Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quick Crafts with Metal Tape

Ever see a craft online that you just HAVE to try right now?

That was the case when my friend Renee sent me this video on using metal tape for mixed media scrapbooking art:


And in case you can't watch that where you are, here's Rachel's finished product:


SO COOL.

The best part is all you really need is metal tape, something to put it on, and a little craft paint - so you might already have everything you need in the garage, like I did:


I decided to test this out on a little cardboard gift box, since I'm not really into scrapbooking or paper art. I had a set of plastic clock numbers left over from... something... so I grabbed a couple of those to give my box lid that fun embossed look:

THE ANSWER.  :)

I also added a few squares of that drywall seam tape to the corners, since John had a roll on hand. In retrospect, though, I don't think I would have used it - or at least not symmetrically. (I reeeeally struggle with making things look random. Symmetry is a cruel mistress, you guys.)

Of course, you can put all kinds of things under the metal tape for the embossed look: papercraft silhouettes, letters, thin metal gears or charms, or heck, you could even write out some words using hot glue for a messy, hand-written look. SO MANY FUN OPTIONS.

I started by covering my numbers with a large square of metal tape, and then used my fingers and a plastic clay tool to help push the tape down:

If you use a tool, be careful not to scratch the tape with the tool's plastic seams. (Heed my voice of experience on that one...)

Next it was just a matter of covering the whole box with squares and random strips:

This tape is actually pretty durable, but I pressed a little too hard between the numbers and ripped a small hole. OOPS. Not to worry, though: the paint will cover that later.

Now the fun part: adding "rivets":

I used that plastic tool to press the points in, but a toothpick or pencil point would work just as well.

When you're done adding all the texture you want, brush on a layer of flat black craft paint, making sure to get in all the cracks and rivet holes:

... then immediately wipe the paint off again with a dry paper towel. (If the paint sticks or starts to dry too fast, use a little water. It also helps to work in small sections.)

Here's a comparison of the finished lid to the un-painted bottom:

Pretty cool, right?


And now, the finished box!
To make my numbers really stand out, I stippled more black paint around the edges with a stiff brush.

Here's the finished side:

I love that this looks like metal... because it IS metal. Can't wait to do more projects with it!

(The tape is so thin my box lid still fits fine, btw, and it doesn't scratch the bottom half.)

At this point you could add some rust-orange paint in spots, or use the Rub n' Buff stuff Rachel did in her video, but I kinda like it just grungy silver:



Oh! And here's what my friend Renee did:

She cut the letters using her Cricut machine. Brilliant.
I especially love her sides, though; those riveted strips really sell the whole look.

Keep in mind this metal tape is extremely easy to scratch, scar, and bend, so if you want to use it to cover boxes or books or other items, make sure they're decorative things that aren't handled much. (I'm currently eying everything in my house, trying to decide what I'll cover next. Ha!)

You can also help camouflage future dents and dings by really beating up your tape before painting it: the more blackened texture there is, the less likely you are to notice new scratches.

I hope this inspires some of you! Happy crafting!

(And if you try this, be sure to share a pic on the Epbot FB page, so the rest of us can see!)


Update: The metal tape I'm using here is also called metal repair/aluminum foil tape, and I found some at Wal-Mart for only $7.50 a roll. Hope that helps!


*****

Come see ALL of my craft projects on one page, right here!

40 comments:

  1. "Symmetry is a cruel mistress, you guys."
    If you don't watch Soul Eater, you totally need to start watching it. Your comment made me chuckle because there's a character who is OBSESSED with symmetry. You'd like Death the Kid. You'll relate.

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  2. Wonder what effect I'd get with ordinary silver(ish) ducttape... things that scratch, rip of crinkle rarely make it into my even rarer crafts. Ha

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  3. Totally cool! Thanks for sharing that.
    (I struggle with symmetry too, Jen)

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  4. OH! This is brilliant! I can use this for my Assassin's creed cosplay for MegaCon. I was freaking out about crafting all the fiddly metal bits on his belt and armour..etc. Now I can just use this to cover a cardboard/foam prototype and still have it look all shiny. Thanks Jen!

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    1. Ooh, great idea to use it on costume parts!

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  5. Could you mod podge it to make it a bit more durable? Or would that mess up the shiny metal appearance?
    Rachel C.

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    1. Hm, I'd be more concerned about whether or not the Mod Podge would stick to the metal. Anyone want to test this and report back? :)

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    2. Mod pog sticks to everything i use it on a lot of things

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  6. And don't forget you can use alcohol inks on the metal tape, too. You can apply it all over and then lightly sand the raised areas to bring back the silver. This effect is also great with copper tape which you can find in 2" width. Of course, it's more expensive but the look is so cool.

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  7. this looks fantastic that you make me want to craft!
    (huge complement. huge.)

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  8. "(I'm currently eying everything in my house, trying to decide what I'll cover next. Ha!)" I had the same thought when I saw the finished product. :)

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  9. Would tin foil work as well? That looks really cool ^_^ btw I don't know if you've seen it yet, the Threadbanger used one of your tutorial as an inspiration for their antique mirror makeover on youtube !!

