Up-cycling is all the rage at the moment, which is great for the environment since most of the items being decorated were once destined for the trash heap. You'd be surprised at all the creative projects people are making with throw away items or treasures found in second hand shops. A quick search on "upcycled" or "altered" will have you scouring the house, and the bins, for your own potential works of art.
1. Choose an item that can withstand heat, moisture and lots of handling so that it doesn't break or fall apart as you're decorating it. I used a sturdy cardboard cylinder that has a removable plastic lid and a solid metal base. Give it a good clean to make sure it's free of dirt and grease.
2. Apply a layer of masking tape directly on to the cylinder. Try to get lots of creases and ridges in the tape for added texture and interest. Have a look through your home and garage for other interesting tapes, such as plasterers tape or first aid tape which will give different textures while helping to hold everything to the surface you're decorating.
3. Continue adding texture with pastes, stencils, lace, textiles, string and other mediums. Don't worry about colours at this point, it's all about texture and dimension.
4. Time to apply a layer of gesso. Gesso is a thick, white (or tinted) paint primer that is usually applied to artist canvas before the art work is created.
5. Now choose some embellishments. Once again, we're looking for textures and shapes rather than colours and surface patterns. This is a good way to use up all those odd coloured flowers, charms and letters we all have in our stash!
6. I like to adhere everything before painting, but feel free to paint each embellishment first if you prefer. Use good strong glues to secure the embellishments to your cylinder... I used a combination of tacky glue, a hot glue gun and glossy accents.
7. Time to gesso again. At this point, I left my project to dry overnight.
8. Now that the glue and gesso has dried, we can add some colour back in to the project. I used a variety of spray colours, alcohol ink and perfect pearls. Dry the project between colours, particularly with the sprays, so you don't end up with a muddy mess. Use a hair dryer or heat gun to help the drying process.
9. Use your finger to rub some more white gesso on some of the embellishments. This will help highlight them and lift them out of the background. You can seal your project with a light spray of varnish if you wish.
Photos and written instructions are copyright Beccy Muir.
All rights reserved.