Friday, June 28, 2013

What A Little Cotton Seed Oil Can Do

It's birthday gift giving time again, so I put my plan from a few months back into action.

I bought all of these on clearance after Easter so I would have them on hand for creating birthday gifts later in the year. Later is here. Having an idea is the biggest hurdle for me when it comes to creating gifts. I'm a last minute gift-figure-outer usually, and never seem to know what to give, so coming up with a blanket plan that I can personalize is very helpful.

Previously, I created a couple of other designs (HERE & HERE) to use on some of these tins and thought having the designs all figured out and ready to transfer would help me when the birthday gift crunch time hit. 

But no. Apparently I can't be helped, not even by myself.

It ends up that as much as I love having a go-to design, which saves all the searching and preparing of the graphic (which is the part that takes me so long), I also love giving something unique, something that requires something of me. It seems I must at least try to give imaginative, one of kind, or almost one of a kind gifts.

So, I passed on using the graphics I had already prepared and used for two other planters I made. 

Enter the graphic I chose for the newest planter in line to be given.

This Vintage Cotton Seed Oil advertisement was found HERE.
 I removed the color and contrasted it, etc., so it would be as simple as possible in case the transfer method I chose required such an application.

I use a MAC, so the image was brought into a Pages document and white boxes were drawn over the unwanted parts of the graphic so they wouldn't be seen when it was printed. It was then sized so it would fit my pail, printed and cut out in order to give a visual of what it would look like once it was transferred.

 In the end, the tiny print at the bottom left of the graphic was nixed. Graphite paper was used to trace the image onto the metal pail.

Here it is still in process. The cotton stalks or whatever they're called had to be freehand. Thankfully my often over-caffinated hand didn't fling around too wildly and screw it up. I decided not to take any chances trying to draw any more. 

You have to know how to quit while you're ahead. I am rarely so wise.

My go-to color scheme includes black lettering (sometimes with a little shadow (but not this time)), and one other color. This time I decided to buck the trend and also add the green of the leaves and a little brown for added interest. It's hard to go wrong with a little leafy green on a planter. Then the paint over the raised design at the bottom of the pail was scuffed up to showcase its character.

 The search for the proper flowers proved trickier than all the work finding the graphic, preparing it for printing, transferring it using graphite paper and painting and sealing it. South Florida, despite it's great weather, seems to be the worst place for finding pretty, colorful flowers in the Summer. I traversed the stores of the area, very disappointed in the selection.

Periwinkles were in abundant supply at Home Depot and I was getting desperate, so I had to go with some of those in pink to add a bright shot of color. But for the record, periwinkles, to me, are really like weeds. They grow wild here, so to pay for them seems ridiculous. But I needed the bright pink and my bright pink ones at home while flowering didn't have good green leaves at the moment. The salvia did the trick for height, and the color worked with my design, so I went with it. It took a bit of running around town, but I finally had the flowers figured out.

No holes were drilled for drainage, because I wasn't sure whether the pail would ultimately be most used as a planter or for some other purpose, so I am leaving that to the gift's recipient.

So what can a little cotton seed oil do? Well, with a little time and hands-on attention, it can solve your gift-giving dilemmas.

I'll be visiting at some of these sweet parties this week:

mop it up mondaysFunky Junk's Saturday Nite SpecialFurniture Feature FridaysFrench Country CottagePhotobucket    

Ivy and Elephants  


  1. Your planter turned out lovely, smart thinking ahead like that. I'm sure it will be a hit.

  2. turned out great. I used that method for transfer writing on wooden projects, and I do like the write/draw free hand. Love how the red words stand out.

  3. Liz,
    This is so sweet. I love this. I also love the flowers too. Great job. What a great gift this will be.

  4. I love it Liz! I must remember to purchase some similar containers after the holiday. They are great to repaint! I also much purchase some graphite paper and learn how to do these transfers! I love the look....:) Your friend will be thrilled!

    Blessings, Vicky
    Life On Willie Mae Lane

  5. I really like this, was well worth the effort. Adding you own colors make it extra special to the recipient. If you can't drill holes in something to be used as a planter, you can try small pebbles or rocks for drainage. I wish I knew where to find some of these tins, I love this project!


  6. Liz, you're becoming quite the graphic pro! Another adorable gift.

  7. Love it, Liz! The lucky gift recipient will love it, too.

  8. I absolutely love how it turned out and admire your patience for freehand painting such tiny letters on a non-flat surface! I envy the gift recipient!

  9. What a great idea to purchase all those baskets and repaint them for gifts. Love what you did to this one and I know your recipient will too.

  10. Adorable, put me on the gift getting birthday list.


  11. The way a gift is presented is the most important part - Love the tins with the cotton motif. The only suggestion I have is extending your gift recipients to include your readers :>)

  12. Well, aren't you the clever one to stock up on those tin items?! You've done a wonderful job painting the lettering and it looks pretty cute with the flowers inside. I think dried cotton plants would look pretty, too. Not sure where you find them though.

  13. Hi, Liz! These turned out so cute! I love finding things on clearance that can be repurposed later on. And it this case, repurposed into something much, much cuter!!! Adorable!

  14. Oh my...that is just beautiful....I so love the did a fantastic job!!! love how you repurposed the tin container!!!

  15. This is really really cute, just love it! How frustrating not to be able to find the florals you wanted but I think it looks great! Good job on the painting!

  16. Love how these turned out!! What a great, thoughtful gift.

  17. This is a perfectly lovely gift, Liz! I also really like the green ones with the pink flowers. I would love for you to link up with my Inspired Sunday blog party that is live now at

    Thank you for your comment on my vintage layered tag. Maybe one day, when I'm more confident with the mixed media process, I will do a step by step. It's such an intuitive process for me--so much about how it feels. I did watch a mixed media video

  18. I love this graphic and this is such a great gift. Now even if I traced this I couldn't paint it in, this is so pretty. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  19. That looks great! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!

  20. This is so darn cute. I love all the little details. Oh my goodness, I can't believe how much like me you are. I would have done the same thing. Prepared all kinds of graphics, then used none of them. Consumed tons of Diet Pepsi for stamina, then went at the project in earnest. Love it!!

  21. This is a sweet way to re-run those old clearance baskets. I love your print even better! The little touch of red seals the deal for me.

  22. As always your projects are absolutely AWESOME...what a FAB job you did and there are going to be MANY happy birthday's for SURE!!! TFS...hugs...

  23. Oh, I love this Liz! I still want to try this so badly. Not sure if I quite get the method, but I want to try. Great idea of picking them up after Easter. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  24. What a lovely post:) I like your blog.

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  25. What a great project! Thanx for sharing it at THT.

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