Archive for August, 2014

DIY Eco Jewelry Holder Tutorial

Friday, August 29th, 2014

When we redesigned our packaging, one of our goals was to make something more beautiful, but also more functional.  There is nothing sadder than thinking of all the product packaging that is manufactured and sold, only to end up in a landfill or (sadder still) the ocean.  So, we were determined to make useful, reusable packaging.  And we’re very proud of what we accomplished!  Here’s just one example of how to reuse the inner tray that comes in the Artterro box.  We hope you’re inspired to look at packaging a different way!

DIY Jewelry Holder

Tutorial by Spark blog contributor Anna Lee Steinbuck

DIY Eco Jewelry Holder

Materials:

-Artterro inner tray

-leftover Artterro handmade paper

-Glue

-Scissors

-Wooden skewers or rods (I used the rods from our Bubble Wands kit)

-Decorative items ( I used a felt flower and sequins)

Step 1: ***This step is for an adult to do!***

-Use heavy scissors to poke evenly spaced holes into both sides of the inner tray. I put three holes on each side so I could hang more earrings, but if you have longer dangly earrings you may only want to put two rows in.

Step 2:

Cut out paper to fit into the background and inner sides of your tray. I laid the paper over the back of the tray and traced the outline to get a perfect cut of paper.  Glue your cut out paper to the inside of the tray. Decorate the tray with any decorative embellishments you have.

Step 3:

Poke your rods through the holes you cut out. You may need to use the scissors again to widen the holes if the rods don’t slide in easily.

Step 4:

***Optional***

If you don’t want your rods sticking out, cut them down to your desired length. Depending on the thickness of your rods, you can either cut with scissors, a serrated knife, or a dremel cutting attachment.

Step 5:

Hang your jewelry from the skewers. Then use the perforated tab on the top of the tray to hang your jewelry display on your wall!

Starters vs. Finishers

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

-Marianne Williamson

There are some very creative people here at the Artterro office, including a silversmith, a mixed-media artist, a graphic designer, a paper artist and several general crafting enthusiasts.  We were recently talking about how difficult it can be to get started on a new project, and one member of our team mentioned that she has a much harder time finishing a project than she does starting one.  It got us thinking about the forces that get in the way of the creative process, and what we can do to work through them.  Here’s a Q&A with some of the artists on staff at Artterro; we hope this sparks some creative thinking for you!

Q: Are you a starter or a finisher?

Anna Lee: Finisher.

Forrest: I would say that I’m a finisher and will only start a project if I know that I’m going to be able to finish it in a reasonable amount of time. Usually a few days or week.

Shari: Definitely more of a starter.  When I have no time to do anything, I get all these ideas!  And I make lists and pull materials out and start three things at a time.  Then later I get busy with other things or run into obstacles, and most of my projects I don’t finish.  But I start A LOT of projects, even if it’s only planning for them, so I still end up accomplishing a lot.

diy jewelry holder

A recent craft project by Anna Lee: Jewelry Holder made from our packaging, handmade paper and wooden rods

Q: Do you find it difficult to pick up your tools and supplies for the first time?  Why?

Forrest: I find that I need to gather all my materials and supplies first, then let them sit on my table for a few weeks, maybe even a month before I start the project. Sometimes I find it so difficult to start a project because I need time to let it stew in my head for awhile and sometimes I need lots of inspiration. So, I use the internet to find pictures, I find Pinterest especially helpful and quick.

Shari: In some ways yes, and some ways, no.  If it’s when I’m first starting something random and getting ideas, I pick up everything and pull everything out (and essentially make a giant mess).  If it’s something I’ve been hired to do/a specific thing I know I need to do, I hesitate to start it because I’m nervous about screwing it up.  Even if it’s something I know I can do.

Anna Lee: No. Gathering supplies, tools, etc and getting started is my favorite part. I enjoy the concept/ planning/designing process a lot.

diy lavendar sachets

Lavender Sachets made by Forrest

Q: Do you find it difficult to put in the work to finish it once you’ve started an exciting new project?  Why?

Shari: YES.  Even though I love crafting, I get very distracted by all the other things I need to do (like stuff around the house, running errands, cooking, etc).  And again, I’m always nervous I’m going to screw it up.  Even though I know finishing awesome things is totally worth all the work.  Especially if it’s a surprise gift for someone.

Anna Lee: Usually yes, but mostly because I enjoy the starting process too much and tend to start too many projects at one time. This also depends on if it is an art piece or a DIY or craft project. If it is an art piece it can take me years to actually finish, as there is no real planning process, it’s just worked on when I have the inspiration, and the final vision is always changing. If it is a craft or DIY project I find it difficult to put the work in to finish if I haven’t acquired all of the necessary materials/tools/etc from the beginning. If I have missing parts I tend to put it aside for “later.”

Forrest: I find once I start a project I’m able to get it done quickly and don’t mind if it starts to take a lot more time then I originally thought. I also find that I really start to get into the process of working with materials after I start the project, then it feels more like play and less like work.

Shari, at work on a Collage Jewelry project

Q: How do you get past whatever is holding you back?

Shari: I’m not really sure.  When I have a deadline and it’s down to the last minute, I know I can’t disappoint whoever the project is for, so I forge ahead; I’ve sacrificed a lot of sleep for last-minute crafting.  Getting paid is also a good motivator.  It also helps to try to get out of the house because there are so many distractions there.  If I can bring my project to a coffee shop or a friends’ house, in some ways that helps me focus on just the project at hand.  As long as I don’t let other things there distract me!

