Monday, December 19, 2011

Glass-like Photo Key Chains

Do I always wait til the last minute to make handmade gifts? Nooooo..... it's just that I'm not an idea girl, but give me an idea and I'll make it happen. Like creating recipes, sometimes the ideas take more than one... or two... attempts before the result at least resembles what I have visualized.
This year I was stumbling on gifts for the men in the family. I had an idea, inspired by some key chains I found on Pinterest. Well, I tried the original idea but wasn't happy with the outcome, only because I didn't have some of the proper hardware on hand and also because I was trying to make them as manly as possible, but the craft was really screaming to be girly.
Next I tried an idea from one of the comments on that project. It worked and I was going to go with it. Then I Mod Podged over the carefully stamped, punched and positioned (with tweezers!!) the 1/4-inch letters for 3 kids' names and the word "family". The Mod Podge smeared the craft ink on all the letters. I was incredibly frustrated, but after two attempts I wasn't about to give up now. I put a bandanna on my day-old hairdo, re-braided my daughter's hair (she totally looked better than I did!) and we ran out to the Craft Warehouse for some new inspiration and supplies. I was still going to go with the plastic hang-tag type key chains, I just needed to purchase more of them. It was funny though, how all the time I was working on this project I kept thinking to myself that I should get out the epoxy resin and cover the key chains with it instead of just Mod Podge. Of course, I didn't... for some reason I can't explain, but then again, if I had then I wouldn't have found myself at the Craft Warehouse staring at bottle caps filled with resins.

A display in the jewelry area caught my eye. I love the smooth, glassy look of resin and have used it many times, so when I saw the insides of the bottle caps decorated with stickers, gemstones and beads, then filled in with the clear, glassy resin, I fell in love and knew I had to adapt this technique for my purposes.

I found some pendant casings (I don't know what else to call them) and matched up appropriate sizes for the photographs I wanted to incorporate into the key chains. I bought some key chain clip doohickeys (yes, don't know what to call them either - I'm a total nube when it comes to making a key chain) and we headed home! Oh...well, we did flit around the store a little longer, restocking the paint that Sophie & Delaney have been using up like crazy (mostly painting my kitchen table and their clothing with it, but whatever) and picking up a few other cool craft stuff.

So, instead of using the epoxy resin compound I've used in the past, I bought a $6 bottle of stuff called Glossy Accents.

Glossy Accents by Inkssentials on

Basically the same exact effect without the mess of cups and tongue depressors, stirring frantically to mix the two kinds of goop and then having to wipe drips off the edge of the piece for hours. With the Glossy Accents you just squeeze it out. As Sophie would say, "Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!"

We ran home, printed new photos on glossy paper, cut them to size, Mod Podged the fronts and backs (drying between each side) and then placed them into the key fobs. Then squeezed the Glossy Accents to fill up the rest of the fob on top of the photos. They were dry within about 5 hours, but I still left them overnight, just in case. I'd already learned my lesson when I didn't wait long enough between the Mod Podge and accidentally glued my brother-in-law's face to the scratch paper. I wondered for half a second if he would notice his right ear was missing... then reprinted the photo and started over. lol We made two identical ovals and one round one for all three of the wonderful brothers I have inherited.

I'm so excited about the possibilities now for girly ones that Sophie & I are off to buy more supplies at what Bryan has taken to calling the Crap Warehouse. But even he gets excited when he sees the stuff that I make. I think he secretly likes the place, but I understand that browsing stickers, stamps, beads, fabric and artificial flowers when you don't have a mind that can visualize the end result, might get pretty boring after awhile. I don't mind his nickname, I call it that myself quite often, cause I can't just go there for one thing. I DO come home with a bunch of crap that I don't know for sure what it's going to become. He indulges me by helping me try to organize my crap... I mean, craft room.

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TinksTreats by Lorilyn Tenney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License