Archive of ‘Tutorials’ category

Altered Art Tag with the July 2017 StencilClub Stencils

Hello & Happy Weekend! Today I have an altered art tag process video to share with you. I used the 2017 StencilClub stencils, designed by Jessica Sporn for StencilGirl Products, and a 5×7 Gel Press.

Thanks for watching!

xo, Belen

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Mounting Unmounted Stamps

Hello my crafty peeps! After receiving several comments and questions on Instagram about how to mount full sheets of unmounted stamps, I thought I’d film a quick process video.

The stamps that I’ll be mounting in the video are from Invoke Arts on Etsy. I’ve had mixed feelings about this shop in the past but decided to place another order and I’m happy to say that shipping was really fast this time. I had my stamps in about 4 days.

I purchased my EZ Mount from Amazon. You may not need a 10 pack, but it’s handy stuff to have on hand.

The DVD cases that I use to store my mounted stamps can also be found on Amazon.

Thanks for watching my video. Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Belen

Tissue Paper Dyed Ribbon Tutorial

Hi all, hope you had a wonderful weekend. I’m back in the studio after a much needed get away with my Love to New Orleans. We ate, walked, sweated in the humidity, ate, saw alligators, toured the swaps and the city and oh yeah… ate some more! It was a wonderful trip but I came back itching to get in my studio and push some paint around.

As I was making some art tags I noticed that my hand dyed ribbon stash was in need of replenishing so I decided to whip up a few batches. I like to use sari ribbon a lot, but dyeing my own ribbon gives me a greater variety of color. You may recall that I previously shared my technique for creating hand dyed ribbon with Dylusions Sprays. You can find that post HERE.

Today I’m going to show you another technique for dyeing your own ribbon. This one uses bleeding tissue paper. This method produces a more subtly dyed ribbon than using Dylusions, but it’s nice to have that variety in my ribbon stash.

You’ll need:

and

  • Bleeding Tissue paper. I used Spectra because it bleeds beautifully. Not all tissue bleeds.

I also recommend working on a Craft Sheet for 2 reasons. It helps keep your tissue wet and it protects your work area from becoming stained. Also, if inky fingers are a problem, you might want to wear gloves..

Tear your tissue paper into pieces. You’re welcome to cut it with scissors, but I like the effect that the randomly shaped/sized pieces create.

Cut your seam binding to the desired length and lay it out on your craft sheet. try to keep the strands separate so that more surface area comes in contact with the bleeding tissue.

Spray liberally with water.

Arrange the torn pieces of tissue on top of the wet seam binding. Spray again with water to help the transfer of color. How long you leave your tissue on is a matter of personal preference. I tend to spray it, let the colors bleed for about 10 mins, scrunch it with my fingers, move the tissue around, spray it again, and let it sit another 10 minutes or so.

When you take your tissue pieces off, you’ll find that the dye in it has transferred to your seem binding, leaving its yummy color behind.

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Whimsy Tip:

The wet tissue that you just removed still has color that can be utilized. Below I used it to add some background color in one of my mini art journals.

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Ok now it’s time to dry our dyed ribbon. Hit it with your heat gun. I’m using a Wagner HT, which I love.

This is also a good time to scrunch up your still wet ribbon as it dries, if you’d like a crinkled effect. Just be careful not to burn yourself with the heat of the gun! You’ll see that as the ribbon begins to dry, your colors will become more vivid.

Once your ribbon is dry, it’s ready to be used on your art tags, in your art journal or in any number of mixed media projects. Just keep in mind that if it becomes wet, the color may transfer to other surfaces. If that’s not something you want, be careful not to allow it to come in contact with anything wet.

Have fun, mix and match colors, see what works for you.

Thanks for reading. I wish you a wonderful week full of color!

xo,

Belen

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Painty Papers Journal Tutorial

Hello hello! I know that it’s been a while since I’ve posted here on the blog. Between special projects, art challenges and playing in my planners, time just seems to fly! There’s lot’s going on in the world of Art & Whimsy, but blogging is something I’m going to be better about from here on out. Today I’m excited to share a fun and super easy Painty Papers Journal tutorial with you. But first, a little about what I’m using mine for.

