Friday, January 24, 2014

Tutorial: Faux Glass Flowers (Video)

I'm always looking for ways to use my growing stash of plastic packaging (those pesky plastic packages that have no recycle numbers on them!). This is one of my favorites.

Note: this is my first video tutorial! (The video is near the bottom of the post.) Please be kind - I'm a photographer, not a videographer! Also, I was using a Flip camera and couldn't tell where it was focusing - as it turns out it doesn't do well with closeups. I guess I'll have to invest in a better camera, one that will focus close up and further away.

Supplies & Tools:

Start by die cutting the plastic packaging. I usually create flowers with two or more progressively smaller layers, although you could just use one. These flowers were created with two layers. Lay the die cuts on your craft mat. Add maybe three colors of Adirondack Ink to your felt alcohol ink applicator, plus a little mixative if desired (use sparingly). For the red/orange flower I used Red Pepper, Sunset Orange, and Sunshine Yellow. I also added a small amount of Pearl mixative but it didn't show up in the photos. For the blue/purple flower I used Sail Boat Blue, Wild Plum, and Raspberry plus the Silver mixative.

Pounce over the die cuts turning the flower and/or the applicator to get a nice mottled look. Once you are happy with the color, add a little Adirondack Alcohol Blending Solution to the clean side of the felt and pounce in a few places. This pushes the ink around, making a variegated effect. It tends to lighten the centers "splots" where it is applied and darken at the edges. Dry briefly with a heat tool (do not heat too much or the plastic will start to curl).

Ink up a detailed background stamp with StazOn (you cannot use dye or pigment ink for this; they will rub right off). Newsprint, script text, dots, or other detailed backgrounds are all good choices. Dry briefly with a heat tool (do not heat too much or the plastic will start to curl).

Apply acrylic paint (or StazOn from the pad) to the petal ends using a swiping motion. If you don't have paint dabbers, you may use a paint brush to apply acrylic paint; use it somewhat dry, without too much paint so you will create streaks.

Now for the tricky part - shaping the leaves. Caution! Do not get your fingers in front of the heat tool! I put just the petals in front of it for a short time then shape the petals quickly before they become too cool. Do not over heat the plastic. It heats up rapidly. Once you are happy with the shape, use Glue Dots or other strong adhesive to glue the layers together; be sure to offset them.

On the red/orange flower I pounced some alcohol ink onto a half pearl, to match the lighter colors in the flower. For the blue/purple flower, I punched a hole in the center with my Crop-a-dile, then put a rhinestone brad through it (I bought the brad at a Michaels craft store).

Here is the video tutorial:

Note: in case you noticed the lovely bruise on my arm, it's from practicing martial arts (karate to be specific).

You may use a similar technique on metal, such as soda pop cans. I carefully cut off the ends, flatten, die cut, then use the metal inside part as my inking surface (i.e. the tops of the flowers). Do NOT use heat to shape the petals, rather give them a slight bend using a burnishing bone (bone folder), popsicle stick, die pick, or an embossing tool. On the one below, I used the tip of my burnishing bone with a mouse pad (rubber type) to draw a line down the middle of each leaf. Instead of stamping, you might want to use an embossing folder to give them texture then sand lightly to bring back some of the metal. You may color the raised embossed surfaces if desired. Alcohol markers will work on these surfaces too.

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  1. These look AMAZING, Mary! I'm totally pinning this so that I can try it sometime soon! You are SO talented, friend! HUGS! :) Mynn xx

  2. Beautiful work. I have been saving these plastics from my purchases. Now I have another idea to use them. I made some fairy wings for my Grand-daughters Tinker-bell doll. I had no idea you could use the heat tool and my alcohol inks--on them too. Thanks so much for this tutorial and the information.

  3. Wow! I've made soda can flowers but using up plastics.. great idea. I have been using them as windows for cards and anything else I could think of. Yours is the so cool! Thanks for sharing.


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