It’s the Holiday (Sweepstakes) Season: 3 Fun Project Ideas

We are in the thick of our Cloth Paper Scissors Holiday Sweepstakes, which means there’s still time to enter to win fantastic prizes from companies that make amazing supplies for mixed-media artists. Today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, be sure to enter to win prizes from Grafix® (today, November 13th), Ranger (Tuesday, November 14th) and Testors® (Wednesday, November 15th). Entering is easy, and the prize packages are a mixed media artist’s dream: paints, ink pads, water-soluble crayons, and a variety of surfaces to work on—you can seriously up your game with these materials!

holiday sweepstakes
Hurry and enter our Cloth Paper Scissors Holiday Sweepstakes for your chance to win incredible mixed-media supplies!

Grafix offers a variety of plastics, films, paper, boards, and more, all designed to give you great results for all kinds of artwork. One Grafix product I’m enamored with is Dura-Lar, a strong polyester film that’s a great alternative to acetate. It won’t tear or yellow, it’s acid free and archival, and it’s heat resistant. That last quality is a big one—you can speed up drying time with a heat gun and there’s no melting, no burning, nothing. I created a collage using a 6″ x 9″ piece of .005 matte Dura-Lar film as my substrate, and started by creating an image transfer. I applied acrylic matte medium to the front of an inkjet printed photo, then burnished it it to the Dura-Lar. When it was dry, I wet the image and gently rubbed off the paper backing, leaving only the image.

Image transfers work fantastically on Dura-Lar sheets, allowing for all kinds of dimensional effects.

Any white image on a transfer becomes clear, so I used that to my advantage and glued a piece of book text behind the photo, which gave it great depth. When that was dry, I masked off the photo and stamped a design on the back of the Dura-Lar with acrylic paint. I’m impatient when it comes to creating. Rather than wait for the paint to dry, I took a heat gun to it and it dried in no time—and nothing happened to the Dura-Lar! I then brushed on three coats of gold metallic paint, drying each coat with the heat gun.

Try reverse painting on the back of Dura-Lar; acrylic paints go on easily and provide great results.

To create even more depth, I stamped text on the front of the Dura-Lar with white permanent ink, setting it with the heat gun. The gorgeous see-through layers of this collage were only possible because I used Dura-Lar. I can’t wait to incorporate it into my art journal pages, use it to make tags—it would even make great book covers!

Create cool collage effects with Dura-Lar and your favorite mixed-media supplies!

Here’s Cloth Paper Scissors managing editor Barbara Delaney with fantastic projects using Ranger’s Distress Oxide ink pads and Distress Crayons!

If you thought ink pads were just for stamping, think again. The Tim Holtz® Distress Oxide ink pads not only provide intense color for stamping, they offer painterly results when you add water. This water-reactive and pigment ink fusion creates great workable color for a variety of uses. For “Believe in Magic,” I gently pressed several of the ink pads onto the page, including Fossilized Amber, Peacock Feathers, and Worn Lipstick. Holding the journal upright on a plastic-covered surface, I ran a wet foam brush along the top of the page, allowing the water to run down and create interesting rivulets of color. I really liked that effect, but wanted more. So, I scrunched up a damp paper towel, dabbed it onto a few of the ink pads, one at a time, and pounced color onto the page, making sure to use a clean section of the paper towel for each color so I wouldn’t end up with mud. I let the page dry, and then added the text in a fun lettering style.

Such happy colors that work well together for a vibrant background.

More techniques with the Ranger Distress products and the Scribbly Bird Cousins set of Dina Wakley Media stamps. I used Distress Oxide ink pads with Dina’s bird stamps, and allowed the ink to set for a few minutes. I rubbed Vintage Photo, Worn Lipstick, and Fossilized Amber on a craft mat and, using a wet paintbrush, painted the birds, using more or less water depending on the depth of color I was going for. I love the watercolor effect.

For a different effect for this background, I used the Tim Holtz Distress Crayons, Set 1, drawing lines lightly across the page from top to bottom, and then gently painting over the lines with a wet foam brush. I added tufts of grass around the birds with the Cracked Pistachio crayon, smudging the lines with my finger. These crayons blend really well, allowing you to create perfect shading, ombre effects, and more. Their portability makes them perfect for creating on the go. To finish the page, I used a permanent pen for the lettering and some details.

For quick and easy color effects, just add water!

What else I could create with the Distress Crayons? I laid a flower-filled stencil over the page, and drew lines within the stencil openings with different colors. Carefully holding the stencil in place, I wet my finger and spread the color within the openings. I liked that the crayon built up next to the stencil in some areas, creating a nice edge and deeper color. There is plenty of experimenting still to do! ~ Barb

Distress Crayons bring new life to any stencil image.

Hey, it’s Jeannine again! For my second project, I worked with Testors Craft Aerosol and acrylic Craft Paints, which come in a wide range of beautiful colors and finishes. I like that the Craft Paints are available in coordinated sets, so your palette is ready to go. I used the Island Colors set: Turquoise, Island Breeze, and Coral Cove. I am a coral fanatic, and this shade is the perfect pink-orange.

I decided to make a quick art journal, using the paints to create an abstract design on the cover. I cut a piece of heavyweight watercolor paper 6 ½” x 20″, folded it in half, and scored the paper 1 ½” from the spine to make it easier to open. A bit of Island Breeze paint was mixed with white gesso, then brushed over the paper. When that was dry, I squeezed several drops of Coral Cove on the paper, then went over the drops in one direction, with one pass, using a brayer. The color was gorgeous, and went on so easily.

Create easy abstract patterns with drops of Testors Craft Paint and a brayer.

Using a stencil and a cosmetic wedge, designs were added in Turquoise. What’s great about this paint is that you can choose the opacity you want; one coat gave me a little transparency, and another coat offered more depth. When that was dry, I removed some areas of paint using the stencil and a baby wipe, which gave dimension to the design. As a final touch I thinned the Turquoise paint with water and created splatters with a paintbrush. The colors coordinated so well—I didn’t have to mix a thing!

Testors paints have so many applications for mixed-media art; here they’re used with a stencil to create dimensional effects on watercolor paper.

The 3-oz. Testors Aerosol Paints are the perfect size for any kind of mixed-media project. I used Turquoise in gloss to color a textured twig, and the effect was astonishing. The shade also coordinated perfectly with the Turquoise acrylic paint! Using aerosol paint—especially one with a glossy finish—to color every day objects is such a cool technique. Try it on dried leaves and add them to a collage, or small plastic toys or pinecones, and add them to an assemblage.

An ordinary stick becomes a cool embellishment when painted with glossy Testors Aerosol Paint.

The twig was used for the binding. After cutting several sheets of paper for the inside of the book, I poked two holes underneath the twig, and threaded a needle with waxed linen thread. I brought the needle though the top hole from the back, leaving a 5” tail, wrapped the thread around the twig a few times, then went back through the same hole. I came up through the bottom hole from the back, wrapped the twig again, went back through the same hole, and tied the ends in a square knot. In no time I had a one-of-a-kind art journal that makes me happy every time I look at it. Those colors…!

This art journal was made in no time, using Testors Craft and Aerosol Paints in gorgeous colors.

Don’t miss your chance to enter to win one of these great prize packages! Enter today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, and good luck!

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