Showing posts with label metal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label metal. Show all posts

Craft Tutorial: Irish Euro Shamrock Pendant

Transform a foreign coin and shamrock into a keepsake necklace

Ireland is a lovely country. We visited back in 2005 and had a delightful time. The people are friendly, the countryside is green (a stark contrast to life here in the desert), the food was savory, there are plenty of castles and historical attractions, and the woodlands are magical.

After our trip, I had a couple Euros left in my pocket. I didn't really think about them much until this year. Somehow, even though we live in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, I have a large patch of shamrocks that have taken over one of my flower beds. It seemed to me that my Irish Euros would be the perfect background for a shamrock pendant.

Materials




Directions


The first step is to collect and press some small shamrocks. If you are not lucky enough to have a shamrock patch, many nurseries carry indoor shamrock plants in the spring.

The pressing and drying process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks.
Once your shamrocks are ready, tear off a piece of packing tape that is long enoug to wrap around the edge of your coin about 1 1/2 times.

Cut a strip of tape about 1/2 inch wide.
Wrap the tape tightly around the coin. You can fold down a small edge of the tape so it is easier to remove later.
Make sure to press the tape firmly down around the edge of the coin.

The tape makes a sort of bezel that can be filled with resin.
Tiny dried shamrocks are very delicate. Tap a cotton swab on your tongue then use the swab to lift your shamrock.
Place the shamrock onto the center of the coin.
Use a toothpick to slide the shamrock into position if necessary.

Make sure your coins are on a protected work surface before you begin using the resin. I like using parchment paper to cover my surface, although a plastic plate will also work.
Mix the resin in a disposable cup according to the package directions. Stir the resin gently to minimize the formation of bubbles.

Resin is very sticky, messy and hard to clean up so again, make sure your work surface is protected.
Carefully pour the resin onto your tape-wrapped coins.
The resin should be approximately the same thickness as the coin.
After about 20-40 minutes you may see that your shamrock has floated to the surface of the resin. If this happens, carefully use a toothpick to gently submerge the shamrock halfway between the coin and the resin surface.
Now the hard part. Do not move or touch your resin covered coins for 24 hours. The shiny resin surface is irresistible but keep your hands off.

After 24 hours, remove the tape from the coin.
You will notice that the resin is very smooth across the center of the coin, but there is a ridge along the edge.

Use a scissors (at about a 45° angle to the resin) to trim away the excess resin.

Don't worry if it looks a little uneven at this point.
Use a piece of very fine grit wet/dry sandpaper to smooth out the edge of the resin by holding the coin at a 45° angle to the paper and rubbing the resin on the paper.

This process takes a little time and patience, but is well worth the effort.
The coin on the left has been sanded, the coin on the right has not.

There is still a slight lip around the edge of the resin, but we’re going to call that a design element.
Once you have smoothed down the resin edges, it's time to attach the bail to the back of the coin with G-S Hypo Cement.

Again, work on a parchment covered surface.
Fill the depression of the bail with G-S Hypo Cement and wait for about 15-30 seconds. Position the coin onto the bail.

And then, the hard part, again. Do not move or touch the pendant for 24 hours while the glue cures completely.
Once the glue has dried, simply slide a chain or cord through the bail and your necklace is ready to wear.

Transform a foreign coin and shamrock into a keepsake pendant

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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Craft Tutorial: Bottle Cap Pressed Shamrock Keychain

St. Patrick's Day Crafting: Make a simple key chain with Guinness bottle caps and lucky shamrocks

It's the week of St. Patrick's Day, so what better time to share a DIY that incorporates Guinness beer bottle caps and shamrocks. I consider this to be a bit of a hardware store craft, because that's where you can get almost all of the tools and materials for the project.

This is a nice project to make in bulk because it's inexpensive and it doesn't take much more time to make a half dozen than it does to make one.

Materials

  • flower press
  • ICE Resin
  • 7/16" small screw eyes
  • shamrocks
  • bottlecaps
  • transparent tape
  • parchment paper
  • hammer
  • wire nail
  • 2 small pairs of needle nose or round pliers
  • scrap piece of wood
  • small disposable cup
  • disposable plastic utensil
  • toothpicks
  • key ring

Directions


Surprisingly, even though we live in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, I have a fairly large patch of shamrocks that randomly appeared in the backyard. If you are not so lucky, you can also buy them to grow as a houseplant at many nurseries.


To prep for this project you will need to press your shamrocks. It can take anywhere from a few days to two weeks for your shamrocks to be ready to use.
For crafting purposes, when removing a bottle cap from the bottle, use an opener to evenly bend the edges around the cap just enough so the cap comes off. You want the cap to retain its shape as much as possible.
Poke a small hole in the edge of the cap using a hammer and thin wire nail.

