Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Conversation Hearts Photo Holder by Tori West

I have been having a lot of fun learning about DelightTM  Air Dry Modeling Compound!  One of the things I like about it so far, is that when mixed with acrylic paint it retains the color in pretty much the same intensity when dry, as it had when wet.  While trying my paint experiments I came up with a lovely shade of pink, which reminded me of the candy conversation hearts in the stores this time of year.  For Valentine's Day I decided to make larger versions of these sweets and turn them into a photo holder  (this one holds a photo of my husband and I about to go on a romantic Valentine's Day carriage ride in Seattle!)  The "secret" to the assembly staying in place is it's weighted base.

For this project you will need:

DelightTM  Air Dry Modeling Compound
acrylic paint - I used Delta Ceramcoat "Hydrangea Pink" and "Bright Red"
matte varnish
craft wire - 18ga. red
emery board or sandpaper
hot glue gun and glue sticks
wire cutters
masking tape
craft knife
cutting mat
corrugated cardboard
20-30 stainless steel washers
tracing paper
letter pattern
rolling pin
strips of wood or dough bands in 1/4" and 1/2" thicknesses
plastic wrap
soft lead colored pencil (Prismacolor "Process Red" or similar)
optional: ribbons, colored card stock or paper, specialty scissors

Start by cutting two heart shapes from corrugated cardboard - if you are using my pattern, note that the heart on top is slightly smaller than the one on the bottom.  The dotted lines to the inside of the hearts are the ones to use for cutting the cardboard pieces.

Use the hot glue gun to attach washers to both sides of the heart you will be using for the bottom.  Add an extra row or two of washers to the lower portion on each side, until your heart will stand in place on it's own.

While that is cooling down, mix about 1/2 package of clay with paint - for this candy pink color I used 4 drops bright red & 8 drops hydrangea pink.

Roll the clay out to a thickness of 1/4".  Place your weighted heart piece on the clay and cut out around it, leaving about 1/8" all the way around to fold over the edge.

 Repeat the process for the other side, then press and smooth the clay around to cover the edges of the heart.  Roll the clay out again, this time to a 1/2" thickness, and cover the second cardboard heart, making it the same thickness as the first.  Set these aside to dry.
If you have extra clay mixture store it in an airtight container.  When the hearts are dry, sand and do any additional smoothing or shaping necessary, use the saved clay if you need to make any changes or fill any gaps.
Apply masking tape to your pliers to avoid scratching the craft wire.  Using an emery board or sandpaper, file the end of the wire on the spool just enough so that it isn't sharp (to prevent scratches to your photos and yourself!).  Starting with the curl in the center of the wire heart shape, bend wire in double-heart and then straight down as shown, then clip to length.  Don't file this end down, the point will help poke the wire through the hearts & cardboard.

Lay hearts down on pattern sheet, then guide wire into position through the center (you're aiming for the cardboard section) hold the wire close to the heart and push a little bit at a time to poke through the corrugated sections.  Don't push the end point all the way through the bottom heart.

Trace lettering in reverse onto tracing paper.  Turn the tracing over and position on hearts, then, holding the pattern in place, transfer by going over the letters lightly with pencil.  Don't push so hard that you indent the clay surface.  (the straight lines on the letters above indicate the width I want them to be.  Tracing the center line and width is much easier and more accurate than tracing and transferring the whole outline of each letter)  The transferred pattern will be very light, but make sure you can see it before moving the tracing paper.

Now color and fill out the lettering with light, short strokes of the colored pencil.  Apply matte varnish to seal the pencil and clay.

Add ribbon and decorations as desired.  Since my photo had a primarily blue over all tone, I layered it with a piece of red card stock and scalloped white paper.

Thanks for joining me here again, and have a very Happy Valentine's Day!

I'd love for you to join me for more projects & art adventures on my personal blog
Find me on Facebook, or peruse & ponder pics with me on Pinterest
Connect on Google+ or see what new creations I may have on Etsy


Terri Sproul said...

I love this

Ann Strecko Koeman said...

They look so real. Awesome.

Dawn Barrett said...

Such a great idea. I love it!

Meme said...

So sweet!

shari welch said...

Really love this idea :)

Jess B. said...

very creative. Loving it! TFSW

Tamara Dozier said...

Really love this! So pretty!

linda hess said...

what a great project! & I love the washer weight idea...so perfect.