Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Altering an ATG, Part One + New YouTube Video

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to Life on the {Scrap}beach! In today's post I'm going to address what supplies you will need to decorate your ATG and make it pretty! uch as I love my ATG, I am willing to admit that the darn thing is ugly. Also, I've got an update to my YouTube channel as well.

This past Mother's Day I gave my mom a 3M ATG 700 as a gift. She is a scrapbooker and was complaining about the high cost of adhesive refills and how quickly they run out -- I'm sure we all know how that feels! So I decided to get her one of the guns, and before I gave it to her, I altered it to make it just her style. I took some pics throughout the process so you could see the gun coming together.

The first step in altering your ATG is to gather your supplies.
Believe me, this is not a project you want to stop halfway through to go find something you need. Spray paint dries fast & it doesn't give you much time to run around like the proverbial chicken. I know this because when I altered my ATG, I sprayed Krylon Fusion on my engagement ring and had to rush around like a madwoman trying to find something to clean it off before it bonded to the diamond permanently. This is all because I forgot to bring baby wipes. Good preparation is the key to a smooth ATG alteration.

You will definitely need the following supplies:
1. Scotch ATG 700 or 714 by 3M. The ATG comes in two sizes, and the size refers to the adhesive width, not the size of the gun. The 700 fits 1/2" and 3/4" width adhesive out of the box, and 1/4" width adhesive with an adapter (sold separately). The 714 fits 1/4" width adhesive only.

2. Spray Paint. The ATG is made of plastic and plastic doesn't do so well with spray paint, unfortunately. You will either need to use a can of Krylon Fusion, which is specially formulated for plastic, but, sadly, does not come in very many colors OR you will need to spray your ATG with a plastic primer first and then use any can of spray paint you like. For my mom's ATG, I used Krylon Fusion as a primer because I had plenty leftover from when I altered my own ATG. After letting the Krylon Fusion dry, I painted it a lovely shade of watermelon pink.

3. Painter's Tape. The ATG has a few surfaces that you may not want covered in paint. We will use good old blue painter's tape to ensure that the spray paint goes only where we want it.

4. Phillips head screwdriver. We will need to remove a few pieces of the ATG to get the best paint coverage possible, so make sure you have a screwdriver handy.

5. Newspaper/Posterboard/cardboard box. Many spray paints are toxic, so it's important to complete the painting portion of this project in a well-ventilated area. I worked outside. To keep my asphalt paint-free, I worked on a piece of posterboard.

6. Baby Wipes. It's good to have these or some other form of personal cleansing cloths on hand if you need to correct a mistake or clean something. Spray paint usually dries pretty fast, so you don't have much time before it becomes permanent. Also, don't wear jewelry while altering your ATG. You have been warned.

The following supplies are optional:
7. Krylon Glitter paint. My mom LOVES BLING, so after I finished applying the paint and letting it dry, I sprayed the whole thing with some silver glitter paint. The paint also contains a fixative, which hs helped the paint job hold up to plenty of handling without rubbing off or making a mess.

8. Rub-ons. I used American Crafts rub ons to dress up the ATG a little bit.

9. Bling. Remember that my mom LOVES BLING, so just glitter was not enough! I also used some Heidi Swapp bling to decorate the ATG & really made it shine!

10. Other embellishments. I used epoxy stickers on my ATG. If you're going to be using some embellishments like that, you can't rely on their adhesive to keep them stuck to your ATG. You will need to attach them with a heavy duty adhesive like E-6000.

The second step is to prepare your ATG for paint.
For this step you'll need your ATG, screwdriver and painter's tape handy. We'll be removing some small pieces from inside the ATG to get good paint coverage, as well as covering parts of the exterior with painter's tape to protect it from the spray.

1. Remove black wheels from inside ATG. Using your screwdriver, loosen the screws holding the black plastic wheels which hold the tape and remove them. We'll be painting the interior of the ATG, too, and we don't want to get paint gummed up in the actual dispenser mechanism.

