Weekender Project: New Year’s Savings Bank

It’s almost a new year and it’s time to start thinking about ways to commit to at least one new year’s resolution. Save, save, save! We all know how easy it is to forget to save. Keep that new years resolution to save more money with this cute  KraftyBlok Bank. This project may even help you become a multitasker because it doubles as décor! Place images of the things your saving for (like a spa retreat or a vacation!) on the KraftyBlok or maybe your savings goal!

Find the instructions for this dandy KraftyBlok Bank here and look for more great glass block projects at the Diamond Tech Creative Corner.

5 Tips for Choosing Glass Blocks for Crafting

glass block craftI know that nowadays there are a few choices when it comes to picking out a glass crafting block, however,  most of them are exactly the same and not very far off from the thick and heavy industrial glass building blocks – sure they are  great for building structures, but let’s get real here, most of us aren’t building walls and windows with our glass blocks are we!

 Here are a few tips to help you sort out the glass blocks that are far off from being craft quality and choose the glass block that is right for you – aka The Original KraftyBlok.

 

  1. Look for the glass blocks with a smooth surface to get the most use out of your block. The Original KraftyBlok has a smooth, flat surface. The others have a rippled, bumpy surface – just like the industrial building blocks; look, this is only a great quality when you need to distort something or if you are going for the ice cube look, if you want craft a vase, frame, shadowbox, mosaic, or even adhere anything to your glass block without it looking distorted or bumpy.
  2. Look for a glass blocks with a pre-drilled hole. The Original KraftyBlok has a pre-drilled hole. Other glass blocks are not drilled, which means you need to be equipped with glass drilling tools  and a ton of patience to add lights or images to the interior. There really isn’t much you can do with a glass block  if you are missing a hole.
  3. Peel the corner of the label on the glass block up. If you can easily peel up the corner, then you are looking at the Original KraftyBlok, if you tear the corner, oops walk away and pretend it never happened. KraftyBloks have easy to peel labels which are especially convenient if you like to start your project immediately. Other blocks have labels that require soaking, scraping and scrubbing. Who wants to clean before you craft, I sure don’t!
  4. Check out the manufacture’s website for project ideas. You will find that many manufacturers only offer a few ideas on how to craft with glass blocks. Diamond Tech has a whole section of their website devoted to KraftyBlok projects in the Creative Corner and their creative team is always working on new project to add.
  5. Make sure you are shopping in a craft and hobby or art specific store. This may seem a little obvious to some but this is where you will definitely find the largest supply of glass blocks and as an added bonus the larger craft stores always have coupons that you can use to buy glass blocks!

Be sure to check out all of the KraftyBlok Projects in the Creative Corner by clicking here and to find KraftyBloks in a store near you, be sure to check out the store locator. If you need a few ideas on how to use your glass blocks for crafting be sure to read our blog on how to craft with a KraftyBlok and decorating a KraftyBlok.

Weekender Project: Green Terrerium

You can keep your White Christmas, I’ll be dreaming of a Green Christmas! I love all of the fun crafts I can make with the G2 bottle cutter! This one admittedly isn’t very Christmas-y but I just love the face that I can grow something from something I would have otherwise thrown away! This project uses the top of the bottle to enclose a plant in a terra-cotta pot and as a special bonus, you can use the bottom half of the bottle as a vase or even another planter!!!

You can download the instructions for this green glass terrarium here and find many more green project at the Diamond Tech Creative Corner.

Tips for Grouting Mosaics

Grout. It’s a sore subject for most if I have ever heard one! Although I haven’t always had the best experiences with grout, my mosaic projects just wouldn’t be the same without grout and sometimes it’s even the grout actually makes my mosaic interesting. There are a few things I have learned to help deal with my disgruntled groutitude (that would be my attitude about grout – I like to get crafty with my words too, just go with it!).

 

  1. Make sure your tiles are clean before you glue them to your surface or if you are using an indirect method, before you grout. If grout is placed over a tile that had any type of sticky residue on it, you will have a miserable experience trying to scrape it off .
  2. When you mount your tile to your surface, make sure you don’t use too much adhesive, and if you do over-glue, make sure you remove any excess immediately, especially if the glue gets on your tesserae. There is nothing worse that figuring out that you grouted over dried glue and have to peel /pull it out.
  3. When you are mixing your grout, make sure you have a good consistence, something to the effect of brownie batter, if your grout is too wet or too dry it just won’t set correctly and it will be much harder to clean up.
  4. Grout with a gloved hand or keep plenty of vinegar on hand if you do not like using gloves. Grout tends to destroy the PH balance in your soft and lovely skin; the vinegar will help restore the PH balance.
  5. You do not always have to choose a grout that will complement your tiles; sometimes a bold and contrasting color can really make your mosaic project pop!
  6. Most grout manufacturers make standard grout colors like white, cream, grey and black but if that’s not your cup of tea, you can mix is grout colorant and create any shade your desire! Check out Diamond Tech’s grout colorant.
  7. While I’m on the topic of grout colorant, you can definitely add dimension to your projects by using more than one color of grout, don’t be afraid to mix it up and complement your grout to your tile, especially if you’re choosy like me, you really don’t have to be!
  8. Clean up is probably what makes me most upset with grout. Vinegar comes in very handy here! I love vinegar for clean up, it takes grout haze off my tile immediately, it’s super cheap and I always have it on hand too!

Bottom line, don’t get angry with your grout, embrace it in all its gooey glory! Follow these tips and you will find yourself turning that pouty grouty frown upsidedown. Check out the Diamond Tech Creative Corner for some great mosaic patterns and projects and take a look at the store locator to find a store near you that stocks Diamond Tech products.