Monthly DIY: Tie Dye Soap

tie dye soap (1)This month’s DIY is cute and simple homemade tie dye soap that you can gift to your loved ones or make for yourself. April showers bring May flowers so I made a bunch of Spring flowers that smell like the tropics. I love making these soaps because it’s really fun to see how they turn out and each one is a surprise just like when you are tie dying. I also love that I can make my own vegan soap that has less than 10 ingredients, no parabens, and not boring like the ones I find at the store. One thing to keep in mind with tie diy soap as you are not mixing the dye with the soap all the way is that it will bleed the color during use (kind of like when you dye your hair with temporary color).

What You Need: monthly diy (2)

 

  • melt and pour soap
  • soap dyes
  • a mold
  • fragrance oils
  • stir stick / brush
  • glass measuring cup
  • rubbing alcohol

Material Information and Cost:

You can use almost anything as a soap mold but I bought mine from Amazon for around $10 because I liked how it was a standard size for soap and the shape had enough detail for some interest but still usable for everyday. For the melt and pour soap you can pick up a container for less than $10 and it will make roughly 10 large soaps.  For the colour and fragrance it will depends on how many you wish to do. I use a lot of different colours and fragrance oils so I probably spent $30 on that alone. In total on average I say $40 is fair price to start out but once you have everything you will just need to buy the soap. I buy all my soap essentials from NewDirections because it’s cruelty free, affordable and they sell vegan products but they do have a minimal order amount so you may want to buy your ingredients at a local craft/hobby store or another online soap supplier. De Serres here in Montreal has everything you’d need so it’s easy to find.

Steps:

  1. Design your tie dye. This can be done by deliberately or randomly applying dye in drops or using the brush to paint it on. The more interesting the mold the more creative you can go.
    I prefer to dot complimentary colours directly into the mold and create gradients or patterns similar to actual flowers (or whatever the mold is).
    monthly diy (3)
  2. Cut the melt and pour soap up into small pieces and place inside a measuring cup.
  3. Place the measuring cup  in a double boiler until melted stirring throughout or in a microwave in 45 seconds bursts until it’s completely melted and free of any solid chunks.
    monthly diy (1)
    *if you want to avoid left over soap you can use water first to measure how much ml or cups you will need of soap to fill the mold, but keep in mind you will want to melt a bit extra as some soap will attach to the measuring cup. 
  4. After the soap has melted, let it cool slightly before adding in your fragrance oil as it can burn off and your soap will not smell. For more info on how long it’s best to cool check the fragrance oil packing.  If you want to do several different scents simply separate the soap into different measuring cups before adding in the fragrance oils.
  5. Pour in your soap.
    *This is my favourite step to do! After pouring you an use a stir stick to swirl in the colour or leave it the way it is. The first two soap had a lot more dye in the molds so you can see how vibrant it will be and in the last two the colour is mostly going to be white with hints of colour.
  6. Spray the top of the soap with rubbing alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.
  7. Wait minimum 1-3 hours for the soap to cool and harden  before removing from the mold. However it’s better to wait over night to get the sharp lines of the mold.
    *I like to place a sheet of baking wax paper on top of the mold while the soap is hardening.
  8. Remove the soap from the mold and see what you’ve created! With a silicone mold like mine it’s very easy to release with no effort, simply pop out. However if you have a plastic mold and are having issues getting it to release simply place in the freezer for 15min and run under hot water for a moment and the soap should be freed.
  9. Don’t forget to wrap your soap if you are not going to use them right away. Melt and pour soap will be affected by the water in the air and can shrink over time. I shrink wrap mine but you can use kitchen plastic wrap as well.

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Monthly DIY: Halloween Phone Case

monthly diy halloween phone casesOctober’s DIY is one I’ve been waiting forever to do so I am very happy to show you my cute and spooky Halloween phone cases. I’ve wanted to make these for so long but before getting my Samsung Galaxy this summer, I happened to have the tiniest and most unpopular phone that existed so it was impossible. This style of using decorative cabochons to customize your phone is a great way to make unique phone cases.  It’s also a really simple process where you can apply your creativity. I happen to love Halloween so I couldn’t resist making mine themed for the holiday but you can do this with any accessory and cabochons you like.

