Fun Ways to Use New Lillypilly Blanks! has just launched a new line from Lillypilly that includes anodized aluminum discs in three different colors with a huge array of fabulous patterns! I was so excited to see these new discs that I just couldn’t hold back from playing with them. I tried using techniques with the discs and discovered that some worked and some didn’t, so here I am to share my findings with you! On most images, I’ve shown the manipulated discs on the bottom of the photo with the corresponding untouched disc just above them.

1. Punching holes in the discs
Most of you will want to punch some holes in the new blanks so that you can use them with jump rings, wire wrapping, stringing, etc. Well, it turns out that they are incredibly easy to punch due to the softness of the aluminum. The only problem I ran into was that, while a metal punch can make a perfect hole, the metal didn’t punch out perfectly and sharp edges on the back of the blank resulted from the metal punch. To remedy this, I simply sanded the rough edges down with a metal file! Easy as that! You can easily turn your disc into a pendant or a link with a metal punch!

2. Coloring with a permanent marker
I thought it would be fun to add some more color to the black and red blanks, so I used a technique that I learned when I was a toddler – coloring it with a marker (although my parents would have never let me use a Sharpie back then)! This technique is incredibly easy as well as permanent, but I thought it would be fun to use ICE Resin and dome the top of my colored disc. If you look at the disc on the right of this image, you can see my failed resin attempt. The permanent ink bled after I applied the resin, so I wouldn’t recommend using the two together unless you’re one of those who likes to color outside of the lines.

3. Coloring with alcohol inks
Since I couldn’t seem to get the permanent marker to work with ICE Resin, I tried alcohol inks, which are available in a ton of beautiful colors. All I did was use the Coloring Metal With Alcohol Inks technique, topped with the Making a Domed Surface With ICE Resin technique. I absolutely love how the black Lillypilly blanks turned out with ink on them, but the gold blank didn’t have enough contrast and the ink just washed it out.

4. Texturing with hammers
I was a little skeptical when I decided to add texture to the already patterned blanks and, after I saw my result, I think that I should have trusted my instincts. On the blank to the left, I used a Round Dimples & Narrow Pinstripe Texturing Hammer and on the blank to the right, I used a chasing hammer. Not only is it difficult to see the texture on the blanks, but the shape of the blanks became warped when I hammered them due to the softness of the aluminum. You can even see that the hammers slightly wore down the patterns on the blanks. My conclusion: don’t bother texturing these blanks; the patterns look beautiful enough without added texture.

5. Dapping
These blanks are perfect for dapping! Make sure to use small taps with your hammer because the blanks are very soft and easily moldable. If you look at the blank on the right of the image, you’ll see that I first dapped the blank and then filled it with resin. To keep the dapped blank in a level position while you pour the resin in, you can rest it in a bowl of rice or stick it onto a bit of clay.

Have Fun With Your New Lillypilly! – Sara

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