If you’re on Instagram you may have seen that a couple of months back there was a 30-day art challenge hosted by Rae Missigman called ArtMarks. If you missed it, you can read more about it on her blog. I didn’t participate in that round, but she decided to host another beginning April 1st, so I decided to jump on board. My decision to participate was rather last minute so I decided to just whip up a journal rather than buy one and I’m so happy i did.

There are countless methods for making mini journals to be found online, but this is what I came up with and was able to put together in a short while. Please keep in mind that my sewing technique is what you’d call “wonky” at best, but I didn’t let that stop me and you shouldn’t either. There’s something glorious in the wonkiness that makes it “imperfectly perfectly” once it’s done. So let’s get started, shall we?

I started by gathering painty papers. Some I had in my stash, either created by me or shared with me, and others I whipped up right before I started. Now, while I call this journal a Painty Papers Journal, you can add nearly any kind of substrate you’d like… canvas, specialty papers, recycled packaging… etc.

I added more texture, color, and visual interest to my painty papers using stencils, like these here from StencilGirl Products. Some of my current favorite are:

Next I tore the painty papers into my desired size and arranged them in the order I wanted them. I ran a stitch down the center of each grouping of pages.

Once your pages are stitched together, it’s a great time to add a few more layers and details to your painty pages. You can use stamps, washi, other papers, ribbon, etc.

Once that’s done it’s time to fashion a cover for your mini journal. In my stash I had this piece of canvas that I created using the Circles Circles stencil from StencilGirl. I may add more paint & pen work to my cover as the month progresses, but it’s a good start.

To finish it off, I attached each of the page groupings to the inside of my canvas cover. Don’t be afraid to embrace the wonkiness and just eyeball it if you don’t want to measure it out the spacing, that’s what I did.

And there you have it, a unique, handcrafted Painty Papers Journal just waiting to be filled.

It’s not too late to get in on the ArtMarks fun, over on Instagram. If you decide to make your own journal and jump in, please please TAG ME so I can see your glorious work!

Thanks for following along, I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful. I wish you a beautiful week.

Happy Arting!

xo,

Belen

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Guest Designer on StencilGirl Talk

Hello & Happy Friday! I have some exciting news to share with you today! A while back I was asked by StencilGirl to be a Guest Designer on their blog and create something using their awesome stencils. I made a canvas Travelers Notebook! My post goes live today.

I invite you to head over to the StencilGirl Talk blog to see my step by step tutorial showing how you can create your own.

Planner Charm by Posh Pieces by Melissa on Etsy

Special thanks to my friend Angel for offering me the TN suggestion. What a great way to blend my two loves, mixed media and planners!

Thank you and Happy Stenciling!

xo,

Belen

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Tutorial: Washi Tape Holder

Hi all! I hope everyone had a wonderful week and managed to find some time to get their art on. I’m super excited to share my most recent project with you today, a washi tape holder!

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If you follow my blog, you may recall that a few months back I posted about the k-cups holder that I repurposed into a washi tape holder. You can see that post HERE. Well that worked well enough for a while, but it has become time to find something new.

I’ve been scouring Pinterest and Etsy, looking for something that would work. I did find many wonderful washi storage ideas, but few that fit my criteria. My ideal solution being minimal footprint, vertical storage and having my wash tape be easy to get to.

I did find a couple of options on Etsy that were close, but not quite. Plus, being the BIG fan of instant gratification that I am, I just couldn’t fathom waiting the 20 days for something arrive.

So, I decided to build my own.

I asked my Beloved, for his skilled assistance with the power tools and set off for Michaels to buy what I needed.

Materials:

  • Wooden base
  • Wooden dowels (I used 3 long dowels this holder,  5/8 diameter)
  • 2 inch screws (One for each dowel)
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper

You can easily pick up these same items at Home Depot, but I knew that Michaels would have the kind of unfinished wooden base that I wanted, in their woodworking section.

