Mixed Media Altered Art – Aluminum Beer Bottle

Aluminum beer bottles are lightweight and PERFECT for altered art projects! They make great home decor and they can also serve as custom-made “vases” for table centerpieces at events or parties. And because they are so thin, they also pack and travel well, too.

For the project listed and pictured below, I used the 16 oz. Budweiser aluminum bottles, but you can use any bottle you like.

Here’s how to create this stunning mixed media art:

Product List:
heavy gesso (Liquitex);
stencil (Buttercream/Joann’s);
modeling paste (Liquitex);
heavy matte gel (3D matte gel-Finnabair/Prima);
random metal pieces from my stash and/or my garage;
metallic paint (Butterfly Spells–Finnabair Art Alchemy Sparks acrylic paint/Prima; Violet Gold–Finnabair Art Alchemy Opal Magic acrylic paint/Prima);
pigment powder (Magicals/Lindy’s Stamp Gang);
baby wipes/paper towels.

1. Clean the bottle well. Fill with warm soapy water and let sit overnight. Rinse well and let dry completely.

2. Coat with heavy white gesso. Let dry.

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3. Stencil select areas of the bottle using a palette knife and texture paste or modeling paste. Let dry. You can tape the stencil to the bottle, but I find it easier to just hold it firmly around the bottle as I stencil.

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4. Use 3D Matte Gel to adhere an arrangement of metal pieces, objects, flowers, buttons and/or screws to one area of the bottle. Let dry.

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5. Coat the arrangement with heavy white gesso. Let dry.

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6. Using a small, dry paintbrush, apply Magical pigment powder to inside “nooks and crannies” of the arrangement. Have a paper towel or baby wipe handy as you spritz the arrangement with water and tilt the bottle around. The Magicals will spread intense color and start to run. Use the paper towel or baby wipe to control the color. Dry with a heat tool.

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7. Use a small paintbrush to apply Sparks metallic paint to the assemblage as desired. Have a paper towel or baby wipe handy as you spritz with water. The paint and the Magicals will run. Control the color with a baby wipe or paper towel as desired. Dry with a heat tool.

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8. Use a small paintbrush to apply Opal Magic paint (Violet Gold) to select areas of the assemblage as desired. Dry with a heat tool.

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9. Touch up the color with more white gesso. Let dry completely. You can choose to seal the project with clear spray fixative, if desired.

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10. Finish your art with some flowers or other lovely accents!

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Share this “up-cycling” technique with your crafty friends! Leave a comment below, and when you try this technique, post a photo with your comment! Enjoy!

Inspiration to get more done – Finishing half-done cards

Be inspired to get more done! Finish half-done greeting cards with supplies you already have on hand. Today I completed 12 “card starts” in one sitting without leaving my craft table!

5 Tips for successful “finishing”:

  1. Set aside about two hours for yourself. Turn your phone to “do not disturb”, set a timer, and be determined to stay in one spot for the time you set. Don’t worry about HOW MUCH you get accomplished. Instead, focus on staying ON TASK.
  2. Before you start your timer, gather a few embellishments and keep them on your table. Only gather what can stay on your table! A few pieces of ribbon, a few die cuts or stamped images leftover from other projects, a few stickers, a little bling… don’t go overboard. If your table starts to look cluttered even before you START, you are starting with too much!
  3. Gather the adhesive of your choice. Variety is key! Foam dots, glue dots, tape runners, liquid adhesive, glue sticks, even kids’ school glue… just have a nice variety within reach!
  4. Just for this set-aside time, don’t feel pressured to make all the cards for the same holiday or occasion. Look at each “card start” as if it were the only card you were making. If you end up with a birthday card, a Christmas card and a sympathy card at the end of your time, great!
  5. DO NOT use this time to stamp and create NEW embellishments, accents or sentiments. Try your best to use items you have in front of you and your own creativity to finish what you have started!

These are the tips I use for myself to stay motivated, exercise my creativity, and get more accomplished. Hopefully, you find them inspiring!

Please share these tips with your crafty friends (and maybe share with that one crafty friend who never seems to finish anything!).

Feel free to leave a tip of your own in the comments section below!

First blog post

Welcome to the new home for the Sandpaper Road blog! Stay tuned for exclusive features including “Use What You Have”, “Naptime Crafts”, “Budget Craft Shopping” and all things art and papercrafts!

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