Thursday, January 13, 2011

More Gifts.

Then, of course, we had to figure out what to make for mr’s parents.  This time I refused mr’s refusal to help.  (ok, it’s not that he REFUSES, per se, he just has a hard time coming up with handmade ideas...)  So I told him to pick something’s for his parents from the store and I’d handle the homemade part.  He chose a 76 Mustang for his dad - no, no, not a REAL 76 Mustang, we’re not made of money, here.  A model.  (Apparently this is the raddest car in history and furthermore, his dad used to own one.)  And a book about art and physics for his mom.  So... I made his mom a few bookmarks:

the idea for which I really, really want to claim as my own, because they are pretty much the coolest things EVER.  But, alas, that would be totally unfair, because in reality, I saw the idea on Maryjane’s and Galoshes, and you can find the tutorial here.  I ended up making like 8 more of these for various friends and family members and they were a hit.  And easy, too, so I guess it really IS the simple things.  Here they are in action:

I call them “The Stay Put Bookmark.”
And I made a key chain for his dad.  I know.  I’m totally unoriginal.  What would you have made to go along with a model car?  
There is a story to go with these key chains though.  Proof positive that my failure gene is still fully in place and active.  If there is a way to mess up the easiest of easy projects, I will find it.  Rest assured.
I made several monogram key chains by using a wooden skewer to hand carve them all.  It took about an hour total.  Then I put them in the oven to bake, without checking the packaging for baking instructions, because, really, how hard is it to bake clay, right?  You know where this is going, don’t you?  I opened the oven to find a multi-colored puddle of molten goo on my cookie tray.  Apparently I’d bought the kid-friendly version of clay, which is totally unbakeable, which I would have known had I looked at the package, since it is on the front IN LARGE BOLD LETTERS.  I was determined to carry on with the monogram key chain idea, though, and my sister suggested shrinky-dinks.  I’ve never worked in shrinky-dink medium before, and thought it could be fun... So I set to work, designing several key chains, copying the images onto shrinky-dink material, coloring it in... I followed the instructions this time, but thought it odd that they suggested drawing the outline on one side of the material and then coloring it in on the other side when you were supposed to put the COLORED side UP in the oven.  I mean, don’t both sides technically have color on them?  And I was right to have misgivings, because when I pulled the cute little shrunken plastic pieces out of the oven, they were adhered via INK to the paper beneath.  Ruined.
Any normal person would say “To HECK with the key chains!”  (Or some variant thereof) but you’ve all been introduced to “Stubborn Kimberly” (in this post) and, of course, at this point I had a personal vendetta against the darn key chains and by golly, I was going to make them.
So, I ended up purchasing some alphabet stamps to make the monogramming in clay easier so it wouldn’t take me another hour to carve them out.  So glad I did that.  And I’ll use the stamps over and over, so it’s not like it was a totally pointless purchase.
Well, anyway, here’s a tutorial for Monogram Key Chains, in case you want to make something totally unoriginal and easy the right way first.  Unlike me.
You’ve gotta have:
SCULPY (or some clay equivalent.  DON’T get modeling clay.  Read the package.  Learn from my mistakes.)
Small circle cookie cutter
Alphabet stamps
Wooden skewer
Jump ring
Split key ring
Wax paper
An oven
So, lay your wax paper out, waxy side up.
Take a chunk of sculpy and work it with your hands until it is more pliable.  

Roll it into a ball.

Squash it flat.

Use your small circle cookie cutter to cut a circle.

Carefully peel the clay circle out of the cookie cutter.
OPTIONAL:  I wanted some texture on mine, so I used the side of the wooden skewer and rolled over the circle on both sides. 

 I did it several times in different directions and it gave it kind of a “wooden” or lined texture.

Now, pick your letter and stamp it right in the middle.   (This one is for my nephew, who is a Cross Country Rockstar, seriously.  But for the other ones I just did initials.)

Squish that stamp down pretty deep, but don’t go up over the rubber part to where it’s connected to the wood or that’ll just look weird.
Now, make a hole through the top with the pointy end of the skewer.

You can also use the skewer to carve and make designs around the edge.  I added dots to some.

Bake them in the oven following the directions on your sculpy or clay.  Time and temperature varies.  (Oh, yes, please excuse that super ugly GB Packer one.  Sigh.)
When they are baked and hardened, let them cool.
Stick your jump ring through the hole.
Slide the jump ring on your split key ring.

You’re done!

So how is it possible to mess up something this easy and straightforward?

Check below for the parties I link to!


Anonymous said...

love the bookmarks, but when i first saw them, i thought they were belts - and i got excited, because they would be SUPER cute belts...can you make that happen? ;)

Jami said...

Both of these are great, but I REALLY love the bookmark!

Carol Dichmann said...

I love the bookmarks, SO CUTE and practical! said...

Very cute and practical! I need to make some of those for friends! Thanks for sharing ... I'll be linking. And please come join my link party anytime!

Vanessa@Lovin-Life said...

I love the butotn bookmarks. I am going to feature it on my little blog today.

Sumo @ Sumo's Sweet Stuff said...

Thanks for linking up! I'll be featuring your idea on my blog this Saturday!


Ginger said...

Love the bookmark idea!! I need to make one of those! Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

Mandalyon said...

Nice bookmarks!. I have made a few and it always turns out that one end is heavier and the bookmark falls out of the book :(

I definitely appreciate you posting about your "mess-ups". I just started a blog (Misadventures of Handy Mandy) where I plan on sort of hi-lite the parts that don't go right - I am such a clutz AND impatient so there is always at least one thing that goes wrong every time I try something new. Sometimes I think knowing what goes wrong helps people as much as what goes right. said...

Those came out super cute! I'll be linking.

Taylor said...

Glad you tried the bookmark!!! :) Thanks for the link. Your key chains are a cute idea too.


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