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  • Writer's pictureanupcycledartist

Talk About a Huge Waste!

A couple of years ago, a neighbor of mine's daughter and her boyfriend owned a charming, little, vegan cafe right on Fort Myers Beach. The food was great, and business was doing exceptionally well. And then along came Hurricane Ian that pretty much levelled everything, including the building that their business was operating in.

With no business and no building, there was no need to rent a storage unit to keep their extra supplies. I was so excited when I was offered to take some of them that included heavy-duty brown paper bags with handles, small plastic containers with lids, sandwich picks (I now make sandwiches and pretend I own a little sandwich shoppe), and some mason jars that were in no way affiliated with the Masonic Temple. Oh, and this below...

I thanked her for everything, but said I couldn't use this 8-quart, 11" high with a 9" diameter, ginormous container, but she put a stipulation on it. If I wanted the other items, I HAD to accept the container. I pleaded again and said I had no use for it as it would not fit in my refrigerator, freezer, or cupboard... I just had to put my foot down. So, I lug this humungous, plastic, measuring cannister up to my condo and placed it on the floor of my arts & crafts room. Every time I would enter the room, I would look at it (I mean, I couldn't miss it as it was almost as tall as me!) and couldn't think of what to do with it. As far as I was concerned, it was just taking up space.

Then came this past Christmas and both Stephen and I caught that horrible, upper respiratory funk that half of the country got. Suddenly, big gargantuan storage container found its' special purpose, not to be confused with Steve Martin's 'special purpose' in the movie, The Jerk, though... It instantaneously became the official bedroom wastebasket, and it contained at least a box of used tissues daily for two weeks. <cringe>

Moving forward, I decided last week that the enormous container was deserving of a makeover to continue its' new role as a wastebasket. To begin its' transformation, I applied two (2) coats of gesso on it. This stuff is excellent as a base on plastic, by the way. Then I tore off single plies of tissue backings from decorated napkins and tore them into 1" - 2" long strips. I then painted on matte Mod Podge over the gesso and applied the strips on top making sure to maneuver them to create several folds. I did this all around the entire container except for the rim area. I then painted on another coat of the Mod Podge on top to seal. I did two (2) layers of the napkin strips to really give it a lot of texture.

Now this next step was a first for me. I tried using these two (2) products below and it turned into this glamorous, luminous, pearl-like finish. I love when experiments pan out.

I used a 3:1 ratio, 3 tsps. of the glaze to 1 tsp. of the pigment powder. I stirred both of the products together until the substance was thick and creamy, then painted it all over the tissue wrinkled areas. I only needed one (1) coat because it was so thick. I wish my camera could have captured the opalescent colors of greens, blues, violets, pinks, etc. that shine, especially when held in the light. I am definitely going to be using this mixture again on something. It's just so beautiful to me. For some reason, Joe Cocker is in my head now...

Now for the rim which was the most fun. All I did was paint this area with black acrylic paint to begin.

I then painted the handles gold and decided that I wanted some polka dots on the black painted area, so I added some by cheating. Oh yes! I took a piece of white cardstock and a paper punch and punched away. It works if you want perfect dots done easy - every time. LOL! I used some glue and applied them on along with some paper beads I made from newspaper. I finished up by using some black & white checkered ribbon that I also glued down.

I forgot to mention that if you are using a super thick glaze, you don't have to worry about the paper dots falling off. This glaze also comes out looking like glass, no?

And now introducing an unusual one-of-a-kind wastebasket ...

See, sometimes it's good to get wasted! ;)

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