Tools:

You can design your washi tape holder in any configuration that works for you, depending on how big your stash is and how much space you have. I built mine with 6 dowels, 2 rows of 3.

2015-07-16 19.56.18You’ll first want to sand your dowels and wooden base with a fine grit paper and then measure the length of dowel that you want to cut. This will determine how tall your holder is. I cut mine into 12″ sections.

2015-07-16 19.58.49This is where the miter box comes in super handy. It keeps those dowels from rolling around while you’re cutting them and helps ensure a nice straight cut.

2015-07-16 20.15.04Once your dowels are cut, lightly run the sandpaper over the cut edges, just be careful to keep the edges nice and straight, or you’ll end up with a wonky holder. This is a good time to grab that wood glue and keep it handy.

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I used some of my larger rolls of washi to layout the placement for each dowel.

2015-07-16 20.26.50Using the washi rolls as a rough guide, use your speed square to mark the centers of each roll. That’s where you’ll place the dowels.

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Using a small bit, drill some pilot holes where you made your marks. These pilot holes will help prevent your wood from splitting when you insert the screws. Tip: place the edge of your wooden base over the edge of your work table as you drill to prevent drilling into your work area.

2015-07-16 20.39.46Once you’ve made the pilot holes in your base, you’ll need to do the same with your dowels. Carefully drill 2 inch deep pilot holes into the cut ends of each dowel.

2015-07-16 20.45.34 2015-07-16 20.45.52Insert a screw through the underside of your base, just enough so that it comes out through the other side. Then take one of your cut dowels, spread some glue over the cut end and thread it onto the screw that’s poking through.

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Now, using your drill, finish drilling the screw all the way into your dowel. You can wipe up any dripping wood glue with a damp paper towel.

Repeat these last two steps for each of your dowels until they are all screwed onto your base. Give them all a finishing twist, by hand, if you find any are a little wonky.

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The last step is to add your rolls of washi tape and you’re all done!

If you’d like, you can paint your holder at this point. A couple of coats of spray paint should do nicely. Also, if you have a need to protect your work surface, you can glue small felt circles over the screw heads, on the underside of your base.

I felt the need to do neither. I may decide to give it a distressed paint job at some point in the future, but as of right now I’m Loving my new holder and rather like the look of it unfinished.

A HUGE thank you goes out to my Beloved for his help and masterful use of the drill. It was the one are that I just didn’t feel confident doing myself.

This particular washi holder will hold roughly 100 rolls and as Patrick pointed out, now I have room to buy more washi! You just GOTTA love a man that supports your wacky obsessions!

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I hope that you’ve found this tutorial helpful and feel inspired to make your own washi tape organize/holder. If you do, I’d love to see!

Thanks for reading and I wish you a Happy Day!

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Tutorial: Create Your Own Deli Paper Washi Tape

Hello lovelies.

If you’re like me, you love your washi tape, have amassed quite a stash and use it any chance you get. It’s fun to add bits of it to art journal pages, happy mail, gifts, and various other art projects. Well today I’m going to show you two ways to make deli paper washi tape… with AND without a gelli plate.

 

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The first video shows how to create your own unique tape using your gelli plate.

If you don’t have a gelli plate, don’t worry, I got ya covered. The second video shows you how to make hand-painted deli paper washi tape, no gelli plate needed!

Once you’ve made your washi and are ready to use it, just peel off the backing and use it like you would any other washi tape.

2015-06-27 09.44.59Ok, lets watch some videos!

Products used in the Gelli Plate Deli Paper Washi Tape are: gelli plate, acrylic paint, Scor-Tape, Dylusions Bubbles stencil, and my favorite deli paper and Fude Ball pen

 

No Gelli Plate? this next video is for you.

Products used in the Hand-painted Deli Paper Washi Tape video are: acrylic paint, Scor-Tape, Dina Wakley paint brushes, Dylusions cling stamps, my favorite deli paper and StazOn ink pad in Jet Black.

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If you enjoy the videos, please show them some love by clicking on the thumbs up to “like”, in the upper right corner of each video.

