Believe Plaque

Sometimes simplicity is nice…our Basswood Country Rounds are perfect for that! I used the Small one for this quick and easy project. Following the natural rings in the wood, basecoat the center with Country Red. If the grain rises a bit, lightly sand it down before adding a second coat. Once the red is dry, take the Curly Words Stencil and center the word “Believe” in the middle. With a stencil or Deerfoot brush, stencil the word with Snow White. It is that simple! Finish with your favorite varnish, and add a hook to the back, or set it in a plate stand to display. Makes a great gift or project for your next craft show.

Happy Painting and Crafting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Staff Projects

Holly Ring

I have been having a lot of fun lately trying out wood burning, and it is really fun! For this project, I took one of the holly stencils and traced on the design and wood burnt in the outlines and then added acrylic paint to finish the design. It was so much fun! I hope that this will inspire you to try something new!

Here is what you will need to complete this project:

Wooden Ring

DecoArt Americana:
Avocado
Hauser Dark Green
Margarita
Country Red
Snow White
Black Plum

Neons:
Fiery Red

Maple Gel Stain
Creative Woodburner Detailer
Sponge Brushes
Pines & Holly Background Stencil
Brown Paper Bag or Sandpaper
Dura Clear Matte Varnish

First, start by sanding your wooden ring with either a piece of brown paper bag, or sandpaper. Wipe the dust off with a damp cloth. Then, stain the wood with the Maple Gel Stain and a sponge brush. I love using a sponge brush to stain the wood and when you are done, you can just throw the brush away. Rub the stain on following the grain of the wood, make sure to also get the sides and to do the back when the front side is dry. When dry, if the wood grain has raised a bit, lightly sand with your brown paper bag.

Next take your holly stencil and plan where the three locations of the branches will be…when you have that figured out, trace the design on lightly with a pencil. Heat up your wood burner. When the wood burner is to the desired temp, follow the lines that you drew on the wooden ring. Take your time and have fun!

After the wood burning is done, paint the holly leaves with Avocado. Shade the lower sides with Hauser Dark Green, and highlight the other side with Margarita. Draw the main vein line with Hauser Dark Green. Using the back end of a paint brush, dip into Country Red and randomly dot large and small dots all around the vines. Shad the berries with Black Plum and highlight the the other side with Fiery Red. Add a highlight dot with Snow White.

Finish with Dura Clear Matte Varnish.

I hope you enjoy creating this project as much as I did!

Happy Painting!

 

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Staff Projects

Quick Gift Idea

It seems to happen almost every year…you thought you had everything done and then you realize you need another gift for a party or even a holiday birthday. But, what should you do? Well, dig out some wood and lets make a quick and easy inspirational sign!

Not good at hand lettering, well don’t you worry, with just a stencil and an Identi Pen, you too can create wonderful hand lettering.

I chose to use our Long Breadboard, this piece is being discontinued so get yours before they are all gone. With a pencil and ruler, I drew a line from corner to corner at the top and at the bottom, then applied clear tape along the line so that I could stain the center of the board with DecoArt Oak Gel Stain. Once this is dry, I did a light sanding in the direction of the grain to remove any rough patches.

From the FolkArt Stencil Value Pack – Phrases, I used the stencil “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful”..position this in the center of your stained area and then trace the words with a pencil. Once it is traced on, outline the letters with the Identi Pen, then fill the letters in with the thicker side of the pen. And just like that, you have a hand lettered sign.

Next tape off the stained areas so that you are ready to paint the bottom and the handle area of the board with Winter Blue. I did two coats, lightly sanding in between coats to make sure the area is nice and smooth. Once dry, I laid the Classic Quatrefoil Stencil over the handle area and then stenciled with Extreme Sheen Pearl (you can use any stencil of your choice for this as well). When that was dry, I stenciled the lower portion the same way. Once dry, I then used my Identi Pen to create dash lines where the stain and painted areas meet.

