Reported by Melissa Norris
I think besides coloring or projects in school, some of the first crafts I ever created were of altered items; mostly personalizing picture frames or projects for school. My love for altering has definitely grown from there. The choices are endless when it comes to purchasing blank items that are begging for some Mod Podge or paint, but for this article I decided to go with giant clothespins.
The one I'm altering came from Michaels for $1.99US and is made by Provo Craft but they can also be found from places like Oriental Trading Company and Eclectic Paperie. They can be found in plain wood or already finished in white or another color so choose what would work best for your project.
I started by tracing the large flat side onto the back of my paper. I also chose to cut out the 1/4 inch where the wire sits because I wanted that look but you could also cover it completely. I brushed some Mod Podge on with a cheap foam brush and placed my paper. Here's an important tip; make sure you take some sort of flat edge (bone folder, ruler, I used a Pampered Chef scraper) and run it along the paper to get all the bubbles out. Keep running it over a few times so that the glue gets tacky and holds the paper down. Repeat this step for the other side.
For the sides I used the reverse side of my designer paper (2 sided Au Chocolat by Stampin' Up) for a nice contrast but you could keep it the same if you like or not cover it at all. I cut 3/4 inch strips, which is the widest part of the side, then traced the shape on the back side. After tracing the shape, I held the cut out piece onto the clothespin to make final trims so that it fit well. Then again I attached it with Mod Podge and ran the scraper over it to remove the bubbles and did both sides.
After letting it dry for a few hours (while I watched Greys Anatomy *hehe*) I came back and sanded the edges with a fine grit sanding block to remove any bits that went over an edge and to give it a more finished look. It also makes it more smooth to the touch. After sanding, make sure you wipe the clothespin down with a towel to remove any dust. After this I covered the entire clothespin with another coat of Mod Podge to seal it. Put as many coats as you feel is necessary. My clothespin will be used in my kitchen to hold recipes, so I put 3 light coats of Mod Podge since there will be steam and food splatters and stuff.
After the final coats are dry comes the fun part, embellishing. I chose to limit my embellishments to a few ribbons since I have a 1 & 1/2 year old running around who thinks these are super fun and likes to grab them off the counter. But you could add ribbons, chipboard, flowers, and any number of fun items.
I really enjoyed making this clothespin and am working on another one for my office. They are so handy for holding quick things like notes or recipes or could be used alone to hold pictures or the cards you've made or received. So go pick one up and pull out those scraps of designer paper and make something beautiful!!