Nail Polish Flowers – Part Three

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Nail Polish Flowers – Part One
Nail Polish Flowers – Part Two
Nail Polish Flowers – Part Three (You Are Here)

Creating with wire and nail polish

Now that you have learned how to make nail polish flowers using method 1 and method 2, it is time to see what you can use all these cute flowers for and see what designs are possible!

A nail polish flower formed into a ring

My number one suggested use for your new trinkets is jewelry:

  • Twist the stem into a circle and close off at the base of the flower for a cute summertime ring.
  • Trim the stem and make a loop, then string onto a chain for a flashy necklace.
  • Integrate a loop into your design to make pendants in all sorts of other shapes. Here is my geometric charms:

Geometric charms made with nail polish and wire

Now where there is jewelry, there is also hair accessories:

  • Hot glue or use wire to twist on a design to a head band. Just be sure not to make it so it snags your hair! OUCH!
  • Hot glue the design to a bobby pin or hair clip by the stem (or any non-polish part) for a dash of spring in your hair.

DIY butterfly headband

But I cannot leave it at just accessories, heck I don’t even wear that many accessories! So here are some other uses that you might not have thought about:

  • Wrap florists or painters green tape around the stems of several flowers and put into a vase for a “bouquet”
  • Join 3 or more stems and glue onto a notebook for a 3-d cover design
  • Use to decorate gift boxes, cards, etc.

Creating cute decor with nail polish and wire

Now, as mentioned in part two, the second method of making flowers gives you more opportunity to tinker and make shapes other than just flowers. It was with this method that I made my butterfly and charms. If you want to use this nail polish method for some other design, here are some tips:

Nail polish and wire flowers - DIY Tutorial

  1. Having two polished areas bordering on one piece of wire is difficult to manage. Paint the areas as separate pieces instead and then link them together with a smaller gauge of wire.
  2. You cannot have any moving parts within a polished area because this will cause breakage. Instead, add a section without polish that the moving parts can attach to like this bird’s wings:
  3. Minimize the number of crossed or wrapped wires inside the polished area. While it is possible to polish the area when there are crossed wires, it tends to be more difficult.

Nail polish and wire necklace

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Be sure to share what you create with any of the methods used in this tutorial.
I would love to see what you all come up with!

Pop Tab Chain Mail: Time to be a Warrior

For the past year I have been collecting pop tabs. Thousands of them. The reason? I am slowly making my first cosplay and I need chain mail to make it. But seeing as I am on a budget, well, recycling was the way to go rather than purchasing and slaving over the intricate wire rings used in proper chain mail.

Chandra Nalaar Wallpaper - Wizards of the Coast

Above is Chandra Nalaar, a planeswalker from Wizards of the Coast’s game Magic: The Gathering. This is a game I have played for several years and thoroughly enjoy. I was never good at the game until I decided to switch to playing a “red” deck and a fell in love with Chandra as both a character and a planeswalker. So, I decided I would make a cosplay Chandra all on my own and finally attend a convention in an Emily built cosplay!

The first step to the cosplay, was to make the chain mail. I chose to do this first because I knew it would take a while and wanted to finish it before starting the rest of the pieces. Plus, since I decided to use pop tabs, I needed to collect the darn things! I am still not done creating the full chain mail piece, but if you want to learn how to make pop tab chain mail too, then read on!

Pop tab chain mail - A Pop of Red Tutorial

Please note: While not explicitly mentioned below, gloves may be useful for this tutorial. Pop cans and pop tabs can be a lot sharper than you imagine. They also tend to give of small metal shavings which dig into the skin. So please use your best judgement as use safety precautions as necessary (I take no liability!)

Step One: Gather Your Resources (Pop/Soda Tabs)

Any regular shaped pop tab will work. If you want a uniform look, grab them all from the same brand. If you want a more realistic battered look, then let the shapes be a bit more random. That is what I chose to do, I mean, Chandra has battled before, so her chain mail would NOT be perfect. Hint: Some pop tabs may need a slight washing first, pop gets sticky!

From pop tabs to chain mail - a tutorial

 

Step Two: Tools

Pliers, wrench (or similar surface for bending, and scissors

Making chain mail with pop tabs

 

Step Three: Remove Sharp Edges

Pop tabs do not always rip off the can nicely. You can be left will the full hoop or jagged edges which can be dangerously sharp, like those shown in the first photo below. To remove the sharpness, use your plier and fold the sharpness towards the unfinished or back side of the tab. Then press your pliers down on the part that was sharp to “fuse” the metal closer to the rest of the tab making it safer. Your non-sharpened tabs should then look something like the third picture.

Preparing pop tabs for crafting

Preparing pop tabs for chain mail

Tutorial for making pop tab chain mailStep Four: Cut the Tabs

Simply use scissors to cut into the upper/smaller end of the pop tab. Make the cut as central as possible.

