I love blog hops. Today I’m sharing a fairly long collage tutorial as my part of a bigger blog hop with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Crafter’s workshop Stencils. (You can find stencils like this in our store, too!) I really love how flexible stencils can be. I even enjoy cutting my own stencils (check out the silverware I cut later in this tutorial!)
Any way, let’s get on with this tutorial! When Julie asked if we we’re interested in participating in the hop, I knew I wanted to but I also had to pick out a stencil. That was perhaps the hardest part of participating! I decided to go with the Wedding Ring design because it’s not the one I would normally go to, and I wanted a challenge!
Have you ever gone clothes shopping and tried on something you never would have thought you would like only to find out it was the most amazing, figure-flattering garment you’ve ever owned? Well, the Wedding Ring Stencil is kind of like that for me.
I decided to play with the Creatopia machine from Xyron and use the stencil to emboss my paper. Here’s what I did . . . keep scrolling down to see the final piece! (And it was such a lovely day I was working outside so that I could absorb a little vitamin D, hence the tree reflections in the water!)
| ||Getting everything ready is the hardest part. I’m using the Creatopia without a cartridge so that I can use the wheels as a printing press. || |
| || ||The next part of the of the “printing” is to wet the paper. I’m using a mid-weight artist paper. You can use watercolor or printmaking paper or even a good quality cardstock. After you soak the paper for a couple minutes, lay it on a towel so soak up the excess water. |
| || ||Now we have to make a printing press sandwich. |
First layer is a piece of thinish chipboard. Next we need the stencil and the wet paper.
| || ||A piece of craft felt goes down on the wet paper. The felt helps the paper squish down into the paper where the stencil openings are. |
Lastly, the top layer is another piece of chipboard. Depending on the thickness of the cardboard, you may need to play with this stack a bit. I set the Creatopia on the tightest setting and turned the handle to feed the stack through the machine.
| ||It’s subtle but you can kind of make out the embossing on this paper. The gray specks are just parts of the paper that are still wet. I discovered that stencils with smaller openings are more difficult to emboss, but it still works. || |
| || ||Next, I lined the stencil back up over the embossed paper and taped around the edge to protect it. Then I went at it with some Smooch SPRITZ! Then I carefully removed the tape and stencil. |
| || ||I added tape back around the stenciled/embossed area. This was a bit of a nuisance but it paid off in the end. I used an old hotel key card to scrape some iridescent fluid acrylics sporadically over the surface. |
| || ||You can subtly see how the embossed parts of the paper affect the scraping of the paint. After I added the paint, I used a baby wipe to rub the paint on in some places and off in others. At this point the embossing is almost disappeared in this small stencil. When you use a bigger stencil, it is more textural. |
| ||Once the piece was dry, I pulled off the tape and this is were I was really happy that I had chosen the Wedding Ring design. Look at that background! It’s a little ethereal and a lot gorgeous! |
I could have stopped here but I really wanted to immediately turn it into a collage, so on I went.
| ||I layered some text from a vintage cookbook with matte medium and let it dry. || |
| || ||Then I used a palette knife to apply Absorbent Ground Medium to my hand-cut silverware stencil. The ground is a cool product that lets you create a watercolor on top of a non-watercolor friendly surface. |
After the ground was dried, I added some purpley-blue shades of watercolors to enhance the silverware.
| || || |
And this is the final piece. I will be showing it an upcoming show called Feed Me: The 7 x 7 show next month.
Julie Fei-Fan Balzer
Watch Julie stencil, and stitch!
Check out Valerie’s use of the stencil on cookies!
Christine is showing off a neat resist technique.
Michelle LaPoint Rydell
Has a two-fer with a card and a really awesome interactive art journal technique.
What do you like to use stencils for? What are your favorite techniques? Let us know here in the comments and…