“Stained” Glass Jar Lights

For some time I have been working with a faux stained glass paint and leading from a company called Plaid. (You know, I have never figured out how to pronounce that name… like the fabric pattern or if it is Pronounced “plade” – as rhyming with blade. Maybe that is the German influence that I am encountering as I speak German!)

Any who… I’ve done mirrors and sheets of glass – both large and small. I’ve done my logo when I was working on creating my doll accessories company.

IMG_8260I’ve done a few specific projects, like the arched glass in my kitchen window.DSCN2187I love working with these paints and as a consequence (or maybe because of my obsession with collecting), I have managed to put together a nice color selection as well as quite a few bottles of clear.

DSCN2389The Kid built me a wonderful organizer using an old dresser drawer and paint sticks. The cross pieces have a slight downward angle so that the paint is always at the tip.

So, with this amount of paint, I am always looking for ways to use it. I’ve stumbled over a number of large glass bottles that I’ve decorated in the past, but like to push the boundaries of what is considered the standard use of the materials. So original bottles have a customary stained glass look, but as I worked with the materials, I veered of the standard path. I coupled the patterns and paint with glitter and also mixed my own colors.

So, to make a short story long, I recently completed a few more bottles. You saw a pair a couple of posts back – the gift for the little girl of my customer – but I also worked on a couple more. I’ve used up all my available bottles now and will have to find more! 🙂

These two were more experiments. The silver glittered section of the one on the right is me figuring out if I can add glitter to the paint. Seemed to work pretty well, although I think I added just a smidge too much. And the large sections of orange was my own mixed shade – originally used for the “pumpkin” jar.

Jars with the lights 'off'The jar on the left was inspired by a the holiday season and my one of my favorite plants… I’ve had poinsettias that have lived more than a decade and really thrived – not just survived. The white portion is “pearlized” and is much prettier than the photo. The photo above has the lights ‘off”.DSCN4130I recently found lights on sale, so this is what prompted me to finally complete the projects. Before painting, I drilled small holes in the jars towards the bottom for the cords. Then it was a matter of feeding the lights into the jars and wiring the plug-ins.DSCN4133I actually still need to find a lid for the jar with the diagonal/chevrons. But since it sits on its opening, it works for the time being while I continue to look.

 

DSCN4132Another shot of the jars lit… the poinsettia jar is absolutely stunning – the photos really do not do it justice. DSCN4136

One more jar that I completed. Couple of things I did wrong with this one, first, I forgot to drill a hole for the light cord. The second thing is that I didn’t design it sitting on its opening and had the “leading” already applied when I realized it. I really did not want to remove it and start again, so in this case, I thought I would use battery lights and conceal the battery charger inside the jar.

DSCN4138I had these battery/light packs leftover from some other project, but there weren’t many lights on each strand, so I opted to wire three packs together. Couple of issues here too, as the battery is drained very quickly and even with three strands does not give off much light.

DSCN4137Also, once the lights are turned on and the lid replaced, the pack heats up and the lights turn off. This occurs about twenty minutes, but the lights continue to draw power from the battery. Sigh.

Now that I’ve picked up a few boxes of lights (since it is now the “season”), I pulled the battery powered lights and replaced them. Now I just have to figure out how to deal with the plug, since I didn’t originally put a hole in the bottle.

DSCN4139Here it is with the wired lights. I really loved the way this one turned out, with slight variations in the design and color placement of each tree. DSCN4140Another angle:DSCN4141And the final picture. I think I will just drill a hole in the lid to accommodate the plug, but want to consider my options for a while.

IMG_8039I’ve created quite a collection and right now, they are just sitting on the floor in front of one of my craft cabinets. I use them more or less as ambient lighting, but am sure that I don’t need quite so many.

julie

 

Disclaimer

Its The Little Details for a Little Girl

If you’re a regular reader, you will remember a vanity that I completed in an ‘over-the-top’ girly fashion. To help you recall, here is a photo:

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I was so excited to meet the young mother who bought this for her little girl. She wanted to give it to her for Christmas but they were in the process of moving and was worried about it possibly being damaged. And as we talked, I mentioned that it would be a bit of a disappointment to get your Christmas present so far from the actual date. I offered to hang onto it for her until it got closer to the holidays.

This was a young mom who you just knew loved her little girl beyond words. She was such a joy to spend time and speak with. She was having a bit of a bad day, and wanted to be of some help or at least comfort. Which is why I offered to hang onto the vanity.

In the resulting weeks, I also thought periodically about all the ‘little girl’ things I never had a chance to make since I had just one child, a son. So, in spare time I put together a couple of things for her.

The first project was just one more in a long line that I had been playing with. I have been a big fan of Plaid’s Gallery Glass paints… when used on glass, it results in a stained glass look. I’ve done a few gallon jars and then filled with Christmas lights, resulting in nice ambient lighting.

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The one in the center(ish) is the newest and the one I used as a model for the one I made for Anne’s daughter. I also made a slightly smaller version using battery powered lights, as the Christmas lights tend to be on the warm side and I worried about it being too hot. The smaller one can be handled safely by her, while the larger one can be placed out of her direct reach.

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I have a couple of finishing touches left before I can reveal the other gift I made. I hope you come back to see what (essentially) an afternoon without a specific goal can produce!

julie

Ambient Light, Night Light or Just Fun Light

I stumbled over this faux stained glass paint a while back when I was looking for spray paint for glass. I had this spray paint from a while ago, it was from Krylon and I used it quite a bit, but when I stumbled onto a cache of those glass insulators, I went out trying to find a range of colors, to no avail.

That’s when I found Plaid’s Gallery Glass paints. They didn’t work the same, duh, obviously they weren’t spray paints. But a couple of projects in and I figured out the best use of them for me. But I am getting ahead of myself.

As you may (or may not) know, the Kid and I like to go ‘abandoned house hunting’. We drive around the Missouri country-side looking for homes that have been abandoned and we stop and look for cool stuff in the debris. On one such trip, in a big field adjacent to a couple of broken down barns, we found a huge lot of old glass bottles. Like milk or juice bottles, not really sure. Most were neck down in the dirt and were relatively clean, but some had rain water or other gunk and required some clean out. Most were gallon or half gallon bottles, the kind with neck finger-rings and most were clear.

One such bottle was green though and very clean. I decided to drill a small hole in the bottom on the same side as the finger-ring and thread a long string of green twinkly lights into it.

Green JarSo, the green one is a little too plain. The next one up, is where I stumbled onto the faux stained glass paint. I was still experimenting. I litterally used a brush and tired to brush the paint on. You can see it with this blue jar:

BlueGallonThe lights inside are multi-colored. Still not what I was wanting as you could still see too much of the lights’ wiring even when lit.

Gallon1Here is the next attempt at creating a stained glass “look”. PLAID also has this mock ‘leading’ that you can attach first and then fill in the shapes with the paint. I was still figuring out how to really use the paint for the best effect. I wished I had someone who could have told me!

This was much closer to the look I was going for. What I eventually figured out was that it was better to use one very thick application of paint than multiple layers. You have to work with the glass or bottle on it’s side and you can only do so much before you have to let it dry. Sometimes, if you’re not careful, the paint can runover the leading and splash into the next color. Sometimes you might have to do some touch ups as well.

Glitter JarsThen, after a fellow blogger’s post, I thought I would try it with glitter. Using ModgePodge, I started by putting down the faux leading and then painting in the areas with ModgePodge and then sprinkling in with glitter. It turned out very pretty unlit, not bad lit (although you can see areas where the glitter could have been thicker) but as with anything glitter, I had it EV-ER-Y-WHERE and on EV-ER-Y-THING in the house. Of course, on myself too. I think the only positive thing was that it was during the Christmas holiday season and people perhaps thought it was supposed to be on me!

Back to the PLAID paints. As is inevitable, practice helps. I love the glow of the ambient light when the Kid and I are watching movies. It is just enough to keep the house from looking abandoned but not so brightly lit that it is the primary focus.