Tutorial for pop tab craftsCrafting with pop tabs

Step Five: Fold the Tabs

Using the wrench, or a flat surface with something to apply pressure with, bend the cut tabs to a “slightly less than 90 degree” angle. Alter the angle to your preferences but I try to get as close to 90 degrees as possible.

Crafting with soda can tabs

Soda can crafting

Step Six: Attach Tabs to Create Mail

Start with one tab. To attach the second tab bring it underneath the first tab’s right hand side (right when cut is facing forward). Push the uncut end of the second tab into the cut end of the first tab so it looks like the photo below.

Pop tab chain maille links

An alternative view of the above shows how the cut ends are now positioned:

Chain mail links with soda can tabs

For the third tab, attach it to the first by bringing it underneath the first tab’s left side and proceeding as above. This is the basics of attaching pop tabs. The photos below show the three tabs attached.

Pop tabs and chain maille

Step Seven: Continue until Completion

Pop tab chain mail - A Pop of Red

Sorry to say, but that is really all the instruction I can give. Attach the tabs as needed to create the design you want using the method explained above. A shirt will be made with different dimensions than a wrist covering.This process can be applied to more complex items too, like purses! Just tinker until you manage to create what you envisioned.

If you get stuck, send me a message or comment below and I will do my best to walk you through it!

Pop tab chain mail - A Pop of Red Tutorial

Nail Polish Flowers – Part Two

Nail Polish Flowers – Part One

Nail Polish Flowers – Part Two (You Are Here)

Nail Polish Flowers – Part Three (Coming Soon)

Nail Polish Flowers Tutorial

Time for part two of the nail polish flower series. This time I will be showing you how to make flowers using the second method which yields larger flowers. This method also gives you more options for experimentation and I will give you a sneak peak at some of the possibilities that you will see in the next installment of the series.

Tools you need for the nail polish flowerFirst of all, all of the supplies are the same from part one so head over there to make sure you are set up

Cut the wire to your desired length. Again I suggest starting with a 6” or 15 cm portion of 20 gauge wire. This give lots of room for the flower frame and is more forgiving than the 26 gauge when it comes to making mistakes.

 

Start by forming the first of your petals. Simply create a tear-drop or circular shape and twist once to secure.

Forming a Wire Petal

Then use your pliers to tightly wrap one wire around the other.

Forming Wire Petals

After wrapping, start on your next petal using the same method.

Making Wire Flowers

Repeat until your desired number of petals are complete.

Forming Wire Flowers

Then it is time to make twist off your petals and make a “stem.” For this, twist the two protrusions of wire together as close to the petals as necessary it make it look flush. Then use the pliers to continue that twist down the stem.

Twisting the stem for wire flowers

Frame of a Wire Flower

Now apply the nail polish as with part one of this tutorial. You can add additional coats as needed and once dry you can manipulate the petals to look more realistic.

Nail Polish Flowers Tutorial

Now one reason I prefer this method is it has more versatility. Since it relies on basic wire wrapping techniques, you can make nearly ANY design. In the image below you can see some of the other designs I have been trying out like a butterfly, a pendant, leaves, and a heart (not pictured).

Creating with wire and nail polish

In two weeks the third and final installation of this nail polish flower tutorial will be out. It will cover what you can make with all these lovely designs and showcase some of my non-flower designs.

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If you make a nail polish and wire item and want it featured in the next post, EMAIL ME at apopofred@gmail.com or find me on social media. I will select my favorites and share them will everyone.

Recycled Desk Organizer

I recently learned my workplace will be moving to a new building, one that is far nicer than the little brick eyesore I work in now. As a bonus, employees were given a chance to vote on the colour scheme of the new location. The core colour will still be grey-on-grey, but the most voted for accent colours were green with light yellow polka dots and deep red. It seems like a random combination but they actually look pretty great.

Finished Office Organizer

Now, our office will not be relocating for some time but I wanted to start making some décor to suit the new office space and brighten my current one. My first project is this recycled office organizer made from a shoe box and toilet paper rolls. If you the idea and want to make your own, follow along below!

Materials for Office Organizer

Materials:

  • A Shoebox (any size)
  • Toilet Paper Rolls (enough to fill your shoebox)
  • Paint (I used acrylic craft paint)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue and Glue Gun

 

 

 

First decide how you want your finished organizer to look. I wanted two rows of sloped “pencil holders” with an open area at the back for larger items (hole punch or paper). Measure where you will need to glue and cut your toilet paper rolls. I found it very useful to cut one toilet paper roll into the sloped shape I wanted and use it as a guide for all the other rolls: fitting it like a jacket around a roll and cutting along the guide’s sloped edge.

Staging the Office Organizer

Making a guide

Once all your toilet paper rolls are cut, it is time to paint. I chose to paint the inside and outside different colours to correspond to the two accent colours of the new office space. I ended up really liking the effect too! Just make sure you let each layer dry, it will take quite a few layer and you do not want to soften any of the cardboard.

