Sunday, March 14, 2010

Maximum mass o' marbles

A few weeks ago this space showed off some glass marble sun catchers inspired by a project from another blog.

Since that first day of inhaling adhesive fumes we've been considering the different decorations that could be created with a bunch of flat-back marbles and glue. Several ideas have crossed our minds, but this one was driving me nuts.

We love candles as it is, but consider the joy with a bouncing flame behind a wall of marbles! Yay! (Click on the photos for a larger view).

I chose a heavy-duty piece of stemware from Libby's Dollar Tree glassware (Dollar Tree stocks several different types of stemware ... these are the short, chubby, thick-as-soda-bottle glasses). If you try this project, be sure to choose a glass with a large bowl and mouth and thick glass. These are important factors for candle burning and application of marbles.

The adhesive I used, Aleen's Platinum Bond 7800, is advertised as being non-flammable, but I wouldn't take chances: Do not put a candle in or near this project until it's fully set (about 24 hours).

Also, this product comes with one of those piercing lids. You know the kind -- to open the container, remove lid, pierce top of tube, etc. Normally there's not much reason to worry about finessing this step. Pop off the lid, pierce the top and glue away.

However, this stuff can easily get away, slopping everywhere, so take a minute to carefully pierce only a small opening for the glue to escape.

When you've got the glue open, a clean glass, a protected work surface and a pile of marbles you're ready to create!

Start with a "line" or a "dotted ring" of glue around the top of the glass, about three quarters of inch from the rim.*

To ensure your adhesive has the best chance of drying securely, dip each marble in the line or dots of glue and set aside, in order of dipping, moving along the line until the line or dots have all been dipped.

Then, beginning from the first dipping point, apply the pre-dipped marbles. As much as possible, simply place the marble in it's appropriate spot and then, with a finger on the inside and another on the outside, holding the marble, pinch the marble into the adhesive.

Once you have a full circle of marbles, set the glass upright. The glue is not yet set, but this line of marbles is what will help you to apply the remaining lines.

So, for the next hour to two hours, flip the glass repeatedly to ensure the drying adhesive doesn't let the marbles slide (I flipped my glass every 20 minutes and was able to move on to the remaining marble lines in less than two hours).

*For each line of marbles, repeat the glue line, dip and application process. If you notice that the marbles are moving too much, stop and do the wait, flip, wait, flip thing until they've stiffened again.

After the entire globe is covered in marbles ... and the glue has dried ... you've got a candle holder that throws beautiful, dancing lights on surrounding surfaces.

Next time I'm going to choose a vessel with straight sides so I can ensure a more linear design. Also, I'll add a bit of tile grout to cover up the glue that shows around the edges of the marbles.

1 comment:

  1. just beautiful..i can only imagine the lovely dancing lights..tfs..loves ya