Friday, 19 October 2012

You CAN do it!

So before you start saying this blog is not for me, “she was talking about G-clamps in her previous post for heaven’s sake!” take a moment and ponder on this…we studied glaciation in high school. Some of you know more than is reasonably required of a person living in the tropics about glacial periods and melting ice caps. Don’t you feel better for it? No? Well it was a long shot…can’t blame a girl for trying. But maybe you should keep reading simply to better yourself by learning something new with the hope that one day the knowledge that wood glue dries clear will be of use to you or at least make you sound well informed in some random conversation. I once had a conversation about the difference between bantus, nilotes and cushites with a South African and sounded like a genius.

So yesterday I promised to post a DIY project but the gods conspired against me! I got home, got crafting was in my happy place then...Kenya Power struck! Luckily the power wasn't out for long but then my phone went haywire so the flash decided when it would work and wouldn't work (luckily this is not a photography blog but forgive the hazy pics) and worse net was down. So this is being posted today evening instead of last night.  

Anywho this was meant to be the first actual DIY post so let me get on with it. This post is to prove to you that anyone CAN craft. Yes I know hinting is lame but as you probably correctly guessed this has something to do with cans. Tin cans are a classic example of things that can be converted from trash to treasure.

Stuff you’ll need

1.  Used tin can (tomato paste/ Pringles container/nido can etc)
2.  Scissors
3.  Patterned paper/ fabric or string. I bought wrapping paper for Kshs 30/= from Nakumatt.
4.  Wood glue
5.  Small piece of sponge for applying wood glue
6.  cellotape or decorative tape if you have some- I must confess that I have a random selection of Martha Stewart decorative craft tape I ordered online. I know what you're thinking...this should contain stuff people can get here. Don't panic, patterned tape is available locally from time to time at TBC (Textbook Centre) but cellotape will do just fine. 

7.  measuring tape- though you can wing it
8.  (Spray paint, string/wool, glue gun and mask) optional in case you opt for the bonus stuff

Let’s get started. This craft was inspired by another blog check it here. I was looking for DIY alternatives to vases for my centrepieces and this seemed like a nice cheap alternative to hiring glass vases. I didn't settle on them in the end but they may feature in other areas in the wedding. Who knows?

Step 1- Clean the can- Hopefully you’ve just enjoyed some nyummy Kenylon beans (yes I know they are called baked beans but next you’ll expect me to say margarine instead of Blueband). Anyway clean it up good, take out any label etc. In my case some the label was printed on the actual can but that doesn't matter. 

Step 2- Measure the circumference and height of the tin. Cut a piece of paper/fabric; make one side roughly an inch longer than the circumference of the tin and the other side should measure the height of the tin. (Not confusing at all right?)

Step 3.  Either

ü      Apply a thin layer of wood glue on the surface of the tin, let dry for a minute then carefully wrap the paper/fabric around it ;

ü      Spray a thin layer of spray adhesive onto the paper. (ps spray adhesive works really well on this because the paper doesn't dampen. With wood glue the paper dampens a bit and if you are not careful you’ll get creases.  Con of spray adhesive is that it’s kinda pricy, cheapest being around Kshs 1,250/= at the hardware store in Yaya Centre-trust me I shopped around! Wood glue does the trick so no pressure.); 


ü      Stick the decorative tape on the edge of the paper. The tape should be longer than the paper so that ideally you have tape sticking out of both ends of the paper. If you opt for this then the side of the paper that measures to the height of the tin should be cut down by around half a centimetre.

Step 4- Wrap the paper./fabric round the tin can. Do this carefully to avoid creases or the paper wrapping unevenly. Although the ribbing of the can showing through is not a problem and if you use wood glue it will definitely show through. I think it adds character to the finished piece. (Sorry at this point the flash in my camera-phone stopped working....yes blackberry haters, take a shot! You know you want to.)

Voila! Your transformed tin can! You now have a crafted a cool vase/pen holder/ candle votive/tool tin etc. I threw in some paper flowers into the vases and sat back and admired my handiwork. (pardon the messy table)

Step 4 (bonus stuff)
I think it already looks cool as is but as a bonus you could:
ü      Spray paint the inside of the vase gold (should do so before sticking the paper/fabric). Or simply spray paint the can (no paper/fabric), it looks good like this as well. This works really well for a candle holder. You can puncture holes in the side to make it a Mexican lantern.
ü      Wrap some yarn/string round it (I love yarn wrapped anything and everything! More on this later). I did this in a hurry before running out so it can look way waaaay better (was very late to meet some very cool pips, let's call them the Mafia, who I meet every Thursday).

ü      If you are super glam like one of my girlfriends, let’s call her Doc, glitter is always welcome.
ü      Punch really small holes on the bottom of the tin, place in some soil and convert into a flowerpot. (I'll show you how to do that on some other day). 

And here's my parting shot

On a random side note, a pal of mine, lets call her Japanese songbird, mentioned that the Mr. Right and Acutie sign off pic kinda looks like askew boobs... Now that's all you can see right?  So until next week...sayonara :-D 


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