Every time I see eco-friendly products like toothbrushes or cleaning products, I always think about birth control cases. Because for those who don’t know, you get a new plastic case every month same as a new prescription bottle. Unlike a prescription bottle, the case doesn’t really touch the medication and really doesn’t experience much wear and tear throughout the month. I mean, you only touch it once a day! Other than that it lives in most women’s nightstand, purse, or medicine cabinet.
This has always bothered me, and beyond that, they’re ugly! This faded pink shade that has been associated with women’s products is quite strange. My point is that no one wants an abundance of something ugly. I decided then that rather than recycle, I would accessorize and make all of the extra birth control cases something pretty. Something that if someone accidentally saw would look more like a compact mirror than a hideous, pink medication.
I made all of these designs and then realized I didn’t know what to do with them. I told myself that they weren’t the kind of thing that was not Etsy-worthy, but I have since been proven wrong by a quick search. Haha. Glad to know it. There’s clearly similar desires across the world. So I thought I would share some tips I learned in my first round of DIY-ing these compacts without direction for those who can’t afford a $10.00 investment in design. I will also share some things I plan to try next.
Let’s talk supplies. If you’re hardcore DIY, you probably know the kinds of paints that will work for you. If you’re not, I will share that these designs were created with only nail polish and Sharpie permanent markers. It’s just what I had on hand. In the future, you might consider using Washi tape or painter’s tape for line effects or embedded designs.
I had three techniques for starting these designs:
Use a Sharpie permanent marker to outline a specific shape
Good for patterns and specific textures
- The purple and turquoise design was just me making flower petal-like circles. It ended up reminding me of scales though, so I added some mermaid colors. Everyone has extra glitter nail polish that they don’t use anymore.
- The giraffe design was important to get the pattern right, so I marked up the spots and accented them with highlights and gold sparkles. I just smeared regular ol’ marker in between for some color.
Choose a nail polish color I love, make large brush strokes, and see what happens.
Good for unexpected designs and flexing your creativity
- The rib cage I think started as being circus inspired with large red strokes, and then I added some yellow I really liked and got a Mexican, Frida Kahlo kind vibe from it. It then changed to be a skeleton’s rib cage, and I just chose a subtle color to add a heart and accent stroke.
- The rose started as choosing a bunch of soft, feminine pinks and reds and making waves. After a couple of coats, it reminded me a bit of a flower, so I used a Sharpie to make the petals more defined and added white highlights again to make them pop.
Cover as much surface area as possible.
Good for fast coverage and abstract designs
- I was never going to use that glitter pink nail polish again, so I just dumped it and spread spread spread. It’s kind of a cute when I’m feeling girly.
- I wanted to see what would happen with some dark colors, so the black one is me using dark colors to cover cover cover. Maybe if I got lucky, something celestial could have happened. (It didn’t, but maybe a second round.)
- Then I used a whole bunch of the bottles I already used to create the dotted one. Choose a color and space out dots. Then repeat with other colors until it’s covered to your satisfaction.
Some Helpful Tips:
- Lean into it when it doesn’t go your way. – This one pictured above started with an ambition of trying to do an artichoke heart, which became immediately apparent I couldn’t do. So I leaned into the abstract and added thin lines, more colors, lots of dots. It’s become one of my favorites now.
- Don’t forget the interior. – Decorating the full interior might be a bit much, but taking the time to line the frame with a color will really make your design pop and look like a completed project.
- Multiple rounds of painting/designing! – You need to accomplish coverage and a design which is a lot to do in one round, but also might not work in terms of blending. I found that it was important to let something I liked dry fully, and then come back to it to work on some parts that needed extra coats or details.
- Don’t mess with top coat. – It’s unnecessary. If you painted in multiple rounds, the paint is thick and dried well. As I said earlier, you also probably aren’t handling this enough to cause any chipping or damage either. Don’t add the extra step. You also risk smearing certain colors depending on shade and brand.
Next Time (Advanced):
- Using tape to make precise designs.
- Getting glue involved to add accent trinkets to the top.
- Increasing the number of rounds for working on cases.
- Experiment with words (maybe).
Those are my words of the wiser based on my novice experiences. I have a new batch of these I’m ready to tackle, and I’m excited to try something new in Round 2. So bust out those polishes and make something pretty. Summertime is the perfect time for them to dry. Please leave me a comment if you have an idea or would like to share your own. Happy crafting, friends!