Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

Aspen Tree Collage Tutorial

May 1, 2016

I have been making a ton of these paintings lately, ever since I saw something similar on Facebook. It's a compilation of collage techniques, a lot of stenciling, and mark making. I had a few people ask how I do this so I thought I would do a quick little tutorial. This piece was done on a 6″ x 9″ piece of birch plywood, but you can do this on paper or canvas or whatever you like. The first thing I did was gesso the entire piece because I like to use Gellatos for my first layer but you can use acrylics or whatever you have on hand.

So, lay down some color for the background and glue on some collage pieces. I used an old book page and some washi tape. I used Golden's regular gel medium to glue them down.

Next I just added some color with Dylusion brand spray.

Start putting down some color using stencils, acrylic paint, and a makeup sponge.

Keep going, just add lots of layers. I added yellow flowers, magenta dots, and then pushed it all back with a light layer of white. The white was put on using a big open stencil.

Then added some hearts.

Now get out a pen or two and make some marks. This would make a really pretty piece just like this!

Here's the key to the whole thing. The Aspen Tree 12″x12″ stencil from Crafter's Workshop. Lay it down so it will give you the maximum number of trees. If it doesn't fit just put the top edge of the stencil at the top of your work. You can add more paint at the bottom of the tree trunks if needed when you're done with the stencil.
Tape the stencil down with blue painter's tape and start sponging black paint on. The stencil is actually a mask so you are filling in the negative space.

If you want to add a moon, use something round to trace around with white paint. Just paint over the background, not the trees.

Fill it in with white paint and use a tiny paintbrush to fix any branches that might have been covered with the black paint. Refer to the stencil to see where they go.

That's it! Please do not copy this tutorial or sell it for profit. You may link to it all you like though. Enjoy!


Tomato tin to Paint Brush Holder

August 9, 2010

I ran out of space in my mesh pencil holder that I’ve been using for my brushes and had grabbed an empty tin from the kitchen to use for the overflow. U G L Y … to say the least! So I finally got around to prettyfying it up and thought I’d share how …

Step 1
Base coat your can with white gesso and then whatever color you like. I, obviously, used yellow craft paint. I left the paper on too as you can see, if I decide I don’t like this later on maybe I can tear it off and change it! Don’t worry about totally covering up any words that show through – this is only the first layer!
Step 2
Put a little bit of paint in a spray bottle (got these for $1 each in the travel section) and add a teensy bit of water. Spray and let it drip – doesn’t this look luscious all by itself!
Step 3
Add some collage elements. I had some leftover strips of paper from when I made the bookmarks so I stuck them on plus a vellum saying I had sitting around. I didn’t have vellum glue so I used my trusty Gel Medium. Didn’t work so well on the vellum, it kind of crinkled but I like the look. See my trusty glue brush? I use cotton swabs for all types of things!
Step 4
Start adding more layers. I tend to overdo this technique to death … sponge through some sequin waste. I did this in a couple of different colors.
Step 5
Adirondack Color Wash. I learned about this stuff from Suzi Blu’s class and I’ve been using it on everything! It’s very thin and dye like. I masked off the vellum because I didn’t want the saying to disappear under paint. Painter’s tape (the blue stuff) is low tack so it’s pretty safe to use on projects. Spray a couple of colors on your can. See the sunflowers? Old plastic placemats that I was going to toss until I decided they would make great art mats – a couple of them made a great splash screen!
Step 6
Just keep adding layers until you are happy. I sponged on more paint and sprayed a bit more. I even added one of the little rhinestone flowers I got from a scrapbook section at WalMart. I sponged some Titan Buff on it to knock it back some. Just play until it looks right to you. I ended up with the messy ‘painterly’ look I was going for and I think my brushes are much happier living in their tomato can now!
Tomato can to paint brush holder - tutorial

Fabric business card holder – tutorial

April 19, 2009

I finally got this done – and I’m just tickled with it. I used sewing themed fabric and it came out great. I wrote a tutorial and you can read it and print it out for yourself. Cute, huh!


The bookmark tutorial is done

April 6, 2008

Bookmark tutorialI actually made the time to write this – and before I wrote that online class on altered CDs and domino art too! Free stuff before paid stuff – what am I thinking? LOL. Anyhow – there’s 3 pages and you can print it out and link to it. Just no copying it. Have fun and send me photos if you make any.
You’ll learn to make packing tape transfers in this tutorial. These bookmarks will make great gifts so make lots!

Button hanger tutorial

February 16, 2008

This is pretty simple. Take a button – figure out how much wire you need based on your project and where the button will attach. I used 20 gauge wire. Insert the wire through the buttonholes to the back of the button. Use your pliers and twist the wires a few times. Bend the wires so they sit flush against the button. I put glue all over the button (including under and on top of the wires) and clamped it to the heart overnight. I love clamps. I even told my hubby to buy me clamps one Xmas – got ’em too! I suppose if you’re a purist you can sew it on! Ta da ….

Nice and tight and secure

button hanger tutorial

Oh – the photo is deceiving – the wires don’t go from the button around the heart. It’s 2 separate pieces.

Finger turning tutorial

August 28, 2007

I’ve been thinking of making this video for a while … although I have discovered that I can’t turn fingers, think, and talk at the same time…

How to use beaded trim

July 26, 2007

This may not be new to anyone but me! I have a lot of beaded trim and the ribbon is usually so wide that I haven’t found a good way to use it on dolls. When I was searching for trim to use on my Stump Sister I found some pre-beaded trim that was perfect. So I played with it until I figured out how I could reduce the size of the ribbon without cutting it. Twist, twist, twist! It’s all in the wrist.

Start with your standard beaded trim

Beaded trim tutorial

Start to twist and pin the end. Keep twisting. You can either twist the whole thing or twist and sew as you go. You have to sew the twists into place – I used a running stitch.

Beaded trim tutorial

Place your piece on your doll and sew into place. Make sure you sew one fringe to either side of the center ribbon.

Beaded trim tutorial

How to create an illusion of a hat

May 7, 2007

Ingrid's hat

As promised, here is how I made the ‘hat’. First you need to cut an oval of material larger than you want the finished hat to be. You could use pinking shears or a wavy rotary cutter blade for a neat edge effect. You could even sew a gathered lace around the ‘brim’. Sew three little circles of gathering stitches a little higher than center, each one 1/8″ away from each other. Pull fairly tight. This will create the ‘crown’ and gather the material into the pretty folds. Next you need to cover the doll with some plastic wrap. Take some fabric stiffener (like Aleene’s Stiffy) and pour onto a paper plate. Lay the hat in it and spread it all over – both sides. Push off excess glue. Put the hat on the doll and adjust the folds. Pin in place. Let dry. If you’re like me you will let it dry for about half an hour and then hit it with the heat gun to finish it up. Add decorations like silk flowers and bows. I used corsage pins to secure it to the doll’s head. Easy!!!

How to make a lightweight quilted fabric shelf

April 22, 2007

Fabric shelf
My local quilt shop has a design wall that is used for class samples. For wearable art or quilts it’s quite easy to display the sample, but for dolls it’s another story. They either get put inside a basket that is tacked to the wall or, horror of horrors, the doll itself gets pinned to the wall. I didn’t want my mermaid to face that fate so I decided to design a lightweight fabric shelf that could be pinned to the wall. This is what I came up with ….
I wrote a 3 page tutorial that you can download. This will work for little lightweight objects. My mermaid is 10″ so that’s a guide of sorts, I suppose.

Altered charms for charm bracelet swap

April 16, 2007

1st set of charms

I’m involved in two charm bracelet swaps. This is the first set of charms that I’ve made. They are pretty simple but I’m happy with how they turned out. Here’s the scoop:
1″ wood disk
Various collage images
Crystal Laquer (made by Sakura Hobby Craft)
14K Gold leafing pen
Ultimate Glue
Dremel w/tiny drill bit
20 gauge wire
Various beads/charms
Acrylic paint/varnish
First drill a hole near the top (on the face of the disk) big enough for a jump ring. Then drill a hole on the side of the disk – in line with the top hole. This is where you will add your dangle. Paint the entire disk in your choice of color. Cut a collage image to fit the disk (use a 1″ circle punch if you have one – I don’t but I’m going to buy one soon!). Glue it on. Cut out your words – glue them on. Color around the edge of the disk with the 14K gold leafing pen, also color the edges of the collage image. Squeeze the Crystal Laquer around the edges of the disk then proceed to fill in the disk wiht the laquer. Let it dry for an hour or two. Take your 20 gauge wire and cut a piece about 1 1/4″. Bend the very tip over and squish it. Dip the tip into the Ultimate Glue and then ‘screw’ it into the hole on the side of the disk. Let dry for a few minutes. Add beads and bend wire into a spiral or a design. Make a jump ring for the top if you don’t have any on hand.