Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Recycled foil candy wrappers... OH MY!

Okay, okay... So I had a moment last night. An insane, creative rush that lasted for about two hours... I think a lot of you know what I'm talking about.

I was playing Okami on PS2 (a phenomenal game, btw) and eating a few chocolate coin candies. When I finished, I had this lap full of the wrappers and they looked so pretty and sounded so tinkly when they were shaken together, I just couldn't throw them away. I was staring at them for a while and my husband said, "Are you figuring out what you're going to do with them?" I just nodded. He knows me well.

HERE is the result. Glory of glories! I had so much fun!

Tools:
Bone folder
Left over coin candy wrappers (the foil is tougher than normal candies, but you might be able to get away with it with other wrappers, too!)
Paper punches of choice

For embossing... EMBOSSING! (*squeal!*) Okay, sorry. The moment hasn't passed yet. For embossing, you'll ALSO need:
Ball stylus (In clay sculpting or paper embossing tool sections of a craft store)
Rubber stamps
Craft foam, 1/8" is good
Kato Liquid Polyclay, or some other thing to fill the backs with so they don't get smooshed, like resin or Ranger Glossy Accents


Start by using your bone folder to smooth the foil wrapper. I just rubbed the long, horizontal part of the bone folder really hard across the wrapper, from the middle out, until it was nice and smooth.


Once it's all smooth, cut some fun shapes! Yee! I noticed it was sometimes hard to get the foil back out of the punch itself once I was finished punching. I just ran a piece of paper in the punch (without actually punching) to get it loose. If you have to, just keep punching the foil until the rest of it falls out.


Use your ball stylus, the punched shapes, and your craft foam to texture the pieces. It's so fun! It's really easy, to. Don't follow a pattern--just do what you think looks good. Take care that you don't poke through the foil as you do this. If you did ruin your foil, oh, well... just have more chocolate. It will be okay. AND you'll get more foil to work with. Can't beat that, can you?!


I began experimenting with embossing rubber stamps. Here I used this stamp because of its huge open spaces and just pressed the stamp right into the foil while it was resting on the craft foam. I then went around with my stylus and traced the lines. Once I did that, I flipped the foil over and began pushing gently with the stylus on the "right side" of the foil all around my edges and in the insides of the petals, too, to give it more definition.


Then I wanted a Chinese character, since I'm so into Asian things, I could be labeled obsessed. (Chinese writing, usually, and Japanese style crafts and home decor, and Thai art and style of jewelry, really... There is a DISTINCT difference culturally, and I recognize that, so I thought I'd mention it so that no sweet people out there mistake my above statement as a relatively common western ignorance that labels all of Asia as Chinese... But, I digress!) But I realized that to get the character (this one is "Beauty") facing the right way, I'd need to get the image backwards into my foil and then emboss from the back... But I'm not sure I'm making sense.

Basically, I lay my foil piece on top of my rubber stamp and I rubbed with the bone folder to get all of the impressions. Then I lay the foil piece down WITHOUT turning it over, so that I was still looking at the character backwards, and then I proceeded to emboss it, as shown in the picture below... ignore my icky nails... I was in the throws of artistic passion and unable to re-manicure myself before I started snapping these photos.


Here's what I ended up with! I did tear through this one. :( So I had to dump it. But I did notice that all of my tears were happening in these Chinese characters, where I had a long, thin line to emboss. So I suppose you should just keep that in mind, that if you're doing a long, thin area, make sure that you're being gentle.


You can use rubber stamps as a spring-board, too. Here's an awesome stamp from Stampin' Up! out of the One of a Kind stamp set. I went through the same process outlined above (rubbing the foil piece into the rubber stamp, then embossing), only I went ahead and added some of my own little designs, and I didn't do it exactly like the stamp showed. This is the one that made me start doing my happy dance at my desk. I think my husband said something like, "Are you brilliant?" And I said, "YES!" (But I don't mean that in a snobby way... It's more like an exclamation of occasional delighted surprise.)


So that one was too awesome to lose. And I thought about how in the world I could make it so that it wouldn't collapse under the slightest weight. Adam (my husband) suggested two part epoxy which would be nice and hard, but takes too long to mix/prepare/set, and I was into instant gratification last night because by this point, it was late! So I didn't even use my Ranger Glossy Accents (which also probably would have worked), and I pulled out the Kato Liquid Polyclay from my polymer clay supplies and filled the backs of two of my embossed pieces, then cured in my oven for about 20-25 minutes at 275 degrees F. (This is where any candy wrapper that also has just a bit of wax paper on the inside would simply not work. It will burn up in the oven. Make sure you're using pure foil if you're going to bake something.)


And... YEEEEEEEEEE! These pictures were not edited at ALL. That is what color they are. Obviously they're also reacting to the flash, but they turned this glorious 24kt gold color beneath the liquid clay and I think I like it better than the top. (These are views of the "backs" of both pieces... "backs", because they may soon be redefined as "fronts".) I'm not sure what I'm doing with them quite yet. But this was just too cool to not share. So there you go.


So there's another entry into my greenx2 craft world! (Environmentally friendly AND cheap!)

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