Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Heart and Soul Project with Tim Holtz

The first project we did during the weekend with Tim Holtz at Absolutely Everything was this rolling box featuring "faux metal" techniques.  The class was called "Heart and Soul" (everytime I say or type that I hear the tune on the piano!).

The kits and all of the tools we needed were laid out on our tables.  I liked the large photo on the cover of each instruction set.  I didn't really look at the instructions as we made our projects because Tim was calling out the steps.  It is nice to have the handouts to refer back to so I can remember the techniques that we used.

While the larger items for the projects were sitting on the tables, we also got a baggie full of lots of little metal pieces and some twine in the kits...

We began by cutting up metal foil tape into irregular shapes - keeping them fairly large - and applying the tape to the papier mache heart.  We just needed to cover the front and sides since the back would be hidden in the box.  The foil tape overlaps and creates some seams and ridges. 

Next, we used a variety of tools and objects to make impressions in the foil.  These gigantic pushpins were very helpful for piercing the heart shape.  We also used pens and craft scrapers to make dots, lines and holes.  The wrinkles in the tape are good to add additional texture.  Tim told us we were going to see a lot of ugly before the heart started to look good!

Here is a view of the busy students applying various textures and patterns to the metal foil tape.

After adding all of the dots and lines and holes we used black and a couple of colors of alcohol ink to color the metal foil.  We applied the ink with a bit of cut 'n dry foam.

Here is a closer view of my inked heart.  We then took some fine steel wool and burnished off the ink to reveal the metal again.

Here is my heart after the ink had been burnished off.  Some ink stayed in the creases and the holes and lines we made earlier to produce this aged metal effect.  We used loops of ordinary wire to create the crossed stitches in one section of the heart.

Here is my friend Marilyn Mae with her "faux metal" heart.  We all did basically the same steps but the hearts each had their own character.

We were working with the small square configurations boxes.  The little boxes inside were not used for this project but we took them home to make additional projects on our own.  We painted the box top and bottom with paint dabbers (I used silver).  Then, we used steel wool and other tools to distress the painted finish.  Finally, we applied distress ink with a blending tool to achieve the aged metallic effect (I used Broken China ink - you can see the blue if you look carefully).

The next step was to line the box with this tissue wrapping paper.  We applied the Glue n' Seal to the inside of the box and then crumpled the tissue and smoothed it to fill the inside as a liner.

Once my box was lined, I tested the heart for size and angle before adding it to the box.  We didn't need to worry about being neat at the top edges of the box since the lid would cover the edge.


The same giant push pin that we use to distress the heart also was very helpful in making starter holes for the brads that hold the corner covers in place.  I need to look for these giant push pins next time I go to Staples.

We each had a package of four wheels (used all of these) and eight box corners.  Tim suggested that we only needed one set of four corners and that we should save the other four for another project.

There were holes in the positions for the four wheels.  The quickest and easiest way to add the wheels was to hold the inside screw steady and turn the wheel on the outside of the box.

Once we had lined the box and distressed it, we set it aside.  We added a watch key on the right side of the lid of the box and chose some metal charms to dangle on the chains.  The holes for the wheels and the keys had been done ahead of time for us (as Tim would say, "we" put the holes there for you and when I say "we" I mean "Mario").

We could add all sorts of gears and other mechanical looking pieces to the heart. The kits were all very generous with supplies and we usually had extra pieces that we could save and use for another project.

We added a pull string and you can actually wheel the box around like a child's pull toy.  Here is my final project flat on the table.

Here is the example Tim made - you can see that the extra bits and pieces dangle off the clock key on the right.  The light bulb, wing and Viewmaster disc were adhered with a glue gun.

I am using the same technique (with a few variations) on another project that I hope to post later this week.  If you have any questions about what we did be sure to leave a comment and I'll try to explain better.  I didn't take as many photos during the class as I usually do on my projects at home so there may be something that I skipped over...

It has been very cold and rainy here - 50 degrees in June after 80 degree weather in March? - something is not right with that!  I hope that summer has reached you - maybe it will arrive here by this weekend...

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  1. Hi Diane, Thanks for this post. It refreshed my memory on the different steps for this project. You took good notes. Thanks for sharing. It was so much fun to meet you and to share TH's experience with you.

  2. OH wow this is very very cool. I would love to take a TH class. Maybe I should start a bucket list. LOL

  3. Great tutorial on this Diane. I hope one day to take a class with Tim. Yes, it is cold here in New England. I'm ready for summer!!!TFS, Mary

  4. oh, if only tim would come to michigan....i would take his class in a heartbeat. great projects, and his techniques can be used is so many projects....thanks for sharing.


  5. Hi Diane! Thanks for sharing your heart project. I love all the pieces you used.


    Carmen L


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