I can never resist a saltshaker, especially those big heavy glass ones that no one uses anymore. Glass bottles make me happy too, especially little ones. But what do you do with a batch of bottles? In this case Snowman conversion.
I started with this idea last week and made a batch of heads using Celluclay, a papier mache mix that comes pre-packaged. Add water, squish until its the consistency of butter and shape. I keep bamboo skewers around and they are the perfect head handle. Macabre, I tried not think of a head on a stake… I dried the heads for a few days and then got to work.
The next step is to wash and dry your containers–save the tops, especially the cool metal ones. I decided I wanted to put something inside my containers.
I couldn’t find quotes I liked so I wrote snowmen haiku and printed them out. I printed my haiku on silver paper in landscape format, that’s lengthwise, because I knew I would be cutting them out in a long narrow strip.
Meyer Imports on line carries exquisite, gorgeous, fantastic German glass glitter. Its the stuff that is made of glass, shiny and old school. I like that for sparkly outsides but I have discovered glitter inside a jar can cloud the walls with a static electricity cling. The answer? Tiny glass beads. They are available in the glitter section of your local craft store and come in a ton of colors, Martha Stewart makes my favorites in color, but Meyer Imports gets my vote for buying a large quantity.
I carefully rolled my haiku around a pencil and worked them into the bottle necks, using a skewer to help them untangle and unroll. A quick pour of about a 1/4 inch of beads for effect and a few pearls for pretty and the bodies were done.
I took the heads and fitted them on each bottle because each one has its own personality and it was fun to decide where they looked best. Before they got glued down with E6000 killer glue, I used my dremel to make a hole for the nose, a toothpick in its original life. I trimmed the toothpick to fit for length and put on a quick coat of paint with a Qtip.
I used my pointy tool, which is really for starting nail holes, to ‘drill out’ a little opening to set each small black piece of coal in the face, aka tiny black beads. I put a good dab of E6000 in each hole and set the beads and the nose piece. I glittered the face at this point to make sure the glue got covered. Voila, sticks to the excess and I don’t have to go back and glue paint the details of the face. Smart me.
I let the eyes and mouth set for about ten minutes before I went back with white glue and a small paintbrush to coat each head thoroughly before dipping it in my glitter box and sprinkling glitter all over.
To keep my studio from looking like I just murdered Tinker Belle, I keep the glitter I am working with in a wooden cigar box, I use a piece of sandpaper for a scoop and pour it over the piece. When I’m done it makes it easier to collect and save the unsued glitter and it keeps it from spreading everywhere like fairy dust.
I leave the heads on their skewers to make it easy to work with them until I set them in place on the bottles. While they dried I cut out scarves.
Old wool sweaters that are felted and shrunk are wonderful things for a lot of reasons, they cut just like material and don’t fray like woolly is wont to do.
These tidbits from last year lent themselves nicely to become tiny snowman scarves. I wrestled with them and tied them down first, then lifted and dabbed glue on to hold them in place.
Next task was to set the heads on with E6000, I resprinkled the heads and necks with glitter to disguise any excess glue, being careful not to tip the bottle and lose the head.
The most fun of all is selecting which salt shaker lid works best for a hat, who knew these little doodads would make such charming helmets? I even put rhinestones on one snowman in place of a scarf, making it a snowgirl with a lot bling.
These are a complicated project and there are a lot of specialty bits required, that being said, if you wanted to tackle something like this everything you need is easily available and not expensive. What are you going to make this Christmas?