What You’ll Need: halloween phone case diy (1)

  • Plain phone case
  • Cabochons
  • Caulking

Optional

  • Icing tip
  • Glitter
  • Tooth Pick/Popsicle stick

Material Information:

Rough cost per phone case is around $20, but that really depends on what cabochons you chose to go with and it will be cheaper if you are making multiple phone cases. Cabochons are the biggest expense for this project as most sellers of cabochons online sell each design in multiples (example 5 skull cabochons for $3). You can also pick up bundles of cabochons that have a large variety (usually at least $15+) to counter act having to buy multiples of the same design but you will loss the option of choosing each design. I knew I was making at least 5 phone cases so I spent $40+ on cabochons brought from Etsy. The other materials however are very cheap, caulking and the phone case were $2 each from the hardware store and EBay respectively, and the glitter and icing tips were bought at a dollar store.

Steps:

  1. Lay out all your cabochons and a phone case and start to create the design. Once your design is finished on the case, I suggest taking a quick photo with your phone for reference.
    halloween phone case diy (3)halloween phone case
    Example designs:halloween phone case diy (2)

  2. Prep the caulking by cutting off the tip and fitting on the icing tip over top. You can secure the icing tip with a bit of tape or hold it in place.
    monthly diy (2)monthly diy (3)
  3. Ice the phone case with your caulking, this can be done several different ways using basic icing techniques.
    monthly diy (4)monthly diy (5)
    *You can practice ahead of time just using a piece of paper. The caulking tube I use has enough to do 2 phone cases, and a bit extra so I can do a few practice rows before starting on the case (I’ve always been bad at icing cupcakes so I need a lot more practice).
    *If you royally mess it up, just clean the caulking off the case with soap and water and dry it off before starting over.
  4. Using your photo as reference lay out the cabochons the way you’d like.

    *You want to make sure you are only placing them once, as beside slight movement you won’t be able to make much change without completely redoing the caulking.

    *I also have the cabochons laid out the way I want on a 2nd phone case to make it easier and a tooth pick on hand if I want to adjust the placement of any of the cabochons or caulking once down. You have 5 to 10min before the caulking is stiff.
  5. Make sure the cabochons are pressed down securely and this is the time to add glitter.
    monthly diy (1)
  6. Once you have the case the way you’d like making sure none of the caulking is on the side of the case or covering the openings. Use a toothpick to move caulking.
  7. Take your case and lay it some place where it will not be disturbed, wait at least 24 hours before touching and for the caulking to dry completely and be solid wait a few days.
    *after a day my caulking was stiff but still mouldable so I could still push it in if need on the edges or where the camera is.
  8. Lastly attach to your phone and enjoy your case.
    halloween phone case diy (11) halloween phone case diy (2)

Results:

I love all the phone cases and think they are a really unique accessory I can switch between whenever I want. A few things to note if you want to make yourself is that they are pretty heavy and can be a bit awkward when you are laying the phone case down on a surface (especially if you are using one cabochon that is much thicker than the others). Both of these concerns however do not bother me at all. I’ve also used the phone cases for over a week and haven’t had any issues with them, they are solid as a rock once they dry and I don’ think anything short of dropping my phone might damage the case. The biggest tip I can give is to use the type of phone cases where the sides are silicon and the back is rigid as it is ideal for switching up your case since it’s very easy and you don’t need to bend the case in any way when removing. My one disappointment was that I couldn’t find any black caulking before posting this tutorial as I had plans to do multiple black ones. I did make the eye one with a ‘transparent’ caulking and I have to say it’s pretty eerie looking. I’ll be posting photos of the phone cases I make with black caulking on my Instagram if you are interest to see what it looks like not using the traditional white.

