Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dragon Bottle

While walking last summer I found an interesting green liquor bottle. It was too pretty to take to the recycling depot so I kept it for a craft project. Here is what some polymer clay, floral wire, charms, and acrylic paint turned it into:

I started with a blended cane of polymer clay and cut it into equal sections, removing every second one and keeping both piles in order, so I could do both sides of the bottle the same.

I started at the bottom of one side, pressing the little cylinders I had cut into teardrop (dragon scale) shapes and beginning to layer/stagger them.

Next I made the "label" for the front of the bottle, mixing a couple colors of clay and rolling it smooth, then distressing it. I used rubber stamps to do the letters and added the embellishments by pressing them right into the soft clay. After baking the bottle to harden the clay, I rubbed some brown acrylic paint over the label and allowed it to pool in the indented areas while wiping it away from the smooth parts.

For the bottle cap, I covered the entire cap with a thin layer of clay, making sure that it covered all the metal but not letting it extend too far below the cap, so the bottle can still open. I pressed a plastic gem into the center of the top, then added the four "claws" to hold it in place. Thanks to the fact that polymer clay is baked at such a low level, the plastic gem was not damaged by the heat from the oven.

After baking, I used two colors of floral wire to decorate around the bottle neck.

I also added a little dragonfly brad to one side before baking the clay.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Cardboard Disney's "Cars" Tow Mater

What did you do this weekend? I built a model of Tow Mater from Disney's "Cars", that's big enough for my kid to sit in, entirely out of garbage. It was a lot of work and I may add a few more details, but here are some photos to inspire you to try it yourself. (Also, this actually took me several evenings as well as part of the weekend, so don't place unrealistic expectations on yourself to do it in a certain amount of time. Glue and paint have to dry.)

Some tips:
Use white glue AND masking tape wherever possible. You can also use the tape to temporarily hold pieces while the glue is drying.
Reinforce everywhere that kids might climb on, step on, sit on, or bend.
Build from the center out.
Perfection is NOT the goal - Mater is rusty, falling apart, and dented. Use banged up boxes, leave raw edges, be messy with the paint, improvise...
Use your imagination, and scissors and an exacto knife.