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Thursday, May 7, 2009

25 Uses for Crystal Effects

Here are some great tips and fun uses for Crystal Effects that I found on Scrapbooking.com:

Crystal Effects is also known as 3-D Crystal Lacquer. It is a water based lacquer that adds depth and texture to your hand stamped projects. Crystal Effects will appear "cloudy" as it is applied but it will dry to a crystal clear sheen. The favorite way stampers like to use this product is to apply it to areas where they would like a 3-D look or "raised effect" . . . whatever you apply it to will seem to j-u-m-p right off the paper. However, there are other fun and fabulous ways to use Crystal Effects and I've listed a few below but first let's get the basics down.

Tips for using Crystal Effects:
* Use and store Crystal Effects at room temperature.

* Allow Crystal Effects to dry completely before handling. Thin coats will take only a few minutes but thicker coats may take a half hour or longer to dry completely. If you handle before it is dry you risk adding your fingerprints to your art work.

* To prevent bubbles, Crystal Effects should not be shaken.

* Prior to use, place the bottle upside down in a coffee cup, letting any air bubbles that might be in the bottle to raise to the top. This will keep bubbles from appearing in your finished project.

* Start by slowly applying the Crystal Effects and try to NOT pick the tip up off of the project until it is completely covered. Viola . . . no air bubbles. The key is to move slowly and do not lift tip from surface during application until you are finished. This way there are no air bubbles being “blown in” to your work. It may take you a little longer to get all of you work covered, but the outcome, is well worth it!

* The tip of the bottle may become clogged. To prevent this from happening place bottle upright on table and allow the Crystal Effects to drain back down into the bottle. Then you can use a piece of plastic coated wire (such as a straightened, plastic coated paper clip) to clear the tip of the bottle before you seal it. If the tip does become clogged, use a paper clip to open a pathway for the Crystal Effects to flow smoothly. Keep the paper clip attached to the bottle by wrapping a rubber band around the bottle and sticking paper clip in it. If you find your tip really clogged just unscrew the cap and rinse with warm water. Then dry and replace cap.

* To achieve a thicker coating of Crystal Effects apply several thin coats. If you try to apply it all at once you may cause the dye ink underneath to blur or "feather." Also, Crystal Effects is water based, so if too much is applied at once the paper may buckle.

*Do not use heat gun to speed dry time. It becomes extremely “bubbly” and unattractive.

Traditional Use of Crystal Effects:
#1: Layer it on your projects to give a smooth glass-like finish.

Spot Gloss: Apply a thick layer of Crystal Effects directly to the stamped image with the applicator tip. Let dry completely (about 30 - 60 minutes) before handling.

All-Over Gloss: Use a paintbrush to apply a thin, even coat of Crystal Effects to the entire image. Let dry (about 3-5 minutes).

#2: Use the applicator tip to apply a thicker layer of Crystal Effects to "select elements" of your design to add emphasis. Apply a second or third coat if your first layer was not standing up off your paper enough to please you. Some ideas are to apply it to leaves, flower petals, insects, teacup, umbrella, window, eyeglasses, Christmas ornaments.

#3: Simulate dew on a petal by adding little droplets to flowers. You can also add it to the petals of actual dried flowers or fake plastic ones. This really does look like dew and you won't spend a fortune buying designers ones from stores.

#4: Highlight only special lines on an image such as the squiggle in the Sketch a Party or the Season's Sketches sets.

#5: Use Crystal Effects to outline your image. This provides the look of embossing without needing the heat gun. This looks especially inviting when used as "frosting" of a cake, like in the Sweet Treats or the Announcements set.

#6: Try applying the Crystal Effects in layers. By that I mean apply a thick line of Crystal Effects to the outline of your stamped image. Allow that to dry and then come back with a brush and apply a thinner coat of Crystal Effects to the inside area that you outlined. Allowing time to dry between applications will keep the areas from merging and will add depth and make the image look 3-D. You can also add a 3rd and 4th layer by applying a second coating to an area that has already dried. It will really make your images POP!

#7: It truly gives the look of glass and as such looks wonderful when used on glass items such as the light bulb in the Little Inspirations set or the Christmas lights in the Border Builders set . . . Makes the lights shine. Use Crystal Effects on the fish bowl in the Little Hellos stamp set or use it to create a faux glass "Bug Jar" and use one of the bug sets to stamp some bugs to go in the jar. (Very cute with the Cute as a Bug set.)

# 8: Experiment with different applicators to add textured patterns to your stamp art. Use a paintbrush to apply a thin coat and swirl the bristles to create small circles, half moons, or squiggles to achieve different results. (Think of those large portraits by Olan Mills. that have circles swirled over them to make them look like paintings). Use a stencil brush to dab on Crystal Effects for a rougher texture. Use a sponge to create a spackled look.

