Friday, May 6, 2016

 Here's a short tutorial for faux alligator texture for mini suitcases, etc.

You will need:
Cardboard item (Suitcase, Hatbox, Trunk)
(I cut out a suitcase pattern (found online) from shirt cardboard or cereal box will work, too)
Any Brown color acrylic paint, watered down to make a thin glaze (about half paint, half water)
Glossy Accents, Mod Podge, Judikins Diamond Glaze, or similar
Brownish Sharpie marker
Alcohol Swabs or Alcohol and Kitchen paper towel
Picture from internet of alligator skin/hide

Start by assembling your item then add a wash of your brown acrylic paint. Don't use too much or your card will warp. (You could paint it then weight it before you assemble)
You don't want this to be a really dark color as this will show through the Glossy Accents later.

When dry, follow picture of alligator hide and dot on your Glossy Accents with a light hand to get small irregular dots all over.
For the larger bumps in the center add a line down the center of each dot after they are dry.
Let all of this dry very well.

Go over the whole object with the brown Sharpie. After this dries rub lightly with your alcohol swabs to remove the marker from the tops of the Glossy Accent dots. The Sharpie marker will stay on the card in between and you are left with a realistic gator hide look.
Depending on how your card soaks up the marker and how dark you may want those areas in between the dots you may need to repeat the layers of marker and wiping with alcohol. Also, color between the dots with your marker.
Part 2 of the Wire Laundry Basket

Here it is at long last....
It is very difficult to find enough time to write up a tutorial and add pictures nowadays!
Sorry you have had to wait all this time.

This circle of metal came from a used flood light bulb. It was at the base of the metal socket.

These are the tabs I cut for my connectors.

I didn’t think of it until after my basket was made but you can use these instead of cutting a bunch of tabs from the metal and curling them. And also use them for the bottom of the basket on those brackets.

When you get your pieces together they should look like this Make sure your curls on each end are facing the same way.

Take one of your circles and thread one “leg” of one piece on, then thread another piece on the same way. Then thread the second leg of the first piece on. The third piece will then be threaded onto the circle the same way, just the first “leg” then you will thread on the second leg of the second piece and so on until you have all of them on. When crossing the legs, cross them all the same way. And remember your loops and connectors will curl over to the outside of the basket to avoid snagging your laundry.

Thread the other ends on your second circle in the same way.


 Adjust your pieces so that their legs are approximately the same distance apart. Trim the circles’ ends leaving enough to make a loop on each end to hook together. Close the loops to hold the ends and keep them from unfastening.  Indicated by the arrow in the top right corner

Measure the bottom of your basket to make sure you don’t get your “v” pieces legs too long. Don’t forget to allow for a small circle in the middle for them to connect to.
I put my bottom in before I thought of the next idea. Get yourself some of these crimp tubes and thread your “leg” wires onto them before making your end curls. Then make a tight circle with a curl on one end. Thread your pieces onto the circle through the crimp tube. Make a curl on the other end of the circle to hook to the other end.
When making brackets to create the bottom, leave the loops on the ends of the “legs” open enough to hook onto the outer edge of the circle. Close each loop with pliers after placing on your bottom ring. If you want to get really particular with your measurements and spacing you can figure out how many you will need to make to evenly space them. I was in too big a hurry to finish mine!

I straightened out 4 jumbo paper clips and measured and cut 4 PIECES 3 INCHES LONG. Fold in the center and pinch together a foot; use the pliers to angle it out a little and then pull the sides out as shown. Clip the ends even before adding curls to each. Curl the ends to the back.

This is how the legs should look…..leave enough room to loop the curls onto the bottom circle of your basket.

This shows the feet in place. I added braces by cutting 4 wires (cut these to match the width of your circle-mine were around 2 ½ inches) and curling each end for the 4 sides and then measured and cut 2 cross braces for the center. I looped them onto the sides as shown.

The basket does collapse down on itself and I use a ring of wire inside placed along the middle to keep it open and standing when expanded.  I haven’t been able to make the bottom part collapse and fold up as it does in real life. In real life the whole thing folds flat and can be hung on the wall.
I made this thing by looking at a picture. I would like to have access to a real life one to see how the bottom folds.
If I can figure it out I will update everyone.