I am forever putting empty jars and containers into use holding stuff. There seems to be no end to the stuff. Good thing, then, there also seems to be no end to the empty packaging that comes out of my kitchen. Most of the time I just throw it in the clean jar or container and call it a day. If I'm feeling really fancy, I may get the kids to decorate it slightly. Every once in awhile, however, some sort of fever seems to come over me and I end up getting myself in a project that is perhaps not the best use of my time. Usually when there is a stack of dishes to be done and a tower of laundry. So, when I pulled out an empty cocoa container to put in Smootch's new jacks set (rescued from our local dump by The Man), I decided I just couldn't take the ugly of the infamous yellow packaging. Some prettying up was needed.
This picnic ant container sort of evolved as I went along. I began with some green paint to cover up the yellow, but then I realized how much the green just wasn't an improvement all on its own. I was also thinking about how much I miss green grass, now that the world outside looks like the cover of a Christmas greeting card. While thinking about grass, my mind drifted to bugs (if you know my girl child, you know about bugs too) and I remember the bowl of plastic ants that has been floating around the house since a month before Halloween. Grass and ants: the picnic theme after that was a no-brainer.
To seal in the acrylic paint and create a grassy texture, I brushed on a layer of sealant (modge podge to be exact) and then dappled it with the tip of the brush.
I added the picnic blanket, a bit of scrap from the fabric pile, and stuck it in place with more sealant.
When thinking about making 'food' for the picnic, I happen to spot a little felt washer that came undone from I don't even know where just sitting on the floor. I'll take whatever inspiration comes my way.
With some glue, a bit of cocoa, and a touch of patience, the felt washer soon became my chocolate cake.
To frost the cake, I mixed some cocoa with sealant and brushed it on. A bead for a cherry covered the hole and finished the job.
Oddly, securing the ants to the container proved to be the most challenging bit. My plastic ants do not have much contact with a surface, so I had to build up a bubble for which the ant to be glued in.
Despite my relative lack of skill with the glue, it actually worked out pretty well because it also helped secure the bits of 'cake' the ants are carrying away (chopped up bits from a slice of the cake taken out with kitchen scissors).
The last thing to do was to wait a whole day to see if the glue really was going to dry clear or was it going to look like my ants were suffering from a hideous stomach virus and leaking unmentionable fluid wherever they go.
But, it did dry clear. And I'm happy with it, as long as I don't look too close.
And, hey, it even holds the jacks.
Now to finally face those dishes.