Desperate help needed for memorial stones

toomuchglassNovember 5, 2009

H-E-L-P !!!!!

I'm working on a very special project . Before you read my cries for help - let me explain the project. My FIL recently died , and I got his ashes - now I have both MIL & FIL's. One day , I stumbled upon this pan at the Goodwill.

The idea struck me right away -- make small heart shaped stones for the family with alittle bit of both of their ashes in them. I filled the mold half way - sprinkled alittle bit of both ashes in it - then filled it to the top. It came out great. Here's how they looked while setting . (I tinted some blue....)

The final stones came out great - I was hoping the tops would be smooth -- but they had small bumps and ridges that I wanted to camoflauge. I researched decoupaging different colored tissue paper on the stones . Sounded easy. I loved the idea of just having pastel pieces all over it - but once I started doing it -- the tissue paper just kept balling up from the wetness , pulling off and it looked horrible. I'm at my wit's end ... mad at myself for not being able to do it. I thought tissue would form itself around the edges ... that's why I thought it would be nice. I just can't do it. Am I doing something wrong ? I'm using Weldbond glue - really watered down . I don't know what else to try .... Can you think of some way to finish these stones ? Here's a pic of the bare stone -- with a cut out picture of my Inlaws to place in the center . Once it's done and the the pic is glued in the center - I wanted to decorate with pearls and ceramic roses. I REALLY need help with suggestions ..........

I can't thank you enough !!!!!!!

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I think if it were me, I would mosaic them with the pearls and roses. Maybe strategically place them over the spots that you want to hide...What did you make the stones out of? If you are using quickcrete, I would make it more like a slip (watered down some) and after you pour the stones, bounce your mold a little to get the air bubbles out. I do stones with stained glass designs this way and they usually come out almost bubble bumps and ridges. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 9:43PM
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Smick - I made the stones out of Quickcrete. They're too small to mosaic - they are about 6" high by 6" wide. Can I make a slip out of quickcrete to use like frosting to even out the tops ? That might help ....... hhhmmmmmmmm.....

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 10:36PM
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If it was my project I would sponge paint the stones with two colors that are complimentary to the color of the stone, either two pastels that will compliment or match the pearls and roses you are going to embellish with, or more likely if it was me I would use a shade slightly darker than the color of the stones and then one a shade darker than that.
If you take a piece of sponge, dip it in paint, sponge on a piece of paper a few times, then LIGHTLY sponge onto the stone, it will give it a textured appearance but not become bulky and overdone looking. You will definitely need to experiment a bit, the best would be to cast a couple more hearts to play with until you decide on color set you like.
If you have your heart set (ha, no pun intended) on tissue paper, try brushing the thinned down glue on the heart, then lay the tissue pieces on, gently tack them down with the end of a paint brush. Let them sit for a few minutes to get tacky, then press more firmly with your fingertips.
That should allow the tissue to set up and not pull and gather in a big mess.
I would love to see your finished projects and what a lovely tribute to your inlaws.
Suzan J

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 9:46AM
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Hi Toomuch!
My first question is, have you sealed the concrete? You know how porous that stuff is. I'm thinking the porosity of the concrete may be messing with the water based glue. That being said I think I would experiment on the back of the piece first, seal a little area and then try to decoupage.
Have you tried brushing a layer of your adhesive all over the piece,perhaps as a sealant, letting it dry, then decoupage?
Re: little bumps and ridges, bubbles, holes, lions and tigers and bears oh my in concrete
First: It looks like you've used mortar mix, is that right? If so it'll be much easier to smooth out.
You can use fine sandpaper, very fine sand or even a very smooth rock to smooth the surface. Dunk the piece or spray it with water and then very gently, using a gentle touch, "sand" the surface smooth. Keep spraying/dunking as you work, this keep the fines you've worked off from gouging the surface. Again I suggest you practise on the back first, just to get a feel for it.
Great idea for a project and I know you'll get it worked out!
Take care,

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 10:40AM
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Thanks for all the advice ! I never did let the tissue paper "set up" before messing around with it . Maybe that's the problem. And -- I never did seal the quickcrete ... never thought of that !! It won't hurt to try . I made a few "testers" I can experiment on .

As always ~Thank you !!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 2:47PM
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You just can't stop can you Kathy!
I didn't know anything was too small to mosaic.
I take it these are to be kept inside?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 3:13PM
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I agree with Kathy! There is nothing too small to mosaic! But otherwise I don't know about the frosting slip idea. I guess you could try.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 3:30PM
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I would glue the photo's and perhaps write their names or a little saying in permanent marker on the front and then envirotex it. This will seal the picture inside and make a durable smooth finish on the face of the stone. Then I'd get your sting of pearls--they can be found at fabric stores and hot glue them around the edge intersperced with your cloth roses

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Another way to get a smooth surface on concrete is to mix up a thin slurry of cement and water and spread it over the surface. You might be able to dunk the
piece. This works best on pinhole size holes and little gouges. If you're dealing with lumps or bumps it will accentuate them.
Be sure to use cement not concrete for the slurry. Concrete is a mixture while cement is a single ingredient. Compare it to a box cake mix, concrete = mix while cement = flour in the mix.
Question for Kathy: Did you use a concrete mix or a mortar mix? Quikcrete is the a brand name, like Betty Crocker, Heinz, Nike, ....

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 10:12AM
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Sylvia .... diamond crete is the brand name . It's a smooth "substance " like pancake batter ....LOL .....

Did that help ?? * ROFL* .... It's specially made for making stones ....*expensive* .....I bought it at a stained glass store. I think it's a special mix of everything. It's made to hold up outside . ( even though these will be indoors ) It really does,too .... I made a few junky little stones with scrap glass & they've been outside for years now.

"Nothing is too small to mosaic " ?? --- HAHA !!! It is for me ..... my old eyes & hands can't do it anymore ~ !
I'm glad you all have such faith in me !! heheh

Oilpainter -- thanks for the suggestion of envirotex ... I have some ....... hhmmmmmm you got me a thinkin' !

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 10:19PM
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I would definitely seal it, and then put a secon coat of the varathane ( or whatever) down and then place the tissue paper over the 2nd (wet) coat of the sealer, then when that dries do another coat of sealer!

Nice job! Great idea!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 10:26PM
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what have you tried, young lady?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 5:13PM
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