Torch Fired Bead Tips: Merging Rods

When you are toiling away all day making beautiful torch fired glass beads, sometimes you just don’t want to stop! That is until you find yourself working with the short end of the stick – or well, more likely working with the short end of the glass rod. We have all been there, you are using a color you really love but you have to stop because you are too close to the flame. You’ve used all of your nice long glass rods on all of those beautiful glass beads and now you’re left with short, stubby pieces.

Why not leverage those sad, unusable bits of glass rods and merge them to get some more use from them. All you need is your torch and two hands. You don’t even need to merge the same colors, make a rainbow if you’d like!

Start by warming  both rods at the same time in the flame and when they are molten simply butt them together and pull slightly apart. Voila, a slightly longer glass rod! Let the rod cool and keep merging more rods until you are satisfied! I like to merge my favorite rods with colors that I don’t particularly like to use,  just because I don’t like to use them in my bead making, it doesn’t mean I can’t use them at all, right!

Try it for yourself and be sure to stop by our Creative Corner for more tips and some great glass bead making  projects.

Weekender Project: Coral Fish Glass Bead

If you are still chilly with winter woes, warm up with torch fired beads! This little fishie will serve as a reminder that spring is just around the corner.

Glass bead making is the perfect cold-weather craft because it’s not too hot this time of year and trust me once you start torch firing, you won’t want to stop!

Find the instructions for this sweet glass fish bead here and be sure to stop by our creative corner for more fun projects.

Weekender Project: Little Flowers Fused Bottle Stopper

Dreaming of spring? Warm up your weekend with a fabulous Fuseworks project. These little millefiori flowers will be your boost to get through the last month of winter. All you need is the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln Kit and your microwave to start fusing beautiful pendants and home decor like this pretty bottle stopper.

The instructions for this fused bottle stopper can be found here. You can find many more fun fusing projects in our Creative Corner and if you are looking for the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln near you, swing by our store locator.

7 Ways to Spruce Up an Upcycled Glass Bottle

There is no hiding it, upcyling is all around us and there are so many wonderful projects that you can make with glass bottles and some spare supplies. But how can you decorate a glass bottle? We got 9 ways to inspire you to put your creative touch on your old glass bottles and start reusing them today!

  • KraftyBlok Image Art – use KraftyBlok Image Art to create a custom wine label, add your own photos or use your original artwork to give your upcycled glass bottle a new look
  • Copper foil – wrap copper foil on the edges of your glass bottle to give it a pretty finish or cut shapes out of copper foil shapes to add a design to you bottles.
  • Mosaic – use bits of other cut glass bottles or stained glass chips, ceramic tiles or any other tesserae to mosaic the whole bottle or just a portion of it.
  • Decoupage – decoupage your favorite scrapbook paper, photos or original art to the bottle
  • Etching – use etching cream to add a motif or pattern on your bottle
  • Yarn, Hemp or Jute – use a natural fiber cord to wrap around the top or the base of the bottle to give it a nautical feel
  • Solder and beads – use a decorative solder technique to add detail to the top of the cut bottle, solder wire to the rim and add a few glitzy beads too!

Find tutotials for most of these projects in our Creative Corner. If you need help cutting your glass bottles, check out this blog post on cutting glass bottles. Find the G2 Bottle Cutter in a store near you.

Weekender Project: KraftyBlok Love vase

Forget the chocolate, flowers and the dinner reservations! Make a long-lasting Valentine’s craft that you can create in a few short hours! Okay well, maybe the chocolate and the flowers and a nice night out wouldn’t hurt, right? 

Create a lovely KraftyBlok Vase for your special someone this Valentine’s Day.  Show off your favorite photo of you and your sweetie using KraftyBlok Image Art and set it permanently in the oven! This cute KraftyBlok is adorned with little red heart charmers, but you can dress it up with other trinkets that remind you of your love. Plus it makes a wonderful place to keep all those flowers you received!

Download the instructions and material list for this KraftyBlok project here and find more awesome KraftyBlok projects in our Creative Corner. If you are looking for KraftyBloks in your area, be sure to visit our store locator.

Weekender Project: Forget Me Knot Stepping Stone

Roses are red, violets are blue,  we’re posting this mosaic stepping stone project just for you! Valentine’s Day is Right around the corner, show your sweetheart your love is a solid as a rock with a sweet  heart-shaped stepping stone. Cover the heart with china scraps and make a bow with red opalescent glass! Find the instructions and pattern for this lovely stepping stone here.

Be sure to visit the Diamond Tech Creative Corner for more Valentine’s Day inspiration and visit the store locator to find great mosaic products near you! Happy Valentine’s Crafting!

Direct Vs. Indirect: 3 Questions to Help to Decide How to Apply Your Mosaic

We all know that when it comes to creating mosaics, options are virtually limitless with  tesserae, surface, adhesive, design  and even the method you use to apply your mosaic; direct or indirect.

Using the direct method of mosaics, you place your tesserae directly on the surface you are covering. Each piece is applied one by one right side up to the surface.

Using the indirect method of mosaics, you apply your tesserae face down to contact paper and then apply the entire pattern to the surface you are working with.

How do you choose which method best?

Are you working with stepping stone or coaster molds?

  • Either method is great for molds – when you create a stepping stone or a coaster with the indirect method, the cement will fill the space in between the glass – leaving a smooth surface, if you choose to mosaic with a mold using the direct method, you will have to grout your mosaic to fill in the space.

Are you working with an intricate pattern or working freehand?

  •  If you are working with an intricate pattern, you may find it easier to apply your mosaic to contact paper placed directly over your pattern. If you are working with a surface that you can transfer your pattern to or  working  freehand then you can mosaic with the direct or indirect method.

What mediums are you working with?

  • Sometimes it is much easier to use the indirect method when you are using small tiles or when you are using tesserae that is nipped to specific shapes. It also may depend on the glue you use – it is easier to use the direct method when you are working with less viscous glue.

The most important thing to remember when you are creating your mosaic is to use the method that you are most comfortable with, try them both and see what you like! To find some fun and inspiring mosaic projects, head on over to our Creative Corner and to find fabulous mosaic products near you, check out the store locator.