This weekend’s crafty experiments were pretty disappointing, but cute—accessory bags, below, and refrigerator magnets, above. The experiment with diluting the Armour glass etch was a total flop, so I have no new votives as I had hoped. Yes, it was all a little disappointing, but nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say. I’ll just have to work around the issues because just the minor success of these things has me pretty excited.
I’ll be glad to know your opinions of anything I have here, either products or designs.
The refrigerator magnets are a follow-up to my tiny cat pins. I loved the pins and wanted to follow up with flowers and critters and made a bunch of 1″ round flat polymer clay shapes to transfer images onto. Then I looked at some of the magnets on my refrigerator and knew I needed to work out this one too. Everyone loves little magnets!
Just like the pins, there’s a trick to transferring the image to the baked clay piece. I tried several different iron-on materials and techniques, like using my iron instead of the heat press just for streamlining the process. The iron worked well enough to adhere the transfer to the clay in just a few seconds, but if the iron moves at all it pulls the transfer and distorts it.
Even when I held my hand as still as possible for the 10 to 12 seconds it still drifted just a bit because the transfer itself melted and acted as a lubricant. So I experimented with holding it for intervals of three or four seconds then lifting the iron, turning it and pressing again, and that worked great.
So the face of the magnet was good, but the other hitch was the magnet itself on the back. My discs are 1″, and I wanted to use real magnets, not magnet paper. The most reasonable and common real magnets I could find are 3/4″. I’m not sure I like how they look, and how well they’ll last with that much of an edge.
I may make 2″ or 3″ discs and put two magnets on the back, not just for the strength of the magnet, but because the smaller discs were a little difficult to deal handle easily, from forming and baking them to making the magnets. So we’ll see.
These are the same purchased bags I used for the Bella! Accessory Bags, but the two smaller sizes that come in each set. I love the overall look of these and have so many patterns and designs in mind for them it was really hard to choose just these to test with. I know I’ll make more, but not using the purchased bags. Like the tote bags, I’ll be printing the the accessory bags on flat fabric, then sewing them into shape.
I’m using good quality iron-on transfers and my heat press, but the issue was really the bag itself with its seams and zipper which make the surface uneven. The heat press is solid metal and doesn’t conform to the contours, so the transfer isn’t really pressed onto the fabric evenly. After it’s pressed you can peel the backing when it’s hot for a more natural fabric finish, or when it’s cool for a heavier finish. The heavier finish is more like a plastic coating, which is kind of okay on one hand.
I prefer the feel of fabric achieved when the backing is peeled away when the transfer is hot. When I did that with the Inscrutable pattern I ended up with a lot of white specs and even blank areas, but it seems to have been more of an issue around those seams. I’m hoping when I can transfer to flat fabric and peel it hot I’ll have more of the fabric texture.
I’d been planning to use these fabric transfers on other items like dishtowels to provide a spot or overall pattern. I guess I’ll have to see how it works with hot peeling the transfer before I can do that. The plasticky feel of the cold peel would work okay with placemats. We’ll see what the future brings with that!
Diluting the glass etch…
I have a dozen more votives ready to make and needed to etch the insides. Armour Etch does thicken while you’re using it to the point where it begins to crystallize. The thickness is actually nice because it stays in place on a vertical surface, but the crystals drag along the glass and scrape off the etch compound so it’s not evenly etched. I had read that you could dilute it with water and it looked as if about 1/3 of the volume could be water. Mine did not even mist the glass. It had no effect whatsoever. I put the bottle in a cupboard with the lid off to possibly evaporate the water a bit and thicken again.
My favorite family-owned craft store that always had the best prices anywhere was bought by a big box store and they are closing and are out of stock on this. The store that bought them charges twice as much, and I prefer to buy local, so I’m searching for the best price.
I just can’t wait to get to those new votives!
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