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Monthly DIY: Vintage Slide Curtains

vintage slide blinds (1)This month is all about using vintage slides to make custom, unique and beautiful slide curtains. I found out about slide blinds originally through my brother who shared a photo of them with me of (these) curtains and I fell in love. I just adore how not only can you use them functionally as curtains but they are a work of art. Being able to look at each individual slide, not to mention the reflections of them on nearby surfaces really makes the space more beautiful. Right away I set out not only to find how these were made but to make my own for my kitchen window which has been lacking a window treatment since we moved (years ago). Although a long and tedious process, I think the project is very straight forward and the end results makes me so happy. Anytime I am in the kitchen I find a new slide to look at and appreciate. One thing I would love to do is someday make my own slides and make a memory curtain with them. Below I have all the steps you will need to do to make your own as well as videos on me making them, not to mention MANY MANY photos of the finished curtains.

What You’ll Need:

  • slides
    *to calculate how many you will need, refer to step one
  • pair of pliers
  • jump rings
    *to calculate you roughly need 4x the amount of slides
  • drill or hole punch
  • triangle ruler and pencil
  • curtain hooks

Cost and Material Information:

The cost will depend on how you are acquiring the slides and how many you need to make the curtains (I used around 200 slides). For my slides I purchased through Etsy for about $10 per 150 slides. I bought more than I need as I wanted my blinds to mostly be of flowers. For the other materials it will be around $25 to pick up jump rings, a hole punch, pliers,  a triangle ruler, hooks, and the curtain rod. All common things to find at Dollar stores, craft stores or online for cheap.

Video of Steps:

 

Steps:

  1.  Calculate the amount of slides you will need. To do this measure the height and width of the area you will be covering (include overhang if you want slides to go past the glass) and divide each by the measurements of 1 slide.This will give you an approximate base amount you will need. Have more on hand for mistakes and possible changes.
  2. Take the slides and lay them out so you know what will be the top slides connected to the curtain hook, the middle slides and the bottom slides. At this time you can also create a pattern with the slides or paint the paper edges.
    Example: All slides featuring the color yellow in one column, or all flower slides on the top row, ect. Having a large group of slides to choose from will make this step much easier.
  3. Take all the middle slides and measure 5mm in on each corner using the triangle ruler and mark. You can skip this step if you want however it helps make sure the slides hang as evenly as possible.
  4. Where you’ve marked on each corner, use a drill or hole punch to create a hole.
    *I did mine with a hole punch and it’s painstaking in the amount of time it takes and on your hand but I found it easier than a drill.
  5. For the top slides you will need  to repeat Step 3 & 4 however for the top two holes will need to accommodate the curtain hooks so you will need to check if you need to make a larger hole.
  6. Repeat step 3&4 to the bottom slides except only do 2 holes on the top of the slide.
  7. Lay out all the slides you want for 1 column with 1 top slide, middles slides and 1 bottom slide.
  8. Use the pliers to twist and separate the jump rings you will need ahead of time, you will need 4x each slide except the bottom and top.
  9. Attach the slides together using the jump rings and pliers, working down one by one until you are at the bottom. Then attach the hooks to the top slide.
  10. Repeat until you have all your columns done and place each hook on the rod.
  11. Hang on your curtain rod and enjoy!
    Optional
  12. You can attach the columns together to create one big sheet, or two curtains. Simply use jump rings and either hook into a new hole on the side of each slide or into the existing jump rings. I did the later but the original DIY added additional holes. You can also skip this step and each column will be on it’s own.
    TIP
    I found out at the end of the process a much easier way to create the holes is to have 1 template slide that has the punched holes already and then simply lay on top of each slide and punch the holes you need using it as a reference. No marking required.

 

Finished Curtains

vintage slide curtains (2)vintage slide blinds (19)vintage slide blinds (20)vintage slide blinds (22)(The bottom is a little wonky but I will figure that out. I also went down from 20 slides per column to 19 and accidently left two slides that aren’t meant to be at the bottom)vintage slide blinds (12)vintage slide blinds (3)vintage slide blinds (2)vintage slide blinds (11)vintage slide blinds (18)vintage slide curtains (1)
(the slides also leave patterns on the floor on sunny days which is a delight)

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Monthly DIY: Scented Bath Salts

This month’s DIY project is scented bath salts which I love to use in the Spring and Summer time since I am very active and enjoy adding them to my bath to sooth and relax sore muscles as well as their many other benefits. It’s one of those more practical bath additions but that doesn’t mean it can’t smell and look good and it’s great to customize and make your own instead of relying on store bought. It’s really easy to do and very affordable if you go through large amounts of them. Also they make great presents for just about anyone in your life.