Thanks so much for watching and I wish you a wonderful week!

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How To Create Fast & Easy Image Transfers

 

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Hi again! Today I’m excited to share a product that has been around some time, but is new to me. It’s called a Chartpak Ad Marker Colorless Blender and with it I was able to create these fast and oh-so-easy image transfer tags.

There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when doing these image transfers:

  • This will only work with photo copier or laser jet printed images. This will not work with ink jet images.
  • Use in a well ventilated area.

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  • If the image you want to transfer has lettering that you want to be able to read, you’ll first need to flip it to create a mirror image in Photoshop or some other photo editing program. You can even ask them at your local copy place to flip it before printing.

Ok, so depending on the size of your image, cut it to size and select your substrate. For this demo I’ll be using a tag.

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I decided to first give my tag some color with some Tim Holtz Mini Distress Ink Pads.

2015-06-24 20.28.55I also added a strip of my own washi tape that I recently made to give my tag some visual texture.

Side note: I’ll have a video demo up on the blog this weekend showing you how you can create your own “washi” tape as well… Stay Tuned!

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I positioned my image, face down, onto my tag and secured it with a bit of tape.

2015-06-24 20.37.53Using long strokes, rather than a back and forth motion, I colored over the back of the image. You can see that the image will show through the paper, making it easy for you to make sure that you saturated all of it.

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The next step is very important. It’s time to burnish the back of the image, helping the saturated image to transfer onto your substrate. You can use something like the back of a spoon, a piece of slick paper, or a bone folder, which is what I used.

Burnish it a bit and check to see if your image has transferred. If so, remove the tape and image and you’re done, easy as that!

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To finish off my tag I added some stitching along one edge, pen marks along the others, a stamped sentiment, some sari ribbon and called it a success!

2015-06-25 08.36.04This image transfer was made with the gorgeous artwork of Therése Rosier. She is an amazing artist, just check out her Face Book Page. I just added some distressed inks, a stamped sentiment, some embellies and ribbon.

2015-06-25 08.36.30I included this one so you can see what it looks like if you don’t mirror the image before doing the transfer, if it has lettering.

Because the lettering isn’t the focal point here, It doesn’t bother me that it’s reversed. You can decide for yourself if it’s an issue. If it is, flipping it is really easy and it can even be done on PicMonkey, a free photo editing site.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

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How To Create A Mixed Media Pocket Letter

I’ve been asked numerous time how I create mixed media style Pocket Letters that look like one cohesive image spread across the 9 pockets.

It’s actually quite easy and I recently took some photos to show you how I do it.

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The base for this particular Pocket Letter was a Dyan Reaveley Diamond stencil placed on top of a 9.5 x 11 piece of white card stock and sprayed with various Dylusions Inks.

When it was dry, I brushed on some Media black gesso and let that dry.

Let me take a moment to mention a couple of important things.

Dylusions Inks reactivate with moisture, even looong after they’ve dried. If you’re going to add a wet medium over them, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve properly sealed the Dylusions layer first. I didn’t seal the first layer because I didn’t need to. Had I tried this with white gesso, I very likely would have had the reactivated inks seep through. Since I was working with black gesso, it wasn’t an issue.

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The other thing that I’d like to mention is about borders. If you want your PL to have a border, maybe something stamped or hand drawn, and are concerned about losing some of it when cutting, wait to add it until a bit later in the process.

Ok, so for this Pocket Letter I wanted to have one large main focal point. I used a stamp from Dyan Reaveley’s Survivor stamp set, some book paper and Hero Arts India Ink in black.

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After cutting out the stamped image I gave it some color with Sakura gel pens and Copic Spica glitter pens.

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I also added some additional dots and doodles to the base, then glued down my focal point.

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Next it was time to cut. This seems to be the part that trips people up, but once you get the sizing down, you’ll be able to do it easily.

The typical page protector used for Pocket Letters is a 3-ring, 9 pocket trading card protector. Each of the pockets measure 2.5 x 3.5, which is also the standard size for an ATC, or Artist Trading Card.

