Glass vase with homemade gear template stuck on it.
Because “Steampunk Themed Wedding” is not an aisle marker at any store I have every been to, David and I have opted for a Do-It-Yourself approach instead. As the video posted on the attire page states, when in doubt of whether something is Steampunk or not— just glue some gears on it!
Through my wedding planning experience, I have had the good fun of being able to experiment with a types of media. Which has truly been enlightening. For example, beading? Not my thing. It’s fiddly and tends to make me loose my patience.
But spray paint? That’s what I’m talkin’ about!
My gear templates.
First, I cut out some gears David was kind enough to download from Google images. He blew them up so that they would almost take up an entire printer page. Than we got to the exciting task of cutting them out (not so much ;).
We than experimented with metallic and black spray paint, as well as some adhesive glue on a particularly large beer bottle. Not a whole lot came of it and it hadn’t decided at all what I was going to do… so naturally I forged ahead.
Trail one with printer paper templates. It was a fail.
My mother kindly provided us with a number of mismatched glass jars which we were more than happy to turn into Steampunk decor and of which I was itching to spray paint.
I tried gluing them onto the glass jars and found that they were either A). not sticking well enough or B). sticking way too well. So I ended up with speckly gear shapes when I spray painted or I tore the template right off. Grr.
So, that is when I learned the first truth of spray paint.
1st Truth: Spray paint will come off of a glass surface with warm soapy water and a scrubby.
Good to know and this truth served me well.
Trial two was much more successful. The gears stayed put and peeled off well.
After I realized that printer paper was not going to cut it as my template I glued them down to a manilla envelope since the paper has a little bit more substance to it.
Once dried, I cut them out again (still annoying the second time) and glued them back onto the glass jars. In the first few trials the templates were too stiff, not sticking and letting way too much paint beneath them. I took a deep breath and momentarily wondered if Micheal’s carried Steampunk templates. The thought passed and I was finally able to get the things to stick! What excitement.
And, of course, the painting process flew after that. Full palm onto template to get it to lay flat? Check. Wipe painted fingers on favorite yoga pants? Check. Take way too many pictures? Check.
When the templates started to cooperate I learned the next two truths of spray paint.
2nd Truth: Spray paint is a tricky fellow.
Two of the finished centerpieces awaiting clear coat.
If you think that particulate matter propelled out a nozle by compressed air isn’t tricky, than you have never spray painted a thing in your life. It is a scoundrel and a jokster. And I assure you, you will not think it’s pranks are funny. Even when everything is going right, it will still work to undermine you and that is simply a fact.
However, shortly after I discovered the 3rd truth!
3rd Truth: Spray paint can be tricked in return.
The family of finished jars and vases. All that’s left? Flowers!
More than once, I found that the template and glue were just not working to my advantage, especially not with all of the little grooves on the edge of the gears. They have a horrible tendancy to pop back up. But I did realize that if you have a quick hand, you can press the template back down into the paint before it starts to set and you will at least have the impression of there having been a template there.