Friday, December 11, 2009

Frugal Friday tip: Custom Colored Gems and Pearls

Do you ever run out of the right color of gems or pearls when working on a project? I have and one of my favorite tips is to just buy the clear gemstones and white pearls and then custom color them with permanent markers.

Sharpie makes quite a variety of colors to choose from, and the Bic Mark It brand has the bonus of being acid free!
To begin, you just color a number of gems while they are on the storage sheet. To get in between the gems or pearls, you can bend the sheet or cut the amount of gems you'll need for your project off the backer sheet and color them separately.These gems and pearls have a line of adhesive underneath them, so you just make sure you cut through the adhesive layer too, so they are easy to stick to your project later.

To use the gems individually, just cut between two gems with an exacto knife, making sure your cut goes all the way through the adhesive layer. Then you can use the exacto knife to pick up the gem and place it down onto your project. When you have the gem in place, use your finger to press it down firmly and gently remove the exacto knife at the same time with your other hand.

Now that you know how to color and place your gems and pearls, let's back up a step. To create your stamped image for this card, ink the stamp in Pine Needles Distress Ink, then flip your stamp over so you see the rubber image side.

Now take a black marker and use the brush tip to color over the green ink by following the outline along the outer edge.

When you stamp the image, it will have two tones--black and green. Cut around the stamped image leaving a small white border. We'll add the "berries" to the image next with the red gems.
To add a little 3-D gloss to the leaves, use some Glossy Accents from Ranger and liberally coat the leaves with the glue. When this liquid goes on the image initially it will appear slightly milky in color, but it dries completely clear and with a cool glassy raised effect.

Now we'll add some color to the edges with a sponge and a brown inkpad (Brushed Corduroy). Just dip the sponge into the ink and flick the edges of the stamped image. The more you go over an area, the darker it will be.

This is what it should look like when you are done with this step:

To complete the 3x3 card, stamp your "Merry Christmas" sentiment on the brown cardstock with black ink. This layer will be glued to the bottom of the card, then add some matching pattern paper along the top. Both of these layers have been sponged with black ink along the edges.
The holly berry image is adhered to the card with foam tape, and a layer of stickles glitter glue is added around the border just inside the black outline. Stickles were also added to the black line under the saying along with a red gem.  These little 3x3 cards are the perfect size for gift tags or quick notes.

You don't have to stick with one color of gemstones or pearls on your project. For this next card, I used several colors (yellow, green, red) for my gemstones.

The stamped image was colored with colored pencils, then blended with gamsol (odorless mineral spirits) and a paper blending stump. I added the gemstones in the centers of the images or where a dot would have been in the image. The other areas were also highlighted with some stickles glitter glue for more sparkle.

I cut around the stamped image, layered it onto a black piece of cardstock, then punched the bottom edge with a border punch, and rounded the top edge with my corner rounder. The red ribbon was tied around the black cardstock layer along the top, then that whole layer was attached to the white card base with foam tape. "Merry Christmas" saying was stamped underneath this layer and a red gem was added to the center of the line. The bottom edges of the white card base were also rounded with my corner rounder.

The last card uses the same concept, but instead of using gemstones, I used pearls in two sizes and colored them in red and green and also used some as plain white.

This card was also pretty easy to create. The reindeer stamp was stamped with brown chalk ink, then I added my colored pearls to the image and cut around the image closely. I used foam tape to adhere the reindeer to the green layer of cardstock, then drew faux stitch marks with a white pen. I also used the same border punch to create a frame for the top and bottom of the mounted image, and added a row of stickles glitter at the intersection of the green and red paper layers. Stickles were also added at various places on the main stamped image for extra glitter.

I hope you will enjoy creating your own custom colored bling!

1 comment:

Sue McGettigan said...

VERY cool tip - love the projects you made with your colored gems/pearls too!