Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Practice, Practice, Practice!!!

Well, we still have a couple of weeks before we start Eight Nights of Lights.....but I'm going to be doing a few tutorials so you can practice and get ready! Why? Because I don't want you to get frustrated and think you can't do it all...and I don't want a project that is 102 steps long! So, we are going to be breaking this all down into easy steps you can do in advance.

Today, we're going to be working with hot glue. I'm using black so that it will show up, but you can use clear....and I will have both of them during 8 nights. And yes, if you have a low temp gun, that's just fine as well.

First, you need to find something that you can draw or outline on to a non-stick craft sheet with a sharpie marker. I used a wood flourishes for this one.




Now, take a close look at this one. I traced the flourish and then added 2 more small swirls. So feel free to draw free-hand as well.



Then take your heated glue gun and trace the pattern putting down a very thin line of glue. OK, not so thin, maybe 1/16" wide. This is what will take practice.



A couple of hints. I brace my right hand with my left hand to keep the right hand steady and give it some support. The flourish on the right is pretty good, the one on the left has blobs in it. You want to aim for the look on the right.



When cool, you can just lift them off the craft sheet!

Here's a closer look at the one that was on the left - way too many blobs:




I trimmed it up with a pair of scissors. Do not reheat it! Just leave it in it's trimmed state. After fixing this one, I liked it much better!



Once you have mastered that, then switch to using stamps.  For the most part, stamps are too small, the details are too close together to do this with, so you will have to alter them.  For this candlestick, you'll see that the 9 candles are just too close together for each to be 1/16" wide:

But I simply drew the same design with glue, just a little bigger....and left off one "row" of candles.

As you practice, start layering your glue elements together in a design.  You can see from below that the star is a blob, so I need to either trim this one up, or do more.  That's why I say, "Practice! Practice! Practice!"


And of course....this might not be  what we are doing during 8 Nights....but you need to get this technique down in order to play along that night!  Use any design/theme that makes you happy!  Try this with stencils, your fav stamps, or print out something and use tracing paper to put the sketch down on the craft sheet.  The possibilities are unlimited!

Hot glue guns and glue sticks are also among the cheapest craft supplies - you can pick them up at Walmart or just about anywhere.

Many thanks to Sherri B for inspiration for this technique!  And a final tip...for whatever reason, when you put the glue over the sharpie pen, it removes all the marks from the craft sheet when you pull the cooled glue up.  How cool is that!

1 comment:

Craftzilla said...

I love working with colored hot glue and glitter glue sticks! You can make such neat stuff like you did!