Upcycled Milk Bottle Top Memory Charms Art

Over the past few weeks I have been working on this project using the plastic tops from empty milk bottles.

It took me a while to finish this project because not only did it take time to collect the tops themselves, I also had to allow for a lot of drying time and artistic ponderings as I was unsure where my journey with the tops would take me!

Yesterday I finally finished the project and took my final photos so I could blog about it! I took a lot of pictures of this project as I created it so I could share the step by step process with you.


The very first thing I did was take a stretched canvas square and flipped it over so that I could work on the reverse side.

I used perfect paper paste by plaid scraped onto the wooden frame with a palette knife as I envisioned a wavy textured frame. You could use modelling paste instead.

I then squirted glue on the actual canvas and then stuck down the plastic milk bottle tops randomly until there was no room for anymore.

At this point this is what the frame looked like:


Once all the texture paste and glue had dried properly; this took a few days, I applied a layer of white gesso:


At this point I then decided I wanted a darker framed art so once the white gesso had dried I applied a layer of black gesso over the top:


Close up:


Next I cut out some random circle shapes from torn out book pages and glued them into the centre of each bottle top. This is what it looked like at this step:


Close up:


For my next steps I painted the textured frame, I used deep turquoise and dark green acrylic paint. When the paint was dry I used my fingertips to brush on shimmering green interference medium onto all the raised ridges to give it a mother of pearl like shine.

I decided the book paper circles weren’t the right shade and looked too stark, so I added a wash of watered down cream acrylic paint to each of the circles to add warmth.

I also used my fingers to apply a gold acrylic paint highlight on the edge of the milk bottle tops to give it a nice framed finish.

Picture of what it looked like at this point:


It was almost finished!

I debated what to put in the framed bottle tops, initially I was going to put a letter in each circle and spell out a quote or something. I plan to actually do that with the next one I make.

In the end I decided to fill the circles with charms and trinkets which mean something to me. For example I put the tag in there from our first dogs collar, shells from the beach, pennies we had stretched with the gizmo on holiday and other memories.

I used glossy accents to embed the charms and trinkets because not only does it dry clear, it is also permanent and will protect the bits inside the resin.

Here are the photos of the finished project, the resin isn’t properly cured and dried when I took the pictures because impatiently I wanted to blog about it šŸ™‚ (it has since dried clear)





I really enjoyed making this and I’m still collecting tops for my next bottle top frame!


Rub On Transfer Resist Technique

Over on Tim Holtz’s blog he shared an idea for using his rub ons to create a resist effect. As usual I didn’t have any of his new rub ones but naturally I wanted to try the technique so I improvised and used the rub ons I did have.

I created the effect on tags, first I rubbed on various bits across the tags, then I overstamped with black ink, then finally added colour using spray inks. Once all the layers are in place you gently rub over the transfers to remove the final colour layer which of course reveals the rub on resist!

Here’s my tags created with this technique




Gel Prints Handmade Greetings Cards

Its been a long time since I made any sort of greetings card so I decided to make all the gel prints I created the other day into art cards because IĀ didn’tĀ want to add anything else to the prints as I liked them just as they are.

I used black card blanks to mount the prints onto to create a nice contrast and on each card I added a dymo label word to finish them up. You can see them all below:
















And no blog post would be complete without the obigatory close up shot:



Faux Gel Plate Printing Technique

I’ve had my eye on the Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plates for a while,Ā I’veĀ seen some lovely backgrounds created with them and lots of inspirational videos but I really didn’tĀ want to spend Ā£20-Ā£30 on something that:

a) I might not likeĀ andĀ b) I might use it once then never again!

I know IĀ could’veĀ easily made a temporary gelatine one to test first to see if I liked them, but to be honest to me it seemed like too much hard work and I’d rather stick pins in my eyes so I never bothered.

Instead I started looking on ebay to see if I could come up with something similar to work with at a fraction of the price and I think I found it!



Its a lot smaller than a gel printing plate atĀ 5.8 x 3.5 inches and I have no idea how it compares with the real gel printing plate becauseĀ I’veĀ never seen one to try, it only cost 99p including postage so I bought one to experiment with to see if it would work.

Its made of a very soft sticky rubbery like plastic and you know what? It really works! And I really think Ā the smaller size is perfect for printing postcard or even artist trading cards!

This is the side of the mat what is supposed to be used for ‘grabbing’ your mobile phone etc on, but IĀ wasn’tĀ interested in this side, I wanted to know what it was like on the BACK….


And LOOK at the back! Its perfectly smooth! And perfect for printing from!

So away I went, using various acrylic paints, 2 brayers (one for spreading paint on the plate and one for rollering over the back of the card to transfer the paint evenly) and a couple of stencils to do a ‘test run’ to see if my idea for a Faux Gel Printing Plate Technique works or not, it was like old times where I used to experiment with techniques for the CC Newsletter I did way back when……..

And you know what!? It did! It really worked!

And better yet I had the time of my life making prints and playing with paint layers as you can see from all the pictures below:

Stencil placed over Faux Gel Plate & Acrylic Paint squirted on prior to brayering the paints across the plate:


Faux Gel Plate with paint brayered through the stencil to reveal the pattern:


Faux Gel Print taken off the fake gel printing plate below:


Experimenting with placing die cuts on the faux gel plate to create shaped areas with no print on them:


The results of my faux gel printing experiments:





Obligatory Close Ups Of Faux Gel Printing Backgrounds:





I had so much fun this afternoon playing with acrylics to make these backgrounds!

I hope you too will enjoy making prints using your Faux Gel Printing Plates too!Ā Don’t forget to share links of any creations you make in the comments section below šŸ™‚

Instant Art Journal Wash Backgrounds

I wanted to share with you a quick and easy tutorial for getting a smooth watercolour or rainbow wash effect on both sides of your journal pages.

  • Step One: Apply a colour medium only on ONE side of your journal page; for this I used inktense blocks scribbled on one side of the page; but you can also use Neocolour watercolour pastels or any spray inks.

  • Step Two: Spray the blank side of the spread generously with water.
  • Step Three: Close the pages and gently rub the backs of them, then open up to reveal and instant multicoloured rainbow background like the picture below: