Initial Pumpkin

Our resin pumpkins are great for a variety of seasonal designs, not just Jack-o-Lanterns either! Although, I did choose to still paint our Tall Pumpkin an orange color, I took a more generic fall approach for this project. It is fun and easy and you can adapt it to match your fall decor and family initial.

Here is what you will need:
DecoArt Americana Burnt Umber and Avocado
DecoArt Chalky Paint in Cameo
Tall Resin Pumpkin
Initial Impressions – Quirky Stencil (or use the stencil of your choice)
Dual Sided Paint Pouncers (for making the polka-dots)
Identi Pen Black
Acrylic Sealer Finisher Gloss Spray
Artificial fall leaves of your choice
Fall ribbon of your choice
Hot glue gun

First, paint your pumpkin with Cameo. I did two coats for an even coverage. Paint the stem with Avocado. Stencil your family initial to the center of the pumpkin with Burnt Umber. To add the polka-dots, choose the size of paint pouncer that you want, dip into Burnt Umber and then press onto your pumpkin, continue all the way around. Make sure to reload your pouncer with each polka-dot so that you have the best shape and coverage. After everything was dry, I chose to use the Black Identi Pen to outline the initial only. After that, spray with one or two coats of Acrylic Sealer Finisher Spray. I chose to use the Gloss version for extra shine, but you can also use the Matte version if you prefer.

After the varnish was good and dry, I used my hot glue gun and some silk fall leaves that I had in my craft stash to glue all the way around the top of the pumpkin. Then I dug through my ribbon stash and found this wonderful fall plaid that was perfect for a bow to finish up this project. Glue in place.

If you don’t like the orange, you could paint your pumpkin white, or a moss green…just let your creativity go and have fun!

Happy Painting and Creating!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Stacked Jacks

I am all about fun and easy projects right now, and our Stacked Jack-o-Lanterns were perfect for this. All I did was basecoat and add a few highlights to bring this project to life.

Here are the paints you will need:
DecoArt Americana
Jack-o-Lantern
Lamp Black
Avocado
Neutral Grey
Purple Cow
Margarita
Bright Yellow

DecoArt Neons
Torrid Orange

DecoArt Extreme Sheen Metallics
Bronze

Basecoat the pumpkins in Jack-o-Lantern. This may take a few coats, so be patient and let it dry well between coats. The hat is Lamp Black. Leaves are Avocado. Hat Band is Purple Cow. Buckle is Bronze. Using your highlighter brush, scrub Torrid Orange down the center of each raised section, making sure to hit under the eyes and around the nose and mouth. I did this three times to really make the highlights pop. Once the pumpkins are dry, paint the eyes, nose, and mouth with Lamp Black. Add a highlight stroke to the eyes, nose and mouth for each pumpkin with Bright Yellow. The middle pumpkin I did a dip dot at the inner corner of the eyes. Highlight the leaves with Margarita, Make sure to make the tip bright, this took two applications. The hat is highlighted with Neutral Grey. Once everything is dry, it is time to varnish. I really wanted him to shine so I used DecoArt Acrylic Sealer Finisher Gloss Spray.

He was so fun and quick to paint, that he was done in just a matter of a few hours. I can’t wait to have him join my Halloween decor this season.

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Fall Cornucopias

It may be hot outside, but I am already dreaming of Fall! The cool nights and trees full of color and the sound of walking through leaves as they crunch under your feet. Yep, I love Fall, and I have been on a bit of a Fall project kick as well. So, here is my first quick and easy project idea for you.

I love our Cornucopias with Birds, especially the woven texture on the cornucopia. I know some of you look at these and think, wow that is a lot of detail to paint. So, I thought, why not just paint them one solid color and then antique them? Well, I love the way they turned out, and I think I may paint more just like this for my bazaar in November.

All you will need is two DecoArt Americana paint colors, Light Buttermilk and Burnt Umber, and some DecoArt Staining & Antiquing Medium.

First, paint both our your resin pieces with Light Buttermilk. I did two coats to make sure everything was nicely covered. Once dry, spray with DecoArt Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray. Then follow the instructions on the Antiquing Medium and mix with Burnt Umber. Then apply with a brush to both pieces, and with a soft cloth, rub off any excess medium where you don’t want it. If it is too dark in some areas, just dampen you cloth with water to reactivate your medium and gently rub. Once you have the antiquing medium to your liking, then let it dry completely. I chose to finish them with DecoArt Acrylic Sealer Finisher Spray in Gloss so they would have an extra shiny look.

