Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fused Plastic - A Tutorial

For my first So You Think You're Crafty challenge, I decided to try my hand at fused plastic.  Since the theme was dollar store crafts, I used plastics you could find at the dollar store:  Tootsie Pop bags, a plastic tablecloth and trash bags.  I also used some cellophane (the pink polka dots), but that did not work very well so I don't recommend it.

Any-who, The first thing you need to do is cut your plastics down to a usable size.  Since the smallest piece I had to work with was my Tootsie Pop bag, I cut the tablecloth and the garbage bag to that size.

I carefully cut open my Tootsie Pop bags.
I cut rectangles of the tablecloth that were approximately the same size as the Tootsie Pop bag.

I cut more rectangles of the garbage bags.
In all, you need about 6 layers to make one piece of fused plastic "fabric."  You don't really need to use a plastic tablecloth; I did because I wanted the yellow to show through the clear parts of my Tootsie Pop bag.  You don't even have to buy garbage bags--you can use bags from the grocery store.  I bought my materials because I was going for a certain look.

Next, line up your layers.  I used four layers of garbage bags, one layer of tablecloth and my Tootsie Pop bag.
Line up your layers.
THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!!  You want to put paper underneath and on top of your layers of plastic.  If you don't, your plastic is going to melt all over everything.  I'm going to say it again.  Sandwich your plastic layers between paper so the plastic doesn't melt all over everything.

The next step is to iron your layers together.  Remember, everything is protected between the layers of paper (sorry, I just had to say it again).  Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the ironing because I don't have four arms or someone else around to take the photo.  You want to use a hot iron (wool or linen setting).  You need to keep the iron moving constantly.  Make sure you iron over the entire area of your plastic.  I worked in a circular motion.  Once you've covered the entire piece, peel off the top layer of paper and see how you did.  If you need to go back and fuse some more, you can do that.  Just don't over-do it for the plastic will melt completely.
The fused plastic
You're now ready to cut this down and start sewing with it.  This stuff stands up to being sewn great.  I was afraid that it would tear easily, but it is strong as can be.  It also has great body so it's ideal for bags as it holds it shape.

I've been using my tote bag for my daily lunch bag at work for a month and it is showing no wear whatsoever.  So give this technique a shot. 

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

SYTYC Week One - I'm Through

So I made it through Dollar Store week at So You Think You're Crafty.  Woo-hoo!  My project, if you didn't guess it, was the Tootsie Pop tote bag.
This was a cool technique and I'm going to do up a tutorial on it when I have a little more time.

This week at SYTYC is Thrift Store Crafts.  Time to vote again!  The poll is in the sidebar on the right side.  Maybe you'll vote for me.  Pin It

Thursday, April 12, 2012

So You Think You're Crafty - Dollar Store Week

Hey everyone!  The voting is live at So You Think You're Crafty!  The theme this week is Dollar Store Crafts.  Be sure to go vote for you favorite--maybe it will be mine.

Also, don't forget that we have a giveaway going on.  You can win three cans of Simply Spray Upholstery Fabric Paint--it's a great prize!  Just leave a comment on this post by Friday April 13, 2012.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Simply Spray Upholstery Spray Coffee Table Bench Project and Giveaway

Good morning!  Welcome to Monday.  I'm sure, like me, you're delighted to be here {eyes rolling}.

Well, even if Monday is not my favorite day, I've got a good post for you today.  I was contacted by Randi at Simply Spray who sent me some of their Upholstery Fabric Paint to try out.**  Have you heard of this stuff?  You can spray paint upholstery!  I didn't really believe it either, but I'm here to tell you this stuff works.  Check out the Simply Spray Facebook page  or their website for all sorts of stuff you can do with it.

Before we get into the tutorial, I'm going to tell you about the giveaway.  Simply Spray is going to send three (3) cans of Upholstery Fabric Paint in the color of your choice to one lucky winner.  All you need to do is leave a comment on this post letting me know what you want to paint.  That's it.  I'm not going to make you do things like tweet and facebook, etc., etc.  Just leave a comment.  You can enter once through Friday, April 13, 2012 at midnight, MST.  A winner will be chosen on Saturday, April 14, 2012 and contacted via email so be sure to leave me contact information!

When Randi first contacted me, I have to say that I didn't have any furniture in need of painting.  However, I did have this coffee table I was thinking of getting rid of.

It occurred to me that it was the perfect size to fit at the end of my bed and it was sturdy enough to be converted into a bench.  Instead of covering up some old upholstery, I thought, why not use the paint to create an upholstery design of my own?

I started with a plain piece of duck cloth.  Duck cloth is like canvas, but a bit lighter weight.  I laid it out on an old sheet and sprayed away.  I actually think the spraying would have worked better if I could have hung the fabric and held the can upright, but all-in-all, I got by okay.  I took two cans of paint to get the coverage and the depth of color I wanted on this piece of cloth that measured about 60 x 30.  That seemed like a lot of paint to me, but the paint does soak into the fabric.

Once dry, I laid on my a stencil and used Simply Spray Stencil Paint (this was also provided to me by the folks at Simply Spray) to add on the design .  This product is quite thick and comes out fast.  I wish I had practiced with it first.  I'm not great with stencils to begin with so I should have known better than to dive right in.  So the product worked great, but there was some operator error. 

I'll spare you a lesson on upholstering the cushion.  You can find dozens of them out there in blogland.  What I think is important for you to know and what I was really interested about with this product is that the fabric stays soft and supple AFTER it is sprayed.  It does not get hard and crunchy like it would if you used a normal paint.  The hand of the fabric does not feel plastic-y or coated in any way.  I was impressed with that.

So, what are the cons of this product?  I think if you were spraying a sofa, it would be a bit spendy as you would need a lot of paint.  Otherwise, Simply Spray Upholstery Fabric Paint does exactly what it is advertised to do and it does it well.  So, before you donate that perfectly good footstool or side chair, give this product a shot.

And don't forget to leave a comment to try to win three (3) cans of the color of your choice.  You can't beat that with a stick!

**In other words, if I'm not making this abundantly clear, this is a sponsored post! Pin It

Monday, April 2, 2012

Craft Fail? Art Gallery Tote Bag

Well, I'm just not sure that this project worked out.  I had these amateur paintings that I had bought at thrift stores.  I had the idea of making a tote bag out of them.  This is side A:
One side of my Art Gallery Tote Bag turned out fine.

Not too bad.  But this is side B:
The other side, not so much.
There's the problem.  Apparently, the older the canvas, the more likely the paint is to crack and flake off.  Or, perhaps, it was the type of paint.  I'm no expert on these things.  Anyhow, it all happened when I inside-outed the bag at the very end.

Still, I think the idea is a sound one and I'm not giving up on the concept just yet.  In a nutshell, here's what I did.  I started with a thrift store painting that was on a stretched canvas.
I loved this canvas when I saw it at Goodwill.  I thought it would be great on a tote bag.
I pulled the canvas off the stretcher and squared it up, I then sewed it to my tote bag fabric.  I used a plain duck cloth.
At this point, things are still going pretty smoothly.
When you are sewing through this, you want to use an appropriate needle.  I used a Jeans Needle because, essentially, I was sewing through two layers of canvas so I needed something heavy duty.
Use an appropriate needle.
I sewed around the painting using one of the decorative stitches on my machine.  A zigzag stitch would work just as well.
Sewing the canvas to the tote bag fabric.
I do still like the idea of this project so I might give it another chance.  Nothing ventured nothing gained. 

Any ideas what I could do differently to prevent the cracking? Pin It


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