Thursday, November 26, 2015

Putzing Around.....Creating Light-ready Putz Houses

My first 2015 Christmas Putz Houses....

So many little pieces of silver Dresden
to form windows! 
The dimensional flat-back trees are New Old stock 
from Meyer Imports. 

After perusing all the old humble Putz house designs,
one of my favorite details were the sweet spotted rooftops
meant to resemble snow. Let me tell you, purposely painting
imperfect spots took some control from a
perfectionist painter like me.

I do love my silverleaf and German glass glitter,
and used copious amounts of each on this little gem.
I also used silver Dresden and mini tinsel trim.

Now for the lighted part.
Since this is my first year to create 
light-ready Putz houses, some additional
work was required. You have to make the
interior look presentable (as in no unpainted surfaces), and cut holes
for the windows, as well as one for inserting a light.

I used transparency film for the windows,
and coated them with Mod Podge & Varnish,
then tinting them with yellow alcohol ink,
so they glow warm when the light is on inside.

Just for fun, I created a lead glass look
on these windows to add to the whimsical
storybook quality of this house.
Same ingredients as the other windows,
but drew lines first with a fine Sharpie.

The hole on this is to accommodate a battery tealight,

and on this storybook one for a tiny light.

For the red house, I created the same design
as my Halloween house...
A sliding hatch to cover the hole.
Being roomy enough for a battery tealight,
yet shallow from front to back, the hole would
be too visible without a cover.

These houses are now available in my Etsy shop,
and more are being created!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween Skeleton Hands Charger Plate

What's a Halloween dinner without
Skeleton hands?

After seeing door wreaths made with
Skeleton hands, it seemed like a
no-brainer to lay them down
as a charger plate.
I found these great flat hands at Michael's.

I cut a circle of Foamcore,
and cut out little sections of the top paper layer 
and foam just large enough for the 
hand's end piece. I just used hot-glue
to secure them to the Foamcore,
but that is only good for temporary use.
You need a strong white glue or something 
like E-6000 to hold them more permanent.

Once dry, I flipped it over carefully 
and painted the circle with black
chalkboard paint. You see why I 
cut the top paper layer only?

I then hot-glued natural tinted reindeer moss
for 2 reasons: 1) To cover the circle edges, 
and B) To give the dinner plate something to
rest in. The reindeer moss has a unique feature
of being spongy and rubbery, creating a bit
of a non-slip surface for the dish.

A clear dish is ideal,
allowing a full view of the hands,
and also any chalk writing
you choose. I saw a chalkboard charger 
example on Pinterest that said
"You have just been poisoned"...

A perfect place setting with the
placecard holder I made last week.

This could also work great under an
appetizer dish!

Linking To:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Halloween Skull & Skeleton Hand Place Card Holders

I'm picturing Vincent
dining at twilight 
for an intimate gathering
with his closest friends.....

Oh the things you can do
with craft store props
and a glue gun.

A plastic skeleton hand, plastic skull, grey moss,
battery tealight, and styrofoam.

Small styrofoam disc painted black.
Hot-glue moss around disc,
and hand into top back of disc.

After hot-gluing moss around the battery tealight
last week for my Putz house,
I started thinking about other uses.
Again I painted the tealight black
before gluing the moss to it.

Cut a hole through the bottom of skull
large enough to fit over the plastic flame.
A little snug fit is better than loose and wobbly.

Using thin brown cardstock
for the place card,
I accented the name with red hot-glue
and used the same glue to attach
the card to the hand.
Just a touch of bloody macabre.

The moss ring around the styrofoam
gives you something to nestle your tealight into,
since you don't want to glue it down
or you couldn't switch it off.
(If you plan on running the tealight till it
goes out, then feel free to glue it to the base.)

A nice finishing touch to your All Hallows' Eve 
soiree at twilight.....

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Too Much Time On My Hands

Monday, October 12, 2015

2015 Spooky Halloween Putz House

I finally finished my first Halloween Putz house! 
Nothing more spooky than an old abandoned house.

I designed, hand-cut, and assembled this creation completely from scratch, 
save for a little plastic cat & a tree armature.

