Monday, December 12, 2011
While digging through my ribbon bag I found these miniature ornaments from last year:
I like to tie tabletop tree ornaments in with the bows on gift boxes, but I guess I never got around to using these. When I found them I immediately thought they'd be perfect for my steampunk tree - but they're just so small.
Enter two flat glass ornaments I just found at the Dollar Tree for - yep - a dollar:
[Note to self: next time don't wear bright fuchsia while photographing shiny things.]
I found these cute plastic owls at Home Depot. They're by Martha Stewart, so I was surprised by how cheap they are. Not in price (I think the pack was $10), but in quality. The plastic rings for the hangers were messily hot glued in place, (two popped out), and though the gold finish had a nice sheen to it, they still looked so...plastic.
Enter a heavy coat of water-based glaze:
...which we then wiped off with a paper towel...and our fingers, after a while. The gloves started to stick, and it was more fun getting paint all over our hands anyway. Heh.
You can use simple craft paint for this: just make sure you put a thick coat on so it gets into all the valleys and cracks, and then wipe the peaks clean so the original finish shines through.
For my first attempt I used watered down brown paint, which gave the owl a reddish, almost coppery finish, but not nearly enough contrast. After that we switched to thick black glaze, and you can really see the difference:
Again, we used leftover water-based glaze, but a thick acrylic paint should do the trick just as well.
(Sorry. Couldn't resist.)
Consider that last pic a sneak peek; we're still not quite done with our steampunk tree, but it's really coming along! And if we can get the topper wired up and finished the way we're hoping, then it's REALLY gonna be something.
I also have a few steamier ornament crafts coming up, including some test tube experiments and little hot air balloons. (Although these just hit the web yesterday and are totally adorable.) Stay tuned!
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