Wednesday, June 13, 2007

CD Pins Step by Step

I can't believe how much email I have received on these simple little pins! Request, after request for instructions.. No comments on my blog.. just REQUESTS!! Oh well.. in honor of those requests.. and with respect to those who have written similar articles and instructions, here goes:

First, the CD Pin project uses recycled CD's.. YES.. those darn things that AOL kept sending you in the mail over and over again for years.. And, yes.. those sample things you still receive in the mail, the old computer programs and games that are no longer compatible with your current version of windows and/or mac, scratched and un-repairable music and movie CD's, you know.. the stuff you throw in the garbage because even your local recycler doesn't want it!!

On to more productive things.. First and foremost, you will need to CUT the CD's.. Being made of a hard plastic substance.. if you just whip out a pair of scissors you'd better plan on vacuuming.. and make sure you put the family pets in another room first because these things will spliter like broken glass...

To cut the CD's you must heat them first with your embossing gun.. just a few seconds will do the trick. Everything I've read on this topic has said to cut the CD when warm with utility scissors.. well, depending on the shape of your household 'utility' scissors, that's still a rather tough go. I have a pair of Pampered Chef utility scissors (well, actually two.. one for the kitchen, one for the craftin' room.. but enough of that). The P-chef scissors worked really well and after heating the CD with the embossing gun, gave me a nice clean cut.

First determine about how many pieces you want from your CD, ie.. the approximate size of the pins you want to produce. There is no need to remove the existing label if you are using good quality cardstock like Stampin' Up!.. it will cover the existing label without any tell tale shadows or show-thru. You CAN mark the CD with a pen or sharpie if desired, I just eyeballed it.

Heat the CD with your embossing gun.. Grab your utility scissors and snip to the center 'hole' of the CD.. reheat the CD if you notice it is resisting the cut. I actually heated my CD 3 times during this step.

Next, re-heat the remains of the "center hole" on each CD piece, and cut away the uneven part. I just followed the printable part of the CD to determine the shape I wanted to cut.

Lay your cut pieces out on a piece of Stampin' Up! quality cardstock.. and cut a piece of cardstock large enough to comfortably fit ALL the CD pieces with room to fit your scissors between them, or with about an 1/8" border around each piece.

Stamp the cut piece of cardstock in desired pattern and colors. In my sample I used the new "baroque motifs" set.. again, my favorite! Once stamping is complete, turn the piece over and apply a of sheet of red liner tape to the cardstock, removing one of the protective adhesive layers.

Remove the second protective layer from the red liner sheet, and positon your CD pieces on the sticky surface. Cut the pieces out.. I prefer to use the Honey Bee scissors (teflon coated cutter bees).. they don't stick to the red liner sticky surface. Use a bone folder to smooth the 1/8" overcut to the edges of the CD.. on all sides. You will then flip the project over and add additional stamping if desired. Use a zig painty to color the outside edges of the CD piece and give it an embellished appearance. You could also coat the edges with versamark ink and emboss colored powder along the edges.. a little bit trickier, but it will work too.

IF you want to add decorative brads and/or beads, you will need to re-heat the CD piece with the embossing gun and punch a hole. You must be a bit more careful this time, to ensure you do NOT burn your stamped cardstock. The first time I did this, I attempted to use a regular hand-held punch.. not a good idea! The hand held punch caused the CD to splinter and crack.. no matter how much the piece was heated.. not a major problem, because I just covered the back with a nice fresh piece of cardstock too. Anyway, after my initial experimentation, I decided to use the smaller hole punch on my crop-a-dile tool. I think that because the actual punch surface is shaped differently (kind of like a v.. ) it worked much better, yielding a nice, clean punched hole... no splintering or cracking.

I then added my embellishments.. one of the new ice "bling" brads which Stampin' Up! will have available on July 2nd, and beads.

To add the beads, I cut two pieces of beading wire, one about 7" and the other appx 3 1/2".. it could also be tigertail, doesn't have to be anything heavy duty. Some wires will bend if abused.. so if you're concerned about bending, stick to softflex wire.. otherwise, just use up your scraps or whatever inexpensive beading wire you want to use.

Gathering an assortment of beads, I took the longest length of wire and threaded appx. 11 seed beads onto it.. poke it thru the hole in the cd and fold the wire in half, allowing 1/2 the beads to straddle each side of the punched hole. This will support the first two 'dangles' shown in the picture. I then added a crimp bead and the third piece of wire.. crimped them together and now have three 'dangles' from the pin. Slide a larger hold bead over the top of the crimp to disguise it.. then add beads to the three dangles... adding a crimp bead to the end of each.

In retrospect, to make this project easier for those who aren't familiar to beading or to give the project another look.. you could simply tie ribbon to the hole, add beads to the ribbon, tassles, charms, etc.
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