Painting the organizerFinishing the paint

Once dry it is time to glue your toilet paper rolls inside the shoebox in your desired pattern. Just make sure you have everything lined up before gluing. As you can see below, some of my inner pieces do not quite line up, and that is because I turned the rolls the wrong direction while gluing and caused the slopes to no longer line up. Insert sad face here…

Gluing the rolls

Then just add in your pencils, pens, highlighters, scissors, et cetera!

Office Organizer FrontBack of Office Organizer

After I finished my organizer I decided it was a bit plain. At first I was going to do some light yellow polka dots on the outside but it didn’t look quite right. So I added a touch of lace and I think it was a great addition, so don’t be afraid to accessorize your organizer!

Adding Accessories

 

So what do you think of this recycled office organizer? Did you create a similar item? Sound off in the comment section or on social media and let me know what you think of this Make It Monday project!

Nail Polish Flowers – Part One

Nail Polish Flowers – Part One (You Are Here)

Nail Polish Flowers – Part Two

Nail Polish Flowers – Part Three (Coming Soon)

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you would have seen this sneak peak:

Sneak peak at the nail polish flower experiments

That’s right. I am tackling the nail polish and wire flower pin from Pinterest. This DIY caught my eye a while ago but the only instructions I could find were in foreign languages. After some experimentation and additional research, I felt ready to tackle this beautiful project. Want to make your own? Follow along!

Tools you need for the nail polish flower

First, gather your supplies. You will need:

  1. Wire: I tested this DIY with 20 and 26 gauge wire and both worked just fine though 26 gauge yielded flowers with petals closer together. Pick any colour and metal type you prefer.
  1. Nail Polish: The best nail polishes to use are medium to thick in consistency, with no large sparkles or special effects; however, other nail polishes DO work. I even managed to get a crackle top coat to work, I just had to make several layers to fill the holes that would appear once dried.

Collect your nail polish, it is time to experiment

  1. Wire Cutter/Scissors: You will need something to cut the wire with and I suggest wire cutters for jewelry wire. If you do not have this, NO WORRIES, just grab a pair of scissors.
  1. Shaping Tool: No need to get fancy here. You can use a stick, pencil, pen, or anything small and circular. This is just used for the initial shaping of your flower petals and/or leaves. I used a mix of a pen and a jewelry tool in my photos.
  1. Gloves: If you want to stay on the safe side and avoid blisters, wear gloves. The wire ends can prick you and cause minor injuries. Also, be careful to keep the wire ends away from your face!

Cut the wire to your desired length. I suggest starting with a 6” or 15cm portion of wire. Keep in mind what you want to use the flowers for and adjust the length accordingly but wire can always be added by twisting new pieces together with the stem. From here on, it may be useful to also watch Sigrid Soto’s video tutorial HERE. Watching the process can be much easier to learn from than just looking at pictures though I have made some adaptations that you will see over the course of this series.

Start wrapping your wireWrap around the shaping tool once per petal you want

*Sorry about the photo quality!

There are two methods to shape your wire and today I will share the “neater” version. This version requires you to hold the starting end of the wire below the shaping tool and wrap it around the tool for as many times as you want petals. Try starting with 4 or 5 times/petals. Push together the loops and slowly slide off the shaping tool. It should come out looking like a spring.

Form a spring like shape

Cut another small piece of wire (3” or 7.5”) and feed it through the loops you created. Push both ends of this short wire down towards the stem and twist together with the stem. This ensures your loops are set and will not fall apart.

Thread a new wire through the springBring threaded wire towards the stem and twist together

Now that they are set, spread your petals apart. Start by halving the petals and pushing one half to the “top” of the flower, and the other to the bottom. Then separate each petal using your fingers and spread the petals apart until you reach your flower shape.

Separate your loops into two sectionsCreate the final shape of flower that you would like

Now it is time to break out the nail polish. Load your brush with polish and set it under one petal near the stem. Hold the brush in such a way that it completely covers the petal. Slide the brush up to the tip of the petal ensuring contact with all sides of the petal at all times. THIS IS KEY. The brush must have contact with all “sides” of the petal. The pictures below show what to do but I am using a dry brush to demonstrate as there is no time to take pictures while doing this!

How to work the brush to apply the nail polish to the wire petals

In the end you should eventually get a bubble-like covering over the petal. This will take several tries but do not give up! It is entirely possible. See:

A single petal covered in nail polish

Wait for the polish to completely dry and add additional coats until you achieve your preferred look. I recommended at least two coats to ensure consistency.

Once dried, you can easily bend the wire frame of each petal to form more realistic flowers. Just avoid pinching or pushing through the nail polish, it can break though you can just clean it off and start over. It is a fairly forgiving project.

A finished nail polish and wire flower

So play around with these flowers. Find a design you like and make it yours! In two weeks I will share the other method of shaping your flowers which yields a larger flower. Later on I will show ideas for how to use your flower in things like décor, jewelry, and accessories.

A nail polish flower formed into a ring

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Please share your creation! I would love to see your spin on this project!

And shout out to Sigrid for her amazing video!