10 Dec

‘Tis the {Craft Fair} Season

DIY painted dishes

Is it seriously Monday again already??

These last days of the year are whipping by and I wish I could say I’m lounging around lazily enjoying lattes and foot massages but I most certainly am not. Instead, I am going freakin’ crazy {my fave state of mind btw} preparing for a craft show this weekend.

Back when I schlep’d Tupperware I participated in a few of these but the preparation was so simple: 1. Set up a table. 2. Pull out the plastic. 3. Drink coffee. Now? Yeah, not quite that easy. I sorta forgot that *making* my own products would need to be factored into the planning timetable. Whoops!

Anyhow, I’m running at full steam whipping out uber awesome things. I’m not quite ready to post them but I will give you a few sneak peeks and update later this week with the full reveal. (how’s that for tossing out a meatbone of anticipation ~ I’m learning, I’m learning!)

What I will share are the ho-hum GoodWill plates that got doctored up for last Saturday’s Women’s Brunch at church.

Now, I’m going to be as honest as possible with this tutorial because, while I’ve seen similar posts all over Pinterest, not one of them tells you that it is a PITA project. Seriously. It isn’t as easy peasy as *they’d* have you believe and I’m here to shatter that facade.

To start, I picked up an array of somewhat similar plates ~ the most expensive being $0.99 ~ and some paint pens from HobLob (don’t forget your coupon!)

I did some research on the toxicity of the pens and determined that since no one was going to be guzzling a pint of the paint, they were no less safe than any preservatives added to the food that would sit on top of them and went with it.

(Elmers has a non-toxic version & HobLob carries it. So if you’re really concerned I would recommend that as an alternative.)

After trying quite unsuccessfully to use a stencil & spray adhesive (bleed city) I freehanded the design and let it sit (all over the kitchen table and counters) for 24 hours to dry.

Then I popped the plates into a cool oven set at 350 degrees for 30 mins (or so, I’m horrible at remembering what time I start anything). The baking process made the house stink, I’m not gonna lie.

When the time was up, I cracked the oven door (and the windows) to let the plates cool in place. Then I pulled them out to oggle the fruits of my labor (get it?)

Now, remember I had a good 30’ish minutes to kill so I continued to survey other blogs for project tips.

I came across this awesome post about using a liquid cleanser (intended for the kitchen & bath) to remove scuffs from ceramic and just happened to have some under the counter.

So I eyed the *COMPLETELY FINISHED* plates sitting on the countertop. I walked over and gave them a once over noticing the scuffs & scratches.

….and then proceeded to soak & scrub each and every one of them.

I am happy to report, though, that most of the plates survived the initial scrubdown and the knife marks were gone. Win, win!

But me being insane me, I repainted every. single. one., let them dry & recooked ’em.

I’m not kidding when I say I do everything twice.

During the (initial) cooking process the design stayed in tact but the color lost some oomph. See how the red turned orange and some of the branches disappeared? No good.

The entire process gave new meaning to ‘lather, rinse & repeat’.

Flash forward to Friday night.

As I was setting up my table, many of the other ladies were already scoping out the competition. (I kid, this is all done in love.) One of them asked where I purchased the plates and it wasn’t until someone else said they’d “never seen a complete set of dishes” at The Will that I caught the compliment. They didn’t believe I had created a one of a kind dinnerware set (for under $20!).

The look on their faces when I (humbly, I hope) set the record straight was heartwarming. This post is dedicated to them for making me feel accomplished. (Thank you, thank you!)

While I am *SO FAR* from being legit in this DIY small business, it elated my soul to know that I am at least headed down the right path. Finally. But I can’t take credit…

Anyhow, the church event was magnificent and filled me with the Christmas spirit.

Oh just so we’re clear, there were no cases of (human) lead poisoning and everyone (of  the ceramic kind) made it through the final rinse cycle unscathed! I wish I could say the same for my dining room table. Did you know that it’s not a suitable ironing board substitute? Sigh – guess refinishing the top will go on the 2013 Bucket List.

The rest of the table decor is now hanging out on my mantle.

Next week, I’m hoping to tackle a few of the crazy cool projects I’ve seen posted on millions of blogs recently (like this one) and get the tree up. I’ll be hosting our care group’s Christmas party soon so my house will actually be cleaned! (yes, I promise to take an obscene amount of photos for proof)

For now, I’m busily creating the craft fair items. Hopefully, someone will think they are good enough to wrap up and put under the tree for someone special.

If not, guess what you’re getting from me?? (insert evil laugh here)

I hope you are having an equally productive day. Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think of the plates, my messy kitchen table or life in general.

7 thoughts on “‘Tis the {Craft Fair} Season

  1. What An Awesome Idea. Just Found Your Blog And Can't Wait To Look Through It. I Love Your Writing Style.

  2. Your table turned out so pretty. I love the plates and thanks for being honest on the whole process. I have seen lots of versions and your right they make it seem easy. Thanks for linking to the Our Favorite Things Link Party.

    • Thanks Karri. I intend to give all the ups & downs on projects in my blog recap so readers know what to expect should they venture down a similar project path.

  3. you must have loads of patience. Years ago I took ceramics classes. Back then it was the thing to do. I loved playing with the glazes and underglazes. could not do that in your own oven though, needed a kiln. A lovely look you have there, but I know I could never do it.

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