Etched plates.

I’ve been having myself an etching party around here.  I’ve admitted this before…I tend to collect (hoard) things when I find something I like.  Well, I had so much fun doing one plate yesterday, why not etch everything in my house today?

IMG_4108

I love giving gifts (getting gifts ain’t too shabby either).  Who would balk at getting a dozen cookies on a paper plate? No one.  But talk about stepping up your  cookie game when you give a treat on a personalized plate where both the cookies and the plate are the gift.
Huh! Huh!
(I’m fearing this is starting to sound corny because it’s late and I’m deliriously tired and I’m trying to submit this before midnight to the Cricut Design Star Challenge).
Go team 7!

I picked up this clear glass plates and the thrift store for $1.00 each.  Then I decided to deck them out with a holiday motif using my Cricut Explore.

IMG_4131

Check out full tutorial on my last post.

IMG_4121

Photographing a clear, etched plate is really tricky.  I tried about 10 different ways to photograph them but I just couldn’t get the design to show up.  I finally figured that just holding them up outside in full light against a contrasting background worked best.  Where’s a hand model when you need one?

IMG_4116

My little squirrel friend looked like he went through war to get this acorn.  Here’s what not to do: Don’t stick the vinyl decal on your surface then peel if off to readjust and then reapply.   As you can see it doesn’t adhere to the surface very well the second time around.  I also used a sub-par etching paste that was old and dry.  Cutting corners doesn’t pay.  Sorry little guy.

Check out the Cricut Explore.  It rocks.  You can etch lots of cool stuff.
Ok, off to bed. Peace out.

DIY personalized etched glass

Every year I tell myself I’m going to have my Christmas shopping at least 3 weeks prior to the holiday but it never happens.  Retailers already have their holiday decor out which is a tad early in my opinion but a good reminder for me to get a jump start on thinking about gifting.

I found this LARGE serving platter at Target for $6.99 this week and I came up with an idea…what if I etched a personalized monogram on it for some friends who recently got married and give it to them for Christmas?
Brilliant!
Heck, at $6.99 I could personalize a whole stack of them and give them out to all my friends and in-law’s.
You can’t really tell from the picture but this platter is large!

IMG_4081

The first thing I did was create a few designs in PicMonkey (which is my go-to photo editing and graphic design program because it’s super user friendly).

PicMonkey Collage

Then I uploaded one of my designs in to Cricut’s Design Space.  I’ve raved about my Cricut cutting machine before which it the next best thing since chocolate.  A bold statement, I know, but the Cricut Explore is just that good. (Check out some of my other projects I made with my Cricut here).

I could have actually just used and combined one of their thousands of images and fonts in their design program which I often do but the Cricut is just that cool that you can go either route, yours or theirs.

 Next, I loaded up some clear vinyl (you can use any color) and cut out my design.

IMG_4026

(On a side note: You can do this without a Cricut Explore machine by just cutting out whatever design you want by hand but it will take forever and won’t be as precise. Plus the Cricut Explore is so versatile where you can not print from your own printer then cut.  Also, the Cricut will cut paper, some leather, vinyl, iron-on vinyl, it’s amazing).

Whatever you decide to etch it is important to make sure the surface is really clean.  The price sticker was right where I wanted to etch and it left its sticky goo.

IMG_4018

I used a magic eraser to remove every last bit of goo and ensure it was squeaky clean.

Next, I used transfer tape to transfer my vinyl image to the bottom of the plate.

IMG_4030

Tip: Because I would be etching the bottom of the plate it was important that I flipped the image backwards so that it would read correctly when I turned the plate over.

Once you adhere the image with transfer tape use something like a credit card, squeegee scraper, Pampered Chef scraper (ahem) to squeeze all the air bubbles out from under your project.

IMG_4032

Once my vinyl was on I removed the transfer tape and then the negative space vinyl (all the area around the lettering) which is where I wanted my etching cream work.

Etching

Suggested set time is 1-5 minutes (I let mine sit for 2 1/2 minutes).  You can see after just that short of time it works fast!

I bought this etching cream but ended using the left over from a different brand I had.  The reviews I read favor the Armour brand a little better..

IMG_4091

IMG_4073

After my plate was etched I then removed the rest of the vinyl that protected the areas from not being etched.

IMG_4081

I then glued a candle stick holder I picked up at Savers and made it raised serving platter. (Tutorial on making pedestal plates here).

IMG_4084

One down, several more to go.  Can’t beat a personalized gift like that for under $10.00!

To find out more about the Cricut Explore check them out here.

See other projects I’ve made with the Cricut Explore:

indexCookie favors.

IMG_3439Personalized canvas library bag.

Reducing allergens in our home.

*I am proud to be a 3M-sponsored blogger.  As a part of my responsibilities, I have the opportunity to evaluate 3M prodcuts.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

I pulled my boots out from the back of the closet yesterday which could only mean…fall is officially upon us.
Our desert state had almost 2 days straight of rain which is a blessing but also means the end of summer.  While I love the fall colors  I don’t love the fall allergens in the air.  My allergies have been going crazy!
Besides my daily neti pot ritual I’m convinced that changing our Filtrete Micro Allergen Reduction Filter MPR 1000 air filter regularly is one simple way reduce allergens in our home.  You wouldn’t think the air could be as dirty as it is but look at what our old filter looked like when we pulled it out.
IMG_3949
Keep in mind this filter was in for just under 3 months.
IMG_3955
And this gunk could be flying around your home!
Changing your Filtrete Micro Allergen Reduction Filter MPR 1000 at least every three months, especially before turning up the  heater in fall months is just one of the things you can do to help create a healthier home.  Doing so may also help reduce the amount of energy needed to cool or heat the home. It’s just one way you can help create a healthier home by capturing and attracting allergens like pollen and mold spores from the air passing through the filter. It also attracts and captures particles like smoke and smog.
From a cleanliness stand point, one reader commented in our last Filtrete post that by just changing air filters regularly it has helped cut down on the amount of dust in the home. It makes sense.
IMG_3932
A change in season is always a good reminder to do those seasonal home checklists.  Here are a few on my to-do list:
-Flip mattresses.
-Clean out rain gutters.
-Start winterizing house by wrapping pipes, store patio furniture, weather strip windows.
-Give all windows a good washing in side and out.
-Spray off window and door screens.
-Consider hanging Christmas lights in the fall before the snow flies.
-Last but not least, change your Filtrete air filter(s).
(These babies are good.  We call em allergen trappers around here).
You can follow Filtrete on Facebook and Twitter.