All it needs now is a coat of varnish and I will use DecoArt’s Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray. Then will most likely add a bow…I will have to dig through my stash and see what I have that will match.

Happy Holidays and Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Staff Projects

String Art: Deer

String art of a deer

This was my third and final string art piece in my fall trio! I knew this design would be more challenging, so saved it last for that reason. If you need more detailed instructions on how to make string art for beginners check out my ginkgo leaf project, which is simpler. I got inspired by a deer design I saw in DIY String Art (#38863), but I thought that if I used the one from the book on the surface I chose there would be too much blank space. I went online and found a different clip art deer image that I liked that was longer. Like my other string art pieces I also used yarn from our sister company Knit Picks instead of regular string. I chose yarn that was a neutral gray color but has pretty little flecks of gold in it which goes well with the paint color I picked.

 

The materials I used were:

Note: I used the Alux yarn in the color Ash but I actually think this would piece would look awesome in the colors Coriander #27555 or Mist #27556 and using gold colored nails instead of silver. For the sake of my fall trio though, I chose colors that blended in with the rest.

 

To prep my surface I used the Americana Decor Wood Reclaim again before painting. You can use the image from the book I mentioned or find a different one online, or you can draw your own. If you are not using the pattern from the book I highly recommend drawing your dots on the outline of the pattern before you begin to hammer nails in (instead of just whinging it, which is what I learned the hard way). Be careful that you don’t place the dots too close together, because it will be harder to string. After you finish this step you’ll be all set to start hammering!

When finished hammering all your nails in you can begin to string it. I recommend using superglue to secure your knots. I started out by “outlining” the entire design with my string before starting on the the other parts. I quickly realized that the antlers of the pattern I chose are a little tight and close to the ears of the deer after outlining them. To make their shape clearly defined I chose to fill them in completely with the string, and only partially string the rest of the deer. Figuring out this approach is what made the design more complicated than the others. However, you can avoid this completely by simply following the pattern in the book!

Overall, I’m happy with how this final piece came out and completed my fall string art trio! I learned a lot in the process (some of it the hard way) but I came away with some very useful tips for this craft and I hope it helps you.

 

 

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Mad for Plaid

I love plaid…especially a red or black Buffalo Plaid! So, I decided to play around and see what I could create. I grabbed our wooden candle holders (quantities are limited on these) and set to work. These were quick and easy, I chose not to tape them off, but you could…I just chose my brush size and eyeballed it, and I am happy with how they turned out.

All you will need are a few supplies:

Round Vase Candle Holder
Square Wood Candle Holder
Oval Vase Candle Holder

DecoArt Americana:
Country Red
Lamp Black

Sand Paper
#20 Flat Shader
Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray

First, sand all of your candle holders, wipe the dust off with a damp rag. Paint all of the sides with Country Red (this may take two coats), the tops and bottoms are painted with Lamp Black.

Your first stripes will be a wash of Lamp Black. On the square candle holder, I started in the middle of each side and then worked my way out, leaving approx the width of the brush bristles between the stripes. I started vertically and worked my way around each of the candle holders. Once dry, take a wash of Lamp Black again and do the horizontal stripes the same way. Let dry. For the finishing touch, where the two stripes overlap, paint that section Lamp Black.

If it isn’t perfect, don’t worry too much…that gives it a more rustic look, but if you want, you can use tape to get a more exact line, which will take a little bit more time (just make sure to really have the edges of your tape sealed so that the watered down paint doesn’t seep underneath the tape).

Finish with Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matter Spray, or you can you use a Satin Gloss to make them a bit more shiny.

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Staff Projects

Festive Stocking Holders

Do you hang stockings on the mantel above a fire place? Or do you not have a fireplace and they hang from a bookshelf? Well, our Snowman Stocking Holders will be great for either of those options. I chose to go with a more traditional Christmas color scheme, but you could paint them any color you want.

