces. Etchall has kindly provided me with product to work with, so I can share my ideas with you.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now...

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It's a Boy!

Guess what, we're expecting our fourth grandchild at the end of July! My son and his wife are having another little boy and I don't need to tell you that we're so excited.  My daughter and I are planning a baby shower for them at the end of June and it's never too early to start working on the decorations.

So, where to start. They're having a boy, so I'm working with blue, white and maybe a little green. They haven't chosen a name yet so my first project will be a tabletop poster and I have the perfect idea for it. A few weeks ago I received a Chibitronics Chibi Lights kit. I'd seen these at the Craft and Hobby Trade show in 2015 and again this year and was thrilled to receive a sample kit for the Designer Crafts Connection April blog hop.


I love to add lights to projects and these little LED circuit stickers are amazing! They are easy to use on a wide variety of surfaces.  Here's how I used them for this project.

This is the kit I received and what was inside.

I also used a 9" x 11" piece of foam board, patterned paper, glitter cardstock in blue and gold, a 1/8" hole punch and glue.

1. Cut the paper the same size as the board, then adhere to one side. 
NOTE: A Xyron® machine works really well for this step.  The adhesive covers the paper from top to bottom, edge to edge; perfect for adhering to the foam board.

2. Cut letters to spell out "It's a Boy" from blue glitter cardstock and 6 stars from the gold. I used my Cricut Explore to do this.

Before adding the tape and sticker lights, please read the instruction booklet that is in the kit. There are also video tutorials on their website at Working with circuits was totally new to me, but watching the video made it really easy.  

3. Starting with one end of a 17" piece of copper tape on a 1 1/2" square of paper at the back of the board (as shown below), wrap the tape all the way around the board ending at the back.  Place the end of second piece of copper tape 1" above the first on the square. The two rows should only be 1/8" apart on the front of the board, so you will have to fold the tape at the back as shown. These rows are 2 1/2" from the bottom edge. 

4. Punch an 1/8" hole at the center of each star. Place one star on the copper tape at the center of the board at the front and the other stars evenly spaced on either side. Make a pencil mark thru each hole in the star to show where you want a light sticker to be placed. Set the stars aside. Place a light sticker over each mark with the points facing down. Press firmly in place on the tape. NOTE: The top row of tape is POSITIVE +  and the bottom row is NEGATIVE - .  

5. On the back of the board, fold the square of paper diagonally. Unfold then place the + side of the battery over the end of the top tape. Hold in place, while you fold the paper down so the negative side of the battery is touching the bottom tape. The battery is now sandwiched between the top and bottom ends of the tape. Use a binder clip to hold the battery securely in place. Turn the board over to check the lights are lit. If not, check that the battery is touching both ends of the tape, it is the correct way round and that the lights are pressed firmly on the tape.  You will add lights to the other end of the board in the same manner.

6. If you want to cover the rows of tape on the front, cut a 1/2" wide strip of card stock and lay it on top of the lights. Make a mark where the light shines thru. You can either punch a hole at each mark, or simply cut the strips to fit between the lights. Glue in place.

7. Glue a star over each light so the light shows thru the hole in the center then glue the letters in place.  As long as both sides of the battery are touching both ends of the copper tape, the lights will be lit, so simply remove the clip when not in use.

You can make lighted boards like this for all kinds of celebrations. The light stickers are available in different colors too, so let your imagination run wild!

Enter to win your own Chibi Lights Kit by commenting here and on the Designer Crafts Connection blog, where you will also find the Rafflecopter widget to record your entries. The winner will be selected at random on April 29th.  There's also the list of designers participating in this hop, so check out their projects too.  Enjoy! Y'all come back now.....

Yours truly,
Julie :)