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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Decorating a cake tray

Someone at the office brought a cake to work to share with everyone. In the cake box was a plastic square tray on which the cake rested. Once we finished the cake, the square tray was headed for the dustbin until my eye fell upon it and an idea to turn it into a tray/placemat popped into my mind.

First I washed the tray and dried it. The next step was to cover the surface with beige acrylic paint, applied with a piece of cotton wool to obtain a "dabbed" effect.

I then used brown and red acrylic paint to create random patterns.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hari Raya Projects

After the recent Hari Raya celebrations at the office, all kinds of recyclable items lay next to the dustbin, ready to be discarded. I was just in time to salvage some of them for my projects!

First, I used the cardboard bottom of a cake tin, to make a mousepad. First, I used art glue to stick scraps of material on the surface and then covered it with strips of cellophane tape. Voila! A perfectly usable mouse pad! (just be careful to ensure there are no ridges on the surface caused by air bubbles trapped under the cellophane tape.)

Next I managed to rescue 3 plastic cookie and chocolate containers, 1 square and 2 heart-shaped (large and small). I covered the lids with tile grout (light brown), added old costume jewellery such as faux gold earrings and a chain, as well as some extra ribbon. I could use these either as containers for gifts or to store odds and ends in.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

A Spicy Photoframe

I have always been fascinated by spices. I love to cook with them, I love to use them as aromatherapy ingredients (cinnamon and cloves being my favourites for this purpose) AND I love to use them in my art.

For this project, I used a plain plastic photoframe. First, I created a border by applying tile grout (you could use clay or plaster of paris) and before it could dry, I selected a handful of my favourite spices and pressed them into the border.

For a fuller border, you could use larger amounts of smaller ingredients such as mustard seeds and pepper seeds.

Making a lamp cover

I decided to cover my plain white desk lamp so that it matches the colour scheme of my room better.

First, I cut a piece of black cloth to size. Next, I cut up squares of scrap material and sewed the individual pieces onto the black cloth. Then, I sewed the ends of the cloth to create a sort of sleeve which could be pulled over lamp.

You don't need a sewing machine for this project. I did all the stitching by hand.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Watercolour collages

Two watercolour collages done several years ago. Materials used included dark blue and light blue watercolour paint, silver acrylic paint,  thick and thin paintbrushes and standard art block paper. I quite liked the effect, so I had them framed!

Ribbon deco

There's a jar in my crafts cupboard in which I put bits of ribbon - mostly the ends cut off from ribbons used for gift-wrapping. They're so colourful, I figured I should use them for something. So during the recent holiday week,  I used them to decorate a flat metal container which had been lying around the house.

First, I spray-painted the container and allowed it to dry. Meanwhile, I cut the bits of ribbon to size. Next, I stuck the bits of ribbon onto the container with cellophane tape and glue. Once stuck, I added stips of cellophane tape across the container to secure all the bits of ribbon in place.

The result? A colourful tray of sorts!

Shell collage

An old collage I did about 15 years ago, using the top of a small wooden tea-table. The top of it had gotten dislodged and couldn't be fixed back, so I turned it over and decorated it with shells I had picked up from a trip to the beach with my family. I must have used pretty strong glue, as the shells are still firmly stuck after all these years!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Costume Jewellery Display

For this project, I used costume jewellery that used to belong to my late mother. For years, these items have been packed into a jewellery box, so I thought that this would be a nice way to display some of the less valuable pieces.

First, I selected the pieces, keeping to a general matte gold theme. I decided to stick to gold chains and a couple of ear rings.

I started off by covering a canvas with beige acrylic paint, using a sponge. I then used brown acrylic paint to create random designs on the canvas and light-brown filla as an adhesive with which to stick the jewellery pieces onto the canvas.

The canvas will be framed using a dark brown frame and hung on a wall in my room.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Decorating a glass dish

I received two free glass bowls with a product recently. The first thing I noticed was that they had cute designs of shells and other seascape items on them.

So in order to "glam" up the bowls (and also obliterate the manufacturer's logo!) I covered both bowls with gold leaf paint applied with a sponge in order to get a smooth, matte texture.

That done, I waited for it to dry and then outlined each shape with black acrylic paint.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Decorating a teabag box

My boss brought a box of delicious Canadian maple tea to the office. As we sampled the delicious tea, my eye fell upon the box and a few ideas popped to mind.
First I covered the box in black paint in order to obliterate all the colourful labels and product information. 
I then created a design on the top of the box (ie. on the lid) using (i) brown filla; (ii) an old chain which was originally silver but had faded, so I dipped it in brown paint; and (iii) beads from an old bracelet which had snapped.
Having finished with the lid, I then lined the sides of the box with an old seashell decorated belt for which the string had come off several years ago. (no, i did not sew the seashells onto the belt, that came ready-made!) :-)  

Monday, August 24, 2009

Clay jar

This jar has actually been put together from two different components.

The first, was a cylinder-shaped plastic piece, open on both ends, and the second, the lid of a jam jar.

Step 1 involves fitting the jam jar lid into the plastic piece so that it forms a bottom (yes, I had to hunt around for one that fit).

