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Friday, January 11, 2013

How to make a fused glass wine bottle house sign, tutorial


This excellent tutorial came from the Glass with a Past web page, by Jodi McRaney Rusho.  She has such a wonderful web page full of great fused glass tutorials and information plus she has an online store.  

Fused Recycled Bottle Glass House NumbersHere’s a fused bottle glass project that you may not have considered.  These house numbers are made with fused recycled bottles and Armstrong’s Float Fire frit.  This is a relatively easy project, grab a cup of coffee and follow along.
My friend Mary Young and her husband Todd belong to a wine club and asked me it I could make some very visible house numbers for them out of recycled wine bottles.  The final project turned out so well, I thought I’d share.
Step 1 – Select the bottles
Selection of different shaped bottles for fusingI only need 4 flat bottles for the final project, but I chose a varied selection of sizes and colors so I would have lots to choose from.
Step 2 – Fuse the bottles flat
Bottles before fusingBottles after fusing
Using my standard recycled glass fusing schedule, I flattened six different bottles.
Step 3 – Choose the best bottles
Fused Recycled Bottles for ProjectAfter the bottles are fused, I selected my favorite 4, making sure I varied the color, as well as the neck and shoulder shape.
Step 4 – Make your number stencils
Since it seemed unlikely that I would be able to find stencils in the exact size I needed I decided to make my own.  This was a one of a kind project, so I’m not really concerned with the durability of the stencils.  I found a nice rounded font and enlarged it until each number was about 6″ tall, one number per page.
Numbers for Stencils
Cut the number out carefully with a razor knife.
House number stencilStep 5 – Applying the embossing ink
This step is done using a scrapbook product called embossing ink.  It’s a sticky pink goo that is designed to grab embossing powder until you can heat set it.  I’m using it to adhere frit, it works great and it an excellent trick to keep on hand.  Since I’m covering a large area, I load up the stamp pad with ink and use the pad itself as the stamp.
Embossing ink and padApplying Embossing Ink to StencilBottle with Number Inked in
For numbers with floating centers (6 and 0 for example), use a tiny piece of rolled painters tape to hold the center in place while you apply the ink.
Step 6 – Add the Float Fire

Adding Armstrong Float Fire to BottleBottle with Float Fire numberFloat Fire is a variable COE product that can be used with window glass and bottle glass.  It is a little expensive, but it goes a long way, and if you are using it on glass that you’ve collected for free, it can be a great investment.
Step 7 – Repeat for all the other numbers.
Recycled Bottle House NumbersAfter all of your numbers are finished, re-fire the bottles using a slumping schedule.  Using a lower temperature will help keep the surface of the bottles glossy and the numbers slightly raised for great visibility.
Step 8 – Mount the bottles on the backing
For this project I used a piece of 1″ x 4″ pine painted black.  I used outdoor clear silicone to glue the bottles to the board.  The owner lives in a very windy area, so we made sure that enough of the board showed between the bottles that it could be securely anchored to the wall (visible in the first picture).  For less windy areas, I would attach two D ring hangers at the top of the board behind the first and last bottle.
Finished Recycled Bottle Glass House Numbers
Step 9 – Stick it on a house – preferably one that has the same house number
Pretty groovy!  This project could also be done with beer bottles for a smaller finished sign.

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