Lately I’ve been so busy with my day job and different market venues I haven’t had a lot of time to write about the things I love doing. Mostly because well I am doing what I love doing outside my day life. So I thought I would share and add to my love of burning. Oh here she goes again with the burning. I swear I will write a more in depth article about it at a later date.
If you are going to market yourself and your art, (what ever it might be). Sometimes you have to go with the flow. You can still make it your own but find out what is a good project that will produce some earnings and also make people aware of who you are.
As you know I frequent our local farmers market and with the Christmas season coming fast upon us I have a few things on the go and thought I’d share this one first first since I have a couple ready for this coming market.
I decided to make a few bottle openers with catchers. I chose my pallet boards, sanded and cut them to length. They are not all the same length but to make good use out of a board and for this project they didn’t need to be. Once done I used my small Burnsomatic to burn the boards. Here’s a sample of one of the boards burned, cut and one end stained.
I decided I wanted to add the cap catchers as well. I was looking around for something I already had that I could repurpose. I found one of my hubby’s cigar boxes and a citronella tin. The bottle openers I found on line. For me the best pricing was Amazon but being in Canada sometimes our choices are limited with delivery and exchange.
I also have a large number of various coasters from Europe and from some Provincial Breweries. I thought I would use some of these as well. My first board I chose my coaster and used Mod Podge to glue and seal it onto the board. A couple coats of Mod Podge later I then sealed the whole board with Varathane. I used a semi gloss out door varathane to protect it as well as make it easy to wipe down. I used the old tin on this one as the cap catcher. I wanted to make it removable for ease of emptying. My hubby helped me with the cuts. I also gave the inside of the tin a spray with Rustoleum to clean it up and protect it a bit more.
I attached my opener and catcher and all was done. The other one with the cigar box turned out nice as well.
I tried something different. Not sure how well it will hold up but I liked the results. I had some vinegar stain left in my pre-made stain, (check my vinegar stain method post on how I usually make it). I decided I wanted to add a more blueish tint. One of our hardware stores sells sample jars of latex paint color. A good and inexpensive way to try new colors. $5.00 Canadian. I pick my color and decide to mix it in with the vinegar stain I had left over. Here’s a warning, do it outside! Mine bubbled and frothed and spilled over when I sealed my jar and shook it up to mix the color. Not being an expert in chemistry or metallurgy I sometimes do things most shouldn’t, ( I can feel and see my hubby rolling his eyes over this, he wasn’t home thank goodness). However in my defense I was thinking “what the heck my stain is natural, right? Latex is water soluble so what harm could it do?”
Fortunately other than a big fizz and bubbling over my jar it didn’t explode or anything. Sort of like shaking a big bottle of warm pop and opening it. It also reminded me of adding baking soda to a bar mix I am fond of making around Christmas time to give it an airy and light texture. I am very happy that it gave really pleasing results and my shop and skin are still intact:)
This is the pallet wood I stained with it and beside is the oh so awesome score of a cedar window shutter. The shutter turned sort of an antique green blue and the pallet wood a touch more vibrant. I finished the pallet would art and am looking forward to trying out something new on my shutter. On the pallet wood I painted a large dragon fly. I used gel pen to draw out my leaves and dragon fly and painted with patio paint. Once the paint was dry I used gel pen again over the dragon fly wings to give the wings some texture. Hard to see in this picture. I will need to get a better close up for my next blog.
I’m sure most of you have seen on Pinterest or Google some amazing home-made stain processes. I always look something up that interests me and put my own twist on it or try to. I’m sure my method has been done by many before so it’s probably not unique to me.
First get a large glass jar with a lid that will seal. I just used one of my canning jars and lid. Fill three-quarters full with vinegar and add one round of fine steel wool. I use Bull Dog, however the dollar store or no name brands work too but will have different results. I also put in about a dozen pennies and a tea bag, (I’ve used coffee before too). Don’t be afraid to experiment. On these ballet boards I used a green tea bag and a pomegranate tea bag. I let it sit on my counter for three days and then strained it twice to get any fibers out of it. I strain because I will have enough to reuse. The longer it sits the more the steel wool will dissolve and the harder it will be to strain the fibers out. I know there are a lot of methods that you can make it in hours but I find the longer it sits the richer the stain and enhances the wood grain. It’s just a personal preference.
With pallet wood you can get some surprising results as you can see by the variation in color of the boards. I used the exact same stain on all four of these. The wood is probably not the same but to me it doesn’t matter because I will stain a bunch at a time and then pick out the pieces I want for my project and the others I save for another one. My hubby, bless his heart, cuts down the pallets for me and I just pick out the wood and stain away.
What is nice about using vinegar stain on pallet wood is that it will also disinfect to a certain degree so you don’t have to do a bleach wash or an additional step to prepare your wood. I just pick my planks give them a good sanding with 60 or 80 grit, brush and wipe off the debris from sanding and stain my pieces.
Link to easy method of taking a pallet apart