Fabulous Fire Screen

You remember that we bought our house in January 2016. We continue to work on it a little here little there. Last January I started renting the extra room through Airbnb. Both chimneys in the house are closed so you can’t use them as traditional fireplaces. I still want to have the impression of a functioning fireplace in the dining room. So, I decided to use candles in the firebox and make a stained glass look fire screen.

If you would like to make one here is what you need:

  • A wood framed window of the appropriate size;
  • Shelf brackets for feet;
  • Glass paints;
  • Brushes;
  • Ice cube tray;
  • Dry-erase marker;
  • Miscellaneous tools;
  • Wood paint;
  • Wood glue; and,
  • Pattern

I picked up the window at my local ReStore, along with the shelf brackets I used for the feet. The glass paints are from earlier projects. You can find them at Walmart or craft stores.

Clean the frame and the glass. I suggest following up with rubbing alcohol after using traditional window cleaner on the glass.

If you need to paint the window frame, or the brackets, do that prior to beginning to work on the glass. Glass paints need to cure for a good while. You don’t want to risk damaging your work painting or affixing the brackets. Measure, drill pilot holes, and test fit the brackets to the bottom of the window. You should have a slight backward tilt of the window, with the brackets resting flush to the floor, to prevent tipping over forward.

Choose your pattern and enlarge it to fit the window pane. If you can’t do it yourself a quick trip to an office supply store, or any place with a copier will do. Patterns can come from coloring books, magazines, or online sources.

Tape the pattern to the back of the glass. Trace the pattern onto the front with the dry-erase marker. Remove the pattern and place the front side down. You will be painting on the back of the screen, the side closer to the candles.

Pour small amounts of paint into sections of the ice cube tray. Slightly thin all colors with water, except black. Using your black paint, paint all the black outlines first, starting from the top working down. Fill in using the remaining colors. Wipe off marker from the front, check for missed spots.

Allow paint to dry at least one hour before affixing bracket feet.

I do not recommend using this screen in front of a traditional fire. The wooden window frame may ignite. I use candles, or battery powered lights.

Robin’s Upcycle is located in Kanawha County, WV. Open by appointment. Phone 304-460-5NEW (5639). For info, visit facebook.com/robinsupcycle or email robinholstein@gmail.com

Home Silk Screen Hack

It is almost time to prepare for the holiday season. Creating a simple “silk” screen is a great way to create fun holiday themed t-shirts for personal wear or gifting. It is not as difficult as it sounds but does take some time to develop. What you will need for this project is:

  • 1 embroidery hoop.
  • 1 pair of panty-hose or knee-hi hose, appropriate to the size of the hoop.
  • 1 permanent marker pen.
  • 1 bottle of Mod Podge.
  • 1 print-out of your graphic.
  • Straight pins
  • Fabric paint.
  • Paint brushes.
  • Old credit card, plastic putty knife, or similar
  • News paper
  • Clothes hanger

Choose an image or phrase such as Smith Family Christmas 2017. Print it out on paper. You do not need to print a color image, but it must fit within the embroidery hoop.

Stretch the hose over the embroidery hoop and place outer hoop on and secure. Using a paint brush apply Mod Podge on the hose along the inside of the hoop. This will keep the hose from running once you cut them. Wait until the Mod Podge dries and cut the excess away from the embroidery hoop. This is now your “silk” screen. You will be working from the inside of the hoop keeping the outside flat against the fabric when you apply fabric paint.

Affix your graphic to the underside of the hose with pins. This is the side that will touch the shirt fabric. Trace the image onto the pantyhose using the permanent marker.

Once you finish tracing lightly paint the Mod Podge along the outside of your trace marks. This is to seal up the edges. You want to leave the design’s inside spaces open to allow your paint to get through. Using a larger brush seal the entire area outside the design. When you are finished the only part of the screen that is not sealed with Mod Podge is the portion you want fabric paint to go through.

Turn the embroidery hoop over so that the screen is not touching anything. Allow it to completely dry. Then you are ready to print.

Working on a solid surface, insert a few layers of newspaper inside your shirt to prevent paint bleed-through. Place the screen on the shirt so it is flat against the fabric. Apply fabric paint to the screen in the areas NOT sealed. Using your old credit card, putty knife, or similar spread the paint across the screen. Gently lift the screen from the shirt. Slide the clothes hanger into place, remove newspaper and hang to dry.

I’ve used my screen on several types of fabrics. Some took the paint well, some did not. Try it and send me your photo to the email below. I’d love to see your work.

Robin’s Upcycle is located in Kanawha County, WV. Open by appointment. Phone 304-460-5NEW (5639). For info, visit facebook.com/robinsupcycle or email robinholstein@gmail.com