Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Chris from Canada wrote:
Remember those glass serving plates and trays made from all different colours of glass put together that were so popular as wedding gifts in the 60's and 70's? Well, here's a way to duplicate that look using (what else) items most people trash.

Last spring I was looking at a photo album trying to get some ideas for something different and retro to make for swaps, when I noticed my 70's glass plates in use in a family photo from 1975. I was thinking about about attempting these in miniature using small chunks of plastic melted into a mold when I remembered as a small child having used torn squares of tissue paper glued to pickle jars to make vases. I also remembered how pretty they looked when the sun hit them, and so the plates came to be.

First I made a plate blank by brushing two thin, even layers of Sobo glue (used because it's clear, dries just a bit flexible and happened to be handy) onto a piece of plastic wrap. When that had dried, I sandwiched the plastic wrap between 2 layers of white paper, and used a large hole punch to make circles. Mine were 7/8" and 3/4" in diameter. (Scissors work too, but I'm lousy at cutting circles out by hand.) I then took the circles and placed them on a piece of craft foam with the plastic wrap side down and gave them another coat of glue. Then I pushed them down into the foam with the blunt end of a marker to make the plate shape and let them dry in the foam, as you do with mini rice paper flowers. (I let them dry overnight because by then it was nearly 11 pm, but I am sure they would have been dry in 10-20 minutes.)

The next day, I tore some scraps of 3 colours of tissue paper that had come wrapped around swap items into teensy pieces about 3/16" square. One piece at a time, I dipped them into a 50/50 water-glue solution then smoothed them (with the colours chosen randomly) onto the plate blanks, which were still in the foam, using a paintbrush and a wet pinkie finger to remove any wrinkles. The overlaps and odd shaped bits became part of the design. When they looked good, I let them dry for a few minutes, then removed each one in turn from the foam, trimmed off and smoother any ragged edges, and placed it back in the foam. Finally, I brushed on two (3?) coats of glue, and when everything was dry, removed them from the foam and peeled off the plastic wrap, revealing some really groovy retro glassware.