Saturday, December 3, 2011

DIY Christmas Gifts #1: Mixed Media Art

As a recent college grad, I don't have tons of money to spend on fancy-schmancy gifts for my family and friends. I'm sure most of ya'll are in the same boat as me, so I'm going to spend the next several posts describing the gifts I'm making for people (but I'm not going to tell you who they're for, because some of them read this blog!) so you can give great, from-the-heart homemade gifts too.

The first gift I will be discussing is actually a birthday present for my friend Katie. I know I said I wouldn't name names, but she'll be getting this gift long before anyone reads this blog, so she's the exception. And Katie, if you are reading this, I hope you are enjoying your painting.

This painting is actually what the artists call "mixed media" because I used more than just canvas and paint to create it. This little heart is made from scrapbook paper and written on with a Sharpie.

OK, to create a similar piece, you will need: a canvas (mine was an 11" x 14" canvas from Hobby Lobby), enough scrapbook paper to cover what shape you want to make (I used two 8 1/2" x 11" pink metallic sheets), Mod Podge (shiny or matte - your preference), a ruler, a foam brush, a painter's cup (if you don't want to dip your brush in the bottle of Mod Podge) a pencil, and a Sharpie (mine was a thin line).

So I'm sorry that I don't have more pictures of the process, but I was making this late last night so it would be ready for Katie's visit today. I'll do my best to be super-descriptive, OK?

First, you will need to draw two lines on the canvas with the pencil to separate it into four equal sections. This will help you center the heart and make it all even. And don't worry, even really pale paint will cover the pencil marks...with enough coats, that is.

Next, use the pencil to draw the heart to whatever size your heart desires. I really liked the scrapbook paper, so I wanted to cover as much space as possible with it.

Paint the area outside the heart with two (or three, depending on the color and thickness of the paint) coats of acrylic paint. Since mine was a thin paint used mainly for crafts and not professional art, I needed two coats even though it was black.

While the paint dries, tear up the scrapbook paper into several small pieces. I think most of mine ended up being a little smaller then a square inch. I like to make mine all different shapes, but since they will be layered over each other, it really doesn't matter what shape you tear yours into.

Once the paint is dry, coat a small part of the canvas with the Mod Podge. Place a few pieces of scrapbook paper over the prepped spot, and work quickly, because this stuff dries really fast! Coat the scrapbook pieces and the area around them with Mod Podge and continue layering, making sure that no little corners get turned up and that all the edges are sticking to the canvas. Repeat this process until your surface is covered to your liking. You should also spread the Mod Podge to the edges of the canvas, even though you're not putting anything there, because otherwise the finished piece will look funny. Mod Podge dries clear, but it is still kind of shiny.

See what I mean by layering? It sort of looks like a mosaic.

A Sharpie will write very nicely over the Mod Podge and dry super quickly without smearing, although you will need to keep a piece of paper nearby to scribble on because sometimes the writing tip will start to fade. But don't worry! A few squiggles on a piece of paper and your Sharpie will be good as new.

I love this verse! It's such a wonderful reminder of God's love for me, and it makes me think of the dawn and all its beauty, and how God's mercies are new every morning. God's love is so true and trustworthy, and he'll never leave me or forsake me!

By the way, the verse Psalm 143:8, the NIV version.

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