Anna Lee: This also depends if it’s an art piece or a craft/DIY project. As far as art goes, I try stepping away from it and finding inspiration in other places…I’ll go to a museum, go for a hike, look through old pictures, etc. Or I’ll try creating something in another media; if I’m stuck on a metal art piece I might start drawing something or paint something. If it is a craft or DIY project, usually a deadline motivates me, like if some one’s birthday or a holiday is coming up and I need a gift to give. Or I’ll motivate myself to finish by imaging where the end project will go in my home, garden, etc. or ways I will use or enjoy it, and then start planning for that. For example if I’m making a purse I will start planning outfits to wear with it, or if I’m building a plant stand I’ll move other furniture and make room for it in my house.

Forrest: I like to give myself a deadline or start a project a few days before I need to give it as a gift. That way I’ll have to get it done and the pressure to get it finished will help to motivate me. I believe procrastination is a useful tool.

We hope you found it helpful to hear how some of our resident artists deal with artistic road blocks.  Feel free to give your own answers to these questions in the comments!

DIY Decoupage Project: Flower Pots

Friday, August 8th, 2014

We often hear from customers that after making all the jewelry pieces in our Collage Jewelry Kit, they still have a few pieces of our solid-colored and fancy-patterned tissue paper.  If you are in the same boat, we have two fun, simple and beautiful DIY projects for you to try out!  Last time we showed you how to decoupage a recycled glass bottle into a beautiful illuminated vase, and today we will show you how to transform a plain clay pot into a work of art.

DIY Decoupage Clay Pots

Project by Spark blog contributor Anna Lee Steinbuck

Materials: fancy tissue paper, plain tissue paper, recycled papers: (newspaper, magazine cut-outs), clay pot

Tools: foam brush, scissors, Artterro glaze

Optional Materials: soy based acrylic paint

Instructions:

  1. Gather all materials and tools. Arrange on a covered surface, (I laid down a few layers of newspaper on my table) because this can get messy!
  2. Cut out or rip up pieces of tissue paper and your other recycled materials. *I ripped up little bits of tissue paper by hand to make a “patchwork” kind of layered look, and cut out pieces with scissors for a more refined and polished look.  If you want to paint the lip of your flower pots, do this now and allow paint to dry for about five minutes before going on to step three.
  3. Apply a thin and even layer of Artterro glaze to your containers using your foam brush.
  4. Start laying down pieces of paper on your containers, gently smoothing any bumps or creases with your fingers. *Try layering different sizes of tissue paper, and overlap the paper in order to thoroughly cover the containers
  5. Once you are finished laying down paper pieces, and are satisfied with the look of your piece, apply an even layer of glaze over the entire piece. Make sure you cover the entire surface with glaze to seal it. Don’t worry, it dries clear!
  6. Allow your pieces to dry overnight before handling them. Keep the surface underneath them protected in case any glue drips. *Make sure there aren’t any stray pieces of paper that accidentally got stuck to the bottom of your piece!

Isn’t decoupage wonderful?  You can be as creative as you want, incorporating other materials and changing your design as you go.  Let us know if there are other objects you’d like to see us decoupage on the blog.  Happy crafting!

DIY Decoupage Project: Illuminated Vase

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

We often hear from customers that after making all the jewelry pieces in our Collage Jewelry Kit, they still have a few pieces of our solid-colored and fancy-patterned tissue paper.  If you are in the same boat, we have two fun, simple and beautiful DIY projects for you to try out!  Today we will show you how to decoupage a gorgeous vase, and our next post will inspire you to transform a plain clay pot into a work of art.

DIY Decoupage Bottle

Project by Spark blog contributor Anna Lee Steinbuck

Materials: fancy tissue paper, plain tissue paper, recycled papers: (newspaper, magazine cut-outs), recycled glass bottle

Tools: foam brush, scissors, Artterro glaze (or your own decoupage medium)

Optional Materials: battery powered mini string lights

DIY Decoupage Glass Bottle

Instructions:

  1. Gather all materials and tools. Arrange on a covered surface, (I laid down a few layers of newspaper on my table) because this can get messy!
  2. Cut out or rip up pieces of tissue paper and your other recycled materials. *I ripped up little bits of tissue paper by hand to make a “patchwork” kind of layered look, and cut out pieces with scissors for a more refined and polished look.  If you want to paint the lip of your flower pots, do this now and allow paint to dry for about five minutes before going on to step three.
  3. Apply a thin and even layer of Artterro glaze to your containers using your foam brush.
  4. Start laying down pieces of paper on your containers, gently smoothing any bumps or creases with your fingers. *Try layering different sizes of tissue paper, and overlap the paper in order to thoroughly cover the containers
  5. Once you are finished laying down paper pieces, and are satisfied with the look of your piece, apply an even layer of Artterro glaze over the entire piece. Make sure you cover the entire surface with glaze to seal it. Don’t worry, it dries clear!
  6. Allow your pieces to dry overnight before handling them. Keep the surface underneath them protected in case any glue drips. *Make sure there aren’t any stray pieces of paper that accidentally got stuck to the bottom of your piece!
  7. Optional: If you want your vase to be illuminated, you can put a string of battery-powered lights inside your vase.

What other recycled containers have you decoupaged?  We love making votive holders, gift boxes, and pencil holders.  Stay tuned this week for a tutorial on clay pots as well!