Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How To Tuesday - Ball Jar Stitch Markers (Part One)

I've demonstrated rubber stamps on shrink film before here and here, but just for fun here's a very pic-heavy demonstration to show how you can make Ball Jar Stitch Markers.  

Gather your supplies!

Shrink film (white, clear, or matte, it's your choice.)
Chalk ink (note: any pigment (permanent) ink will work.  I happen to really like the look of the VersaMagic chalk ink for this project.)
Colored pencils
Fine grit sand paper
Standard hole punch
Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
Parchment paper
Oven or heat tool 

(You don't have to use the brands of items shown in this picture.  This happens to be what I have on hand and what I personally enjoy using.)

 The first thing you'll want to do is gently rough up the shrink film with sand paper by rubbing the sand paper over the surface in a circular motion.  Do this only on the side you'll be stamping and coloring on.  This allows the plastic to "grab" the pencil and hold its color.
Next, stamp your images across the sheet, keeping your images as close as possible while still allowing enough room to cut them apart.  This eliminates waste and allows you to get the most out of your shrink film.  Keep in mind that wet ink will smudge when touched, so it's a good idea to set this sheet aside for a while to allow the ink to dry before coloring.
Using a very LIGHT touch, color your jars.  The colored pencil will darken quite a bit as the plastic shrinks.  It may be a good idea to test this technique with a gradient on a scrap piece of film before starting so that you can see how the color intensifies upon baking.
 Once your jars are colored, it's time to punch the holes.  You may use a standard hole punch...
 ...or a setting tool as I've used in the photograph below.  The setting tool makes a cleaner punch as there are no extra parts to accidentally drag across and smear the ink.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER TO PUNCH YOUR HOLES BEFORE BAKING.  If you happen to forget, it IS possible to create holes afterward with a very small drill bit.  However, I advise using extreme caution because your film will now be very small and you wouldn't want to accidentally slip and injure yourself.
 Bake the film on parchment paper according to the package directions.
 And there it is!  One little itty-bitty colored Ball jar.
It's up to you how you choose to seal your project.  I use Mod Podge Dimensional Magic.  It's easy to use and has a narrow tip to apply the gloss.  Apply your sealer according to package directions.
A tip if you use Mod Podge Dimensional Magic: to avoid bubbles, remember not to shake the bottle, and always squeeze a bit out onto paper to release any air bubbles that may be trapped in the tube.  
I'm going to let those markers sit overnight to set really well before attaching the hardware.  I'll post Part 2 of this "How To" to include the supplies needed and demonstration.


Shauna said...

Thank you so much for this post. I've been following you on Facebook for awhile and love your stitch markers! After this post, I think I can make my own. Thanks!

Lisa's Creative Niche said...

wow! These are so cool! I LOVE the way they turned out as little charms!