One of the things I love to do in my spare time is to turn ordinary objects into something wonderful. For example, plain tiles transformed into beautiful coasters in THIS POST.
The lovely team at GORILLA GLUE recently invited me to come up with a craft project using some of their product range. There is a glue or tape for every possible need in their range, all very high quality, so I was really excited to be part of this. I immediately knew what I wanted to make. I initially had one in mind, but it turned into 3 as I enjoyed making it so much.
I have often admired objects that have been painted with Crackle Paint, which cracks as it dries, creating a really pretty distressed effect. This special paint can be fairly expensive though. Luckily it is easy to achieve the same effect using just Gorilla Glue Wood Glue and some cheap acrylic paint. You only need a small amount of glue so it is a much more cost-effective way of obtaining the result. One bottle of glue will transform loads of objects!
For my project I decided to transform some plain wooden boxes into a beach-finds box and a buttons box. I wanted the beach box to look a bit like driftwood, fitting in with the theme of it. One of my happy memories from childhood was going through the buttons that my mum kept in an old biscuit tin. It used to fascinate me how many different shapes and designs there were, so I now have a tin of buttons too. I wanted a nicer way to store them though so decided to make a button box, using some of the buttons to decorate it. After I had made the 2 boxes I wanted to see if the same effect could be achieved on glass, so decided to try it on a clean empty jam jar. It worked! So that became a toothbrush holder for the bathroom. The beauty of this project is you can make boxes or storage jars for anything at all! Boxes for baby keepsakes, ribbons, beads, bits and bobs, small stationery items… endless possibilities. Likewise with the jar version. A holder for toothbrushes, pens and pencils, craft tools, straws, kitchen utensils… again endless uses.
For this project you will need Gorilla Glue Wood Glue and Gorilla Glue Super Glue (if you want to stick decorations on). They have thought of everything with their super glue. Super glue often comes in a little tube or bottle and you have to carefully squeeze a little bit out, trying not to get too much but often ending up with a blob of it oozing out from underneath whatever you have stuck down. To make sure you get the exact amount of glue you want in the exact place you want it, with no big blobs, Gorilla Glue have brought out a bottle with both a brush and a nozzle to apply it. You can choose whichever works best for you. I loved the brush, as it was so easy to control the amount I used and place it only where I needed it.
As well as the glue, you will need plain wooden boxes or clean glass jars, acrylic paint in 2 different colours, and paintbrushes. If you want to stick any decorations such as buttons on, obviously you will need those too.
You can buy plain wooden boxes in craft stores such as Hobbycraft, or from Amazon. You don’t need to use expensive acrylic paint. I’m pretty sure mine came from a shop such as The Works at a really cheap price.
To begin, you will need to completely paint your box with one colour of the paint. Bear in mind that this layer will be the colour that you see in the cracks, not the main colour. I chose a yellowy-brown colour for the beach one and a dark green for the buttons.
Paint your box in the first colour and leave to dry completely. I left mine overnight to make sure it was thoroughly dry, but you can leave it for around 4 hours. If you want the inside to be the same colour as the cracks you can paint this too. Make sure you use something to prop the lid open while it dries though so the paint doesn’t get ruined.
This is where the fun starts. When the box is dry, paint a layer of wood glue on to one small section. The glue still needs to be wet for the next stage, which is why you MUST do this one section at a time.
Don’t worry about the glue going over the hinges. It dries clear so won’t be noticed when it is all complete. If you want thick cracks, paint the glue on in a thick layer. If you want fine cracks, paint a thin layer of glue on. If you want a mixture, paint it thinly with the glue but with a couple of thicker patches.
While the glue is still wet, use a different paintbrush to paint your main acrylic colour on top. (I used white for the beach box and lilac for the buttons). Make sure you do this gently but quickly in one layer, before the glue dries. If you apply too much pressure or paint the same area over and over you will end up mixing the paint into the glue, and it won’t crack at all. It doesn’t matter if it looks a bit uneven or patchy, as the cracks will hide that.
You will notice the paint start to crack almost immediately. As the glue dries it slightly contracts, pulling the paint layer apart and causing the cracks. You can let it dry naturally, but that will be time-consuming so it is best to help it along with a hair dryer on the coolest setting. This will speed up the process and let you move on to the next section within a minute or two. It is lovely to watch the cracks appear before your eyes!
Repeat this process on another section. Glue, paint while wet, then dry. Keep doing this until the whole box is complete.
I then painted the inside of my beach box in white to match the main colour on the outside.
When dry, you can fill it with whatever you choose.
If you want to add decorations, I would recommend using the superglue with the brush.
Simply brush a small amount of glue on to your decoration, and position it where you want it! Press it for a few seconds to make sure it has bonded, although it dries very quickly.
I glued buttons on to my button box, sticking some on top of others, until I got the design I wanted.
You can use the same method to paint your glass jar, although I managed to do each stage in one go rather with the glass. It was a lot quicker to do! Paint the whole jar in one colour and let it dry completely. I chose white for my bottom layer.
I couldn’t photograph the next stage as it had to be done super quick, but I then painted the jar in a layer of wood glue and quickly added a layer of dark blue on top. I used the hair dryer to dry it and finished the look with a matching blue ribbon tied into a bow around the top.
(Quick tip: if you have some sticky residue left on your jar from the old label, this is easily removed with just normal glass cleaner. Simply spray it on your jar then use the back of a dinner knife to softly scrape it off. It comes off so easily)!
Don’t they all look so pretty and effective? If you decide to have a go at this easy craft, I’d love to hear what you make! Have fun transforming the plain into the beautiful.
DISCLAIMER: I was sent the Gorilla Glue at no cost to be used in a craft project of my choice. All views and opinions are my own honest thoughts.