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Sprockets Trip to Ace Hardware

January 8, 2010

All of us at Art Glitter (where I work) have become totally enamored with the new design trend ‘steampunk’. We were introduced to it by Elizabeth (the youngest of the group of course), and liked it so much we have designed our CHA booth around it so people will know what to do with glitter and a steampunk theme.

We noticed our good friend Tim Holtz has a line of products perfect for this design called: idea-ology. Great stuff, we emailed him and he sent some to us immediately. idea-ology products by Tim HoltzHere is our favorite: sprocket gears. I can only show you the back of the package because we used them all immediately!

Feeling downtrodden but not to be creatively stifled, Debrey, Nancy and I decided to go to Ace Hardware (at lunch time because “Holly’s Deli” located inside the store has excellent food at a great price!) and find some sprockets and gears on our own.

So we started off looking though all the bins, acting like we knew what we were doing, (collectively we’d had been there about a dozen times) but everything was way expensive. A knowledgeable salesman came to our rescue and pointed out that we were in the blue bins (stainless steel) and should be in the yellow bins (crap metal I guess). Of course he wanted to know what project we were working on and we tried to explain the steampunk design in terms a humble crafter in his own right could understand. I don’t think he really cared, but he seemed genuine in his desire to help. So he just stood back and watched as these three women opened EVERY bin, frequently exclaiming “Oh how cute” and “Pretty”. Adjectives I’m sure he has never heard about the gadgets and gears in this aisle. We were spread across the length of aisle and would have to run excitedly towards each other whenever we found a new gem. The ones that had natural patinas on them were held in very high regard. Debrey, as the office manager and our money mentor had the last say on each item as we joyfully filled our baggies and wrote the prices on them, since by this time we truly were experts in the ways of hardware stores. I’m sure they’ve watched the security video several times in an attempt to understand what just happened.

Very happy with our frugalness and deftness we neared the check out counter and we immediately realized that we didn’t need to have so many baggies. There were plainly several lines on each bag and we could have conserved our baggie consumption. Sorry Mother Earth. Then we got the bill…$35 for our loot. Hmmm, didn’t expect that.

sprockets loot

Still we went back to work in the knowledge that we had done our best.

Later that night Debrey went home to her lovely husband Ray and asked him kindly if he had any sprockets. Ray said “hmmm”, ascended the ladder in their garage, grabbed a tin can with a paper label taped to the top that read “Sprockets”. I got to tell you, they are the most beautiful sprockets I have ever seen, perfect sizes, perfect coloring, perfect shapes. That he had attained at a garage sale for a pittance no less. Sigh.

Here’s a taste of what Debrey has done with all our gadgets.

Steampunk collage by Debrey Taylor

So anyway, for the sprocket forlorn of you who don’t have the advantage of a garage sale tin full of the real deal. Here’s a little tutorial on how to patina your ‘new’ gears and gadgets.

sprockets, washersLay your gadgets out flat on a mat board or newspapers.

Spray with inks, spray paint, I used Memory Mists from Superior. Or just brush on acrylic paint if you don’t have any sprays.

sprockets drying with heat gunHeat and dry paint with a heat tool. Add colors and heat in between colors until you are satisfied with look. I like to start with a redish brown, a blue spray in between and finish with a yellow/greenish layer.

Spray with a matt finish.

The flat washers don’t really hold the paint and will rub off if you try, but some spots will stay, giving a nice natural look.

faux patina sprocketsYou only need to do one side. And your mat board looks cool too!

Have fun; I’m going garage saleing tomorrow! (I know saleing is not a real word, but I’m certainly not going sailing tomorrow!)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Tricia permalink
    January 9, 2010 5:42 pm

    Congrats for getting started, Em–It looks good! Tricia ( and yes…. Elizabeth has a way…:_)

  2. Elizabeth permalink
    January 12, 2010 10:12 am

    Hey-I’m famous! Love the blog, love the projects, but I think they could use more wires….oh I’m just incorrigible! 😉

  3. January 12, 2010 4:22 pm

    Yes, Elizabeth does have a way…you is bad girl!

  4. January 26, 2010 9:30 am

    what a cool project- I will definitely have to head to my local Ace Hardware!

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