Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Somebody is making stuff again...

There are many types of creativity, some of which I have, some of which I don't.

I "Don't":
*Paint anything more complicated than a single color at a time
*Successfully make up new recipes, although I keep trying...sorry family...
*Have much luck sewing clothing without a pattern, although, sadly, I still try
*Have the "eye" for seeing future greatness in random ugly objects unless I have a specific project in mind and find exactly what I'm looking for.

My mother-in-law, on the other hand, is very adept at all four of these things - especially the last one. MY creativity is more like - give me a defined pile of stuff and I can make something out of it or show me a picture and I'll find my own way to copy it. HER creativity is more visionary - she can go into a thrift store, craft store or garage sale and pick out cool things that need a makeover, without knowing ahead of time what she's going to do with them. When she comes up with a cool project idea, she usually has just what she needs in her stash at home somewhere. She has the EYE!

I am so jealous of this.

This weekend, I got to pick through some destined-to-be-garage-saled items at my in-laws house and picked up a couple of "projects". I told her that I wanted to make a tray with glass jars on it for my laundry room. She presented me with this:
She had found it at a thrift store somewhere and bought it because she liked the shape and thought she could make something cool out of it. Unless I already knew I was looking for a tray, I would have passed right by this thing at the first sight of those, um, interesting, um, birds. She has skills, I tell you - mad skills!

She also had these jars:
Sweet! Once I had my pile of stuff, THEN I could figure out how to be creative with it. So...in case you find an ugly tray and some cool jars and want to transform then, here is how to do it.

You need:
*A Wooden tray (look for a shape/size that works - you'll be covering everything else)
*A couple sheets of coordinating patterned cardstock
*Matching acrylic paint and brush
*ModPodge and brush
*Cutting and measuring tools
*Glass jars
*Self-adhesive vinyl and cutting tool/machine (I used a Cricut Expression)

Step 1: Sand off anything that will easily come off - like gold leafing - and smooth out weird spots on the tray, perhaps turning on a Scentsy or something to mask the puzzling but unmistakable smell of vomit-laced fart coming from the tray while its being sanded (or maybe that was just MY tray...)
Step 2: Paint a couple coats of acrylic paint over the parts of the tray that may show when you're done. Marvel at your amazing paintery skills (seriously, this is as tricky as my painting gets):
Step 3: Spend several minutes testing your two rolls of black vinyl to try and figure out which one has permanent adhesive on the back and which one is repositionable. Kick yourself for not labeling them 4 months ago when the order arrived. Break out the Cricut and cut out the vinyl:
Step 4: Measure and cut your patterned paper to fit the parts of the tray where they will belong. This was a little tricky for the curved parts and I have no words of wisdom on how to do that other than, try tracing the bottom of the tray and measure carefully.

Step 5: Adhere paper to all sections of tray using ModPodge. Apply several coats to the top of the paper, allowing to dry between coats. Kick yourself for not using the "anti-bubbling trick" of coating one side of the paper with ModPodge and letting it dry and THEN adhering to the tray to avoid all the bubbles, creases and pulls you actually ended up with.
Step 6: Apply vinyl lettering to jars (which have been carefully washed with vinegar and water and dried). Fill jars with whatever you've got waiting for them:
Step 7: Decide that you have too many jars on the tray and lament the fact that you can barely see the cute patterned paper on the inside.
Step 8: Remove one jar and put it on a shelf somewhere else. Strategically place two dryer balls on the tray:
Step 9: Step back and admire your work...and then realize that your cute decoration doesn't really help the fact that the rest of the room is completely unfinished. More projects, right??

Wow - its hard to stage a cute photo for my project when there is nothing but a plain painted wall and a dusty washer and dryer. Oh well, this blog is about creating in REAL life, right?!

Now that I am healthier, have successfully birthed another baby and am starting to feel like I have energy to do more than nurse, eat, sleep and do the occasional load of laundry, I plan on doing more creating and blogging! Definitely check back on Thursday because I will be one stop on the MemoryWorks Simple Stories: Destinations Blog Hop! That means - more projects! See ya then!


Ashli said...

CUTE! I love it.

Lacey said...

Super cute!! love those jars...great job on the tray!

Family Reflections said...

Great idea! Love what you did... super cute. Thanks for sharing.

craftopia said...

I love the trey I can't believe how you can transform something that you almost wouldn't think about keeping. Great work

Anonymous said...

LOL - came for the blog hop.....saw the title of THIS entry and had to read on...LOVE what you did here!!!! <3