How great will this duo look all nestled into a fall leaves arrangement on your mantel or holiday table?!

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Drink-Laugh-Paint, A Girl’s Night!

See how one of our Customer Service Reps hosted a paint party for a fun Girl’s Night!

When I saw the Drink-Laugh-Paint (#38791) I was so excited to try it. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this kit and plan a girl’s night with my friends. The kit contains an Instruction Easel with 8 different projects, sorted seasonally, ranging from beginner to intermediate/advanced, 16 invitations, and a booklet on “How to Host a Painting Party”.

The “How to Host a Painting Party” booklet lists the recommended supplies, as well as the necessary paint colors and brushes, along with drink recommendations for each project. All projects use a 16”x20” canvas, which I was able to find on sale at a big box craft store. The kit recommends, but does not include, easels. You may be able find some from your big box craft stores for less than $20, though our group had no trouble using the kit without them.

The Dragonfly painting project was the perfect choice for the beautiful weather we have been enjoying in Washington. We used the Americana Premium Tube Acrylics in the following colors: Dioxazine Purple (#14554), Pthalo Green-Yellow (#14544), Sap Green (#14540) Titanium White (#14558), Pthalo Blue (#14542), Hansa Yellow Medium (#14535), Diarylide Yellow (#14534), and Pyrrole Red (14524). Not all of the colors exactly matched what the instructions called for, but we still achieved the intended results with no trouble.

Each project requires a variety of brushes and directions on how to use the different brushes to achieve the project. We used the Americana Decor 2” Flat Brush, 10 Piece Resin Brush Set, 7 Piece Starter Set. These sets included a nice variety of brushes, all of which worked great and felt wonderful to use. This was my first time using the Papillon brushes, and the quality to value ratio was fantastic.

After acquiring the necessary supplies, next came scheduling the party. The 16 included postcards are an adorable way to invite your guests, though we did not end up using them because planning the party required all 5 working moms to free up a date on our calendars together.

When that date finally came it did not disappoint! We were so excited to have a fun event where the 5 of us could to celebrate the end of the school year and the slowing down of our busy PTA schedule. The kit suggested mojitos (and some alternatives) to pair with the painting we chose, but we kept it simple with margaritas and wine.

With drinks in one hand and paintbrushes in the other we set out our supplies and got started. The Instruction Easel with painting directions is well-designed, with the projects grouped by season and a smart page flow that eliminates the struggle of turning the easel with a paintbrush in hand.

One of my friends had attended two previous paint and drink nights and helped guide us, but the book was an excellent source whenever we weren’t sure what to do next. The instructions walk you through the project and give you useful tips on when you need to let the paint dry for a few minutes. You can work through the painting at your own speed, but I would plan for at least 2 hours for a party.

We had a blast! There were lots of laughs and some of us drank more than others. More than one of us almost dipped our paint brush in our drink instead of the water (watch out for that!). We did indeed drink, laugh, and paint, which was a wonderful bonding experience. In the end, each of our paintings turned out differently, but in a fun way. At the end of the night we were excitedly wondering when we could plan another. For us, this kit was a great buy, and with 7 more paintings left we are excited to use it again and again.

Categories - Inspiration, News, Painting, Staff Projects

Homemade Soap

Here is a blog post from one of our Customer Service Reps who tried out our soap making book…have you tried soap making yet?

Having super sensitive skin I have been looking for a how to on making my own natural soap.  I want to know what is in the soap as well as being able to pronounce the ingredients.  The Natural Soapmaking Book for Beginners was an excellent starting place.  It is full of lots of information on pure ingredients; what to use and what to stay away from.

With such sensitive skin I decided to try the Goat milk, cinnamon, oats, and honey soap.  The oatmeal exfoliates gently while the goat milk and honey hydrate and soften your skin while providing natural antibacterial properties.

Gathering ingredients

Melting the fats

Dissolving lye in the goats milk (make sure you wear your protective gear)

Emulsifying the oil/fats with lye to obtain trace

In the mold it goes

Cut into slices to finish curing

8 weeks later all cured and ready to be used.  This soap has a nice lather and smells wonderful.  My skin loves it.

Wanting to try a soap that didn’t take 2 months to use, I tried one of the recipes that used melt and pour glycerin.  Who doesn’t love roses…?!?!?!  The Rose Petal Melt and Pour soap was quick and easy.  The bonus was being able to use it the same day!