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    1. This tape is essentially just heavy foil with adhesive backing. I would think regular foil would be pretty fragile, plus you'd have to glue it down somehow.

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    2. Heavy Duty Aluminum foil and spray adhesive work just fine...

      http://blanksayswhat.tumblr.com/post/50432284010/sun-moon-september-2010-mixed-media-im

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  10. At the risk of sounding like a moron, what do you mean by "metal tape"? I'm on 3M's website and they have aluminum foil tape... is that it?

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    1. Ditto! I, too, don't know what metal tape is.

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    2. So sorry, guys! Yes, it's aluminum foil tape - I'll go add that to the post now. (And I had to look it up to be sure, so that was NOT a dumb question! ;))

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    3. Thanks so much, Jen! I went to Lowe's today to get some!

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  11. Hmm, wonder how copper tape would work on my ugly cubicals thing. Cover the outside and edges, paint the inside and cover the fronts of the drawer/box things and put on pretty new handles. I'm thinking polyurethane might me a good way to protect it. I'll give it a try and report back.

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  12. Give your finished item a thin coat of matt Mod Podge (not PVA). I use this technique with the paint and also alcohol inks on photo frames and hard back notepads. Things that need to be handled. The Mod Podge is by far the best thing I have tried.
    Sue L

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  13. This is awesome. I like the potential for steampunk costuming accessories without using real metal ... *wanders away to plot evil things with costume brain all day*

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  14. Watching your take on things is inspiring many times. I watched the original video and thought WOW I have none of that, really cool but buying the supplies wouldn't be worth it...but then I see your take and it helps to simplify things in a way that definitely makes me want to try it.

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  15. Great video, great idea! 42. Don't forget May 25 is towel day.

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  16. I'm wondering if when others are saying "copper tape," they are referring to the copper foil tape used for soldering. I have lots of that and am wondering if that would work.

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    1. I have some of that copper foil for soldering, too, and it would work just fine, same as the aluminum. The only issue I see is the width, since mine is pretty skinny, but it would make a great accent!

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    2. You can wider buy copper tape in the garden department. It's used around pots to keep slugs and snails away.
      I can't wait to try this technique on the front of a dresser we are putting in our new Steampunk Style bathroom.

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  17. Thank you Jen, I am eyeing up all the flat surfaces in my house now. I did an art journal cover and my 9yo did one too! I have pics up on my blog to share the goodness.

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  18. Another very cool project, Jen. I love your use of glazes or paint brushed on and then wiped off in so many of your projects. Those techniques result in a lot of depth. Very impressive. To reference your other blog, it's the icing on the cake.

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  19. We did something very similar in art class back in the day--we'd make pictures out of layered cardboard, crumple-then-smooth bits of aluminum foil and glue them to the picture, then the teacher would spray paint it black, then we used turpentine to remove the paint from the high points. (We were very young at the time, so she did the painting--I'm pretty sure we students removed it, but it's been so long, I'm no longer certain.)

    Anyway, it ended up with a very similar effect to the technique above. It's nice seeing old crafts come back in new ways, and this one made me a bit nostalgic. Thanks!

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  20. I just received a comment on my YT video to say it was embedded on this site, so thought I'd take a peek - Great projects, glad my video has inspired :-)

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  21. That is the same tape we use to make fire spinning gear.
    A foil/tape wrapped dowel..some kevlar wick knotted beautifully- endless fire fun.

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  22. I think two of these one with your name and one with John's would look awesome in your new room, with a neat frame around them. Or even a decent size one with both your names :) Neat craft! Would make a nice easy gift for someone!

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  23. Amazing craft! I have also just discovered aluminum foil tape, when my husband handed it to me as I was about to tape on silver mylar to the claws of my Sonic Boom (Skylanders game) pinata. Yes, you read that right.

    It started as a pinata for my son's birthday party next month, but the head turned out so well, that I knew there was no way in hell I was letting a bunch of 8 year olds whack it with a stick! We're doing another character that is much easier for the whacking, and Sonic Boom is going to hang in his room. The aluminum foil tape makes the perfect silver for the claws and bands on the character.

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  24. That's it!!! From now own, I'll use aluminum tape instead of heavy duty foil form the kitchen. Your projects are all so beautiful that they appear more difficult to accomplish than they actually are. Thanks again.

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  25. This tape is so cool! I didn't know it even existed...is it very durable? Could I use it to make a similar type pattern on a purse for a steampunk costume?

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    1. I did a whole shield for halloween and it torned out great

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  26. The tape fits perfectly on the small "composition" style notebooks you can purchase at the Dollar Store 3/$1.

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  27. Do you know if the tape is safe to use on clothing/fabric (temporarily, as in decoration for costume use) and won't harm the clothing? Does it leave any residue or is it easy to pull off? Thanks for any help.

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    1. I haven't tried any, so you'll want to test it to be sure - and I'm sure it depends on the fabric. A simple cotton or polyester blend *might* be ok, though!

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