Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Create with Joy!

I just love crafting around Christmas...I love that my children really enjoy creating.  It's so much fun to introduce projects to them and see them get so excited about the things that they make.

I love it just as much as they do, and just in case you do too, I thought I'd share this project I worked on a few weeks ago.  It's easy, inexpensive, and I just love how it turned out!

I fell in love with this sweet illustration back in November, when I took home a cozy sweater from Eddie Bauer.  It's a good reminder to pay attention around Christmastime to packaging...this fun Christmas print came from a cute shopping bag!

I didn't have the heart to throw away the bag, so I saved it and decided to use it for decoration!

(The best thing about it? It's double-sided!)

You'll need a print design, canvases in an appropriate size for the design, scissors, craft knife, mod-podge, a glue pen, fine glitter, and Superseal.

First, cut apart the bag so that the design is flat. Place the canvas behind the print, holding it up to the light (or a lightbox) to choose the best placement. Then, trace around the canvas on the back of the print.

Cover the back of the print with mod-podge, painting inside the area you've traced. Carefully place the canvas over the mod-podge, pressing gently to adhere the paper to the canvas. Carefully smooth out any bubbles or creases in the paper. I found the heavier the coverage of mod-podge, the more creases.

Paint mod-podge along sides of canvas, pressing paper to adhere as you go. I chose to fold the paper (much like you would wrap the end of a gift) on a diagonal and adhere to the inside edge of the wood frame, cutting any excess paper that would be hidden to prevent extra bulk.

Once you have adhered the sides, use the craft knife to neatly trim the paper at the edge of the frame.

(You can see in the image above that one side of the paper was shorter, as it didn't meet the edge of the wood. That side happened to be the top edge of the bag.)

Here's another image of folding the sides of the canvas. This was my second canvas, which had a different type of backing. There was a nice groove where the canvas met the frame, so I decided to trim the edge of the paper at the groove instead of covering all the wood on this canvas.

Here are the two different sized canvases. You can see more creases on the square canvas...definitely too much mod-podge on that one. I love how the different sizes seemed to create a different "story", given the parts of the illustration shown!

To embellish the illustration, I used a Martha Stewart ballpoint tip glue pen to highlight certain parts of the illustration, and then I covered the glue generously with glitter, tapping the edge of the canvas against the table afterwards to remove excess glitter.

I used the Martha Stewart crystal fine glitter for the snow on the ground, snow on the empty branches, and the birds. I used the aquamarine crystal to highlight the evergreen tree!

I attempted to use an embossing pen and some Rich Red embossing powder (I think made by Ranger) to heat emboss the Joy! on the page.

It was a bit difficult to get good coverage of the pen on the paper...and I got a little to close with the heat gun! But it was fun to experiment with it on one of the canvases anyway!

After dusting away any excess glitter with a fine edged paintbrush, I took the canvases outside and sprayed Superseal to protect the glitter and the surface of the print.

And here's the square finished canvas. (The other finished one is the first picture!)  I'm still trying to decide if I like the red writing in the top corner or if I'll add some pieces to disguise it and make the canvas more of a collage.  The jury is still out! :)

I hope you can turn some beautiful found objects around you into little pieces of art!  I am thinking I will try to do this each year...and soon have a small gallery of Christmas canvases!


xoxo... t said...

How fabulous! What a great idea.

Nevette said...

It's beautiful!

ohiofarmgirl said...

This is beautiful but I am so disappointed I don't have that bag...but headed to hobby Lobby to see what I can do. Dianntha

Unknown said...

Well, I found a bag...of course not as cute as one that will work so I will be trying your tutorial soon. Thanks for the idea! Dianntha


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