Friday, August 18, 2017

How to create a festive pumpkin

Hi everyone Steph Ackerman here today and I've got Halloween on my mind. 

I picked up a pumpkin sign last year knowing that I would find a way to alter it in some fashion.  When I received my newest tool - the Bench Drill Press - I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I began by using the Delta Sander to remove the varnish like finish on the pumpkin. 

I was quite intimidated when I received the Bench Drill Press, but I couldn't believe how easy it was to use.  Just insert a drill bit, adjust the height of the drill based on the length of the drill bit, line up the item, turn on the drill press and go.

I quickly and easily drilled holes all around my pumpkin!  It was super easy and not at all intimidating.

Once I had all the holes drilled, I painted it with Plaid Milk Paint in Tavern Ale and then dry brushed on FolkArt Brushed Metal acrylic paint in  Brushed Gold.  Finally I dry brushed on FolkArt acrylic paint in Classic Green in a streaky manner.  I was not looking for perfection; in fact, I was looking for imperfection as no pumpkin is perfect!

While waiting fo the pumpkin to dry, I created leaves from Makin'sⓇ clay.  I added texture to the leaves using Makin'sⓇ Clay Texture Sheets, then painted on assorted colors of FolkArt acrylic paints, blending the colors with a baby wipe. 

I adhered the leaves to the pumpkin top along with raffia.

I adhered mesh along the bottom edge of the pumpkin and mixed in some raffia.  Then I inserted the lights in the holes I made.

What do you think?

I am definitely using the Drill Press again and have lots of projects in mind.

Friday, August 11, 2017

How to make a simple lightbox

Hi everybody, I'm Carol.  I'm going to show you how to make a simple light box today using Proxxon tools.    These are just the best little tools!

This was an easy project to make.  It is a simple light box.  So, what is a lightbox?  Well let me tell you.   Have you ever needed to copy a pattern, maybe from a photo of some previous work you've done and want to do again but really don't want to take the time and effort to redraw it?  Have you ever tried to hold the picture to the window and try to trace it from that awkward position or worse yet have to use carbon paper?  This lightbox is truly a crafter's friend.  You can literally place any picture or pattern, no matter how dark or light onto the Plexiglas top, slap you paper on top and see it as clearly as if you were looking at the picture.  Trace away.   I have placed 140 Lb watercolor paper over my pattern and was able to see it clear enough to draw all the details. 

The light source I bought from a hardware store.  It was intended to be mounted on a bathroom or kitchen ceiling.  It has extremely bright LED lights, but the cover is flimsy and fragile, hence the need for a box. 

Supplies needed:

Light source. 
Electric wire with plug for outlet   (a switch in line is nice but not necessary)

1 x 4 x 64" pine board  (actual measurement 3/4 x 4 x 64)
cut (2) 16 " lengths and (2) 15" pieces for the sides.

1/4" plywood sheet cut to 16 x 16"

1/4"  plexiglass sheet cut to 15 1/2 x 15 1/2"

Electric drill with 3/8' drill bit

Wood glue

Wood screws

Here is a picture of the light source I chose to use

The first thing I did was cut all the pieces to size as indicated above.   The Proxxon table saw did a really fine job of cutting that heavy Plexiglas

Be sure to put a hole in one of the sides that you will need to run your wire through.  Slide the wire through the hole and connect it to the wires of the light.  Note, I put a knot in the wire on the inside of the box so that if it gets pulled on it won't disconnect where the wires are joined.  Be sure to wrap the connections with electrical tape and or wire nuts to prevent short circuits.  I used both, just because.  Better safe than sorry. 

Now comes the nifty part.  I measured down from the tops of the board sides about 1/2" and made a reference line on all 4 sides.  I made another line 1/4 down from that.   I used the cutting blade on my Proxxon delta sander to cut on the lines about 1/4" deep.  I popped the wood out with a screwdriver leaving a 1/4 wide   and 1/4" deep groove on all four sides.  This is where the Plexiglas will sit.  It takes a little patience but works well. 

Next I inserted the Plexiglas into the slots on all 4 sides then glued the edges of the 15" boards to the face of the 16 " boards and clamped them square.   After this dried I predrilled some screw holes with my rotary tool and secured the sides with wood screws for added strength. 

I put on the bottom with glue and screws.   Everything gets sanded using my proxxon delta sander.   This tool is so versatile!  Getting into the cracks and corners is a breeze.  No more splinters for me, ever!