Here is what you will need:

Snowman Stocking Holders – Set of 2

DecoArt Americana:
Deep Midnight Blue
Light Buttermilk
Snow White
Persimmon
Lamp Black
Forest Green
Tuscan Red
Hauser Dark Green
Deep Burgundy
Burnt Sienna
Festive Green
Neutral Grey
Melon

Neons:
Torrid Orange
Fiery Red

Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray

I like to start first with stippling the snowman’s faces with Deep Midnight Blue. Let them dry, then stipple the snowman faces with Light Buttermilk. After that layer is dry, shade under the hat and above the scarf and around the nose with Deep Midnight Blue. For the finishing touch, lightly stipple the center of the faces with Snow White, making sure to also lightly stipple into your shade areas to soften. Paint the nose with Persimmon. Shade the bottom of the nose with Burnt Sienna, highlight the tip with Torrid Orange. Cheeks are blushed with Melon. The eyes and mouths are Lamp Black. Add highlight dots to the eyes and to each circle of the mouth.

Snowman with Top Hat:

Paint the hat and base Lamp Black. Highlight the hat with Neutral Grey. The scarf and the hat band are painted with Tuscan Red. Shade the top of the hat band, the top of the scarf and along the sides of the scarf that overlap with Deep Burgundy. Highlight the band and the scarf with Fiery Red. The fringe on the scarf is Forest Green. Shade with Hauser Dark Green and highlight with Festive Green. The dots on the hat band are Snow White.

Snowman with Stocking Cap:

The base is Lamp Black. Paint the main portion of the stocking cap and the scarf with Forest Green. Shade with Hauser Dark Green above the hat brim, below the ball, around the top of the scarf, and down the sides where the scarf overlaps. Highlight with Festive Green. The scarf fringe, hat band, and ball is Tuscan Red. Shade along the hat brim by the the snowman face, where the ball connects to the hat, and the scarf fringe with Deep Burgundy. Highlight with Fiery Red. Dots on the hat are Snow White.

After they are completely dry, varnish with your favorite spray varnish.

Happy Holidays and Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

What’s on Your Paint Table?

This time of year, what is on your paint table? Ornaments, resin, signs, holiday gifts…I thought I would share and show you a few projects that I am currently working on or have just finished. I love our resin Crackled Snowman and I chose to paint him very simple and I love how he turned out, I am thinking he will make a great gift for that friend who loves snowmen!

The other piece is Diane’s Breadboard, this piece is soon to be discontinued, so get yours while you still can. This fun shaped breadboard is great for a variety of designs, but I chose to paint a red buffalo plaid on it and use two stencils the Christmas Curly Words Stencil and Pines & Holly Background Stencil to create this Christmas sign.

Now, I think I may continue with the plaid and paint some mache letters for myself and for a family member…stay tuned and I will share those with you too.

Happy Painting and Happy Holidays!

Categories - Inspiration, News, Painting

String Art: Bear

String art of a bear

This was my second string art project and I had a lot of fun making it! I recommend reading about my ginkgo leaf project for more detailed instructions to this craft. I chose to create a cute bear design from the book DIY String Art (#38863) and used yarn from our sister company Knit Picks instead of regular string again. I kept my fall theme going and chose yarn that was mostly brown, but it also had blue parts to it which I thought would add some nice contrast.

 

The materials I used were:

 

To prep my surface I used the awesome Americana Decor Wood Reclaim again to seal everything down and then painted it. A pattern for the bear design is available in the book I mentioned above. In order to adjust the design you can photocopy it and enlarge or reduce it to fit whatever surface you want (just be careful of how close your dots get). Then its hammer time!

When finished hammering you can start to string. For this pattern I strung it in a somewhat random way. I recommend securing the knots you tie when starting to string your piece with superglue so that it doesn’t unravel. I think its helpful to start this piece by “tracing” an outline around the entire edge of the bear design with your string first. This is so that you don’t accidentally string across the gaps of the bear’s legs.

