Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The week before INSPIRED I decided to make some homemade door prizes to give out during my classes. I made 10 of these little 4x4 canvases and 14 soldered glass charms. Everyone seemed to like them a lot. And I liked that the handmade theme was carried on into something the students could take home...well, besides their own projects, of course!

I promised all of my students I would post directions on how I made the canvases, so here they are. The most difficult part for me was the fun choice of narrowing down what to use. :)

* 4x4 (or any size) canvas
* acrylic paint
* gel medium
* paint brushes
* patterned papers
* unevenly torn vintage book pages
* vintage laces, ribbon
* vintage glass glitter (careful, it's sharp!)
* silk or vintage millinery flowers
* buttons, rhinestones, any additional embellishments you like
* vintage photographs (scanned, resized to your preference, and printed)
* computer-printed quotes
* brown or black inkpad

1. Paint your entire canvas with the acrylic paint color of your choice. You may need to do more than one coat for coverage. You can also do a water/white paint wash over the top and/or ink the edges. Just different looks.
2. Cut patterned paper to size (use full coverage pieces for front of canvas, or apply in strips or smaller pieces) ink edges (if desired) and adhere to canvas with gel medium brushed on back of paper. Do the same with the vintage book pages, keeping the edges uneven.
3. Adhere vintage photo with gel medium on back. (some photos I left as full photos, some I silhouetted)
4. Ink edges of words and adhere with gel medium. Chose one or more words and dip edge of word in a line of diamond glaze (or strong liquid adhesive) then dip into glass glitter. Repeat for all edges. Adhere to canvas with gel medium.
5. Adhere laces, ribbon pieces with red-line tape or gel medium and silk flowers and other embellishments with hot glue.

That's it! :)

**NOTE: The order of some of these steps may be changed according to your canvas design. For example, in the yellow canvas above, the lace is adhered under the vintage photograph. So just lay out your design before you adhere anything, take a digital photo if necessary, then adhere it all.
**Another Note: You can get vintage photos at antique stores and estate sales. Don't use the original! Just scan and store in your computer. Then you can resize for projects before printing.

I think I've decided that I loved doing these and the soldered charms so much that I'm going to make some to put on Etsy. So stay tuned for those. It just makes me feel happy to work on them.

Next blog entry I'll share info on the charm soldering.

I've already started a little notebook with ideas for next year's INSPIRED class. How could I help it? I left feeling so creatively energized!

I leave you with some favorite American Idol videos :)
Have a blessed day!

American Idol - Top 8 singing "Shout To the Lord"

David Cook singing "You'll Always Be My Baby"
(I never liked a Mariah Carey song until now!)

(If you are wondering what the original Mariah version sounds like, here is a link.)


Rebecca G. said...

Wow! Great videos. I don't watch American Idol, but how great that they allowed the singers to sing such an incredible song. And David Cook... never heard of him, but love that sound. He reminds me of Daughtry...

Kellie said...

If you were in NC, Jen, you weren't "far" from me!! Whereabouts were you????

Cameron said...

Oh My Stinkin' Heck, Jennifer, this is so great!!!!! I'm still doing laundry and you are writing instructions for all of us already! This is awesome. Can't wait for the soldered charms instructions! These were such lovely prizes, thank you for making them and thanks even more for writing up the instructions for those not fortunate enough to win one of your works of art! :)

Susan Beth said...

As the very excited and happy recipient of one of those beautiful canvas pieces of art (from the second class on Saturday), may I say again: THANK YOU SO MUCH! I have the red one with the solitary girl on it, and I love it. My friends love it too, but they can't have it because I'm selfish and I'm keeping it to myself! ;) But, now with the instructions, I can surpise them with a little give sometime - when I catch up on all the many many wonderful things I now feel inspired to do and try! Wow! Not enough hours in the day! Again, very sincerely, thank you for your generosity in taking the time and the effort to make such beautiful "door prizes." You have definately got some class going on!

betsy (pharmgirl) said...

I love DC, but love that performance even more after hearing the original. Man, he really did his own thing with that - made it much better . . . :)