Melting the glycerin

Rose clay, rose petals, and rose essential oil

Setting up (only 4 hours instead of 2 months)

This recipe was quicker for those who want the make and use right of way options.  The instructions are well written and easy to understand.  Rose oil calms and relaxes you while stimulating and elevating your mind.

Categories - Inspiration, News, Staff Projects

Foxy Quilling

Fox made by quilling

I was flipping through a book while planning our September catalog when a cute little quilled fox caught my eye! The fox was part of a larger project, but I decided to recreate just the fox because I wanted to start small and simple. This was my first experience quilling. It took a little longer than I expected (about two hours) but it was fun to try something new and learn a new skill!

I used our Paper Quilling Kit with Storage Box (#87441). This is the perfect kit for beginners because it has everything you need to get started. It includes quilling strips, quilling comb, circle template ruler, curling coach, tweezers, ultrafine tip glue applicator, needle and slotted tool, and a tri-fold blank card. I used regular Elmer’s Glue on the quilling strips.

I loosely followed the directions from the book by looking at the picture for each step (this book will be available to purchase after the September catalog has been mailed out). The fox is made up of multiple sections that each contain one or more quilling strips. For example, the ears themselves are sections that are made up of one quilling strip each that is curled tightly around itself and bent. The front legs are another section that is made up of four short strips that are slightly curled by hand and glued together at their ends. Each section doesn’t look like much by itself, but when you put all the sections together that’s when the magic really happens!

I decided to give the finished fox to my Grandma because I thought of her while I was making it. She has given my family cards with quilling art on them before for holidays or birthdays. After doing the craft myself, I can really appreciate the time and care that goes into these!

 

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Snapshots, Staff Projects

USA Paper Mache Letters

These mache letters will look great on your mantel or bookshelf this Fourth of July and they were so much fun to paint! A great project for the beginning painter or for the Americana enthusiast.

These letters allow for a little creative freedom when deciding where to do the stripes and what will be your blue fields. I pretty much just eyeballed it, but used a ruler to help me keep most lines straight when they needed to be. Other than that, just relax and have fun, these are supposed to be a little whimsical or rustic.

You just need a few supplies: 12″ Mache Letters – A (#40153), U (#40173), and S (#40171); Falling Stars Background Stencil (#71899); Identi Pen Black (#70830); DecoArt Americana paint colors in Williamsburg Blue (#13040), Deep Midnight Blue (#13166), Winter Blue (#13190), Rookwood Red (#13097), Black Plum (#13172), Light Buttermilk (#13164), Antique White (#13058), Snow White (#13001), and Neons Fiery Red (#18000).

I painted the sides and back of each letter with Deep Midnight Blue. For the design, paint the blue fields with Williamsburg Blue, shade with Deep Midnight Blue, highlight with Winter Blue. Light stripes paint with Light Buttermilk, shade with Antique White, highlight with Snow White. Red stipes paint with Rookwood Red, shade with Black Plum, highlight with Fiery Red. Stars are stenciled with Light Buttermilk. Add dip dots to each corner of the star. When everything is dry, outline the stripes and some sections of the A for separation with the Identi Pen. Finish with your favorite varnish.

There you have it…some fun Americana letters to enjoy all summer long!

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Snapshots, Staff Projects

USA House Letters

With the Fourth of July coming up I thought I would create a fun, quick and easy project that anyone can do on our Row Houses – Set of 4 (#62828). All you will need are a few paint colors, some stencils, and some extra ribbon and you are on your way.

Here are the colors I used for this project (you can use any color that you prefer)
DecoArt Americana:
Deep Midnight Blue
Calico Red
Light Buttermilk
Khaki Tan
Lamp Black
DecoArt Extreme Sheen 24K Gold

Stencils:
Initial Impressions Sleek Stencil (#71961)
Falling Stars Background Stencil (#71899)

To start the project, I taped off the roof lines and painted them all Lamp Black. Once dry, tape off the house line and paint one house Deep Midnight Blue, the one with the star Calico Red, the house with the flag Light Buttermilk, and the tall skinny house with Khaki Tan. Paint the star 24K Gold. Paint the flag Light Buttermilk, then paint the upper left corner with Deep Midnight Blue, and stripes with Calico Red.

When everything is dry, stencil stars on the Deep Midnight Blue House, U on the Calico Red house, S on the Light Buttermilk House, and an A on the Khaki Tan house.

Finish with your favorite varnish.

For a final touch, I had some red, white, and blue ribbon in my stash at home and used a hot glue gun to glue it in place across the roof and house lines.

