This post almost didn't happen, because I worked out yesterday for the once a week workout that I do and I didn't want to get up, sit down, get up, paint, sit down, wait for the paint to dry, get up, crouch. What can I say, though. Today I'm a limping artist with a mission.
Check out these pen caps. They look pretty uglytastic, huh? The first thing you want to do is snip off the bottom, either with scissors you don't mind ruining or a pocketknife (but be super careful). Look for caps you can imagine as vases or lamps. Ones that are fluted, or ones that have a nice shape. The white blurry blob is fluted, and I think it would look pretty elegant as a vase, with a few modifications.
You don't want to try painting it with regular acrylic paint. A long strip will peel off just when you think you're finished and then you will throw a mondo fit. Trust me. I've done it so you don't have to. And if you paint it thick enough to cover, it'll look lumpy. I know, I know, the first thing they teach you in Artist 101 is that you don't put acrylic paint on slick plastic because it won't take, but I wanted to try it anyway.
Then I tried covering it with paper, and I did make a workable paper bottom, but overall it looked schlocky, not the professional-looking stuff I promised.
My mom had a brilliant idea. Nail polish! It sticks like a dream. I wanted to try a different kind of fake lightbulb so I dipped a q-tip in pale yellow paint and then this incredibly shiny gloss. The picture doesn't look that great because, well... camera phone I AM SO SORRY GUYS I'LL GET MORE BATTERIES ONE DAY.
And the final picture, with my brother watching tv in the background. The base looks kind of blocky, but I guarantee that in real life the cap tapers up just slightly and it actually looks pretty neat. It's this really deep blue enamel with a neato sheen to it. I might add a pale ribbon to break up the space about two-thirds of the way up. I still need to work on the bottom a little. But hey, not too bad for a first experiment! I imagine Doctor Frankenstein said the same thing.