Please note that every challenge in this blog can be entered with any form of art work, not just cards. Themes may have to be slighly altered, but as long as they represent the general idea, feel free to enter.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Crafting Christmas Day 3 - Homemade is Cheaper!

Thanks for joining us today as we celebrate the 25 Days of Christmas with inspiration, tutorials, techniques and tips to make your holidays handmade and beautiful!

(Warning: This a little long.....)I have a great tip for all you paper crafters. As you know I am a self-proclaimed "bling addict." I used all of my Sheer Shimmer Spritz (gold) and had to buy two more and used that up. So, those little things are a bit pricey, even with a 40% off coupon. I thought that maybe I could make my own. I remember CTMH just came out with these spritz bottles (that I bought and just put aside) and I'm sure they would have something about using them this way on the website. So, I did a little searching and found a recipe on the CTMH consultant website.

I saw a couple of different recipes - one had water and the other had rubbing alcohol. The water would be fine but they suggested alcohol, because it dries faster. That is the one I went for as I am very impatient and want them to dry as fast as possible. The recipe also used the Create-A-Shade Paint in Pearl from CTMH for the pearl/shimmer effect. Then I thought, well I've got two different sets of PearlEx and at least one set of Perfect Pearls and I'm sure they would work just as well.

I guess I left out the part where I couldn't sleep and was searching the internet for an idea on how to make my own at 2:00 in the morning?  I finally fell asleep at around 3:00 and woke up at around 7:00. The only thing I can think of is making this myself! I was a woman on a mission.

I had mostly everything on hand to make this. I was excited. I went to the bathroom closet and saw that there wasn't any rubbing alcohol sitting on the shelf. Boo hoo..... So I sweet talked my hubbie and he went to one of the dollar stores around the corner to purchase rubbing alcohol. So when he returned, it was time for me to play. I'm telling you, I looked like some kind of mad scientist. There were mixing cups, tubes, vials, jars and little measuring spoons. Stuff was flying!

Since the Sheer Shimmer (in gold) is my favorite, I wanted to make that one first. I pulled out my drawer of PearlEx and Perfect Pearls. I have had these for at least one to two years and I think have used them once. I chose Sunset Gold PearlEx from the Series III set. Nice gold shimmer in the little pot should do nicely.

Recipe online said to fill up the spritz bottle to line 7, add this, do that and voila, you're done! Well, I didn't follow the recipe. (I know, I'm a rebel)  I like extra "pow." So here is what I did. I put about 3/4 of an ounce of alcohol in the mixing cup. Then added about 1/8 teaspoon of the PearlEx. Ok, you are probably thinking that is alot; I didn't fill it the measuring spoon all the way. So let's say it was less than that. I mixed them in the mixing cup instead of the spritz bottle so that I can get the right blend before it's actually going in the bottle. Plus, the opening of the spritz bottle is very small and my hands shake too much to add each item to the bottle without creating a huge mess. I poured the mixture in the spritz bottle.

It looked great in the spritz bottle. Now, I was crossing my eyes, toes and fingers that it would look this good when sprayed on the cardstock. Got a scratch piece of white cardstock and sprayed. I was too scared to look. It was perfect and awesome! I let out a little yelp and my dog came to see if I was ok. I was so excited!!!!

More, I had to mix more!!! Ok, let me try one with color. So, I pulled out my CTMH re-inkers and Tim Holtz alcohol inks. Hmmm.... Made more sense to me to use the alcohol inks since I'm using alcohol as the medium. I put my CTMH re-inkers away and looked at my container with my alcohol inks. Picked out my favorite color, purple. Well, it was Purple Twilight to be exact. This time, I used the CTMH Create-A-Shade Pearl paint for the shimmer effect.

