Basically, the rules stated that I would have to make the craft myself. I could sew, crochet, knit, cross stitch, embroider, make jewelry, etc. The second main rule is that it had to have a nautical theme. I figured that I would sew a pincushion cuff or something cute.
Then, I found out I was paired up with Erin from Miss Crayola Creepy! I already followed her blog after I found her on Map the Sewintists. Also, I realized that I saw her from afar at Gertie's book event at Sew L.A. because she had blogged about it and I recognized her coat & dress right away. Yay!
But then I knew there was no way I could sew anything for her! I'd be way too intimidated. So, I came up with the Nautical-Inspired Odds & Ends Jars. :)
My first thoughts were that I should etch a couple of glass jars to hold different sewing odds & ends. I definitely love my mason jars, as you know! Still sewing-related, but I wouldn't have to have my work scrutinized by a pro! So I ended up searching for images of nautical themed glass etchings. Immediately, I saw lots of blue-tinted seaglass, which wasn't what I was looking for. However, it gave me the idea to tint some jars!
Step #1: Make Rope Balls
But first up, I wanted to create a few rope balls to place in the jars. I didn't want to send them empty! I only needed rope and a styrofoam ball according to the tutorial. Instead, I used a ball made out of foil, so I attacked these right away!
I ended up with three really cute balls (after having a bit of trouble with the first one).
Step 2: Tint Mason Jars
Next, I found this tutorial to tint jars. Her favorite color was mint green, so I scrapped the blue jar idea. I happened to have green food coloring on hand. Perfect! Here is my version of the jar tinting tutorial. :)
What You Will Need
Waxed paper or parchment paper
A disposable bowl
Spoon/stick for stirring
1 teaspoon water
2 teaspoons Mod Podge in gloss
Food coloring (5 - 10 drops, depending on how dark you want your jar)
1 jar (pint-sized)
|Jar Tinting "Ingredients"|
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper on top of a sheet of aluminum foil.
3. Mix the water, Mod Podge, and food coloring in a small bowl.
* Add more food coloring, if desired. The jar will be substantially lighter than the mixture.
|Steps 2 & 3. I initially added only 4 drops and ended up with a very pale jar.|
5. Pour mixture into the jar.
6. Carefully turn the on its side jar to evenly cover the entire inside.
7. Slowly pour the mixture back into the bowl while turning the jar, in order to coat the mouth of the jar.
8. Place the jar upside down on the cookie sheet and bake for three minutes.
9. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven.
|Steps 5 - 9|
10. Carefully wipe the rim of the jar with a paper towel to remove the excess glue.
11. Turn the jar upright and bake until the color is clear.
* You may replace the waxed/parchment paper with a clean one if you like.
12. If the jar is too pale, you can repeat the process once the jar has cooled.
* I repeated the process, so I ended up with the darker green in my final project pictures. My first attempt resulted in the very pale green just above. Next time, I'll just add more food coloring!
Note: If the jar is streaky or you want to remove the color completely, fill the jar with hot water and a few drops of dish soap. It may need to sit overnight. The next day, refill with more hot water and soap before completely scrubbing out.
Step 3: Make Rope Netting
I found a tutorial here to make a fish net covering for the jar. No suggestions for improvements, it's perfect as is! All I needed was a spool of rope and some time to figure it out. :)
I wanted to leave an area for my "Odds & Ends" labels, so I had to play around with making a deliberate hole in the net.
My first attempt ended up too low on the jar, so I had to cut it off and try again. Perfection the second time!
Step 4: Apply Vinyl Labels!
Instead of etching the glass directly, I decided to make vinyl labels with my Silhouette. Initially, I wanted to use the words "Odds & Ends," "Bits & Baubles," "Buttons & Scraps," or something similar. Then, I remembered the nautical theme and thought of the words "Flotsam & Jetsam." Perfect!
After looking at the top of the jar, I realized that I should cover up those boring tops!
The tops of the jars are EASILY my favorite part of the whole project. I wouldn't mind if Erin cut the net off, removed the labels, chucked the balls, and un-dyed the jars. I actually designed all of the elements to be removable. But, it would be a shame to remove these cute little tops!
By the way, I included a bonus vinyl seahorse with the package. Yay!
Next week, I'll share what she gifted to me!