If you are someone who enjoys lots of different types of craft projects, Pinterest can be a treasure trove, and a paralyzing force all at once. On the one hand, you could (and many do) spend hours drooling over the projects, the magazine cover-worthy rooms, and tip articles. On the other hand, sometimes too many choices can overwhelm faster than you can say "hot glue."
As a gal that is often rendered speechless by a busy fast food menu, I can tell you that I am firmly entrenched in that second camp. I would have pitched my tent there, but I am still trying to figure out what color tent I want...
On one of my binge-y browse sessions, I stumbled across domino necklaces. No, they are not new - and perhaps many of you have already "been there, done that." Not true for me. I had been designing the collage sheets for altering them for several years - but had never created one of my own.
Shortly thereafter, my mother-in-law showed me some stunning altered dominoes that she had created, and that was all the push I needed.
One of the things that I loved most about making these dominoes is that you can transfer those same techniques into other projects.
So - let's get to it! Oh, and by the way - these would also be great as magnets, key fobs, or embellishments for journals!
- Lisa Pavelka UV Gel - (I recommend the 6 oz size, as the 1 oz. size won't get you very far)
- UV Lamp 9 WATT - Lisa Pavelka Version
- UV Lamp 48 WATT (small price difference!)
- Tim Holtz Tissue Tape
- Epoxy Alphabet Stickers (or any other flat embellishment you would like to add)
- White Plastic Dominoes
- 2MM Stainless Steel 20-inch Ball Chains
- Strong Glue (something like E-6000)
- Parchment Paper or Aluminum Foil
Make sure you are using a craft mat, plastic table covering, or something similar to protect your work surface. Trust me on this one.
Wipe off the back (plain) surface of your domino, and make sure it is free of any debris, dust, etc. Once you've done that, select a piece of tissue tape or washi tape and adhere it to the surface of the domino. If you like the look of what you've just done, you can stop after this step, and skip ahead to adding your UV gel, etc.
If you want to add additional embellishments, such as the alphabet stickers I used, rubber stamped images, clipart, or other FLAT embellishments (the key here is they must be completely flat), go for it. You could also use alcohol inks or markers to add color to the flat surface or the domino edges. There are no rules!
Now your masterpiece is finished. Let's preserve it for the ages (or at least a fraction of a millennium).
The gel will self-level - you will want to make sure you have it on a flat surface before you start applying the gel.
I like to move a small piece of parchment or foil, along with my domino, close to the UV lamp before I begin applying the gel. You want to limit your movements once that gel is applied.
With a gentle hand, lightly apply the UV gel along the border of the domino (think of it as outlining). Get as close to the edge as you can. Once you have gone all the way around, slowly fill in that shape you created. Having that border will help to prevent the gel from running off the sides - IF you apply it slowly. Better to take your time on this. You will get better and faster as you go along.
If you see any bubbles, or need to "guide" the gel to fill in any areas not covered, use your toothpick. Take a moment and make sure that you have the gel all the way out to the edge on all sides. You won't be able to go back and do this once it has been set, so give it a careful look to make sure it is perfect before you slide it under the lamp.
On the topic of lamps - I originally started with the Lisa Pavelka 9 WATT lamp, and managed to snap it up with a coupon from Hobby Lobby. Once I realized the applications for this gel technique, I made the decision to get a larger lamp that could accommodate more pieces at once. Fortunately, there are some very affordable ones on Amazon. I would also encourage you to check out sites like AliExpress for both lamps, and UV gels - by purchasing the nail salon versions, you don't get hit with the same sticker shock that typically accompanies any product deemed a "craft supply." Bonus points if you know someone who can hook you up at Sally Beauty supply, or something similar! Take that friend to lunch, and give them a necklace - I'm sure they'll be happy to help you out. :-)
If you are using the Pavelka lamp, you'll want to leave the domino in there for between 5 and 10 minutes. If you go for a stronger lamp, your mileage will vary, as they say. The good news is that you really can't "overbake" these.
To finish up, simply glue your tag bail to the back side of the domino, and once dry, thread through your chain. You did it! Hooray!
The Lightbulb Moment:
Consider applying the UV gel treatment to balsa wood cutouts, tags or shapes to make fancy embellishments, ornaments, gift tags, and other cool keepsakes.