4JarsSo, there it is. Oh and for those interested, I am not being paid for nor sponsored in any way for the mention of any products in this post. They are just the products that I have found and like to use over the years of making beautiful stuff.

julie

Wonderful World of Wine Glasses

There’s this wonderful web site that auctions off items from businesses that go out of business (mostly) and they always seem to have the most extraordinary things. I like to wait until the last day and skim through and find anything not being bid on and make my selections. Recently, I won an auction for 20 wine glasses for just $5 (and a couple of dollars processing fee) and the Kid drove downtown to pick them up for me. I had no plan in mind when I bid on them, I just knew it would be a great canvas for some fun art.

Of course, I didn’t take any ‘before’ pictures, but I think in this situation, you won’t miss much. But here are my ‘afters’:

First, I had recently purchased a 30 bottle package of ultra fine glitter. You can thank one of the blogs that I follow, she was making Christmas ornaments and I immediately fell in love with the look of the extra fine glitter. So, the first set of glasses was rewarded with a thick coat of glitter on the stem and base of the glass… chose 8 different colors – selecting those with the most deep colors:

2013-12-25 17.56.50I used Modge-Podge and a brush and then sprinkled the glitter over the stem and base. I used a thick coat of Modge-Podge so it would have a nice even coat and not require patching or filling in. Once dry, I placed the glass upside down and sprayed it lightly with two coats of high gloss clear XXX, letting each coat dry thoroughly in between to ensure a long lasting finish. All in all, I think this would be pretty durable, although I would only clean by hand and never put it in the dishwasher.

An addendum: I did want to add two more to this set, one in black and another in silver, but the Kid thought that would be too ‘pedestrian’. Where did this Kid come from anyway?

Next up was an attempt to recreate a pinterest pin. I like the idea of gradients of a single color or a color ombré approach. The first one was done in shades of blue and I immediately liked the way it turned out. I used Elmer’s Paint Pens, over the years I have invested in many colors and line weights, so naturally it was an easy enough solution. I started with the darkest color and made dots and let them dry. Followed by three more layers in lighter degrees of the same color until there is a nice coverage. A few straggling dots up the stem for fun. Green, yellow and pink followed for a nice set of four.

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2013-12-25 17.58.24These also were the recipients of two coats of clear gloss coats sprayed with ample drying time in between. These, also, should be hand cleaned for years of use. I hope. 🙂

For the third set of glasses, I used a process that I have been playing with lately, a paint that dries to mimic stained glass. I’ve been playing with this for a while, first used on a large mirror and then a couple sheets of glass to actually make some “stained glass” panels. I have another project that I will talk about soon in another post, that I used this paint on a glass gallon bottle and then filled with small Christmas lights to make a nice, calming ambient light source. The company that makes the paint almost makes mock “leading” and so I simply started by laying out the “leading and then filling in the shapes. I used nice thick coats so that I didn’t have to do multiple coats, something I learned over time and experimentation.

2013-12-25 17.58.58I only made two, as I think these wouldn’t actually be good for drinking, but rather just decorative. I don’t plan on using them as glasses, but rather as an object of art. I love the bubbly look of the way the paint actually looks like old glass, the uneven and wavering surface. These paints come in many colors and I have many of them, and will continue to experiment with it.

The final set of glasses was the most fun and of course, the season lent the motif to the decoration: Christmas lights. Not the new little twinkle lights, but the lights I grew up with and still my favorite. I cut out a small template for the bulb and the rest was free hand. Again, finished the same as most of the glasses and I will handle the same way.

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2013-12-25 17.54.28And with the completion of these 6 glasses, all of my glasses had been used. And a couple of days worth of crafting time. And now I have to figure out what I am going to do next and more importantly, what I am going to do with these new glasses. My house is overflowing to spilling out with projects and there just isn’t room anymore for any more displays!

Well, I hope that everyone had a great holiday and enjoyed time off. I relaxed as much as that is possible for me with the Kid.

I hope you made something beautiful today!

julie

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