Other Fun and Fabulous Ideas for Use:

#9: Use Crystal Effects to seal your shrink art pins. This creates dimension and provides a more exclusive look to your shrink art. This is the perfect way to seal your poly shrink wine charms while providing a great glassy finish.

#10: After applying Crystal Effects to an image, sprinkle a little Dazzling Diamonds glitter on top. This adds more dimensional sparkle than using other types of glue and looks great as candle flames, camp fires, etc.

#11: Create a dimensional paint. Add Crystal Effects to small containers you can find in the paint section of hobby stores and then add a drop or two of Stampin' Up! Classic re-inker and stir using a toothpick. Then apply color as desired to your stamped image allowing a few minutes drying time between colors so they won't blend. This provides truly beautiful results.

#12: Crystal Effects makes the perfect glue for any project!! Use it to attach your poly shrink plastic embellishments, beads, feathers, and bows. It is very strong, great for adding hard to hold magnets, pin backs, and wire to your stamped projects. Be sure to let it dry completely before handling.

#13: Use it to make flat marble magnets or bulletin board tacks. Purchase the glass marbles/pebbles that have a flat side to them in the floral section of craft stores. Then use the circle punch to create the perfect shape to place behind these see-through marbles. Stamp desired image on the card stock circle and color it in using the SU! Markers. Use Krylon Matte Acrylic or use the Krylon Workable Fixative to seal markers. Next, apply Crystal Effects to the flat marble and not to the stamped image. Then press the marble onto the stamped circle. If you don't have the Krylon to seal the markers, applying the Crystal Effects in this manner (to the marble instead of the stamped image) will keep the image colors from smearing. Apply a bit more Crystal Effects and then attach a magnet or push pin to it.

#14: Here's a twist on using it to make the flat, clear marble magnets . . .Trim small school photo to fit the back of the stone. Poor crystal effects directly onto the picture. Then adhere to the back of the stone. Let dry and then add magnet to the back for a refrigerator magnet of your little darlings.

#15: Use it to glue vellum to card stock. It won’t show through. I’ve found the best way to keep vellum from wrinkling or “popping up” after application of CE is to apply it with a fingertip or Q-tip applicator in a very thin coat . . . DO NOT apply it straight from the bottle.

#16: Make Glitter Gloss using Crystal Effects, Dazzling Diamonds or other ultra fine Glitter, and an old paint brush. This is really simple. Squirt out some Crystal Effects onto a scrap of acetate or other non-porous surface. Using a toothpick, stir in some glitter until you have the consistency you want. Then using a paintbrush, brush the glitter gloss onto your stamped art, stamped tiles, polymer beads, etc. When dry, it gives a glossy and sparkly look to your art. Try using this to add glitter to snowcaps made with liquid applique, add highlights to ornaments, Valentine hearts, etc. Anywhere that you want to add a bit of sparkles. You can also use this same homemade glitter gloss on hand painted ceramics and clothing.

#17: Make a Stained Glass Glitter Window. Stamp image on window sheets using Staz On. Allow a second or two to let it dry. Next, use the tip of the Crystal Effects bottle to move it (CE) around to cover each individual area with a thin layer of the CE. While it is still wet, dump on glitter. Only do one color of glitter at a time. let each area dry at least an hour before going to the next color.

#18: Use it for "fray check" on the ends of your ribbon after you have cut them to the desired length.

#19: Place on top of Radiant Pearls or Pearl Ex and get even more pearlescent shimmer and shine.

#20: Use Crystal Effects, stamped tissue paper and Dazzling Diamonds glitter to create beautiful, sparkling ornaments for Christmas or any special occasion.

# 21: Create "Shimmering Pearls" by adding a small amount of Pearl Ex powder to some Crystal Effects. Then apply over your stamp art with a brush.

#22: Add Crystal Effects to areas of images that you've dry embossed and achieve even more "pop"!

#23: Use it to re-glue any stamps that have either come unmounted from the foam or that you took off the wood block because you wanted to trim and re-mount.

#24: Use Crystal Effects to seal beaded pens. After you make your pen, set it into a block of Styrofoam. Let your pen cure (inserted into the Styrofoam) for 24 hours. Then dip the pen upside down into the bottle of crystal effects. Tip it right side up, and insert back into the Styrofoam to dry for another 24 hours. It works like a charm sealing the pen so that he beads won't fall off.

#25: Use Crystal Effects to seal Domino art when you've used chalks or Pearl Ex to color in your image. The Crystal Effects creates a wonderful thick sheen when applied in more than one coat. Or you can use it as a sort of Modge Podge to attach a stamped tissue paper design to the Domino (similar to the candle/tissue paper technique or the glittery glass bulbs technique.)

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Ret said...

i love crystal effect!!!Such a great tool.

Laura said...

Lots of great info here- thanks for sharing it!