Boxes, Punched Tin, and a Surprise Visitor!

This past weekend was full of fun and adventure!  I revisited the boxes I finished painting last weekend.  I wanted to add some fun graphics, but wasn’t really sure how to go about doing it.  My initial thinking was that I would “trace” some things onto a few boxes.  But the more that I looked at the images, the more I realized that would be A LOT of work… and precious time, which I have too little of.  So, I finally decided that I would do a gel medium transfer instead.

First, I printed out a whole bunch of graphics from The Graphics Fairy.  If you have not seen this website before, I encourage you to check it out.  They have the most magnificent graphics for all kinds of projects.  The graphics are all available in reverse, so you can print them and transfer so easily.  Best of all, all of the graphics are FREE!  No kidding!  A virtual treasure trove, I tell you…

20140315_101650I don’t want to have graphics on all of the boxes because I think it will be much too busy.  So, I decided that I would have six boxes in my medium Expedit with graphics.  (There are 16 box spaces in the medium one.)  Once I decided which six graphics I would use, I printed them in reverse on a laser printer and trimmed them very closely.  In all of the image transfer instructions that I read, not one of them told you to do this.  Let me tell you, it makes a huge difference.  The transfer will come out looking a bit like a transparent sticker.  If you don’t trim your image, you will have a lot of gel medium around the edges that will look “milky” for lack of a better word.  I wanted these to look kind of like old advertising boxes not like I had slapped a sticker on them.

Anyway, trimmed images in hand, I chose my various boxes and went to work.  First, you slop on some gel medium.  You can use any type of gel medium, but I wanted a matte finish, so I used Golden Matte Gel Medium.  This is kind of like a paste, so you just paint an nice layer on, like you would with paint.  Brush the medium onto the printed side of the image.  I placed the images onto the box, gel side down of course.  I rolled a brayer over the back side of the image to get all of the bubbles out and to be sure that the image was on the box well.  Be careful during this step.  The wet paper is delicate and can tear easily (don’t ask me how I know this!!).

20140315_141430Allow the gel medium to dry COMPLETELY.  I am always in a hurry to get things done and this is the hardest part for me.  Luckily, it was a hot weekend, so the gel medium dried very quickly.  However, it is recommended to wait for at least 8 hours.  Once the gel is dry, you can start the fun process of removing the paper from the image.  Use water to wet the back side of the paper (the paper is wet in this image).  Rub the wet paper and you will begin to see it rolling off of the image.  I used a rag to do this because I didn’t want to have sore fingers!  Keep rubbing until all of the paper is removed.  Don’t rub too hard, especially around the edges, or you might rub your image right off!  I rubbed all of the paper off, then gave it another good rub to get all of the linty stuff off.  The results are amazing!


20140315_150328Even my perfectionist father was amazed at the results.  My mother loved them as much as I do.  I told her that is it so good to have something that makes you smile in your home.  These are definitely smile worthy and will make me smile every day!

So, while my parents were debating the best way to add a top coat to the boxes (it’s been quite the debate in our house), I decided that I would start working on my next piece.  One of the pieces that I kept from long ago is a small cabinet.  I use it in my kitchen for extra storage.  There is just never enough cabinet space for all of my cooking goodies.  I adore this piece, but it’s seen better days.  I’ll have a picture of it when I run through the whole refurbishing of it.  Again, I don’t even remember where I purchased it – IKEA, Target… Not sure.  It’s a cheap piece for sure, but one I don’t think I could live without.  As a matter of fact, I had two of them at one time, but I left one for my ex-husband when I moved out.  Dumb move because he just sold it in a garage sale.  **sigh**

20140316_142257Anyway, I decided that I wanted to make this piece look like a pie safe.  Have you ever seen one?  They are so super cool and vintagey (I think I just made up a word!).  Originally these pie safes were just that, a place to keep your pie safe while it was cooling.  They are made with punched tin.  The holes in the tin would allow for air to flow and cool your pies.  Well, I’m not a pie girl, I’m a cake girl actually.  But obviously, I don’t have a purpose for the air flow.  So, I decided that I would just glue the punched tin onto the doors of this cabinet to give it the same look.  Oh my, is it going to be FABULOUS!

Here, my dad is cutting the tin blank down to size.  I ordered tin blanks and patters from Country Cottage online.  This place is great!  They have everything you would need to make your own punched tin.  You can also buy finished pieces from them.  Being the DYI kind of girl, I just ordered the components.  The tin comes all wrapped and super protected with instructions on how to punch and how to age it if you would like!

20140316_153548Because the pattern that I chose came in a smaller size than my door, I had to modify it a bit.  Basically, I just made it a bit longer, and I added a curve at the top and bottom border to match the way the cut out in my door looks.  I used a spray glue to glue the pattern down to the tin because my dad was very worried that it might move if I just taped it.  I think you could just tape it and it would be fine.  But, my dad is always right, so I let him use the spray adhesive.  I taped the tin with the pattern down to a wood plank (we used MDF, but particle board would work as well), and started punching.

20140316_153609If you have ever punched paper while making a card or scrapbook page, you can do this!  It’s exactly the same, except you use an awl and hammer.  The more times you hit the awl, the larger the hole becomes.  I have to say, though, that my arm and fingers were tired after all of this punching!  But the results are TOTALLY worth it!

2014-03-16Isn’t it beautiful?  I have three other panels to finish before I can start the painting and finishing.  I’ll have one in each door and one on each side (with a different design).  I’m so excited!  I can’t wait to get it done.

After we finished playing outside, we discovered that we had a not so little visitor come up to our back door.

20140315_151013It’s kind of hard to see in this picture, but I wasn’t going to get too close!  Coiled up on the left side of the image is a nice rattle snake!  This thing was rattling away right outside of our back door!  Funny thing is, my cat, Freddy, had been staring out the door all morning very intently.  We couldn’t figure out what he was looking at.  I thought it must be some flying bug that had interested him, but in hindsight, I think he saw this ugly thing under some of the patio furniture.  I guess we should pay more attention to what the cats are looking at.

Anyway, after about ten minutes of stewing and grumbling about what we were going to do about this snake, my dad took a shovel and tried to kill it.  Because the snake was all curled up, he couldn’t get to him.  So, my dad, being the brave man that he is, ran around the side of the house and came up behind it.  He… well, I think the picture speaks for itself…2014-03-15

My dad is the bravest man I know.  Even in this state, it was still spitting venom!  After the melee, my mom counted the rattles… 5.  This was a six year old snake.  Yuck!  Took a while to calm down after that adventure!

4 thoughts on “Boxes, Punched Tin, and a Surprise Visitor!

  1. Pingback: Did I Really Make That? | Petey's Pages

  2. I would love to know how to antique the tin. I didn’t see any info about it on the Country Cottage website. Could you share?

    • There are instructions on how to do it that came with the pattern I ordered. I will look for them and get back to you. It’s super easy, though. I remember reading it and debating on doing it on this piece.

    • I found the instructions on how to antique the tin. It says to dull the surface with an abrasive pad. Do not use steel wool as it leaves an oily residue on the metal which hampers the antiquing process. Brush the surface with “Naval Jelly”, the type that is used for Metal. When the desired effect is achieved, rinse thoroughly with clear water. Dry completely. Hope this helps.

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