If you want more detail, you can shade and highlight your houses, but I was going for a simple primitive look. You could even sand the edges for a more worn or rustic look.

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Large Patriotic Grooved Heart

I was wanting something new for my front door for the Fourth of July and had many ideas going through my head as I looked for a surface. I don’t know about any of you, but my head is constantly full of creative ideas…sometimes keeping myself focused on one thing is always a challenge because I am easily distracted by other creative ideas and craft projects.

But, here is what I came up with and it can be painted in a matter of hours. Here is what you will need: Grooved Primitive Heart (#62998), Assorted Wood Stars (#63102), 1/2″ Wood Spools (#63208), 3/4″ Wood Spools (#63209), Rustic Accents 22 Gauge Wire (#70067), Identi Pen Black (#70830), ribbon for a bow, and the following DecoArt Americana paint colors: Uniform Blue (#13086), Deep Midnight Blue (#13166), French Grey Blue (#13098), Rookwood Red (#13097), Black Plum (#13172), Light Buttermilk (#13164), Antique White (#13058), Snow White (#13001), Neons Fiery Red (#18000).


The first thing you need to do is measure every two inches from the top of your highest point of the heart all the way down to the tip….this will give you your stripe width. I then lined the blue field up to the groove that runs down the center and with the edge of the third stripe. Tape off the area around the blue field and paint that area Uniform Blue, this may take two coats. Let dry and remove tape. Tape off the sections for the light colored stripes and paint Light Buttermilk. After the stripes are dry, remove the tape and then tape off the sections for the red stripes. Paint the red stripes Rookwood Red, let dry and remove tape.

Paint the large wooden star Light Buttermilk. Shade around the outside edges with Antique White and highlight the center with Snow White.

I did a little basic shading on the edges of each stripe and on the blue field with a little highlighting in the center of each. Blue field shade with Deep Midnight Blue, highlight with French Grey Blue. Light stripes shade with Antique White, highlight with Snow White. Red stripes shade with Black Plum, highlight with Neons Fiery Red.

When all the paint is dry, use the Identi Pen to add wiggly lines along the edges of the blue field and to separate each stripe, as well as around the outside edge of the star.

Glue the star in the center of the blue field.

I drilled two holes in the tops of the heart to run sire through. I then thought it would be cute to add some of our wooden spools for a fun look. I alternated between the large and the small spools. I painted the small spools Uniform Blue, and the larger spools Light Buttermilk, but painted the ends with Rookwood Red. You could paint them differently or not add them at all.

Finish all wood with your favorite varnish. Add a fabric or ribbon bow to the wire for a festive finishing touch!

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Patriotic Flip Flops

In the summer I live in flip flops and when I saw our wooden flip flops, I knew I had to paint them, but at first I was like, but how. Then my love for Americana came shinning through and I was off and painting.

You will only need a few paint colors for this project and they are:
DecoArt Americana
Calico Red
Deep Midnight Blue
Light Buttermilk
Antique White
Black Plum
Soft Black
Snow White
French Grey Blue
Hot Shots/Neons
Fiery Red

Other Supplies:
Ribbon (#80154)
Wire
Black Identi Pen (#70830)
Falling Stars Background Stencil (#71899)

First I divided the the flip flops up with 2″ stripes. I chose to tape them off for crisp lines. I started with painting the red stripes first, so I taped off those sections first and painted them Calico Red. When they were dry, I removed the tape and taped off to paint the light stripes. Once the tape is in place and secure I painted them with Light Buttermilk. Shade the outside of the red stripes and the center seam with Black Plum and highlight the center with Fiery Red. Shade the outside of the light stripes and down the center seam with Antique White, highlight the center with Snow White.

Paint the straps with Deep Midnight Blue. Shade the ends of the straps and where they over lap with Soft Black, highlight the center of the straps with French Grey Blue. Stencil stars with Light Buttermilk.

Instead of using a stencil for the lettering. I chose two fonts on my computer and printed the saying out to the size that would best fit the stripes. Then I traced them on and first outlined the letters with the Identi Pen and then filled in the letters with the pen as well. You can do this saying, your family name, or even another saying…the choice is yours.

Once everything is dry, finish with your favorite varnish. I chose to drill two holes and then added wire for easy hanging. Then for an extra touch, I added some patriotic ribbon that was in my stash.

There you have it, a fun and quick patriotic project that would look great hanging on your front door.

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Snapshots, Staff Projects