Step 2 involves covering the entire container with paper clay. The clay was a bit stiff and not very pliable, so I found that warming it up in my hands helped to make it softer.

Once the whole container was covered with clay, I made designs on the soft clay using a fork and then stuck black and white beads into it in a pattern.

Once dried, I used crayon to shade the container.

An idea to transform a set of free coasters

Some companies hand out free coasters bearing the company's logo and tagline, with every purchase. I didn't really want to throw them away, but at the same time they can't really be used as coasters because of the logos and slogans on them. So I decided to pretty them up!

Step 1 involves painting the coasters black, and step 2 involves dusting them over with gold leaf paint. Of course, you can use your own designs!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Collage : The Beach

The theme for this project was "the beach"...most of the items in the collage (sand, shells, twigs) were found by a beach I visited last year.

The only exception to this is the beads, which originated from an old chain and were added to give texture to the sand grains.

The colours are a mix of brown filla, brown watercolour paint, gold spray paint, brown and gray crayon and bronze nail polish.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Decorating a glass jar

I’m sure you have lots of glass jars at home, piling up in your kitchen – empty coffee jars, empty jam jars, and other stuff. Well, here’s a way to decorate these jars so that you can use them as storage containers!

You will need:

-A glass jar
-Filla (can be purchased from the hardware section of any supermarket)
-A brush, spatula or anything you can use to apply the filla onto the jar
-An old fork or any object you can use to create “texture”
-Beads, small stones, spices, shells or anything else that can be used to decorate the jar

How to decorate the jar:

-Wash and dry out the jar to remove any food residue.
-If there are labels on the jar, soak it overnight in water; the labels will peel off easily.
-First, apply the filla onto the jar. Try to create as much texture as possible when doing this instead of applying the filla smoothly.
-Then, stick the beads into the jar. Push them in to ensure that they do not fall off during the drying process.
-Leave the jar to dry for at least 24 hours.
-Once properly dried, use crayons to fill in the grooves and create defined outlines on the surface of the jar according to your preferred design.

Helpful hints:
-If any of the beads come off after the filla is dried, just stick them back on with glue!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Decorating a pot and a powder compact

This jar and old powder compact case have been decorated using filla (available at all hardware stores, used to stick tiles onto walls and floors), gold buttons from an old blouse, and the broken bits of a clay vase.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Personalised gift tags

Make your own personalised gift tags and recycle old dried flowers at the same time!

First, when you buy flowers, you sometimes get "filler" flowers in your bouquet like Baby's Breath. These can be dried (hang them upside down when they're still fresh, so that they'll dry in shape), pressed (an easy way to do this is to put a book or something heavy on top of them for a couple of days, after drying the flowers in the sun).

Now, to make the cards. Cut oblong or square pieces of card in any colour (obviously, if you're using brown flowers, you'll want to go with beige or white card). Arrange bits of dried flowers on the card in your desired pattern and tape them on with cellophane tape. I've done a couple of arrangements to give you some ideas.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Decorating boxes

You will need:

1. An old box
2.Scraps of colourful paper
3. Cellophane tape & scissors
4. Gum/glue


Arrange the scraps of paper on each surface of the box and glue them into place. Once a given surface is completed, apply strips of cello-tape across the scraps of paper to ensure that they don't fall off.

The result will be a colourful box that you can use to pack gifts or other items in.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Decorative ideas for old chains and bracelets

Here's something creative to do with those old beaded chains and bracelets which have either snapped, gotten loose or are otherwise just plain out of date and heading for the scap-heap. First, cut the chain or bracelet and pull all the individual beads out into separate containers (or 1 container if you want them mixed up).

I've used old coffee and jam jars in this example, but just about any object will do. To start off, you'll need to cover the object with grout or plaster or some material that can be applied to the surface of the object and shaped to create the desired pattern or design. Then, (before the plaster/grout dries up) either stick the beads on the jar or pour them on to a sheet of paper and roll the jar /object back and forth in it.

Example 1 here shows an old chain wrapped around the mouth of a vase, example 2 shows beads stuck on the top of the jar as well as all over the jar in a pattern, example 3 shows a jar rolled on a sheet of paper on which I poured out the brown and black beads, while example 4 shows a bracelet wrapped around an old face cream jar.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Recycling greeting cards and boxes

Greeting cards tend to accumulate and pile up, year after year, while you've probably been throwing away all those boxes that your new stereo set, new pair of jogging shoes and new mobile phone and a host of other stuff comes packed in.

Here's a way to recycle these items.

You'll need old greeting cards with nice designs, scissors, cello tape or glue and a couple of old boxes which you'd like to decorate.

Cut out the designs from the cards (usually on the front cover, but sometimes there could be a design on the back or the inside cover that you prefer) and stick them onto the boxes in a way that covers up logos, price tags or other markings on the boxes.

You can either use these boxes to put gifts in, or just keep them as storage containers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Decorating a square container

Any container could be decorated this way.

Grout is spread liberally over each surface, and sculpted into the desired texture using a wooden spatula.
Shells, collected at the beach and painted over with brown metallic paint to achieve a natural finish, are stuck into the grout as decorative accessories.
Once dried, a black crayon is run over the naturally occurring grooves in the grout, both on the inside and outside of the container.