Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vintage Easter 3D Collage - Upcyled Reese's Packaging!!

Yes, you read that right....I'm upcycling (I still can't get used to that term) a Reese's Easter packing for my next project!  My son was shopping at Wal-Mart the other day and saw that Reese's had a pretty large Easter Egg treat and bought me one because he knew how much I LOVE them. 

Well, when I pulled the egg out of this package I KNEW I was going to make something out of it.  It was just too perfect not to use!  Of course I had to eat the egg first - LOL!!

Which brings me to a question I rec'd the other day.  Mandy e-mailed asking why I tend to use so many packaging products or what other people call trash in my art.  I know many people think I'm on a "Green" kick but to be perfectly honest that's not the reason at all....I am proud to say I'm a pack-rat!  I have been for as long as I can remember ~ I had notes from friends in Kindergarten (until mom sold my childhood jewelry box that is) but it's not trash in my eyes, it's potential art.    I can see the hidden beauty in just about anything so why not use it.  I find it much more challenging and rewarding to turn what some might consider garbage into art.  I guess it's just my "thing".

Anyway, this is the plastic packaging the egg came in....

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We're only going to be using the larger "egg" section but don't throw away the back section, we'll do something with that next week ;)

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The first think I did was to trim off a big hunk of the upper portion of the plastic then did a finer cut around the egg shape leaving about .25" edge around the upper egg shape.  I didn't cut any of the bottom portion away because this will turn into the stand area and part of the collage.

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Here it is standing up....

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The first thing I did was to paint the inside of the egg with a coat of gesso.  This will get rid of the "slippery" factor you get with plastic and it also gives a nice tooth for any medium that will follow.

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While the gesso is drying I tore up a page from an old dictionary.  You could use any book page, pattern paper, tissue paper, napkins, etc.  Whatever tickles your fancy.

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One thing I did want to mention about pages from books.  They usually have a white margin around the entire page.  I normally tear this blank area off and discard it.  The whole point is the using the text.

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After the gesso is dry, I set a few large washers in the base.  I did so for a couple reasons.  First, it helps stabilize the egg while I'm working on the top part and second I will glue them in permanently a bit later to stabilize the actual collage.
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Now it's time to start gluing the page pieces into the egg.  I like to use Collage Pauge from Aleene's.  I've tried all sorts and find it works great.  It's readily available at most craft stores, averaged priced, cleans up easy and is nice to work with.  You of course can use whatever glue you like.
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I apply one piece at a time and smooth it around all of the humps and bumps in the packaging.

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Once you've covered the upper egg portion, remove the washers and cover the interior of the base with paper.  I also add a piece over each stack of washers.
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Then I glue the washers to the bottom of the base.  It's now time to let the entire piece dry.  Depending on temps, humidity, amount of glue used, etc. it may take a while.
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While the glue is drying I printed several Altered Pages collage images I will be using in the collage.  Notice the large sheet is a full size sheet of collage images printed half size.  I also digitally clipped, re sized and printed two additional images that will be the main focus of the collage.

Whenever I use images that I print myself I always seal them with Micro Glaze.  It makes inks, paints, etc. waterproof and permanent.  Super important when working with wet mediums such as glues, inks, paint, etc.

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I know it may seem expensive but trust me a very tiny dab will do.  The small images are approx. 2" square and to cover each image is simply touch my finger tip to the Micro Glaze.  That's all you need for an image this size.   I've had this same tiny jar for 4 years and it's still more than half full!

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After you have covered each image you need to let the Micro Glaze dry completely.

Since I'm waiting on everything to dry we'll pick it up here tomorrow!
So, that means you have time to run out and buy one or two of the Giant Reese's Eggs....
For the packaging of course...
and if you can't bring yourself to eat the egg it's self,
I know someone in Indiana who'd be happy to help you out there ;)


  1. LOL! Loving it so far! Can't wait to see the rest!

  2. Really too much fun~I can tell already I am gong to have to go and get me one of those eggs!

  3. Roni this is soooo cool!! You left me hanging in suspense - it's like an art soap opera! lol

  4. I can't wait to see it finished.

  5. Hi Roni -

    Thank God there is someone else like me - LOL! My husband thinks I'm nuts when I see him getting ready to throw out something and I grab it from him. To him its junk, to me it has the potential to be art! I love how your piece is coming along. Can't wait to see what comes next.
    I love Micro Glaze. I first learned about Micro Glaze about 5 or 6 years ago in a class I took with Mary Jo McGraw (absolutely awesome lady). Mary Jo showed us so many things we could do with Micro Glaze, she used it as a resist. I use it like you do to protect what I've printed from bleeding when I apply wet mediums. I also will buff it after it has dried and man can you get some wonderful shine! And it does go a long way. I of course didn't think it would when Mary Jo told me, so I had to buy 3. P.S., I'm still on my first little jar and I use it a lot! I ended up giving one to my sister and kept the other as backup - LOL!

    Elaine Allen

  6. Thanks again for your awesome tutorial! Your tip about using the washers as weights is fabulous. I am going to have to break down and get some gesso, even though I already have "too many" supplies, according to my hubby that is! My favorite Easter treat are the Cadbury eggs (which many feel are way too sweet, but that's what I love about them!)

  7. I can't tell you how many times I've stared and stared at some packaging before I decide to recycle or not. Thanks for the tip about micro glaze. Up to this point I've been spraying my printed images with workable fixative which has nasty chemicals in it.

  8. Your work is so inspirational. I really enjoy how you see the art in mundane items - i.e. trash!

    I see things the same way - but my hubby is trying to break me from my pack rat ways - sigh.

    THanks for following my blog!


  9. Hi,
    Thank you for this:)

    How long roughly does Microglaze take to dry & what does it mean to buffer the item, how do I do that?

    I'm printing emails etc printed on an hp printer with dye based inks & I want to protect them from water damage. When I put the microglaze on the text it seemed to show up all the time, should it be like that?

    By the way, I'm in the UK & have been buying myself some mini Cadbury's eggs - they're brill:)


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!