Saturday, 14 November 2015

DIY tutorial - Winter jars

Christmas is coming and it's never too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts and decorations. Here is an idea on how hot to decorate simple metal or glass jars and turn them into fabolous decorations in few simple steps.

You will need a few empty jars, acrylic primer and colours, rice paper, napkin glue, stencil, coarse structure paste, brush and sponges.


First step is to go threw your kitchen and find the empty jars and clean them. If you can't wash all of the glue off, don't worry you will cover it with paint. First step is to aply a coat of primer on the jar. Use a sponge and aply a thin layer, it will dry in few minutes. 

After the primer is dry, aply a coat of white acryilic paint on the jar. You can use a brush and aply two layers if the first one doesn't cover the surface. Leave it to dry.

Now you can choose an image you want to put on your jar. It can be a napkin, rice paper, decoupage paper, or even a photo. We used rice paper with winter motives, and we glued it on the jar with napkin glue. 

It's time to play with colors. Take a good look at your motive and choose three to four colours that you can see. We chose pastel colours for our romantic winter scene.

Use a sponge to aply acrylic colour, alternating colurs as you move around the motive. Blend in the colours using a dry sponge and leave it to dry.

For extra wintery feeling, use a stencil to add some snow flakes. You can use just plain dots stencil and aply the white acryilic with a sponge all over the jar. Make sure not to get too much snow on the picture.

Or you can use the really detailed snowflake stencil and play around with that, like we did on the lid.

For special icy feeling, use the dots stencil again, but this time aply a thin layer of transparent glossy gel with a spatula. Leave it to dry. Wash the stencil immediately with warm water.

And for the final touch, use a thin brush with strong bristle to add some more snow effects. Use grained structure paste and just add it on snowy bits on your picture. If you want, you can add white iridescent glitter for extra shine, but we decided to skip glitter this time, as we wanted more romantic, vintage feeling.

And here they are, perfect little winter jars that you can use as a Christmas decoration or if you fill them with cookies, hot chocolate mix or some special tea blend, a perfect present! 

Thursday, 22 May 2014

DIY - wooden board tray

Learn how to decorate a wooden tray and achieve a wooden board effect with just some acrylic colors and a very dry brush! You can apply this technique on almost any surface and turn any it into a wooden board.  We just love this easy, cheap technique because it's so easy to do and it always gets a lot of whoas!


So let's get busy. For this project we used a tray made of raw wood, but you can use a painted one as well , if you don't like it anymore. We all have those lying around the house, and you use them cause they are handy, but you don't like them. Now you can turn them into something you'll love!

First apply a layer of structured paste on the surface using a wide brush. You should be able to see brush strokes which will imitate the structure of the wood. Leave it to dry. If your tray was covered in varnish and shiny (or of its made of plastic or metal) you should apply a layer of primer before you start with your work.

Cover the tray with a layer of acrylic color. It's always better to apply two thin coats of color rather than one thick coat. Thinner coats will take less time to dry and will look more even. Choose any light shade that goes well with your motive, we used ivory, a really neutral shade that can be combined with almost anything.

Now take a dry bristle art brush and choose two shades of brown acrylic colors. Dip you brush only slightly in the lighter shade, and then wipe it off on a paper towel. You want a very small amount of paint to remain on the brush.

Apply a strip of adhesive tape on the tray, where you want the edge of your "board" to be. You can use only one piece of adhesive tape like we did, and move it around when it's time to do a second board, or you can use several of them and position them in advance. Once that's done, position your brush half on the tape and half on the surface and brush away! Since there is a small amount of color on your brush you can repeat your moves more than once. Use your brush as if you are dusting the tray, and if you run out of color, repeat the dipping and the wiping before the next move. After the lighter shade of acrylic color you can use a darker one in the same way.

You can do the same effect on the edges of the tray to get that worn out effect we all love. Again, use the dry brush and just wipe it of the edges. This is a great trick if you want to get that shabby edges without having to do the sanding and two colors.

If you want, now you can apply a motive on your tray. We used rice paper, but you can use a napkin as well or you can just paint something of your own. You can glue the napkin or rice paper with the napkin glue. And if you use the napkin, be sure to remove the two white layers from it before you glue the picture.


Now it's time for the details! With the other side of your brush (the wooden tip) make some marks on your wood. Simply dip the tip of the brush in dark acrylic color and stamp it on the tray. We are going for the wormhole effect.

And with the proper side of thin brush, draw some lines and cracks.

To finish it off, apply a coat of protective varnish. You can use any kind you like, ours was water based and satin finish. Leave it to dry.


  And this is your old wooden board tray! You can use this technique really on anything, and on almost any surface, but if the surface is shiny remember to apply a coat of primer first!

Here is the view from all angles. Now it's your turn!