What You Need:monthly diy (3)

  • Plain Epsom salts
  • Food coloring
  • Fragrance or essential oils
  • Container
  • Spatula or spoon
  • Mixing bowl

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Monthly DIY: Dragon Scale Maille Bracelets

Today happens to be the premiere of the 5th season of the Game of Thrones and in celebration of it I wanted to show you how to make your own dragon scale maille bracelets. They are a very beginner introduction to making jewellery with scales and are very easy to learn how to make even if you’ve never done anything like this before. I absolutely love these and the scales remind me so much of Daenery’s dragons (which I happen to adore). There are so many things you can make with scales, and scale maille it’s a really addictive and fun hobby. So let me know if you want any other tutorials in scale maille whether its earrings, necklaces, gloves or more complex bracelets. I would be happy to share. As well if you’d rather purchase any of the bracelets you see in this tutorial rather than make them, please send me an e-mail for more details. Let’s start!

What You’ll Need:monthly diy

  • two flat nose pliers
  • 20-30 scales per bracelet
    *you will find the perfect amount after the first bracelet you make, for my wrist I always use ~25
  • 18ga 3/16 jump rings
    *the amount of scales x2 plus a few extra to attach the clasp
  • clasp
    *any style

Cost & Material:

The cost of making one bracelet really depends on what materials you choose to use as scales and jump rings are available in a variety of materials. As well it depends on how many bracelets you intend to make as most suppliers sell in quantities larger than you will need for 1 bracelet. Plastic and aluminum scales are on the cheaper side and will cost around $5 per 100 scales. Titanium is around $10 per 50 scales and Niobium & Patterned scales are usually around $0.50 to $1 per 1 scale. You can also get brass, cooper, gold, and even glow in the dark scales. I prefer the beautiful anodized titanium scales as they look the most like dragon scales. For jump rings you can get them in a variety of materials too, aluminum being the cheapest at around $5 per 500 rings and titanium being around $20 for a few hundred. Aluminum jump rings are the mostly commonly used. The only reason I would suggest using another material like titanium for the jump rings is if you wanted the bracelet to be hypo allergic. Keep in mind you do not see the jump rings except on the ends. Here is great chart that will show you the difference between materials. You can also save money buying machine cut rings instead of saw cut, however I prefer saw cut as I find them easier to work with and more polished looking.  The bracelet that I’m show you cost me about $9 in materials however I did have to purchase several packs of jump rings and scales to get all the different colors (roughly $40) and with that I can make 6 bracelets. I purchased all my scales and jump rings through The Ring Lord (which I review here). The only thing I didn’t get through them was the clasps which I purchased through Ebay in a variety of styles for around $2 per pack of 5-10 clasps.

Steps:

Dragon Scale Maille Bracelets:

dragon scale maille bracelets (14)dragon scale maille bracelets (22)dragon scale maille bracelets (21)dragon scale maille bracelets (23)dragon scale maille bracelets (24)dragon scale maille bracelets (6)A closer look at the back of the bracelet (above) and various clasps (below)dragon scale maille bracelets (17)More dragon colored bracelets (above) and more playful combinations (below)dragon scale maille bracelets (18)dragon scale maille bracelets (3)dragon scale maille bracelets (4)Glow in the dark and aluminium scales (above) and anodized titanium (below)dragon scale maille bracelets (5)

Like all my DIYS please feel free to comment below with any questions, suggestions or photos of you own creations.

Lastly what happens when you own a cat and you leave anything on a table for too long…dragon scale maille bracelets (15)

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This Year’s Tattoo Easter Eggs

I am so excited to show you all my silly tattooed Easter eggs that I made this year. If you haven’t seen my DIY for how to make these yourself, you can check out it out here. I’ve actually updated the original concept of using temporary tattoos to design eggs for ornaments or to use as center pieces. Instead this year I changed it up and went with plastic eggs that I bought at my local Dollarama instead of blown out eggs (they work pretty good but for some reason they attract a lot of dirt and loose particles so I washed them a few times throughout). I also decided to make a few for my friend who has twins, a 2 year old boy and girl. So I thought I’d do designs they’d like, so I made Batman, Cinderella, unicorns and Easter temporary tattoos eggs. As well I used much nicer ribbon this year around. My favourite at the Easter designs and the glow in the dark Batman ones which were really fun to make. Let me know what you think in the comments and show me pictures if you make your own, would love to see other people’s designs.