I painted it all white then added some green and yellow around the edges just for fun.  I like those colors.  Check out the video to see this light box in action. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

How to Make Five Pointed Patchwork Star

This five pointed patchwork star is such a versatile pattern. It can be used as a decorative piece, a coaster, or a trivet depending on the size you make it. There are also many decorating options depending on how you paint it. How about red, white and blue for a patriotic theme? Or, each point a different color to resemble a quilted star? Silver and white tones would be perfect for wedding decorations. Of course, gold metallics are ideal for Christmas ornaments and display pieces.
Finished Five Pointed Patchwork Star

Supplies and Equipment for Making the Five Pointed Patchwork Star

Instructions for Making the Five Pointed Patchwork Star

  1. Cut out star point pattern. You can vary the size of the star by reducing or increasing the size. I recommend cutting the template out of substantial cardstock or acetate so it maintains its shape through multiple tracings.
  2. Trace the template onto your wood. I traced a column of star points the entire length of my piece of MDF.
    Template and Pattern on MDF
  3. I used the table saw to cut the column of star point patterns. Here you can see that I'm adjusting the blade height to be just above the thickness of the MDF.
    Setting Saw Blade Height
  4. I moved to the band saw to cut out the star points. Note: This could also be done on the scroll saw.
    Cutting Shapes on Band Saw
  5. Drill the holes for attaching the star points to one another using the Professional Rotary Tool and Drill Stand. I used a 1/8" HSS twist drill bit with brad point.
    Drilling Holes
  6. Paint each star point. I used FolkArt Brushed Gold Brushed Metal Acrylic Paint.
    Painting Star Points with FolkArt Brushed Metal Acrylic Paint
  7. When the paint is dry, glue the star points together with wood glue. This step is not absolutely necessary, but it does give the finished patchwork star extra strength.
    Gluing Star Points Together
  8. With wire cutters, cut the brass wire into 1½" lengths. Note: If you increase or decrease the size of the star point template or the thickness of the wood, you will need to adjust the length of the brass wires. Bend the brass wires to form a U-shaped staple.
    U-shaped staple formed from brass wire
  9. When the glue is dry, working from the front of the star insert a staple into holes on adjacent star points. 
    Inserting staple in adjacent star points
  10. Holding the staple in place, turn the star over and flatten the ends.
    Flatten staple on reverse side of star
Your five pointed patchwork star is complete—ready to be a used as a decoration, an ornament, or a trivet.
Five Pointed Patchwork Star Trivet

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Native American Mask made with Proxxon Tools and Plaid Paints

Today I want you to take a look at the Native American Mask that I made out of a gourd using my Proxxon Tools. My Proxxon Tools make it so much easier to complete my gourd projects, and the Plaid Paints that I use make such a difference in how vibrant the projects turn out.

The Supplies Used in this Project:

Proxxon Jig Saw
Proxxon Delta Sander
Proxxon Rotary Tool
Shadow Box
Assorted Plaid Paints
Porcupine Quills
Embossing fluid and powder
Hot glue gun
Workable Fixative
Alcohol InkI

I started out with the basic Proxxon Tools  that I use the most frequently, my saw, sander and rotary tool. Did you notice in the picture, the end piece of the rotary tool? That is the end of the flexshaft and I just love it. It's just like holding a pen in your hand but you can do so much with it, depending upon which type of burr you are using in it.

I cut the canteen gourd in half with my Proxxon Jig Saw, cleaned the insides out and then sanded the edges off with my Delta Oscillating Sander. Once the gourd was all prepped and ready to go, I then drew a pattern on the front and wood burned the design into the gourd. I then used my Proxxon Rotary Tool and a round burr to carve out part of the front to make it look like rough and bumpy. I also carved out the mask eye area and the mouth area.When this was finished, I inked the top and bottom of the gourd mask with alcohol ink and heat set it and then sprayed on workable fixative to keep the ink from coming off. Once that was done, I painted the inside of the mask eye area with gold acrylic paint and when it was dry brushed on embossing fluid and sprinkled embossing powder on it and heat set it also. I used Plaid Paints ( Brushed Metals and Color Shifts) in various colors to color in the design on the mask. I also used Stickles paints to make the raised bumps. I used some beads that I had on hand and glued them onto the face of the mask too.
Here's an in progress picture, prior to doing the eyes, nose or mouth.

And here are just a few of the feathers that I had to choose from to put on top of the gourd. I chose carefully and created the top and also tied the porcupine quills together and then glued them to the sides of the masks.
This is a picture of the finished mask before I put it into the frame and after I had mounted it onto the backer board.
Here is the finished project after putting it into the frame. My Proxxon Tools and the Plaid Paints really helped me make an awesome Native American mask. How do you like it? Have you been to and checked out all the awesome tools and accessories that they have for them? If not then you sure should because their products are terrific and very easy to use.


Stencilled Home Sign

Hi everyone Steph Ackerman here today.  I'd like to share how I created this decorative sign that I wanted to give as a house warming gift. 

I've had this sign in my stash for awhile and knew this was the right time to use it.  I began by lightly sanding it with the Delta Sander.

Next, I painted the sign with Plaid Coastal Paint in High Tide.  Since it was a little too bright, I added in touches of Plaid Coastal Paint in Sand Dollar and blended the colors together.

Next, I used a Plaid Stencil and Plaid Coastal Paint in Seal Grey.  Once dry, I re-sanded the sign.

I knew I wanted to place wood letters spelling HOME, however, I could only find a "Q".  So I pulled out my Jig Saw and cut off the little piece, turning the "Q" into an "O".  This Jig Saw is light weight and easily cut off that little piece.

Using another  Plaid Stencil, I added the flowers with FolkArt Acrylic Paint in School Bus Yellow, layering over the first stencil.

I painted the wood letters with Folk Art Color Shift Paint in Pink Flash, such a gorgeous color.

I'd love to know what you think of my sign.

Thanks for stopping by today.