I’ve found that, for me, the easiest thing to do is to first trim my mixed media piece to size. Since I created my base with a 8.5 x 11 sheet of cardstock, I trimmed it down to 7.5 x 10.5. I lose a bit around the edges but I’m ok with that since I took that into consideration when placing my focal point. This is something that you’ll want to keep in mind when placing your own lettering or artwork so as to avoid having to cut through an area you didn’t want split.

Ok, remember how I mentioned earlier about waiting a bit if you wanted to add a border? Well now that your base has been trimmed it’s a great time to add it!

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With it trimmed to size, it was now time to cut it into 9 pockets. I began with cutting it into 3 equal horizontal pieces that measured 3.5 inches high.

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Next I cut it vertically, making each cut 2.5 inches wide. This cut is what produces the individual cards and is especially important because the pockets you’re slipping each piece into have very little give to them. You want to make sure that this measurement is accurate.

Once done, I inserted each card into its respective pocket, basically reassembling the image as a whole.

2015-06-13 12.02.39With the cutting done, it’s time to embellish and add goodies! I personally prefer do this one card at a time, and place each card back into its pocket before moving on to the next. I find that doing it this way works best for me as it helps me remain aware of placement relative to the overall look of the page.

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Once you have these measurements and basic technique down, you can create your own mixed media Pocket Letters in no time, making each one truly unique.

I should add that you can also use this same technique for cutting one large image or photo for your non mixed media Pocket Letters.

Here are a couple more that I recently sent out for swap.

This first one shows how you can achieve an even border by waiting to add it until after it’s been trimmed to size.

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For more info on Pocket Letters, please visit Janette Lane’s site HERE or look for the Pocket Letter Pals group on Facebook.

Thanks for looking and happy swapping!

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Create Your Own Freeform Stencils

Hello all of you wonderfully artsy people!

I’m excited to share something new (to me) with you today!

I love stencils, all kinds of stencils, they’re a great way to add surface design and depth to my art journal pages and mixed media art. Sometimes, however, I’m looking for something just a little bit different or have the need for a stencil that I don’t have in my collection.

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Because of this, I decided to try my hand at stencil cutting. Today I’ll share with you my very first attempt at cutting my own freeform stencils, using the Plaid 2-n-1 Craft Tool and a Simply Stencil sheet, which is just a stencil blank, a clean sheet of plastic for you to cut your design into.

2015-05-24 12.22.52I started by plugging in my 2-n-1 Craft Tool, giving it a few minutes to warm up while I roughly sketched out my stencil design. My goal was a very freeform design. Because I do a lot of mixed media art, I knew that I wanted the printed stencil design to look rough, almost as if it was done by hand.

2015-05-24 12.45.35Working on a protected, heat-resistant surface, I began cutting the various design elements. This will take a few minutes, depending on how intricate your design is, but I encourage you to take your time and use caution; your craft tool will be extremely HOT.

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As you can see, my cuts aren’t pretty and I had a couple of ‘Oops” along the way, but I’m not bothered by that at all, It actually adds to the look that I’m going for.

If you want a crisper design, something a bit more structured, or maybe even a design that is just a bit beyond your current drawing ability, no problem! Simply print a design that you want to use from the internet, place the printed sheet of paper underneath your stencil blank, use a marker to trace the design onto your sheet of plastic, toss the printed paper and cut your design as I’ve explained above.

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Now that my freeform stencil was done it was time to PLAY! Taking a gelli print that I had previously pulled, I stamped on the various elements of my custom stencil, using acrylics, and added some random marks with pens and markers.

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The irregularities and “oops” of my roughly cut stencil only ads to the overall look, really giving it character. I’m pleased with the outcome of my first attempt at cutting freeform stencils and am excited to try my hand at a few more.

I hope that you’ve found this post informative and that you feel inspired to try it yourself. Using the Plaid 2-n-1 Craft Tool to create own distinctive stencils is a great way to make art that truly is uniquely your own. Have fun & Happy Arting!

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