So very many details to this creation, but here are some of the highlights:

Roof sprinkled with Meyer Imports black mica, and little bunches of natural beige reindeer moss. The same moss has also been thoughtfully placed as landscaping.

All boards, siding, and picket fences are hand cut chipboard, then textured and painted to look like weathered wood. 

Two doors are created with poly door screen and cut to look like old torn screen doors.

Paperclay chimney rocks and tombstones are hand-formed and painted.

Paperclay tree bark is hand-shaped, textured and painted. Branches have been accented with Meyer Imports antique bronze mica flakes to mimic Autumn leaves, and have also been applied to the ground and roof. I enhanced the tree with painted hot-glue roots, to maximize the old tree effect.

Interior is painted black to provide contrast to exterior.

I've created a sliding hatch in the back of the house for easy insertion of battery lights. The hatch inside-facing is painted black to match interior.

I've customized a battery-operated tealight in black paint and covered in the same natural beige reindeer moss as the landscape. When lit inside, the only thing visible is the “flame” and the moss.

Ground cover is Terra Textures (Meyer Imports), a grey flaked mix of natural and wood materials, applied to a painted Foamcore base.

And no spooky, abandoned house is complete without a black cat! I have painted this little creature black and sprinkled it with fine black German Glass glitter, to give it sparkly fur.

I had planned on creating more Putz houses for Halloween,
but I became so absorbed in the details of this one that time disappeared.
That's okay though, because I am pleased with how this turned out.
It's now listed in my Etsy Shop!

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Plastic Pumpkin, Paper Mache Witch Hat, and German Glass Glitter

Just add a little glitter, she said.

It'll be quick, she said.....

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm never satisfied
with just whipping something up.

After glamming up the little black cauldron
I couldn't resist playing with a little pumpkin favor.

I never planned the outcome, and just had fun gluing away.

While I could've stopped with the jack-o-lantern,
I so badly wanted to add a witch hat.

I bought some paper-mache cones recently, 
and a witch hat was the first thing I thought of
when I saw them. I knew if I didn't use them all for Halloween,
I could make mini Christmas trees out of them.
As it turns out, I painted them all black,
but not before gluing hat rims to them.
Neatness wasn't really a necessity,
since I was adding paint and glitter.

I used a variety of Meyer Imports German glass glitters for this.
My new favorite glitter color is Black.
So much immediate impact.
I love it!

The hat is covered with 80-grit black glass glitter.
The band is 90-grit orange glass glitter.
The rim is black mica flakes. It almost looks satiny!

I first pulled out the plastic handle on the pumpkin.
It occurred to me that if I painted it black first,
it would accentuate the sections after embellishing,
if I left the crevices black. I was right!
(Since you're painting plastic, I recommend 
chalk or chalkboard paint, but some craft paints are also
available now for multi-surfaces.)

The pumpkin is covered with Autumn Hues Medley,
which is a multi-color glass glitter mix.
To really make the "carved" face stand out, 
I filled the areas with 90-grit Black glass glitter,
and framed them with metallic gold paint.

After putting the hat together with the jack-o-lantern,
it needed something more to balance it out,
so I decided a dazzling little circle as a base
would give it the final touch it needed.

I painted a chipboard disk black, drew a star pattern on it
then glued it to the base. I felt it would be easier
to glue it to the pumpkin first, then I wouldn't have to worry
about leaving enough bare chipboard to
glue the pumpkin to.
I filled in the star with more 90-grit orange glitter,
and filled in around it with 90-grit black glitter.

Finally, I wanted to keep the pumpkin favor functional.
After numerous ideas, I came up with a simple
hinge design. I hot glued a piece of black wire to
the inside of the hat, then threaded it through
the existing handle hole and curled it.
Works like a charm!
For the other handle hole, I glued
a curly wire in for a final zhoozh. :) 
It also works like a handle!

This is a very lightweight piece, so not for heavy duty use.
Regardless what you use it for, it's a good idea to seal the glitter 
with clear coat for minimal shedding.

Isn't it amazing what some glitter and chipboard can do!

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