With the increased focus on recycling and reusing, I’ve been taking the trend to heart and now make art pins out of recycled materials. It’s really a great way to use up all those bits and dribbles of things left over from my bigger pieces and they’re cool to boot!
Here’s a few to whet your appetite.
There are more here. Just scroll down to 2MCHFN pins.
Anyway – to make these, the first thing I do is get hold of laminate samples. To be honest, what started me with these was a gift from a friend of over 200 of the things. She was going to do a mosaic on her kitchen counter then use bartop (acrylic sealer) over the top. She decided she would probably never get around to it and since I was an artist in need of supplies for an art class for developmentally disabled adults I was teaching at the time, she’d make a donation. Thanks, kiddo! It’s been hours and hours of fun with these and I still have tons!
If you just want to give this a try on a onesie-twosie scale, you can probably go to your local home store (like Home Depot or Lowe’s) and grab a couple of their formica samples in the “design your kitchen” sections. If you know someone who does this on a grand scale and you find you really enjoy making these as much as I do, ask them for their discontinued samples. Most of the time they just discard them.
There are a number of ways to prepare these. You can:
1) Sand off the number using either a dremel or fine grit sandpaper
2) Cover them with paper or fabric using decoupage medium or even white glue and letting it dry thoroughly. I love using paper napkins for this, too. Some are quite pretty when they’re combined. Layer the really thin pieces till they’re opaque.
3) Give them a coat of gesso (white or black) and let dry completely. Then you have a ground to work from.
So, now that you have the background finished, start by layering on the fun stuff – I love handmade paper, even scraps from sewing patterns that have been stamped or drawn upon, brown paper bags that have been wrinkled and rubbed on stamp pads, all give texture and color. Use decopage medium to layer the papers and let dry.
If you have a focal object; pieces of old jewelry, shards of china or sea glass, wire knots, etc. glue this on as well. If you like tails/fringe, the best thing I’ve found is waxed linen thread. A gourder friend of mine taught me to use the waxed linen then once it’s knotted, spread all the filaments apart and use them as fringe for small beads and knot them after. You can see this effect here.
The easiest way to get the holes in the back is to use a dremel with a drill bit the size you want. You can make the holes big enough for jump rings or waxed linen thread, your choice.
You’re limited here only by your imagination.