Thursday, December 12, 2013

Glue Gun and Plastic: Christmas Edition

So it’s less than 2 weeks till Christmas, and as usual, I still have a lot of ideas swimming in my head that I haven’t blogged about. But of all the things I could create, you didn’t think I would let Christmas crafting slip by without taking the glue gun and plastic out for a spin again, did you? After the silver Easter egg, and the Halloween Potion Bottles, I ruminated about all the cool and clever things I could transform for Christmas. But in the end, I decided that I should stick with the most classic, obvious shape and the easiest to find…….the ball ornament.

I was fortunate to find a bag of these plastic ball ornaments at Goodwill the other day. These were obviously made specifically for embellishing. Perfect! But of course, any plastic ball will do. I created 2 designs. Here is the first.

Ta Da! Nothin’ more classic than snowflakes…. Snowflakes are perfect, but you don’t have to be!

This is about the dimensional effect, not perfection.

After I hot-glued the designs, I painted the whole ball with Tiffany blue chalk paint to represent a happy blue sky. I sealed it in matte medium so the snowflakes would stand out more. I dry-brushed FolkArt Metallic Champagne on the snowflakes. I could’ve used straight white, but I wanted to dress them up a bit, since Tiffany blue is synonymus with luxury.

I painted the cap white, then glued mica flakes over it, because what’s more snowy than mica flakes….not to mention that I didn’t want to ruin my snowy sky effect with a gold metal cap. (I painted the cap white first because mica flakes are translucent, and the gold metal would show through if I didn’t.) This ornament was pretty straight forward, with no aging techniques like the egg and potion bottles. My second hot glue ornament….

If you’ve spent any time on Etsy, you’ve seen antler art everywhere, so I thought it would be a fun design for the glue gun treatment. Again, this is not about perfection. So have fun with it.

This ornament was a combination of both the egg and potion bottle designs. Metal leaf over the hot glue design (in this case, it is copper leaf), and chalk paint over the rest of the ornament. I only gilded the pattern and a little overlap, since I knew I was painting the rest.

Painting around the hot glue image is pretty easy, because the raised pattern gives your brush a place to stop. I painted the base coat a dark turquoise teal shade, then added watered down washes of lighter turquoise and rusty brown for a verdigris effect that naturally accompanies copper. Although I would normally use a matte finish over verdigris, I opted for gloss to deepen the colors.

I added copper leaf to the cap to coordinate with the antlers, then aged all the copper leaf with caramel and black alcohol inks. Although you’ve probably already decorated your own Christmas tree, perhaps these can be one-of-a-kind display pieces in little vignettes around your home. I toyed with another obvious holiday hot-glue creation, the gift tag, which would also serve as a personalized tree ornament. I will try to whip up an example or two, in between the myriad of other projects I have going on right now…..:)


What say you?

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