on giving gifts; painted spoons tutorial

Gifts can be a weird weird thing. When they feel mandatory, I’ve sometimes found it difficult to get inspired. Giving an unexpected gift, however, can be a lot more fun. I participated in a Secret Valentine gift exchange this year with a group of friends and wasn’t quite sure what to get the recipient, whom I adore, that a computer program had generated for me. Personally, I love nothing more than receiving a dozen home baked cookies, a hand-crafted ornament, or a thoughtful note. Here’s to hoping other people share this sentiment?

I think I first saw a tutorial for dip-dyed spoons on pinterest a few years ago — I used to really love pinterest — and thought that they’d make a sweet and simple gift. Fast-forward a number of years, and they are now in the hands of an excited owner! Here’s a quick how-to for making your own:

materials:

  • set of utensils (I found this bamboo set at TJ Maxx for $3.99)
  • one colored paint, one white paint (or maybe black? I didn’t consider going from light to dark — artists, would this work?)
  • dish to put paint in
  • paintbrush
  • painter’s tape
  • old cloth or wax/parchment paper

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Lay out utensils on wax paper/cloth/job rejection letter that you want to defile, and wrap painters tape at roughly the same place on each. (If you want to paint different heights on each, wrap the tape in a way that makes that happen.) Paint the first utensil with either the base paint color, or adjust the starting color with white paint first. Continue painting each subsequent utensil, adding white paint to the existing color to lighten it between each utensil. Below, I’ve accidentally made the paint lighter than I wanted it, so I added more of the original color to darken. Gotta work with what you have.

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Continue lightening the color and painting each utensil until the entire set is complete. It may be helpful to prop the utensils up with some object so that they dry without sticking to whatever is underneath them. I strangely happened to have many rolls of tape laying around, so I used those. I allowed the paint to dry overnight, though I’m sure it was finished within a few hours. Viola!

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