Friday, April 20, 2012

noble neon

I realize neon is a big thing again. Whatever. I'm thrilled because now I can find neon stuff, like wallets and whatnot, everywhere. And maybe in two months, I won't be so thrilled. But for now, I'm soaking it up. Well, not literally. 

Actually, strike that. Reverse it. 

Since neon is a noble gas (and on the periodic table of elements!!!), it is present in the air in trace amounts, which means that all of us are sort of soaking up neon. OH, SCIENCE SLAM! But in truth, neon's allure has nothing to do with the fact that it's an element. For me, neon is all about these fannypacks Monika and I had as kids. Yes. You read that right. Monika's pack was hot pink and white and mine was neon green and black. Oh yeah, we were some badass pre-teens with those babies slung around our hips. I think I took mine to Disneyland with my Girl Scout troop. And Monika's, being white, turned all gray and grimy after like two weeks. Regardless and nonetheless, I have been going over some very fond memories of those fannypacks recently. Yup, my nostalgia is rooted in alllllllllllllll neon. 

The inspiration for this project (other than my pining for the fannypacks of days gone by) is the neon friendship ring above. Catherine gave this to me, purchased with her staggering ticket winnings from Wonderland in North Spokane. She's a Ticket Beast, believe me. I think she'll appreciate that moniker. Who wouldn't?

Rounding up the usual suspects: a selection of paints, paintbrush, scissors, cotton clothesline, and matches 

Wrap the clothesline around your finger to determine ring size or around your wrist if you want to go bracelet.
Leave a tiny bit of wiggle room because you'll lose a bit when you seal the ends together.
(With those matches. Yes, there is fire in this tutorial.)

Instead of making paint puddles on my magazine work surface, I used the paint caps. Keep it clean, I say.

I like to hold the clothesline thusly. I definitely do not mind getting paint on my fingers.

Give your clothesline a good coat of paint. Over, under, and all around. 

I went for stripes and blocks of color, and I decided leaving the natural cotton rope was also nice. 

Let the paint dry. I didn't really time it--a couple hours should be adequate. Once dry, form the rope into a circular shape. The paint will make it stiff, so you might have to bend it a bit to loosen things up. 

Now you'll burn both the ends. Eeek! Only adults for this step.

As soon as the end heats up, the synthetic interior of the clothesline will get all melty. 

That's your cue to smoosh the two ends together. They'll stick like glue.

Brush off the ashy bits and...Voila! Aww look, it's a brand new ring!

Now, I did wonder about burning the ends of the clothesline, like if there might be a less smokey way to go. But I tried a couple glues and found the results messy, and corralling the wild and wooly ends of the clothesline, as it started to unravel, was pretty difficult with glue alone. The matches are a nice option because they melt all those flyaway bits together and really do form a tight bond. I've been wearing my rings for a week now and haven't had any issues with things coming undone or the soot factor, so I'm sticking with fire. Duh, of course I am. I would, however, like to give them a coat of Modge Podge, so they don't get all soggy when I wash my hands...also so the natural cotton parts don't end up looking like Monika's white fannypack. You know, all gray and sad, yet well-loved. Always well-loved.

But that, my dears, is for another day. Right now, I'm just going to enjoy this neon nostalgia. 

P.S. Do not even look at my nail polish. I took these pictures on Monday, and believe me, without any touch-ups, the nail polish situation has only gotten worse. Honestly, I don't know how I think I can get away with wearing half-scrubbed-away nail polish to work. What am I, fourteen? Actually, if we consider the evidence, the neon evidence... Tsk. Tsk. So slovenly.


  1. So cute! The natural rope also fits in with the nautical trend :)

    1. Thanks, Ashley! And it's a perfect little project when you have rope leftovers.

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