Tag: paint

Mixed Media Monday: Shaving Cream Paper Marbling

Shaving Cream Marbling

I created this week’s page and video some time ago, but it need quite a bit of editing and it fell to the bottom of the to-do pile. Shaving cream marbling is an incredibly easy technique. All you need is the cheapest shaving cream (not gel!), acrylic paint, and tools to spread and manipulate the paint. You can watch the technique in the video below, really it boils down to spread your shaving cream, pour paint on top, use some type of tool to pull the paint/cream into an interesting pattern and press paper down on top to pull the paint up.

Read more

Mixed Media Monday: Rorschach Inkblot Mini Art Journal Part 1

Rorschach Inkblot Mini Art Journal

Between social and family obligations this weekend I only remembered I needed a video for today when I woke up this morning. I wanted to do something a little different with this weeks pages, so I made a mini journal. I’m sure you’ve seen the Rorschach inkblot tests and possibly made your own at some point in middle school art class. I created 6 inkblot pages on old dictionary paper, then doodled around them with different pens, glued each page to another and cut them into half sheets. Lastly I sewed all the half sheets together to make a mini art book with 12 double sided pages.

Read more

Mixed Media Monday: Birthday Butterflies

Birthday Butterflies Art Journal Page

Since my 25th birthday was last Wednesday my pages this week include a variety of things I got. The paper thin wood veneer I bought with a gift card has been really fun to experiment on. In the video I use a mixture I made a loooong time ago for darkening wood. It’s just a can of steel wool and vinegar, the rusty liquid can make a cool effect on most woods. It’s also good for taking the shine down on metal hardware like I did in this project. I want to try so many more techniques on sheets of veneer, I just love wood grain!

Read more

Plywood Tulip Wall Art

Have you checked out Vintageprintable.com? It’s a very cool site full of images in the public domain. The moment I saw this tulip picture from “The Great Tulip Book” published in 1640:


I knew I had to use it as inspiration for some type of wall art. When we moved into our new house there was tons of scrap wood in the basement, I found a nice big piece of plywood, gave it an once over with some 220 sandpaper and started outlining my flower:

Tulip 1 finished

Read more

Mini Messenger Bag Redo with DIY Doily Stamp

I posted a picture of this little leather purse a couple of posts ago. Thrifted of course, I love how it looks like a mini messenger bag. On a very related note, check out this DIY doily bag from Sincerely Kinsey (click the image to go to its origin post): I love her doily bag, however I was worried that the doily would wear off over time. If you look at the bottom right of her bag in the photo above it already looks like it’s barely on there. So I got the bright idea of painting on the image of a doily instead. Here are the results:

To be honest, I don’t know if I’m in love with this. I think maybe it’s bad color combos or… something. However it was pretty simple to do, so I thought I would do a quick tutorial for anyone else wanting to paint leather or make a DIY doily stamp. I apologize in advance for the lack luster image quality on the rest of the pictures. My husband went out-of-town for the weekend with work and I forgot people need to sleep. All these pictures were taken around 1 in the morning, under the ugly glow of a soft white lightbulb.

***This project is kinda product heavy. At the bottom of the post there is a list of the products I used and why, so you can tailor your supply list correctly.

*** To begin you need a leather purse and a doily that you can cut up (I got my doily at a thrift store for less than a dollar, I know Joann sells suitable ones but they are $5 at the one near me). I washed my doily, and then used spray starch and an iron to get it stiff.  Next decide how much doily you want on the bag, and where you want it placed. I pushed a couple layers of tissue paper into the front pocket, because this is a used bag and was a little flattened. As you can see in the picture above I marked the rough position with a pen, and then cut it out. I had to trim off more at the bottom, since the finished “stamp” will be flat it would be hard to wrap it around curves without smearing the paint. Here is my trimmed doily, being fitted for its cardboard backing. As you can see it’s backwards, it’s very important to flip the doily so the finished imprint is the right way. An easy way to make sure you have it the right way is to lay the doily on the bag the correct way and place the cardboard covering it. Pull up both the doily and cardboard as one layer and it will be on the cardboard the correct way! You want the cardboard to be only a little bigger than the doily, so it’s easy to position the paint covered stamp correctly. I used spray adhesive to attach the two layers. I love spray adhesive, it’s a pleasure to use. Once the glue has set or in my case once I got impatient to try it out, it’s time to test the stamp.

