Crafternoon in Cambodia

I decided to shake things up a bit. Get out of the normal box of "where have I traveled to lately?" in blog posting. Because, I'm sure you may ask, what do I do for fun in Poipet? Well, not much, but we do find our simple pleasures.

A few weeks ago, I finally tackled a project I'd had on my list for about 5 months - ever since buying a can of oatmeal and deciding to keep the tin around. There's definitely no "official" recycling service here, except whatever you can come up with yourself. So I browsed Pinterest and the web to see if I could mod-podge on a metal can. Pinterest (an online website for virtual inspiration boards) is actually a lifesaver here in Cambodia. If I want to learn how to fix it, make it, reuse it, or decorate it, it's on Pinterest.

Mod Podge (nope, I can't buy that here - brought it from the States)
Pretty paper (bought in Thailand)
Stencils (bought in the States)
Sponge brush (bought in the States)
X-acto knife
Measuring tape

The can in its pre-project boring-ness, being reused as a cooking utensil holder

Just had to zoom in on the Thai lettering!

First, I measured the circumference of the can to see if my paper was wide enough. It wasn't; but I just cut an extra piece of paper to make it wide enough. As for height, leave some length overlapping the top of the can; you'll cut it off after everything is mod-podged on.

Next, cover your can with a layer of mod podge using the foam brush (sorry, no process photos!). Carefully smooth on your paper, starting at one end and smoothing it down flat as you turn the canister. My can had grooves in the side (see above photo); I just had to patiently press the paper down and keep rubbing until everything was smooth and there were no bubbles. Let dry for at least 15 minutes (if you don't let it dry long enough, you'll get some bad bubbles). 

Then use the X-acto knife to cut off the excess from the top of the canister, using the edge as a guide to keep your cut straight. You can pre-cut the paper if you don't want to do this; however your edges may not line up just right.

Now time for another layer of mod-podge. Use the foam brush and put on a thin layer; let dry at least 15 minutes.

Because the paper I chose was a bit dull, I used a stencil to cut out an elephant to mod-podge on. I put a thin layer of mod-podge on the back of the elephant and then put it on the canister, carefully smoothing it out. After another 15 minutes, I covered the entire can in another thin layer of mod-podge and let dry for a couple hours.

And voila! An easy project allowed me to re-use an oatmeal can and add to my obsessive collection of elephant-themed items. I think it fits in pretty well, eh? 

During our first 5 months here, I found that we had very little creative outlet here in Poipet. So on our trip back home in August, I bought a lot of crafting supplies to bring back with me. Now I have a stash of stuff to use when the itch kicks in, and I do think it was worth the effort.