Since many of us have kids out of school right now, I figured this is the perfect time to announce my latest project. I didn’t want to tell anyone until it was nearly finished, you know…not to add too much pressure on myself.
I finished a book and published it in January! Rise of the Pharaoh Cats- A Monster-Hunting Adventure with the LIFERS. I’ve recently added a BOOKS tab to my webpage, so they can be found easily as I publish more blog posts and tutorials in the coming months.
I haven’t posted regularly in a while and that’s because I’ve been writing educational middle grade books! If you’re cooped up inside like we are, check it out and it’s free if you have Kindle Unlimited.
Very few people knew that I’ve recently finished writing, designing, and self-publishing my second fictional novel. I’m pushing myself beyond my normal barriers, and sharing this great accomplishment with more than just my mom.
The second book in this series I’ve already written and my editor has it now! I’ll be starting the third one next week.
While there’s a gazillion reasons why I could have written this book, the real reason was that I want to write THIS book series is to spark the imagination and a life-long love of reading in busy children. My son found his love of reading at a young age, but not all kids do.
In the FIRST book in the series has vocabulary words for grades 4th-8th, ancient Egyptian Cats, and a fast-paced fantasy adventure with the LIFERS: Lifeless-Inhumane-Feral-Exctraction-Recovery-Squad. It has 20 illustrations and drawings.
The SECOND book will be available soon. The Werewolf Blues- A Monster-Hunting Adventure with the LIFERS.
Get your copy today! These make a great gifts for the middle graders and elementary teachers in your life.
It’s been a while since I released a tutorial but this is a great one. This was done last summer, and I’ve finished the video for you. I designed and remodeled my kitchen and powder room myself, which took loads of my time… once a wall was removed by my wonderful contractor.
Today I’m going to show you how you can use rich, bold color stain on unfinished (or previously stripped) cabinetry. The vibrant hue I chose, highlights the natural beauty of the maple wood. I love the bold design element that it adds to the entire floor of the house.
When you needed to make a mold of something, there’s several products to choose from out there. One of the easiest products to find is the Amazing Brand Mold Putty system. You can find it at all box craft stores for under $20 and if you bring your coupon, it’s even cheaper. If you can’t find it in your area you can find it here (I make a small commission should you purchase it here).
Here I’ll show you how to use the Amazing Mold Putty for flawless results, give my honesty review, and explain its ideal uses.
There are a lot of different mold making supplies and brands out there to choose from. How do you choose which ones right for you? This review will help you decide if a flexible silicone mold is the right choice for the project.
You open the box and there are two canisters inside. One of them has white silicone and one of them has yellow silicone inside. Leave these closed until you’re going to use them.
To make a mold you use equal parts of part A and part B and mix them together in your hands. Avoid using the same utensil in both containers, unused parts shouldn’t touch the other part.
You need to work quickly because there’s a chemical reaction that takes place when the touch each other and this one will set up fairly quickly. When they’ve made a lighter yellow color and they’re completely mixed, make a ball out of it and press your item to be molded into the surface of the ball. Doing it this way will ensure there’s a flat surface on the bottom of the mold so it’s not difficult to pour liquid into later.
The things that you can make using this product are endless. You can make new buttons, beads, jewelry, the
list goes on and on. And on and on.
What are some qualities of the Amazing silicone mold putty?
It’s a very easy to work with system. It’s kind of like playing with clay. You really do just mix equal parts together. There’s no weighing anything out you just visually match equal parts. You’ve got 2-3 minutes to work with it (its pot-life) and make your mold.
You can very easily press shapes into it. You can also easily press it into shapes if you’ve made your own creations out of clay.
You can shape it around an object using gentle pressure. I’ve created more complex molds with it this way and even things I held while it cured. When you press your object into it it’s easy to manipulate it around tiny details on the edges.
It works best with buttons, broaches, and other one sided things. It’s really not meant to be used if you’re trying to make something 3D.
It’s not overly complex, there’s no stinky fumes, and it doesn’t have long cure times. It cures completely in about 15 minutes!
This product is pretty mess free as far as mold making supplies go. There are zero runny liquids to deal with like latex and other silicone.
Once it’s cured it creates a mold that’s fairly flexible, but pretty ridged. It’s not at all hard like plaster. If you make it flex too far it could tear. Once again, this is great for little shapes and objects pressed into the top of the surface.
No need for a mother mold or support. Unlike some other mold making supplies this doesn’t need any kind of additional support to be a mold . It’s just a rigid enough to hold itself up without needing a lot of product.
This product holds fine details really well. Even very fine details in your object will be reproduced in the mold.
This makes a more sturdy mold and than latex, and will break down slower over time than latex.
Silicone molds can be reused many times if you use a spray release or release on them every time you cast something like a resin into it. A silicone mold, like many other molds will pull moisture from the mold, so using the release in it means you can use the mold multiple times. If it’s a one-time-use mold you don’t need to worry about a mold release.
This is a very easily a product to find and purchase and almost all the box crafts stores carry it.
It’s not suitable for reusing a LOT of times. I think I’ve gotten around 10 casts from one mold before it starts deteriorating. This means it will lose detail and it’ll actually flake off in your resin creations.
Your idea of a lot of times may differ, but I have cast hundreds of the same thing from this stuff and just gotten about 10 from an individual mold.
It can tear while you’re de-molding or getting your stuff out of it. If your object is really embedded in it, or you tried to make it mold a very complicated shape, it can be too difficult to get an item or cast item back out without tearing the mold.
Overall I recommend the Amazing brand silicone mold putty as an easy to use mold making material that doesn’t require any previous experience in mold making. Whether you’re a first time user or an experienced user you’ll achieve similar results. You can make outstanding custom pieces with these molds or reproduce an irreplaceable button like a pro.
I took this tired looking black cabinet, with beautiful curves in all the right places, and gave it an updated look. This cabinet was so heavy looking, sitting on the floor with solid black paint. This seems to have suffered a bit of water damage at some point, but not so much that it can’t be saved. Now it’s getting a new finish, to go in a much more refined space.
The material it’s made from is not wood, it’s a pressed board wood, similar to masonite, or a hollow-core door. I can tell, because of how swollen it is in a couple places- because of water damage.
If you would prefer to learn by watching check out this short video I made.
If the damage isn’t severe, the surface can be repaired like this:
The very first thing to do, is gently sand the surfaces that are swollen. Make them more level with the rest of the surface. Try not to over-work the Then seal them with a paintable caulk to prevent the material from falling apart more. Make sure to use a product you can paint over, silicone won’t work, but acrylic caulk will. A primer like KILZ was applied over the fixed areas. We’re just smoothing it out, sealing, and preventing damage from painting it later.
Once that’s dry, it’s on to the refinishing. I am not using wood stripper. The pressed wood it’s made from, would be ruined from pulling off the paint, and then soaking it in liquid. Ruined. The steps below, will show you everything you need to know, without stripping anything off of it.
Fill any cracks, or dings with caulk and smooth it out with you finger. Places where wood meets wood and there’s a gap, fill those too. This will give it a polished, professional look when it’s done.
Lightly sand the surface with a fine to medium grit sand paper to scuff up the surface. Do this to everything you’ll be painting. If it’s a glossy surface to begin with, just make sure you scuff it up really well so the paint can stick.
Wipe down the surface with a barely-damp cloth, to remove all the dust from sanding and let it dry.
NOTE: This step is what will make everything stick to the surface. If it has a thick glossy coat of sealer, make sure it’s dull when you’re finished.
Paint the first coat of your base coat, on the surface. I used a brush and painted each section in long strokes to keep it smooth. This technique looks best when the surface is very smooth. You’ll end up with a completely different effect if the surface is bumpy, which we’ve used on other DIY’s. Click here to see the Mirror redo Video DIY I did here.
Note: I tried to use a foam roller first, and it left little bubbles on the surface that I had to smooth out with a brush. It wasn’t worth the expense.
Apply a second coat of paint, keeping it smooth. Let that dry for at least 24 hrs. If you’re painting the inside of your cabinet, like I did, you can do that now too.
I chose the paint color Ocean Storm by Valspar for my base coat. This color will show and I want it to have a very deep, aged look when I’m finished. As it wears and is used, this base coat will show through a bit.
Apply leaf adhesive with a soft brush in small sections. Let it dry for the time it says on the label. It will become clear and tacky to the touch.
NOTE: Only apply adhesive to an area you can cover with leaf in one sitting. Adhesive can dry too much and become non-tacky.
Carefully remove a sheet of silver leaf from the pack and cover an area with it. Overlap sheets slightly so it covers your creases. Smooth it out with a soft brush. Continue until the entire area with adhesive is covered with silver leaf.
When an entire area is finished, use the brush to remove any extra from the surface.
NOTE: Hands must be clean and dry or leaf will stick to them.
Use glossy polyurethane over the finished silver leaf, so that it’ s easier to do the next steps, without rubbing off the silver leaf. Coat it entirely with the Gloss polyurethane. Let it dry completely.
NOTE: Water based varieties make clean up a breeze. Quick dry products are a lifesaver.
Mix your glaze by adding 1:1 latex paint and glaze. Stir it thoroughly. I used a similar grey to my base coat. You can use any color you want for this, I nearly used purple as a pop of color over the silver, but decided on gray for an antique look.
Work in small sections like one side at a time. Using a brush, paint any detail and edges with you glaze mixture. You do not want to cover everything because your silver will dull down. Apply it into any detail or trim. Wipe it off with a damp rag, turning/rinsing your rag frequently. Use a light hand, and remove the glaze from areas you don’t want it. If you wipe too much of it from the crevices, just paint more on & wipe more gently.
When you’ve covered it, let it dry. Apply polyurethane if you want. I’m not because I want it to naturally get worn from use, showing some of the base coat.
Add decorative door handles to finish it off. I snagged these crystal glass ones at a Home Goods for under $10 for 4 of them.
You’re all done! You’ve created a new life, for you or your client’s piece of furniture. It has a stunningly glamorous high-end look for much less than you would buy it for.
I hope you are inspired to use this technique on something amazing!
Please Share this post with anyone you think could use it.
Did you ever want to make something out of resin, but didn’t know where to start? Have you ever wondered how people make custom things out of resin for their art? I’m going to teach you how you can make anything you can imagine, a finished resin piece of your very own creation you can actually hold.
The amount of things you can make are unbelievable. Please share this DIY!
I get a lot of questions about how I make the things that I do, and the crazy things I create, and for the projects that I get myself into. I’ve used this technique to make a lot of things for products, art, props, costuming, and sooo much more.
This year I am very excited to be a designer for the most prestigious and creative of all the wearable arts competitions in the world. I’ve worked my tail off, using these exact same techniques, to produce some of the outfit that I’ll be featuring in the competition. Because of the nature of competition, I can’t show you any of my actual project. Expect photos after September.
In this tutorial we’ll sculpt, mold, and cast little things, so you can try it out for yourself. This is a long DIY, so I will be taking off next week. You can expect another DIY after that.
We’re going to make the dangling feathers on this decorative sun-catcher. This DIY is for beginners, so we’ll be making a fairly easy shape that has one main side with detail, and a back that doesn’t matter, similar to a button or cabochon . This is NOT how you make things with detail on all sides, like a figurine. That’s far too much detail and for this. That’s fun for another time.
We’re going to focus on creating, the whole thing – from start to finish. I chose this DIY, because I want you to know how unbelievable your own ideas are, and how easily you can make them reality!
Start by warming a small amount of clay in your hands or with a hairdryer if you’re using oil clay. Each type will be different, but work a bit around in your hands to soften it. Roll it into a ball then slightly flatten in your hand to get closer to the shape you want to make.
Press the clay to the center of your tray to make it stick slightly. You don’t want it to move around much. The feather we’re making is fairly thick, between 1/4 & 1/8 inch so we can drill a hole and hang them. The clay is even thicker than that at this point.
Use sculpting tools to shape the feather, working on the basic shape and thickness first. Remove material to make your shape. Add a central vein down the middle by carving out the sides and leaving the center strip.
Smooth out the shape and then add the fine detail lines to the feather, starting at the main vein and going out and down, just like a real feather. Anything on the clay will show up, so keep it clean and smooth for the best results. I added additional texture to mine, you can do anything you want.
If you’re familiar with sculpting or clay, use its solvent and a very soft paintbrush to smooth it out more. Otherwise use your fingers or tools to smooth it and remove the little pills (balls of clay) that form from sculpting it.
Place this is the fridge, or outside if it’s cold out to harden the clay a little. You don’t want to try to freeze it, that would be bad in the end, but rather chill it to make it firmer.
Note: You can either do the next step on the tray, or carefully lift the clay from it and press it into the mold (that’s what I did.) Use string to cut it off the tray if needed and smooth the edges.
Get out equal parts of mold putty part A and part B using a spoon or other thing that can reach it. Do not touch one to the other. Measure them side by side separately, so you have the same amount of each. You want them to cover your shape, so use your judgement.
Quickly mix both parts together in your hands, until there are no swirls in the color and they are fully mixed. You only have 2-3 mins of working time, so quickly make your mold. Make a ball out of it, then slightly smoosh it and stretch it to closer the size of the clay feather.
Place the silicone on a tray and slowly press the clay shape FACE DOWN into it. Submerge the clay’s detail and press the silicone around the edges of the clay with your fingers to enclose the shape, without covering the back -now top. Lightly push the edges snugly around the shape.
Give yourself at least 1/4 inch around the outside edge of the clay shape and be careful not to press it too deep because you don’t want the mold to be thin where your detail is.
Give the mold 15 minutes and check if the silicone is cured by lightly touching the mold. If it indents, it’s not done. If it’s hard to the touch it’s finished.
When it’s finished, it’s time to de-mold, or take it out of the mold. Gently remove the clay feather from the mold, getting all the clay debris out. Be careful not to stretch it too far, which will cause rips.
Note: The mold putty comes in two tubes, part A & part B. When you remove the amount you need from one, used a different utensil to get the other one out. Unused parts can’t touch each other at all. Like not even a little.
Interesting Note: Advanced users will know that if the mold ends up with smeared chunks of clay in it that you just can’t get out no matter how much you try or scream at it, you will need to do a first pull, or cast resin in it, just to get the clay out. A fast curing resin, like what’s used for model cars, is usually used for this. Keep it simple so you can try out the materials, not test their limits.
Always spray your mold with mold release suitable for what you’re going to dump into it. You may get one good pull out of it, but resin and other materials will dry out your mold and stick to it, ripping it when you try to de-mold. It’s worth crying over (or at least losing a lot of time and money). This isn’t a mold for chocolate. Just spray it!
Measure out your resin by weight or volume, whichever it needs. I’m using a clear resin with Castin’ Craft’s green translucent pigment. I also poured one of the feathers with fine gold glitter, added to the clear.
Be sure not to over-pour resin into the mold. It dries VERY hard & you will have to sand down the extra.
Let the resin cure for the recommended amount of time, per instructions. Mine is about 24 hours. Every time you pour the mold, it takes that long before you can get it out and do it again. Now you see why I chose three lovely feathers for this tutorial.
Carefully de-mold your resin treasure! I drilled holes in the sides, added gold embroidery floss, and hung them on a small branch. TADA!
You can reuse your new mold around 10+ times before it deteriorates as long as you spray it with release.
I hope you liked this tutorial. I would love to see what this inspires you to make. Email me a photo with a short description of your project @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Your project may be chosen to be featured on my website.
Resin painting is a lot of fun, and this project is a great way for you to jump into it, especially if you have little or no experience with resin. It didn’t take much convincing for me to come up with a small resin project perfect for this time of year, that lets you try colors, metallics, and the opportunity to create your own handcrafted gift for loved ones. Sure you could just mix it up, and pour it into a mold, but this will be so much more exciting and more like a mad scientist experiment.
Making gift coasters is such a simple way to make highly-customized art gifts. You can also play with different colors, since your canvas will be small, then create another one that matches or is completely different. The possibilities of what you can use to color your resin are limitless, but for this tutorial, we are going to focus on using store-bought pigments, glitter, and dyes.
We’re using clear resin so that our coasters are filled with depth and dimension. The brand you choose to use isn’t that important, just carefully read the instructions on mixing and curing times. Resin is either measured by volume or by weight, so read the instructions carefully. We will only be using a small amount of resin, so this is the perfect try-me resin project. If you are purchasing dye for this project, ensure you use translucent dyes.
I was lucky enough to have found some old coasters at a thrift store to reuse for this project today. They are paperboard with cork on the back.
Not having old coasters doesn’t mean you can’t make these for yourself. In the past, I have used cut pieces of masonite board that I coated in resin and then when they were cured, I glued a piece of felt to the back to protect the surface it will be used on. I’ve also recycled fence wood- just cut out a circle or square a little bigger than needed to fit a mug. Sand any rough edges. It’s my experience that fence wood is too thick, but if that’s what you have, go for it!
Always use resin in a heated space, it has to have around 74 degrees F to cure at a normal speed. Cooler spaces will slow it way down.
Step 1 Paint/Prime
Paint your chosen coasters white before beginning. Paint the top and sides. This step makes the colors richer, dimensional, and vibrant. Any white paint will do, since it’s going to be covered. Do two coats of this, so the pattern or wood doesn’t show through.
When it’s dry, use masking tape, or blue tape on bottom edges so you can peel off the resin drips.
Step 2 Protect Surfaces
Lay plastic down on your work surface and lay out all your supplies you’ll need. Resin is a very runny liquid and is very hard to clean off surfaces you don’t want it. If you need a scale, put a small paper towel on it. This stuff loves to drip and can end up on floors, cover it up. Pull your hair back, wear crappy clothes, and have a trash nearby.
Get out all your things to mix and stir and set them easily within reach. Throw away used stir sticks, gloves, etc, as you use them to minimize a resin mess.
Remember to wipe up any spills, drips, or oops as they happen.
Step 3 Measure Resin
Using gloves, follow the instructions for your resin. They’re all different, so carefully measure out the part A and then the part B, into separate containers. Pour the thickest one into a medium cup and the other into a smaller cup. If it’s measured by volume, use two medium cups so you can visually tell that their the same. Don’t mix it quite yet.
Don’t use anything that touches one, on the other. You can even label your lids with which one they go on. Keep the containers clean and wipe up drips with a clean paper towel.
Note: Usually part A or B will be a lot thicker than the other. If you can pour/measure the thick liquid into a large cup, you can add the harder/catalyst (other part) to it and stir in that cup. You don’t want to transfer the very thick one from a cup to another cup because you will struggle to get it out & it will be miss-measured. Especially resin measured by weight.
Step 4 Mix Resin and Dyes
Mix your 2 parts together in a cup big enough to hold both. Stir well, making sure you scrape the sides and bottom in the process. I prefer using wood craft sticks to stir (for less waste), but I use plastic disposable spoons too.
Pour smaller amounts (1/2 to 1 inch) of the mixed resin into small cups for different colors. Give each their own stir stick. Add colors to individual cups and stir. Make them all a little different. We’ll cover other things you can use to color resin, in another tutorial.
Note: Specialty pigments for resin can be found at artists/sculpting suppliers. If you’re in the Northern Colorado area, check out The Sculpture Depot in Loveland.
Step 5 Paint with Resin
Set your first coaster on a small upside-down cup to elevate it off the table in a spot it can drip and cure. You don’t want to move these again. Place a few of these so you are ready to go!
Pick a first color and use a spoon to pour or drip the color onto the coaster. You can pour directional lines, circles, spots, or whatever. Just a little though.
Use your next color and add a spoonful or resin on a different place, in whatever design your heart tells you to. Play with changing directions or adding a few big spots.
Continue on like this, adding layers of colors until the whole surface is mostly covered. It will be dripping off the edges and that’s fine. Use a spoon or stick to smooth resin over the edges too. Here’s several examples.
Step 6 Use a Torch
Use a torch on the surface and watch your colors dance and blend in unexpected ways. This is an optional step, if you don’t have a torch, but my favorite color combos come to life doing this. You don’t want to ignite anything, but lightly run the flame over the surface of the liquid resin on the coasters. I’ve seen people try butane lighters, but I haven’t. This is especially neat on metallics.
Step 7 Cure
Let everything cure undisturbed for usually 24 hours before attempting to touch it. Some resins cure faster, or slower. Give it time to finish and they will be amazing!
Step 7 Remove Tape
Peel the tape off the back, removing all the extra drips. This can be tricky and you may need to use a butter knife or fingernails to help lift the spots that have resin, it really wants to stick. If you didn’t bother taping yours, you will need to sand them now to remove the drips.
If there are any sharp spots, which there usually are, use fine sand paper right around the bottom edge to eliminate cuts or scratches on tables.
If you’ve used a cut board, you can now cut out and glue felt onto the bottom.
What great artistic coasters these are! The possibilities are endless. I hope you have fun trying out this project and we would love to see what you did. Email us pictures of your projects at Ibreatheidiy@gmail.com.
Halloween is an especially creative time of year for us. It’s usually a really busy time of year for us too. This video tutorial is quick and easy to add some spooky to your indoor areas. There are so many variations you could try out, or you could carry the idea onto other holidays too. If you can imagine it, you can create it.