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Monthly DIY: My Little Pony Shrink Brooches & Necklaces

my little pony shrink brooches and necklaces
This month’s DIY is how to make My Little Pony shrink brooches and necklaces as I thought they would be a fun activity to keep myself busy this winter. Prior to making these I had never made anything with shrink paper or my own custom brooches so this project is very beginner level, even for those of us who have no idea how to draw (like at all, I am the worst at drawing). As well this doesn’t have to be My Little Pony, it could be any cartoon or characters that you love. Now the key to this project that makes it universally do-able is the use of a source material. For mine I used actual vintage Shrinky Drinks of My Little Pony, as well as vintage books and coloring books I had. Because shrink paper, shrinks (go figure) books are the perfect size to trace for brooches and necklaces. And if you don’t have any of those it’s easy to google in ‘chttp://blog.citizenerasedphotography.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=16592&action=edit&message=1oloring book [character name]’ and simply print off (or trace directly from the screen) instead. This project was so much fun to do and I can’t tell you how many times I stayed up late after work making these and try out new color combos. I’ve already gifted a few of them away and think this is a project I will keep doing using different characters over and over again.

What You’ll Need:monthly diy (1)

  • Shrink paper
  • Markers/pencil crayons
  • Scissors
  • Brooch backs/necklaces
  • Glue (E6000 is awesome)
  • Baking pan
  • Sealer (Modpodge, spray sealers, medium, nail polish…)
  • Brush
    Optional:
  • Sand paper
  • Parchment paper
  • Hole punch

Price and Material Information:

$25 for all the materials if you are buying everything from scratch. The shrink paper which is the most important can be bought at most local art & craft stores for $8 for 6 sheets and the brand I use Grafix comes in various different types although my local art store only carries the clear and white (it also comes in pre-sanded, color set, and for printers). On that note you can actually just skip this whole DIY and just print the images you want onto the paper using a printer but to me that just isn’t as fun. For the markers you can use Sharpies, and any permanent and water based markers. You can also use acrylic paint, rubber stamps and pencil crayons (pencil crayons require the surface to be sanded first).

Steps:

  1. Test your markers / pencil crayons using small stripes of your shrink paper.
    my little pony monthly diy (9)my little pony monthly diy (2)
    *This is a great step to see how the colors will turn out and if you like how the marker goes onto the paper. As you can see the colors are darker after being baked and do appear differently on white paper opposed to the clear paper (keep in mind my clear strip is laying on the white counter top). With clear shrink paper you can get a translucent effect with most markers, and semi to full opaque with pencil crayons and some markers. You may notice that certain markers will be streaky and I noticed some of my metallic Sharpies changed when baked. The pencil crayons (not shown) are very similar before and after baking. This step also gives you chance to do a test bake before you do a more important piece.
  2. Figure out what images you’d like to use as your source material. Here is a look at what I used.
    my little pony monthly diy (8)my little pony monthly diy (5) my little pony monthly diy (6)my little pony monthly diy (7)
  3. If you are using pencil crayons you will want to sand one side of the paper first using 300-400 grit paper. I like to sand mine in both directions multiple times to make sure there is no smooth portions left as you don’t want part of your design to not accept the pencil crayon.
    my little pony monthly diy (4)
    *using markers on sanded shrink paper is not recommond as the markers tend to bleed.
  4. Trace your source image.
    monthly diy (6)
    *If you are using white or colored shrink paper you will need to also back light the image to trace it.
  5. Once the image is traced simply color it in.
    monthly diy (7)
  6. Using scissors or an exacto knife cut out the character making sure there are no sharp edges. You can have a border or do borderless. For a necklace you will want to leave some room to punch a hole on the top or base of the character.
    monthly diy (1)monthly diy (8)
    *I find the white shrink paper looks better boarderless
  7. For necklaces you will want to make a hole using a holepunch either the standard size or 1/6th. Keep in mind this will also shrink and that it is extrememly hard to make any holes in the shrink paper after it’s been baked so you will want to make any modifications you want now.
    my little pony monthly diy (3)monthly diy (2)
    (here is an idea of what the size of the hole will be before and after, left is 1/6th, right is 1/8th)
  8. Preheat the oven to 300-350 degrees F
  9. Prepare the baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper and place the cut outs color side up. Make sure none of the shrink paper is touching.
    monthly diy (9)
    *You can place the shrink paper on top of velllum, teflon and cardboard as well but parchment paper and a baking sheet are more common. You can also cover the shrink paper with any of those on top to make sure it lays flat but I noticed that didn’t work very well with parchment paper as they stick and the color smears onto the parchment paper.
  10. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for roughly 2-3 minutes and watch them shrink:
    *It’s really fun to watch them shrink, however unlike the video you want the oven door closed for the whle time. You’ll notice my end piece ended up with black soot on it from the smoke since the door was open.
  11. Working quickly take the baking sheet out of the oven and quickly using a flat surface squish each to make sure they will dry flat.
    monthly diy (10)monthly diy (11)
    *I like using a glass cup w/ a flat bottom so I can make sure none of the marker rubbed off onto the cup.
  12. Wait for the shrink paper to cool and dry.
    *I usually wait an hour to make sure the markers and pencil crayon is fully dry after baking.
  13. Now you will have to seal the shrink paper as the markers can still be rubbed off or be damaged by water. Wait for sealer to dry if you want to do multiple coats.
    my little pony monthly diy (1)monthly diy (3)
    *You will want to test your sealer on one of your earlier tests to see if you like the finish and to make sure the marker/pencil crayon does not smear when sealer is applied. I found most spray sealers and nail polish will not work at this point (see above image) so you might have to seal the shrink paper using a medium like Modpodge. I like to use a glow in the dark Mod Podge for extra fun as it will make the brooch/necklace glow in the dark if it’s white.
    Optional: You can add a top coat after the sealer has dried which I recommend as Mod Podge’s finish is not my thing. Since the shrink paper is already sealed the top coat could be pretty much anything, nail polish, Clear Coat, ectera. This is where you can add a little bit of embellisment to your brooch like glitter or sparkles. I played around with a few of my glitter nail polish and was pretty happy with the results.
    my little pony monthly diy (11)my little pony shrinky dink
    *on the clear paper you can use the reverse side as the front of the brooch instead.
    monthly diy (5)monthly diy (4)
    (Colored side up on left, reverse side on right)
  14. When the brooches are completely dry apply glue to one side and add a brooch back.
    my little pony monthly diy (10)
  15. When the necklaces are completely dry you will want to take a jump ring and use to attach the shrink paper to any chain. You can do the same for making earrings, phone charms, or keychains.
    my little pony monthly diy (12)
  16. Last step is to rock your new accessories.
    my little pony shrink brooches and necklace

I love these My Little Pony shrink brooches and necklaces, they are so fun and very addictive to make and you can just let you imagination run wild. I can’t wait to make more and really learn how to make the perfect brooch. This DIY is more aimed of those of us who can’t draw but for any artist I highly recommend to just grab some shrink paper and spend a night with friends drawing, painting and just experimenting. Who knows what you’ll end up, that’s the exciting part. Below is all of the My Little Pony’s I made and some other characters (including ghosts that I created). Let me know in the comments if you have any advice, or to show me your creations!

my little pony shrink necklaces (3)my little pony shrink brooches  (5)my little pony shrink brooches  (1)my little pony shrink paper necklacemy little pony shrink brooches  (2)my little pony shrink brooches  (4)my little pony shrink brooches (2)my little pony shrink brooches (1)my little pony shrink brooches  (6)shrink paper brooches (2)shrink paper brooches (1) things that make me smile(a alien keychain I made for Victor for Valentine’s and an amazing necklace Starchild Stela gave to me)

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Monthly DIY: Fujiflim Emulsion Lifts

