Sunday, April 18, 2021

Getting Crafty pt II

 Decided to go a little off script and try to make some furnishings using leftover styrofoam, foamcore and other stuff around the house.  I had some hits and some misses.  Here's what I made:

1. First I cut some shapes using a boxcutter and glued on a foamcore base so it would sit flat.  Then I applied the black paint & Mod Podge combo.  For pillars, I tore off chunks to simulate ruin.  For the doors, I carved in bricks and a door design with a dull pencil.  For the rest, I didn't do anything, because the porous quality of the foam looked good already. I stuck screws in the tall pieces to keep them bottom heavy before I stuck on the base.

2. Next, I painted everything grey.  I wanted a good amount of paint on these because I knew from Youtube videos that spray propellant 'eats' styrofoam (but the paint protects it).

3. After that, I made a light green wash to simulate moss/gunk and dabbed it on here and there.

4.  Next came the highlights/drybrush.  I didn't have white - which would have been better, so I used beige and yellow.  Not ideal, but OK.  I find it hard to 'load' the right amount on the brush at this stage.

5. Almost done now.  The 2nd last step is a blackwash.  I had to give it 2 coats to get the right look.

6. Last step: Clearcoat spray.  I found 1 coat was enough this time.

Verdict: Pretty good.  I'm happy with most pieces.  I am glad I put the screws in to weight them down, though I do think that they still feel too light.  A breeze could knock it all over. If the floor tiles are only 98% flat, they make the whole setup move around on the table... not great.  In the end.  It all looks good enough, but is it useful?

That's why, if I did it all again (and I might), I would at least do the floor tiles a different way.

I had one of these bathroom tiles left over from a reno.  They are nice and heavy.  3"x6" exactly, too!  And...perfectly flat.  

You could mount the foamcore on top, but I also had some of this...

So I sculpted the grout on the tile with a Q tip with the end cut off.  The stuff is not very easy to work with, but eventually I got this result. (You can see I tried it on foamcore too.)

Final result:

This is my favorite piece.  But I only have one.

Not everything worked well though.  I did one more experiment and it failed, overall.  I tried to make some 'Dirt' tiles.  I used paint, spraypaint, glue (which pulled up the foamcore and made it too concave to sit flat) and ... actual dirt.  Overall, it came out ugly and, I think, unusable. Maybe if I mount it to wood or something really stiff, it might be salvageable... or maybe it was just a learning experience.

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