I squeezed out about a dime size dollop of paint in the mixing cup. I added about four or five drops of the ink. Mixed. Not dark enough. Added about four or five more drops and mixed. Perfect! I added the alcohol in the mixing cup and started getting excited again. (Can you tell it doesn't take much to make me excited?) Poured it in the spritz bottle. Ok, here we go again. I break out another piece of white cardstock (scrap piece) and sprayed while I held my breath. It was perfect and awesome again! Whoooo hoooo!!!

Yelped again and hubbie came in to check on me and he chuckled. I had PearlEx on my clothes and face.
Ok, now I've my sheer gold and a purple pearl spritz. One more bottle left in the pack. What am I going to make with this? I know..... I wanted to make a snowflake wreath or a snowflake picture frame. I'll make a blue pearl spritz to spray on the snowflake diecuts.

Ok, pull out the alcohol inks again. Let's use Sail Boat Blue. Nice blue color. This one I am going to use that blue ink and some white pearl PearlEx. It was Macro Pearl to be exact. I think that's important to note. You'll see why in a minute. So I put in PearlEx in the mixing cup. Less than a 1/8 teaspoon just as before. Pour in some alcohol. Drop in about 10 drops of ink. Mix. Looks good. I take a throwaway spoon and put a little of the mixture on a scratch piece of white cardstock. Add one or two more drops and repeated checking the color on a piece of cardstock. Good to go.

I pinch the mixing cup to form a little spout to pour in the tiny opening of the spritz bottle. Well, I pinched a little too hard and..... crack! Good thing I had already poured in 2/3 of the mixture in the spritz bottle. I said a little expletive. It wasn't the "bad" one. Hubbie came in again, and I had blue everywhere on my craft mat!! Thank goodness I didn't have anything close by to get ruined. I know better than that. I cleared off my table before I started playing with this because they don't call me "Clumsy" for nothing. No harm, no foul. Just used a couple of paper napkins.... good as new.

Now to test the latest concoction. Grab my scratch cardstock. Press down the nozzle. Nothing. Well... poop. Tried to spray again. Nothing. I start taking apart the nozzle, etc. The Macro Pearl PearlEx was clogging everything. I think the powder wasn't as fine as the gold PearlEx. I washed it with warm/hot water etc and couldn't get it unclogged. Well, I ditched the nozzle part and kept the bottle part. So I didn't get the blue that I wanted for my project, but was still excited about the results of the previous two.

Then my mind went to "how much money did I save by making my own." So I started the search. Here is what I came up with. My figures aren't exact as I am not going to measure out how many 1/8 teaspoons are in a pot of PearlEx and how many drops of ink are in a ink bottle. I just used an estimate. I don't want to bore everyone with the math, but if you want it, I can email it to you.

Gold shimmer homemade (10 mL bottle) = $1.71 - $1.91 per bottle
Sheer Shimmer spritz (purchased at HL in 7mL bottle) = $3.49 per bottle
Total savings = $1.78 to $1.58 in savings per bottle. (I figured out of pocket savings is actually around $2.08 as the PearlEx was received as a pif and actually didn't put any actual "cash" out for product.)

Purple pearl spritz homemade (10mL bottle) = $2.01 - $2.21 per bottle using PearlEx or $2.04 per bottle using CTMH Create-A-Shade Pearl Paint.
Smooch Spritz (purchased at HL in 9mL bottle) = $4.69 per bottle
Total savings = $2.68 to $2.48 in savings per bottle with PearlEx or $2.65 with the Pearl paint. (I figured out of pocket savings is actually around $2.98 as with the pearl paint as the ink was received in a pif and didn't have to put any actual "cash" for the product.)

Savings will go up after these bottles are used, as I just have to wash out the bottles or use the spritz bottles from some other "name brand" spritz that I have.

Some of you may already do this, but I thought it was interesting. I had 99% of all the items on hand and some did not cost anything out of pocket. Sweet!

I made the card at the top using the homemade shimmer.

I hope you have a joyous Christmas!


1 comment:

  1. How awesome - great savings and I think the shimmer is better with your recipe! My purchased ones just don't give me that "bling", kwim?
    Beautiful card Mel!


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