2. Cover applicator tip with painter's tape. It is easier to cover the applicator tip than it is to remove it altogether. I know this because I've tried to take it apart & discovered that the applicator tip is also attached to one of the gears inside the ATG & is, therefore, impossible to remove without a great deal of pain and agony. So, while you're taping off areas you want untouched, make sure to include this part as well. I forgot to take a picture before I started painting, but you can see how I used tape to cover the applicator tip.

3. Cover trigger with painter's tape. I've seen the triggers painted on other ATGs, but I am concerned about doing anything to the ATG that might impair functionality down the road, so I left my trigger unpainted.

3. Cover clear lid with painter's tape. This step is optional and all about personal preference. I didn't want the lid to be painted because I like to be able to see how much tape I have left without opening the lid. I only painted a small portion of the lid -- everything but the black strip that reads "Scotch ATG 700" was be covered with tape on mine. If you want the lid of your ATG to be painted as well, then omit this step.

4. Take your ATG to a well-ventilated area. Take your ATG and your posterboard or newspaper to a well-ventilated area. It is best to work outside on a day that is not too breezy. If the day is breezy, make sure you have somehow anchored your posterboard or newspaper so that it doesn't blow away. Also, make sure you are standing upwind from the spray paint.

You are now ready to get painting. Check out the post "Altering an ATG, Part Two" for the rest of the instructions!

In other news, I just uploaded a new video over on my YouTube channel.

This is part one of a series I am doing on a paper bag album with a family theme. In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I have never liked paper bag albums before. {gasp!} I've made one prior to this and I hated everything about it.

Anyway, I received a request for a paper bag album tutorial and I kind of groaned inside because I really do dislike them. At least, I did. But I decided that if I was going to do a paper bag album tutorial I would have to find a new way to use the bags -- a way that I would actually like. I think I have come up with a pretty unique configuration & I'm actually really happy with how this turned out! So, thanks to AJ Ballet Slippers I have gotten over my bad paper bag album attitude.

Thanks for watching & I hope you enjoy it!

Life's a beach. Scrapbook it.

P.S. Don't forget to check out this post from National Scrapbooking Day and leave a comment before 9:00 Eastern Friday night to be entered to win the LOVE album.


  1. I am so grateful that I found your blog by accident a couple of days ago. I have watched all your videos and have to say that your talent and creativity is amazing! I love everything you do. I am so looking forward to seeing this album come together. My Minds Eye are some of my favourite papers. Thank you for sharing your gift. Nancy

  2. Either you set this to post at a certain time or girl you get up early...I love this. I love that the album is long ways. I have seen paper bag albums where they fold them over. I love this. And I love how you did the spine.. So cute.. Also was glad you used those decorative scissors. I will have to use mine more.. Can't wait to see the next video....


  3. Welcome, Nancy! Thank you so much for your kind words -- I really appreciate them! I am happy to share my love for this wonderful hobby of ours, and I am also a huge fan of My Mind's Eye papers.

    Hi, Erin! The time that I get up in the morning would probably not be considered early by anyone except for maybe bats! I do most of my post preparation at night and then schedule them to post to the blog at 5:00 AM EDT -- that way there are posts ready and waiting for any East Coast commuters who want to take a peek before work {and before I'm awake}.

    Life's a beach. Scrapbook it.

  4. Hey Kathryn,

    I've told you so many times how great you are and you continue to prove it over and over. I just got my 3M 700 ATG yesterday and I love it already. I had the 714 but I just sending it back to 3M for a replacement, apparently they re-designed them because of a defect.

    Thanks for all you projects.


  5. Hi, Angela!

    Thank you so much for commenting -- I appreciate it every time! I love your comments!

    I am so sorry you were having problems with the ATG 714. Now that you mention it, I do remember a bunch of threads on 2Peas about how 3M had sent out a bad batch of those. I love my ATG 700 so much & I'm glad you are loving yours, too!

    Life's a beach. Scrapbook it.

  6. Super Cute paper bag album already! :)
    A beach theme vacation kinda album is coming to mind... hmmm... :) thanks again!

  7. Thanks for the idea, Steff! I added it to my "Project Request" feature on the right side-bar of my blog.