I recommend placing the hole above the bottle cap branding image.
Place the cap on a piece of scrap wood. Hold the nail with a pair of pliers and position the nail into one of the grooves at the edge of the cap. Tap the nail to create a small hole.
Make sure that the hole is not too close to the edge of the cap.
Twist a small screw eye into the hole.
Use two pairs of pliers to bend the screw into an "L" shape. You do this so the screw will be nearly invisible after the shamrock is placed.
Next, tape the screw eye into place, so it doesn't wiggle around.

It is very important to press the tape firmly against the cap near the hole or a tiny bit of resin will leak out. (I learned that one the hard way.)
Set your bottle caps on a protected surface. A sheet of parchment paper works well or even a plastic, disposable plate.

Place your shamrocks into the bottle caps.
Mix the resin according to the package directions in a disposable cup on a protected surface. Do not stir the resin too vigorously. You want to blend the resin without creating a lot of bubbles.

Resin is very sticky, messy and hard to clean up, so be careful.
Pour the resin into the bottle caps.
The resin should be slightly higher than the edge of the cap.
After 20-40 minutes, you may notice that your shamrock has floated to the surface. If this happens, use a toothpick to gently press the shamrock back down into the resin so that it is submerged about halfway between the cap and the resin surface.
Now the hard part. Do not touch or move the bottle caps for 24 hours. It's so tempting because the resin is irresistibly shiny, but keep your hands off.

After 24 hours, remove the tape. insert a ring into the screw eye and your lucky shamrock key chains are ready to use.

St. Patrick's Day Crafting: Make a simple key chain with Guinness bottle caps and lucky shamrocks


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Tutorial: Pressed Flower Pendant

Craft Tutorial: How to press flowers and make a simple resin pendant necklace.A few months ago, I bought the most beautiful flower press from BKInspired on Etsy. (If you haven't seen this shop, I highly recommend a visit.) Not only is the press pretty, with an intricate design burned into the wood cover, it also came with a nice set of simple instructions for pressing flowers.

Shortly after my flower press arrived I headed out to the yard to collect some flowers. That was the easy part. The hard part was waiting for nature to take its course and flatten the leaves and petals once they were placed into the press.

Fast forward a few weeks and my flowers were sufficiently flat and ready to be used in some sort of crafty project. What could be better than pressed flower pendants? This project is ridiculously easy and inexpensive, but you do need to have a bit of patience because there is a lot of waiting involved.

Materials


Directions



To begin, you get to go outside on a nature walk and collect a few small flowers or leaves. I used ice flowers and shamrocks because that's what was growing in my yard. You'll need flowers that are roughly smaller than a quarter.
Position your flowers on a sheet of pressing paper and make sure the petals and leaves do not overlap. Close up the press and wait. Depending on the thickness of the plants you are using this could take 2-4 weeks.
Finally, the big reveal. Open your press and check to make sure the flowers are paper thin and completely dried out.
Before you make your pendant, notice that the bezel is not level when you place it on a flat surface. If you put the resin in it like this, the resin will slide to the lowest point. Not good.
Place the bezel on a small stack of coins so that it is level.
Carefully set a flower into the bezel. The petals should all be flat on the bottom of the bezel. If the flower is too big, choose another or carefully trim the petals to fit inside the bezel.
Now it's time to mix the resin. This part goes pretty quick. Make sure to protect your work surface. You don't want to get the resin on your skin or damage your table or counter. It's also good to work in a well ventilated are because the resin does not smell nice.
Carefully squirt the resin into a small, disposable cup. Make sure you have enough to fill the bezel. Use a couple toothpicks to mix the resin for one minute or the length of time recommended on the label.

Try not to make bubbles while you mix.
Carefully pour the mixed resin into the bezel.
You want to use just enough so the resin slightly domes above the bezel, but not so much it overflows.

Wait 8-12 hours for the resin to dry. Don't touch or move the pendant until it is completely dry.
Add a simple chain or cord and you have a lovely pressed flower necklace!

Craft Tutorial: How to press flowers and make a simple resin pendant necklace.

Of course there are a couple variations you could try, besides just using different types of flowers or bezel shapes.

First, the flowers tend to float up slightly in the resin. I think it adds some dimension, but if you would like your flower to remain flush against the bezel you can glue it down with a tiny dot of Elmer's glue. Let the glue dry before you mix and pour in the resin.

Second, the bezels are quite shiny. if you would like a more muted background behind your flowers you can cover the inside of the bezel with a layer of acrylic paint. It's difficult to brush the paint evenly over such a small space, so simply pour a dot of paint into the bezel and use a toothpick to spread it around. Of course, let the paint dry before adding the flower and resin.

Craft Tutorial: How to press flowers and make a simple resin pendant necklace.

Happy crafting!


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