I used Images Artist Acrylic in Pantone 14-4522 “Bachelor Button.” I bought mine at Hobby Lobby, they were on clearance for $2.15 each, and I couldn’t resist their awesome containers. These acrylics are called heavy-body and they mean it, this stuff is ridiculously thick and it dries very quickly. So I mixed a bit of acrylic extender (see the product info at the bottom of the post for more information) into the paint to thin it and keep it wet for longer. If you use craft acrylic, I think you could skip this. I also mixed into the paint acrylic textile medium, since the leather is going to move and stretch. I really liked the textile medium, it made the dried paint elastic and waterproof. I mixed all of this according to the directions on the packaging and made enough in my kidney-shaped paint mixture dish to do a bunch of test imprints without having to make more. To test out the stamp, apply the paint mixture to the doily with a paintbrush. Some tips for applying the paint:

  • Load up, the doily will absorb a lot of the paint at first
  • Don’t worry about keeping it off the cardboard, a little here and there won’t matter
  • Make sure you are committed to the paint color since you can’t wash off the stamp, for that same reason make sure you have enough time to test the stamp and then stamp the bag
  • As you test the stamp adjust the paint/extender/textile medium/color combo until you have several test stamps that are perfect.

Here are some of my test stamps on regular copy paper:


So back to the bag. To prep the bag for paint, I washed the area with a bit of water to remove some of the oil and then used fine grit sandpaper to rough up the surface:

Apply paint covered stamp to purse and…………….. Not perfect I know, so I went in with a small paintbrush and cleaned up some of the lines. Here is the bag after: Like I already mentioned, I wasn’t as thrilled with this as I expected to be. So I went back in with a small paint brush and added some highlights with a dark blue craft acrylic and then a mossy green one. Here is the before and after of my mini messenger bag redo:


I am so uninspired by this, I don’t think it looks bad… just not great. I will probably scrub all of this stuff off and try something else. If anyone tries something like this or knows a better idea, I would love to see pictures!

Product Breakdown:

  • Leather bag, this would also work on fabric bags or faux leather but go easy on the sandpaper since it could easily pull the “leather” coating off its fabric backing
  • Doily, must be the crocheted or knitted kind not punch cut fabric or paper. You could also do this with crocheted lace.
  • Scrap cardboard, for the “stamp” backing.
  • Fine grit sandpaper, I used some 150 I had on hand and used a soft touch.
  • Spray starch and an iron, to make the doily stiff and completely flat. I think you could get away with just the iron, or you could make your own cornstarch based starch with this recipe.
  • Spray adhesive, I love love love spray adhesive but any glue would work just make sure to throughly adhere the doily to the backing or it might pull apart in use.
  • Acrylic paint, like I said above mine was artist quality and so needed to be thinned. You could also use regular or craft acrylic, or fabric paint or leather paint for that matter.
  • Extender, I used Anitas Extender it was $1.47 at Hobby Lobby. If you are having trouble with the paint dying too quickly on the stamp before you can use it, this stuff will help.
  • Textile Medium, I used Delta brand also from Hobby Lobby it was $4.99 for a big bottle. It kept my paint from cracking when dried and it also did a really good job of making my paint job waterproof.
  • And the usual suspects, pens, paintbrushes, paper, and scissors.

1 Roll of Painter's Tape, 1 Giant Piece of Wood, and Some Paint =

A while back I bought this display stand at Savers:

I’m not sure what it was used for, it’s got narrow shelves with grooves for holding whatever it used to hold.

I wanted to use it as an easily changeable display of postcards and pictures and other small things, but on the wall it didn’t look right, far too big and commanding. So I broke off the back panel and ripped the narrow shelves apart (they were all held together with staples). I am going to hang the shelves up in my project room but I had a giant piece of very thin wood left over. We recently painted our kitchen orange and red and a large neutral piece of art was just the thing it needed. So I used painter’s tape to mark off areas of wood that had a nice grain pattern like so:

Then I used some leftover white latex paint we had and applied it with a roller:

And voila, a large piece of abstract art for my kitchen that cost no extra money since everything I used I already owned.