I chose to outline the bear with just the brown colored section of the yarn. Then after securing a knot I strung the rest of the piece using the sections of the yarn where the color changes from brown to blue. I tried to focus the blue yarn in one area (I thought it would be kind of funny to make it have a blue butt) but you can string it however you like.

This second string art project was really fun and I was already planning my next piece before I finished!

 

 

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Just a Couple of Turkey’s!

Are you ready for a little turkey time?! This little duo is ready to come and join you for the Thanksgiving holiday. I planned them to be perfect for painters of all skill levels, and with no shading or highlighting they are great for the beginning painter.

Here is what you will need:

Turkey’s – Set of 2

DecoArt Americana:
Antique Green
Mustard Seed
Espresso
Persimmon
Honey Brown
Spiced Pumpkin
Avocado
Marigold
Titanium “Snow” White
Light Buttermilk
Country Red

DecoArt Extreme Sheen:
24K Gold

Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray

Let’s start with painting the bodies of both turkeys with Persimmon. Both the faces and wings are painted with Honey Brown. The center leaf on the tail of both turkey’s is Antique Green, the two leaves to the right and left are Mustard Seed, and the bottom two leaves are Espresso. If you accidentally get paint onto an area that you have already painted, don’t worry, let the paint dry and touch that area up with the correct color, this is where patience comes in.

Next up, paint the collar of the boy turkey and the main portion of the hat and collar on the girl turkey with Light Buttermilk. Paint the brim and the tie of the girl’s hat with Titanium White. The boy’s hat is Lamp Black and so are the eyes. The band on the hat is 24K Gold. Paint the beaks and the corncob Marigold. Paint the husks of the corn and the stem of the small pumpkin with Avocado. The small pumpkin is Spiced Pumpkin. The waddles are Country Red. Add highlight dots to each eye with Titanium White.

That is it, touch up any areas that need a little extra work. Then finish with the Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray.

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Staff Projects

Winter Snowman

I love painting snowmen! They are just so much fun and each one develops into their own special character. Our little Snowman with Tree has so many fun options…I chose to take a simpler design option for mine. I did shading and highlighting on the snowman’s face and body, but chose just to highlight his clothes and the tree. This makes him a quick project, but you are welcome to add to this design, or use him as inspiration for yours.

Here is what you will need:

Snowman with Tree

DecoArt Americana:
Deep Midnight Blue
Light Buttermilk
Snow White
Persimmon
Lamp Black
Prussian Blue
Avocado
Winter Blue
Bleached Sand
Espresso
Uniform Blue
Margarita
Cool White
Melon

Neons:
Torrid Orange

Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray

I always start by stippling my snowman with Deep Midnight Blue; face, body, and legs. After that is dry, stipple again with Light Buttermilk. Then shade around the perimeter of the face next to the hat, scarf, and tree, as well as around the nose with Deep Midnight Blue. Also, shade the body, under the sweater, under the tummy, between the legs front and back, and around where the feet touch the base with Deep Midnight Blue. Then when the shading is dry, lightly stipple the center of the face, body, and legs with Snow White, making sure to lightly stipple over your shadow just enough to soften slightly.

Paint the tree Avocado and the trunk with Espresso. Highlight the tree with Margarita.

The main portion of the hat and sweater are Prussian Blue and highlighted with Uniform Blue. The scarf and mittens are Winter Blue highlighted with Cool White. The trim on the hat, sweater, and the fringe on the scarf are painted Bleached Sand and highlighted with Snow White.

Paint the base with Snow White.

For the Snowman’s face, paint his nose with Persimmon and highlight with Torrid Orange. Blush the cheeks with Melon. The eyes and mouth are Lamp Black. Add highlight dots to the eyes and cheeks with Snow White.

Finish with your favorite spray varnish.

He is now ready to join you for the holiday season!

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects