Saturday, February 11, 2012

Playing with glue

Chris S. of Waterloo ON posted some interesting instructions on Canada Minis for making decorative plates from glue....and making sculptured 'glass' decorative pieces from push pins. You can find the instructions by going to the Mini Treasures Wiki , scrolling down to links and clicking on either Glass Works or Pushy Art Glass.

I was fascinated by Chris's use of glue to make the plates so I spread a layer of Weldbond glue on a sheet of plastic wrap that I taped to a tile so it was smooth, let that dry then added another layer.

I let it dry overnight and ended up with a sheet like this

In my stash I had parts of an ice cube tray from a dollar store that had a series of small shapes that I had thought might work for cake/jelly molds. (The other shapes are hearts and half globes.)

This is the one I thought I'd try with the dried glue.

Using the Word program on my computer, I printed out two 1 1/2" circles. The top one I thought would give me a better sense of where the centre of the circle was. (The "insert shape" part of my Word program is incredible for giving me templates to work with. I can expand on this if you like.)

I cut a circle from the dried glue, laid it over the form and smoothed it down roughly following the shape of the form.

Then I gave it a coat of DecoArt StarLite Topcoat (soft glittering top coat). Since this is water-based, it tends to soften the glue a bit and the shape relaxes so once that had dried (very quickly)

I re-emphasized the shape with my fingers and placed it back on the form and painted the back side.

To tell you the truth, I wasn't pleased with the finish from the DecoArt product (originally I thought it was because I hadn't shaken the bottle well enough so I tried that again and tried a second coat) then I went back and repainted the whole thing with Delta Ceramcoat Sparkling Glaze. The whole thing is still quite 'soft' so when everything was dry, I coated the back (bottom) of the dish with a coat of clear nail polish. I think it helped a bit.

The coats of paint still haven't dried to the clear stage yet but I'm getting the iridescent look I wanted.

Years ago, a miniaturist in New Zealand sent me this incredible basket of fruit.

Here it is in my new iridescent bowl.

If you're not fortunate enough to have someone who makes such incredible fruit and if, like me, Fimo is not your friend...for inexpensive, well-made fruit, I highly recommend Belara Beach Originals.

That was the thing that worked....

Now to the one that didn't...

One of my RL iridescent glass pieces was a plate with a raised decorative edge so  I thought I'd try that.

I have some scrapbooking scissors that have a good miniature size cutting blade.

So I took another section of the dried glue and used those scissors to cut out a circle. Most of it worked well but as  you can see (not clearly) a couple sections were too brittle and broke off.

But I kept going and found that my miniature bottle of Aleene's Tacky glue was the right size shape for the dish I wanted.

I clamped the bottle and supported it in a drinking glass and put the 'glass' piece on top with the intention of gently pulling the edges down over the glue bottle and shaping my bowl.

The jig was great but the glue piece didn't work. The glue was too brittle and broke when I tried to shape it. I'm wondering if I had used heat from a hair dryer to soften the glue if that would have worked.

But my glass/clamp/bottle set-up/jig  might give you an idea of how to work with something else.

I still have the a fair bit of the dried glue to experiment with

so I may try heating it to shape it.

I've also started to dry a much smaller piece of glue made with Aleene's Tacky. I think Aleene's may be more flexible when dried than Weldbond so I'll experiment with it later.

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