Saturday, May 24, 2014

Stripping Tea Tins

I Love Metal, Concrete and the Smell of a Skunk!

I know that it's strange to claim to love metal, but I also love concrete and the scent of a good skunk.  I believe that skunks have gotten a bad rap.  They smell a little bit like rubber bands.  No one ever smells a box of rubber bands and exclaim "Ewwwwww!  I smell rubber bands!" I believe we have been conditioned to think that skunks stink.  A friend suggested that maybe we have Saturday morning cartoons to blame.  Who knows where the little critters got the bad reputation.  Back to the subject at hand--

I also love tea and enjoy collecting cute little metal tea tins.  Since I drink so much tea and I can't throw the tins away, I have more than I know what do with, which necessitates a brainstorming session with myself.  

Here is one of my favorite little cups that I found at Goodwill.  I hand wash it because I love it so much.  I also don't leave it outside for weeks.  I take a little cream  with my tea, making it look like coffee.  Coffee gags me, so tea is my coffee and I feel grownup when I drink my tea with cream.  I insist on drinking from a dainty little tea cup, especially on Saturday mornings.  I digress.  

Back to the Tea Tins.  I have been collecting these tins for some time and wanted to try stripping them of their paint and then repurposing them.  I could leave them as is, but they distract me.  They aren't cute.  Someone, I won't mention any names, insisted that stripping would not work and it would be a failed project.  I am always up for a good challenge, so I pulled out the big guns.

This was all I needed, plus some steel-wool, and wet sandpaper for the stubborn paint.  And a scraping thing--whatever that is called.  I think its called a scraper.  

I used an old paint brush and painted on the striper really super thick.  This particular tin started peeling pretty quickly.  The black tins were not as obedient, but some steel-wool and wet sandpaper helped.  Let the stripper set for a bit to begin eating the paint, but don't let it dry.  Try letting the stripper set for 10 or 15 minutes.  You may have to repeat the process.  

Stripper is powerful, so be sure to wear protective gloves.  In my estimation, the key here is to wear two left gloves.  It must be the secret to my super successful stripping.  I was told it couldn't be done!  Although the black paint was a bear, I stripped the heck out of these tins.  After the tins were mostly clean, I used a little steel wool and wet sandpaper.

I could have spent a little more time to get the black ones really clean, but I like the haunting look that the little paint evokes.  Plus, I am a Shabby Chic kind of girl.  

Splendid Trash

And there you have it!  Pretty tins that you can repurpose for so many things. Here are just a few ideas for your newly designed tins:

Cotton Balls
Hair Ties
Craft Supplies
Sewing Supplies
Office Supplies
Chocolate Supplies
Tea Supplies

Just checking to see if you are still reading this post.  'Pickles' is a funny word and I wanted to wake you up.  Hello!  Please don't put pickles in your tin.  And please don't do drugs.

Now go repurpose something and make something useful!  Make some Splendid Trash!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Glass Etching, Easy as Pie!

My Recycling Illness

I love Kombucha.  But O my, the stuff is expensive.   My co-worker bought me one as a treat and now I am doomed to drink the stuff until I die.  Good thing it's healthy, otherwise I would never forgive the girl who started this whole obsession.

So now that I have this habit, I figured out a way not to feel so guilty.  Yes, the bottle is glass and it can be recycled, but better yet, reuse it in a new and pretty way.

Have you ever tried glass etching?  

Glass etching is fun and easy.  I can even do it by myself and I usually need my husband to help with everything.  Etching makes me feel smart and creative.  And Happy!

Shopping List:
Etching Acid
Clear contact paper
Sharp exacto-knife
Small paint brush

Step One:

Choose a cute font and type the words or letters you want to etch.  You may have to experiment with the size or bold your text.  For my design, I chose the font Big Caslon, the size is 144 for the 'H' & 'O' and the '2' is size 96.  Testing fonts and sizing could take hours.  Soooo much fun!  Print your text.  You can also etch designs instead of text.  This is where you can really go crazy!

Step Two:  

Place the contact paper over the text and tape in place.  Trace with a non-smudgy pen--not a felt tip.  For this design you will have to move the contact paper to trace the '2' so that is lower.

Step Three:

Peel the contact paper backing and position on your glass bottle as desired.  Carefully smooth out all the bubbles.

Step Four:

With an exacto-knife, trace the pen lines, pressing firmly enough to cut in one, clean line.  In other words, you want it to be as straight as possible, not hacked.  I am not that great at this part, but you will improve with practice.  Don't fret, just do it!  Once you trace the letters, use the point of the blade to pick out the contact paper from inside the lettering.  If you missed a spot with the blade and it doesn't come out cleanly, recut the area instead of pulling and stretching the contact paper.

Step Five:

Paint on the etching acid and let sit for 10 minutes.  The bottle directions instruct 5 minutes, but we have found that 10 is better.  We also discovered that it's best to lay the bottle flat instead of up right.  This will prevent the acid from running onto the glass.

Step Six:

Rinse the acid off the bottle before removing the contact paper.

Step Seven:

Rejoice that you have have just created Splendid Trash!  We keep these babies filled with water, stocked in our fridge.  Water tastes better in a glass bottle labeled H2O.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Rehab Porch Swing, From Trash to Treasure

Curb Appeal

We love trash day.  I remember the first time picking trash.  My friend was with me and I saw a sweet table in my neighbors trash.  It was after dark, and I laughed all the way home as we carried the table down the street.  She didn't know what was so funny and she kept telling me to be quiet!  I felt a mix of embarrassment and a rush of adrenaline.  It's the ultimate high!

This was intended as landfill!  But, wait!  It's not Trash!  It's SplendidTrash!

It's nice to have a truck for these stealth operations!

Rick used an angle grinder to remove the rusted bolts.

We bought some lumber the same size as the rotten boards and drilled holes for the new bolts.  Rick also rounded the edges with a plane so that it would be kind on the booty.  Rick chose pine wood--less than $20 bucks.  

If you are like me, there is always some leftover paint in the basement.  I had some house paint and white trim paint that I mixed.  Pretty?

We found some really great textured metallic paint by Rust-oleum that made the frame look galvanized.  If you use textured paint, alway prime with a similar color since the textured paint doesn't cover very well.  We didn't and Rick had to go back and retouch with some silver paint.  We were in a hurry to get this project finished so that we could sit on it.  We are not perfectionist and embrace our inner hack.  Just don't look too closely at our stuff.  Flaws abound, and we are fine with that. 

Every yard needs a swing.