Monday, July 25, 2016

{Mixed Media Tutorial} Art from Garbage by Lynne

Happy Day Blog Land Peeps! Lynne here today excited to be sharing my first ARTplorations mixed media tutorial post featuring the Happy Flowers stencil and the Bubbles-mini stencil and the STAMPlorations word stamp - Bold Sentiments-Create (my new favorite!)

I am going to show you how I turned garbage into ART by repurposing this box I saved from the landfill into some really pretty storage to hold all my STAMPlorations stuff in one convenient place.


And an added bonus to my using a box for this tutorial is that it has four sides, so I tried out something a little bit different on each one - all of which I will share with you!

Before I get started here is a photo of the products that I will be referring to in the step-by-step tutorial below.

I started with this sturdy cardboard box and used my stash of inky paper towels to cover it.
Lynne's Mixed Media Tip#1: I never throw away my inky paper towels but use them as the starting point to most of my mixed media projects. 


Paper, even paper towel is pretty flimsy when it gets wet so I use a concoction of matte Mod Podge and water cut 50/50 and a very delicate touch with my brush. Make sure you get the paper wet on both sides (back and front) when applying it to the box or you will get bubbles that can cause problems once they dry. Also, you need to let everything dry thoroughly before the next step. Note: paper towel is quite sturdy after it has dried and the wrinkles give you all that lovely texture without any work.

After my box was dry I used masking tape to tape down my Happy Flowers stencil and a pallet knife to push some gold colored Ferro (by Viva) through the stencil to create 3-dimensional, textured flowers. Once these had dried it was really easy to outline the flowers in black waterproof pen to make them really pop. 

Now a bit about Ferro - it is like a very thick metalic paint mixed with a fine-grained sand. It is amazing through a stencil because it does not run and holds its shape beautifully, and the sand is so fine even the tiniest details come through clearly. I think it worked especially well with this Happy Flower stencil and an added bonus was how quickly it dried - in less than 30 minutes! Note: wash stencil as soon as you are finished, do not let this product dry in your stencil. 

I accented the background of my box by using my finger to rub some Golden heavy-body acrylic paint over areas where I wanted to hide some of the text that was showing through or where I wanted to add more color. But then I faded back that color by dry brushing white gesso over top until everything was the softness I wanted. 

Lynne's Mixed Media Tip #2: Mixed Media is all about adding and taking away and then adding back in again.
More close ups of the wonderful texture that paper towel and acrylic paint and gesso gives the project...

Here is another close up of the towel-covered box side. Note: when you are enhancing your mixed media backgrounds like this Everything you do will look good! 

For this side I used Gun Metal Ferro - you can really see the sparkly sand in this image. 

And now for the back side ... 

Using my mini bubbles stencil, I added even more texture. I used a new-to-me product Art Anthology's Sorbet - a dimensional gel paint which looks like icing, is easy to use and is very subtle when it dries - exactly what I was looking for.


For these next flowers I used Dreamweaver's Crackled Texture Paste. It was super easy to use, thick enough to go through the stencil and still hold it's shape and it dried with these beautiful crackles! 

Even the messy bits that smeared underneath the stencil looked great after it had dried.


And even better, the crackle paste, once dried, had a beautiful matte finish which absorbed the ink that I brushed on to my flowers to add more color, and highlighted those crackles even more. 


And finally - I added my words using the Bold Stentiments-Create stamp set. I am in LOVE with these word stamps! 

Lynne's Mixed Media Tip #3: Stamp words and phrases onto tissue paper using a waterproof ink and apply to your project using watered down Mod Podge or a liquid gel medium.

This method works beautifully on the lumpy, bumpy of anything mixed media - and if you use a paint brush wet with clean water to "outline" the stamped phrase it tears away perfectly with a ragged edge that blends into the surface so you have to look very closely to see that it was not stamped right onto your project.


Just remember to use a delicate touch when applying your words to your project as wet tissue is VERY delicate! 

So here it is-the finished product! My box full of STAMPlorations stuff sitting on my shelf, easy to see, easy to find... 

...and looking just as wonderful as I imagined! 

So I hope you enjoyed my in-depth tutorial and that the time you spent with me today inspires you to repurpose something of your own that was headed for the landfill, mixed media style. (She says Smiling and Waving!)


The following STAMPplorations and ARTplorations products were used on this project:

Happy Flowers ARTplorations Stencil

Bubbles ARTplorations Stencil

Bold Sentiments-Create


  1. How creative is this project? Love how you've re-cycled the box and thank you so much for the in depth step by step. I enjoy learning and you've taught me lots in this blog post...Thank you so very much. Love the idea, the tecniques and the glorious colour and sentiments, thanks x

  2. Holy Crow Lynne! That is one amazing looking recycled box! I love it!

  3. I love your mixed media project!Gorgeous!

  4. Oh my goodness ! What a fabulous project, I have to do this for my stamps too :) I am so inspired

  5. Can see the special STAMPlorations box sitting right there on your desk Lynne!! What a great tutorial!! Such a fun and inspiring project! TFS! :)
    Suchi xx

  6. Fabulous step by step and project! I love the colours and the textures with the Ferro paste. Great recycling idea too!

  7. Yes I enjoyed B the tutorial a lot and you tips are very helpful !! Loved the trash to treasure box :)

  8. Hi Lynne. Gorgeous box.. I love practical art. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Hugz

  9. This is gorgeous Lynne! I can't believe I've been throwing away my inky paper towels, I will start saving them now!! Wonderful inspiration.

  10. What a pretty project. What a fabulous tutorial!

  11. What a fabulous box. I love all the colors. Great tutorial.


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