This month’s DIY is one of those projects I’ve wanted to do for years and could never get myself organized enough to actually do. So I’m finally doing Polaroid Emulsion Lifts! Emulsion lifts in the grand scheme of things are actually very easy to do and the results can be utterly wonderful and most importantly unique. I love any project where you can do your own spin to it. Now mine are technically not ‘Polaroid’ Emulsion Lifts as I shoot with Fujifilm FP-100C and the two types of film do require slightly different techniques so my steps are for Fujifilm emulsion lifts but the tips I have are useful to both in case you shoot with Polaroid/Impossible Project film. The two big things that you need are instant photographs and a surface, let’s get into it.

fujifilm polaroid emulsion lift(my first emulsion lift)

What You’ll Need:

  • Fujilfim or Polaroid instant film
  • Boiling & cold water
  • 2 Baking container
  • Paint brushes
  • Canvas, wood, watercolor paper, metal…
  • Medium

Time and Cost:

Cost is roughly $10 depending on how many pieces you want to make if you already have the film. The small pieces of wood and canvas were around $1 each from my local art store. If you don’t have any old Polaroids or Fujifilm FP-100 you can easily buy a vintage Polaroid camera, and buy Fujifilm FP-100 film or Impossible Project film.  The price for that would depending on how cheaply you can get the camera but I would encourage you that if you like these, it’d be worth your while. Plus then you’d have an instant camera you could keep and continue to use. The cost of film depends, Fujifilm is $10 per roll of 10 exposure and Impossible Project is $20+.

polaroid instant photography
Steps:

  1. Shoot the film and decided what ones you’d like to use for this project. Film can be used at anytime, most of the lifts I did were on ones I shoot a year ago.
  2. Cut the white sides of the film that frame the photo so just the image remains.
  3. Setup area, have both bake trays beside each other. Have paper towel, your surface, medium and brushes handy. Fill one tray with tap water.
  4. Boil water and place into other bake tray, let cool down slightly.
  5. Drop in  film and wait for 1-5 minutes
  6. Place in cold water
    *You can skip the cold water, it’s not necessary however I find the emulsion tends to be a bit more relaxed and less likely to curl in the cold water over the hot and you can leave it in the cold water. 
  7. Start using the brush to remove the emulsion part of the film away
    *You can use your fingers or a card to scrape it away as well
  8. Remove the paper part of the film and throw away.
    At this point you have two separate choices on how to apply the emulsion to the desired surface:
  9. WET METHOD: With emulsion still in the water simple place surface below it and smooth out emulsion until you have it the way you’d like. Place back in water anytime if you want to uncurl the emulsion or rearrange it. Lift out of the water and dry the surface using a paper towel. Apply medium on top of the lift and the sides. Make sure fully coated and no corners are sticking up.
  10. DRY METHOD: Apply medium to your surface using a paint brush only on the area you would like the emulsion to be, acting quickly take the emulsion out of the water and dry before spreading it out over the surface, using your brush, fingers or roller to smooth out the emulsion or create patterns.

fujifilm emulsion lift (3)
Now I know I usually have photos or a video for my DIY’s but this type of project has been around for decades and the internet is virtually filled with videos on how various people do their emulsion transfers. To be honest I don’t do mine like any of the video’s I’m about to link you but they are great for learning the ropes of how to get started doing emulsions lifts. It’s a very easy project and there isn’t a lot to figure out, it’s mostly just practice makes perfect / trial and error. Two great videos however are Tiffany Teske’s video of Fujil Emulsion Lifts & Transfer   and Wayne Lam’s Polaroid Film Lift

Tips and Tricks:

  • I shoot a lot of instant film and sometimes mistakes happen so those underexposed, overexposed and just plain blurry shots are great to work with while you are building your confidence up and technique.
    fujifilm polaroid emulsion lift (2)
  • Fujifilm emulsion is actually moderately sturdy, my general impress prior was that it would delicate and not allow for much handling but it’s surprisingly okay with being man handled. It’s similar to saran wrap.
  • So now that I’ve said you can man-handle it a bit, here is where I say – try not to man-handle it too much. It can tear, but honestly most of my tears happened because I didn’t trim the edges of the film fully.
    fujifilm polaroid emulsion lift (3)
    (I didn’t trim the white edges in this one)
  • The white part of the film is very well secured to the emulsion so save yourself the hassle and trim it off.
  • Hey maybe you want to tear your film, or make is wavy like the ocean, the emulsion doesn’t need to be laid perfect stretched out, in fact that gets a little boring after a while.
    fujifilm emulsion lift (5)fujifilm polaroid emulsion lift
  • Those shots you thought are ‘bad’ or not what you wanted could make an amazing lift, just try it out.
  • Do not have the water too hot or leave it in the hot water too long,  the film texture will change or bubble.
  • Sometimes the water will go a yellow color, this is most likely just left over chemical from the development process, don’t be scared.
  • Layer up!
    fujifilm polaroid emulsion lift (1)
    (mine isn’t an epic layered lift, but just google emulsions lifts – there is so many amazing ones)
  • Watercolor paper is my favourite surface, the texture it gives the emulsions I find really pleasing. The emulsion will take on the texture of your surface so keep that in mind. It will also to a degree take on the color of the surface as well.
    fujifilm emulsion lift (1)
  • If you are doing the dry method and you make a mistake and think your medium will dry simply put back into water and rinse both the surface and emulsion and start work again. I use the water method the most as you can just play with the emulsion a lot. You can also use a piece of glass or clear plastic to play with the emulsion prior to drying.
  • Do as many tests are you need to feel comfortable, don’t jump into doing your favourite Polaroid or Fujifilm shot in the first few tries as I’d hate for your to be feel like you wrecked a photo you really liked. I actually am terrified of ruining them even though I scan all my instant photography so I have a digital copy. So terrified that most of the lifts I’ve done so far are ‘whatever’ shots.
  • Don’t be pretentious about them, and try any surface you can find.

fujifilm emulsion lift (6)
(a gift to a friend, it cracks me up)

 This was mostly “I Tried” instead of full DIY as I just really wanted to do the project. I’m still no fully convinced I’d want to do this on my more beloved instant photos but it’s super fun and I can’t wait to actually shoot film with the intention of turning them into emulsion lifts. I’ll be showing all my emulsion lifts that I’ve done so far this upcoming Tuesday as this post is already pretty long. Let me know if you make any of your own and share below. I’m obsessed with these and love looking at them. This is a project I really want to get better at.

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A Year in DIYs

monthly diy (4)Have a look back at the last year of DIYs!  I started off the year with Polaroid Chalkboards and from there did various projects from vintage slide lamps to homemade chocolates and Easter egg ornaments. Click the link/photo if you want to see all the DIYs I’ve done and below there is a list of each individual project if you want to check out a specific one.

 Polaroid Chalkboards
Valentine’s Day Strawberry Cupcakes
Silk Dyed Easter Eggs
Tattoo Easter Egg Ornaments
Easy Mode Chocolates
Paper Crane Mobiles
Paper Switch Plates
Vintage Slide Lamp
Resin Sticker Table
Dried Flower Resin Bracelet
Vintage Slide Necklaces
Paper Crane Ornaments & Card Display

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Christmas DIY: Origami Christmas Card Display & Paper Crane Ornaments

monthly diy christmas origami

Today I wanted to share with you two special Christmas DIY projects that I did this year using origami. The first is how to make a Christmas card display and second is paper crane ornaments.  I missed one of my monthly DIYs in the summer so I thought I’d do an extra one this month and show you these two simple and inexpensive projects. The ornaments are my favourite as they make really cute gifts for friends and family and easy to send along with your Christmas cards. I didn’t even know Christmas origami paper was a thing until this year but I just love the idea of incorporating cranes into my festive decorations. If you can’t find the same origami paper I have I suggest just using regular colored origami paper (double sided is preferable) in the color pallet of your decorations and you can even draw or print your own designs onto the paper as well. As always let me know in the comment if you makes these!

Paper Crane Ornaments

What You’ll Need:monthly diy (1)

  • origami paper
    *any will do
    (I bought mine from here and hereavailable on Amazon too)
  • 2-3 spools of thread
    *any color
  •  sewing needle
  • scissors

Time and Cost:

$20 for both projects. For an experienced crane maker you could probably make both the ornaments and display in roughly and hour. If you are not familiar with making them it might take a bit of practice. Continue reading %s

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