Thursday, December 16, 2010

Virtual Advent Calendar Day 16: Mason Jar Rim Window Ornament

9 Days Left Until Christmas
Mason jar rims and resin become a window to a Christmas scene.
Can you believe we are into single digits for the countdown?  Christmas will be here before you know it!
I used kosher salt for snow.  Worked great!
Have I ever mentioned that I love resin casting?  I don’t know what it is about encasing stuff in resin, but it’s fascinating.  Resin crafting is definitely a well-used weapon in the retro craft arsenal.  Why, kids have been encasing bugs, plants, coins and whatever else in resin since time immemorial.

I was working on another resin craft when I came up with this idea.  I had some mixed up resin I needed to use up as the stuff isn’t cheap and I can’t bear to waste it.  I started looking around my kitchen for something to use as a mold when I came across a mason jar rim (I had them out because I was simultaneously making the Pringles Can-dleholder which required them). 

Hhhmmmm...  time for a crafting experiment!  The window collage ornament was born and I’m pleased to say that the experiment was a complete success. 

Materials Needed:
  •        Casting resin (I used EnviroTex Lite “Pour-On” High Gloss Finish resin)
  •        Mason jar rim
  •        Flexible plastic lid from from a container (I used the lid from a Pringles can)
  •        Container for mixing resin
  •        Popsicle stick for mixing resin
  •        Cardstock, paper scraps, miniatures, beads, sequins etc. for creating your collage
  •        Ribbon
  •        Glue (I used Tombow Monofilament)

Step 1:  Trace and cut out a cardstock circle using your mason jar rim for a template.  This will be your backing.

Step 2:  Cover your work space to protect the surface (try using an old vinyl tablecloth, or my favorite, a flexible cutting mat).  Place your mason jar rim on the plastic container lid with the top of the rim down.  If you have some sort of mold release spray, you can use it on the plastic lid, but it is not necessary.  It will help when you pull the rim off later on, but it may cloud your window a bit (there’s always a trade off, isn’t there?).

Step 3:  Mix your resin per the package instructions.  Consider wearing disposable rubber gloves when you do this.  Resin, like glitter, tends to get everywhere, but unlike glitter, it’s a lot harder to clean up. 

Step 4:  Pour a thin layer of resin into the rim.  You want to make sure that the resin touches the sides of the rim all the way around.  Don’t worry if it leaks out from underneath the rim; we can cut this off later.  The thinner the layer of resin, the clearer your window will be, however, if it’s too thin, you might tear the resin when you pull it off the lid.  Shoot for about 1/8 inch thick.  Let this dry overnight.  You will be dying to pull it off the plastic lid as soon as it seems dry, but resist!  You’ll jack it up for sure if you pull it off too soon (not that I know this from experience).
Pouring in the resin.  It takes about double what is shown here.
Resisting the urge to mess with it.
Step 5:  While that is drying, you can work on your collage.  You are limited only by your imagination and the depth of the mason jar rim!  Look around your house and see what you have to use.  Polly Pockets (at least the old kind that are really small)?  They would be great! Old plastic Christmas miniatures?  Plastic toy animals?  Dried flowers?  Go nuts.  Glue it all down and wait for morning.  I use Tombow Monofilament glue for this.  You can get a super-fine line of glue out of it which is perfect for small scale work.  I created a paper collage backdrop, then added the dimensional elements on top.

Step 6:  Glue the collage to the rim.  Let dry.  When that is dry, glue a ribbon around the rim.  Leave long tails on the ribbon.  Once the glue is dry, tie the tails into a bow.  You might want to use a glue gun for this step as it will dry almost instantly.
Here’s another option, instead of gluing a backing on your rim, glue two rims together and create a scene that is visible from both sides. 

Seriously, how cool is this ornament?  Can you tell I love it?  I’m trying to noodle a way to make this into a snow globe.  The solution is just out of reach, but I know it’s out there.

Cost:  If you have to buy resin, about $30.  Otherwise, it will be about $4 for the mason jar rims.
Time to Make:  1-2 hours, not including drying time.
Skill Level:  Finally, a craft that takes a tiny bit of talent to make!  Still, a beginner could do this.

Come back tomorrow for Day 17 and see what I have in store for you then.

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Terry said...

these are so cute Sarah, love them! Now I know if I have any bitty anything where it should go!

Sara from Sara vs. Sarah said...

sarah, i absolutely LOVE the pipe cleaner tree w/ sequins and the mantel w/ stockings! you didn't show me that last night!! did you whip that up after we left? it's awesome!

Sara vs. Sarah said...

Sara, I did whip that up after you left. Pretty cute, huh?

Sara from Sara vs. Sarah said...

Sarah, yes! you know I'm a sucker for those pipe cleaner creations ... and sequins too! :-) Yes very cute - Sara

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