Monday, April 1, 2013

It's NO April Fool's Day

Today begins the first of 22 days in which I show how to rethink, re-invent, reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, repurpose something that might end in the trash, or that was originally intended for other purposes.  It will culminate in a "bEARTHday" celebration on the 22nd, which is Earth day, as well as the day of my birth. Then, while looking for recycled projects I could make on my blog, I ran across a Flickr group called: 
Recycle Remake Redesign Re-craft Reuse Recreate Reclaim Reduce
That's even more "R" words.  I might even have to add the ones I missed to my listAnd let's not forget the other "R," which is respect: respect for our planet, respect for trash as art, and respect what you as an artist can achieve.

Today we begin with something simple.  I'm going to make some spray inks from LuminArt mica powders.  Now many of you probably know, these mica powders do not have a binder, like a different, albeit similar, product that does have a binder.  Since I purchased all these products on clearance at a local craft store, I never use them and have never found a good way to do so.  So, if you have a similar product and don't use it, let's repurpose it into something useful, like spray inks.

For this project, I am using distilled water, small reusable misters that have been cleaned, mica powders, and Elmer's Glue-All.  Don't use their school glue, it is too watered down already.

Begin by pouring distilled water into each of the spray bottles.  Don't fill over 2/3 of the way.  You'll need air in the bottles so the liquid can be shaken each time they are used.

As an aside, I was lucky that my friend Sally uses distilled water to clean her sleep machine.  When I asked for ONE CUP, she gave me an entire bottle.  I now have enough distilled water for many projects.

Add a bit of the glue.  I can't say how much, because I'm not even sure what I added will be enough binder.  But I squeezed and counted to five (5) in each of the bottles.  As you can see, some of the glue has already started to settle in the bottom of the containers.

Now use a stick or small spoon to add some mica powder to the container.  I have seen where Tim Holtz made something similar with his product that has the binder in it.  He suggested using no more than a tiny amount, but I'm actually hoping to make a dent in this product, so I used anywhere from two to three times what he would have used.

Talk about surprised.  The powder in the container looks NOTHING like the color in the water!!
Place the cap and mister on the container and shake, shake, shake.  Shake your booty oops, I mean container.  Keep shaking because it takes awhile for the mica powder and glue to assimilate into the distilled water. 

I guess you can tell I was a bit shocked by how much the mica powder color changed once it was out of its original container.

Next, it's time to test these misters.  And yes, it works!  I'm thrilled.  I hope you will try this, too.  I plan to allow these to dry awhile and spray a bit more.  I  don't want to muddy up the paper with too much water and spray mist.  I will also be able to tell if I got enough binder in the mists, too.

Once dry, I ran my hand over the two pages and noted the mica spray stayed perfectly in place.  The savvy reader will note I have rotated the pages 90 degrees and sprayed again, filling in any white spots.

These papers are now ready to use as backgrounds, cut into ATC or postcard sizes, or turned into tags.  You might even want to create a design using a mask or stencil with the mica sprays.  Of course, you can always use your imagination and make something special with your papers!

This is day 1 of 22 days of recycling, repurposing, reducing waste, and lots of other R words that add up to saving our planet.  Feel free to join me in this quest, and don't be an April Fool!!

20 thoughtful remarks:

Dawn said...

Brilliant tutorial Elizabeth, thank-you sweetie. Looking forward to the next 21 days of all the 'r's inspiration.
HUge hugs x x x x

Helen said...

Great idea Elizabeth, enjoy using your home made sprays!

Halle said...

Now I'll be searching for little spray bottles such as those. I love it!!

Carola Bartz said...

I love re-using stuff, I do it all the time. I don't have any mica powder, but I do like your project - the colors that turned out are lovely.

Rebeca Trevino said...

what a great lesson. i have all the ingredients to do this! the best part is that i have all the ingredients, including distilled water!

and i am looking forward to the next 21 days of R,R,R,R,R,R,R,R, and R!

elle said...

Brilliant! no fooling! lol

Terrie Purkey said...

This is clever in so many ways - clever to focus on recycling, clever to come up with enough things to last til your birthday, clever way to repurpose the mica stuff - You ROCK (another 'r' word) :)

Corrine at said...

Wow, came out great Elizabeth. I think I have a few of these kicking around and all the rest here too. I will be trying this. Thanks. xox

fairy thoughts said...

A clever idea to use the glue as I binder, mine are perfect pearls, maybe these are the ones with the binder already added. Anyway I just rushed upstairs to try it..... waiting for it to dry... the colours aren't as intense as yours, well see.

Caterina Giglio said...

just brilliant! cannot wait to see what else you have up your sleeve E! Hope your Easter was lovely... x

505whimsygirl said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Very cool tutorial! I read somewhere once a while back about making some glimmer mist using old eyeshadow! Remember the blue sparkly shadow from the 70s......


Craftymoose Crafts said...

This is a great tutorial! I was just going to search to see if I could find a way to make spray ink and this would would great. Now to go see if I have all the ingredients! These 22 days of RRRRRRR and R will be so much fun!

Vic said...

Very pretty! One thing I do when making sprays is add a small glass bead as a mixing ball.

TwinkleToes2day said...

I already make up sprays using some other mica powder so assumed they would all work the same way. I'm understanding now from your words, that is not the case, but I don't know what you mean by 'binder'. Sorry for being thick :0)
ps Don't you agree that the wee bottles are expensive for the size of them?! £2+ for one!

see you there! said...

I don't have the mica powder but this looks like a great project. Your papers will be so useful.


Marilyn Rock said...

What a beautiful project! Brilliant! xxoo

~*~Patty S said...

Your sprays are brilliant!
You ARE the Queen of Repurposing
thank you for sharing

Crafted by Bairbre Aine said...

Fabulous! Love this. I've been doing my own sorta (take care of Mother Earth) projects starting this month too. I'll be posting most of my work on my blog too.
Well done on you! :)

Jo Murray said...

Ta for the info...looks great.

Shaz Brooks said...

I am so going to try this! Is Elmers Glue a PVA type? For those wanting spray mist bottles, A place called SENSORY PERFECTION has them. You could copy & paste the link. Much cheaper than most places. She also sells mica powders too.
And she ships internationally! Hope this helps a few people. xxx