Tchotchke Tuesday: Better than binder clips

What’s that? It’s been three weeks and you still don’t know what a “tchotchke” is? Yeah, sorry about that.  A tchotchke is like a doo-dad.  It’s something that you put on your mantel as a decoration, or just something little.  It’s just…a thing.  Yiddish.

So. Last week I told you all about the wonders of binder clips.  Today I bring you: better than binder clips.

As you know, my materials needed to be limited to what I have in my apartment.  Not that this was a huge problem, though pins are not something that I have made regularly in the past.  I did recall that I once bought pin findings for a (failed) project, so while they aren’t my favorite, they are what I chose to use.

Credit where credit is due: Credit first goes to my always-fashionable colleague April, who makes me feel like a slouch every day when I go to work in black pants, a top, and my Merrell shoes (not this pair exactly, but these were the closest I could find to mine), but who taught me how to wear my shawl with a pretty pin.

Next, credit goes to Mr. Google (why Mr., I’m not sure, it’s probably some subconscious sexism on my part) for providing me with enough options (search: brooch how to tutorial), none of which were at all related to what I ended up doing, to give me time to come up with an idea.

Here’s what I did:

Materials: origami paper, glass tiles, pin backs, mod podge, craft knife

Step 1: Find a big piece of paper to lay down on top of the grungy dining room table.

Step 2: Spread out all of your origami paper so you can decide which you want to use.  The messier, the better.

Step 3: Spread as even a layer as possible of Mod Podge on the back of the glass tile.  Lay it carefully on the paper.  It turns out that it helps if you squidge the tile around a bit to get it in the correct place.  Squidge, of course, is the technical term.

Step 4: Wait patiently for the Mod Podge to dry.  While you are doing this, you might wish to work on another project.  Or two.

Step 5: Trim the paper.  Speaking from experience, you really want the glue to be dry.  If it isn’t dry, you might tear the paper and end up with an ugly present that you are embarrassed to give to your sister’s girlfriend.  You also want your craft knife to be sharp.  This is especially important when your craft knife is 10 years old and you’ve never figured out how to break off the first of the clearly-meant-to-break-off tips.

(before)

(after)

Step I-should-have-done-this-but-didn’t: Coat the back with Mod Podge.  My assumption is that this will protect the back of the paper in the event that the pin falls in the sink or it rains or something.

Step 6: Attach the pin back.  The pin backs that I have in my bag o’ bead-related-stuff are self-adhesive, so I just peeled the paper off, centered the back on the back of the tile, and pressed.  If yours aren’t self-adhesive, I would use some E-6000 super-strong, super-smelly glue.

Step 7: Enjoy your handiwork!  I made three this evening: one for myself (with purple origami paper, of course, as purple is my favorite color–also because I want the one pin to go with my black shawl, my cream shawl, and my lavender shawl), one for my brilliant co-worker (the turquoise dragonflies shown in the pictures), and one for a fraternity brother (co-ed fraternity) who responded to this meme on facebook.  I would have made more, but I only had three glass tiles remaining.

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