Obviously this could be done with just about any surface. For instance you could use three paint canvas and painters tape in the same pattern on each but with different colors to create a very interesting triptych to adorn your walls. Another option would be to use painting tape in an abstract pattern on the wall itself!

UPDATE 2/5/2012: This project was featured here, on Hugmyndir Fyrir Heimilid which I believe translates into Ideas for the Home. Thanks!

Simple Scallop Stencil Tutorial

Making your own stencils is a very inexpensive and completely customizable way to gussy-up walls, furniture or any other paintable surface. I made this scallop edge stencil for the edging along my upstairs bathroom. I have desperately been wanting to paint that room, mostly because I love to take relaxing bubble baths and the glossy stained white paint didn’t add much to the ambiance. Anyway I will be showing my bathroom’s mini-redo in the next week or so but for now here is how to make your own simple scallop edge stencil:

Stencil blanks have the advantage of being washable and longer lasting than cardboard, but for a one time use cardboard will work just fine. The round object can be whatever size you like, from a quarter to a pickle jar all that matters is your stencil blank is large enough to accommodate the object several times over.

The first step is to mark the boundary lines for the scallop design. For me I marked two inches on the top plus one inch on each side.

Next you want to trace the round object as many times as fits on your blank. Leave a bit of space between each shape. Do not make any half scallops or it will be hard to match the stencil up as you paint.

Next you will need to mark a horizontal line cutting the traced circles in half.

This stencil is just about done! All that’s left is to cut out the top half of the circles, like so:

Once all the circles are cut out the stencil is ready to rock. Some tips on using stencils:

  • Use spray adhesive or painters to insure a tight bond to the wall
  • After dipping your brush or roller in paint roll off the excess on paper towels
  • Use many passes with minimal paint instead of one thick coat
  • Wash your stencil off if possible after every use
  • If the shapes come out a little wonk-y or there is bleed through simply take a small paint brush and even out the shapes, no one will notice if a couple scallops are a bit bigger or smaller

Here is a shot of my bathroom with one wall done with the scallop stencil, I think it adds a nice detail to the dark walls:

In Progress: Living Room

Matt and I have been getting our new house together a little at a time. The most used and visible area is the front/living room so that has been what we are focusing on. It’s not done yet and even when we finish our current projects it will still need several big-ticket items. Projects in the works include: painting the walls and trim, painting the fireplace insert, new curtains, and repainting or re-imaging the picture frames and wall decor we already own. Projects that will be done eventually (funds permitting): re-upholster couch and chair, and purchase large art prints for the walls.

Anyway here is a lovely shot of the living room in progress.

You can see the aqua/blue-green color we chose for the walls and the hammered silver spray-painted fireplace insert halfway done. The blue and green wine bottles in the corner I found in the storage shed at our last house in WI and I want to incorporate them into the room. The problem with a group of wine bottles is that they are hard to display without the obvious alcoholic connotations no matter how well the colors match.

Faux Picture Frame Molding

I am stuck in stasis without a house, so I’ve been going through all the pictures of project I have on my computer instead of starting anything new. Here is a really simple but elegant wall treatment I did awhile back to our rental house in Portage, WI. A simple and cheap alternative to traditional picture frame molding done with paint.

Here is a good example of what you can do with the real deal. My version just uses painters tape, a yardstick, a pencil and two colors of paint. I painted the walls this pretty cream color then, I measured out three inches from the wall or window on all sides and marked with a pencil. I then taped the stripes out, coated again in the cream to take care of any bleed through and then painted the brown. The stripes look very dark in the picture but they are really a deep coffee brown.

Only thing I would have done differently is the top of the arch, you can barely see it on the top left of this picture. I didn’t attempt to create a curved line following the top of the arch, it ended up looking a bit unfinished with the rest of the room. Anyway it was a great look for our front room since we didn’t have much furniture… notice the empty shelf. Sophisticated, something to draw your eyes, inexpensive and since we were renting very easy to get ride of.