Monday, August 20, 2012

A Mad Tea Party Sculpture

I've been wanting to do this project since I saw a tiny teacup jumble jewelry stand at an overpriced department store. Of course, being an overpriced department store, it was almost $70 for a tiny stand that wouldn't hold all of my jewelry if it were able to grow to twice its size. Being me, I immediately said, "Pfft. I can do that." Fast forward almost two years later and I'm just now doing this project... surprising no one. In the meantime, Plutonium Paint was kind enough to send me some of their spray paint to check out, so that was a perfect opportunity for me to make my teacup sculpture.

Here's what you need to make one of your own:

  • Teacups. They can be matching or mismatched. I bought mine at my local Salvation Army for 15 cents per teacup and got a plethora of different teacups - some matching, many not.
  • A plate to stack your teacups on. (Also obtained at the SA for 50 cents.)
  • Some type of adhesive. I used Loctite Epoxy gel & was pretty impressed with its adhesive properties. After I put all the teacups I wanted together, I waited about 5 minutes and flipped the whole thing upside to see how well it would stay together (also known as the Dairy Queen Blizzard test) and it didn't budge an inch. Which is amazing. Most adhesive gels need to "settle" for at least 24 hours before they're at optimum adherence. 
  • Spray paint. As I said before, Plutonium Paint was kind enough to send me some spray paint and I was very impressed. (They're not paying me for this information, by the way.) It covered VERY well. It only took one coat whereas if I were using some of the leading brands, it may take up to 3 or 4 coats. I was able to spray from various angles without it clogging - even upside down. You definitely don't need a primer with this spray paint, so ultimately, you'd save money because you'd use less paint and wouldn't need a primer. It doesn't even drip if you overspray. I tried to misuse this paint every way that was possible and it still looked beautiful regardless of anything I did to mess it up. It dried very quickly and you want to know what the best part was? IT SMELLED LIKE VANILLA WHEN IT DRIED. I've already put the sculpture on top of a bookshelf and can't stop sniffing in its general direction when I pass by there. It's almost become a problem. Almost. 
Okay. So... to make your very own delightful teacup sculpture, first you need to clean your teacups to make sure there isn't any adhesive from the tiny price stickers. When I was done doing that, I placed all of the teacups out so I could choose which ones I wanted to use. As you can tell, I was also indulging in my current Netflix addiction, 30 Rock. What you can't see from this picture is the delectable Bloody Mary I was also also indulging in. I don't know who introduced me to olives in Bloody Marys, but god bless that individual.

Unfortunately, there would be no spray painting inside this particular day, so I had to turn 30 Rock off and go outside. Mainly because my boyfriend has forbidden me from spray painting inside. Again. >.>

Set up your teacups and plate on whatever you're choosing to spray paint on and get to spraying. 

Normally, I'd admonish you all to spray carefully and evenly with light, even strokes in the same direction, taking care to not overspray. I did that with all of the teacups, but with the plate, I tried my "misuse" approach. No dice. It looked just like the teacups - evenly covered and painted with no splotches of paint. Freaking amazing. 

Once everything is dry, take them back inside to start putting everything together. This is where the fun of mixing your epoxy gel comes in. I bought the kind that has two plungers in one container to avoid putting forth great effort. Remember: I'm lazy. 

Once the epoxy gel was mixed, I used a toothpick to apply it to the teacups so they wouldn't fall down all willy nilly like teacups are wont to do. 

Once I was through putting the teacups in the positions I preferred and let the epoxy dry, I sadly discovered that it dries... white-ish.  

Nice. So back to the spray paint I went. 

In the end, the teacup sculpture looks great.

I'll probably end up putting it in our bedroom to save it from the kittens from Hell. God forbid I could ever own a normal pet.

 Seriously. What kind of cat seduces the camera? It's not right.