Autumn Craft: DIY Leaf Relief Painting

DIY leaf relief painting

This month’s Craft Challenge theme is autumn. My goal is always to create something different and exciting for each of these challenges and this month is no different. I struggled a bit with this one because I’m not quite in the mood for fall yet. It’s sunny and 90 degrees in my area and leaves are still green. I haven’t quite hit the sweaters, boots and pumpkin latte craze yet.

To get there, I did a brainstorming session with a friend (thank you, Aarika). We kept coming back to leaves. Do you remember doing leaf coloring in 2nd grade? You put a leaf under a piece of paper and color over it with a crayon to bring out the texture and outlines? We’re going to make the adult version of that today.

It’s a really fun project, and I really enjoyed making it. I’m going to paint several more this week and frame them for some festive decor. Follow the tutorial below to make some of your own!

 

leaf relief painting materials

Materials needed for leaf relief paintings

  • foil
  • leaves
  • sponge brush
  • acrylic paint
  • paper towns
  • thick paper
  • craft bond / adhesive
  • light grit sandpaper or steel wool

Supply notes:
Go outside and find some leaves, flowers or other plants.

Make sure the paper you choose is pretty thick. I used paper from a mixed media notebook. You can also use watercolor paper, bristol board or some other variation.

Choose steel wool over sandpaper if you can.

 

painting workspace

Step 1: set up your workspace

Usually, this isn’t part of my tutorial because your workspace is a given. However, this one can get a little sticky (pun intended).

Make sure you lay down newspaper or paper towels all over your work area if you’re working indoors. Craft bond is pretty sticky and it takes some time to get it out of clothes, off your skin and table.

Crafter’s tip: If you’re working over wood like I am, and happen to get the adhesive on your table, dab some vegetable oil on a towel and wipe it up. The oil releases the bond on the wood. Make sure you use cleaning products to wipe up the oil when you’re finished!

 

texture for painting

Step 2: adhere paper towels to the paper

Spray the adhesive on your thick paper and cover it will a paper towel.

I used paper towels with swirl designs because I wanted extra texture for the  background. You don’t have to use a bold texture if you don’t want to.

 

leaf base

Step 3: adhere the leaves

Spray the adhesive again and press the leaves into place.

 

foil cover nature art

Step 4: adhere the foil

Spray the adhesive again and press a sheet of foil overtop of the leaves.

 

leaf relief with foil

Step 5: bring out the natural texture

Ball up a paper towel and press lightly over the veins and outlines of the leaves and their stems to bring out the texture. Be careful not to rip the foil.

 

brush painting technique

Step 6: paint the foil

Using your sponge brush, dab the paint onto the foil like in the image above. You want to lift the brush and set it back down to ensure the paint gets into all of those little crevices.

Then, pull your brush from one end to the other in a typical painting motion. Get rid of the texture the sponge brush created by dabbing on the paint.

Let it dry.

I decided, half way through painting, that I wanted to go with the red paint, so I painted over it a second time with that color only.

I suggest painting on a second layer of paint either way.

Let it dry.

leaf veins through acrylic paint

Step 7: sand down the paint

Very lightly sand down the paint on and around the leaves so that the veins and foil shows through. Be careful not to rip the foil.

This is going to be a very slow process, but it is so worth it in the end.

 

DIY leaf relief painting

When you’re finished, you’ll have something that looks like the above. I love the way the foil makes all of the lines pop!

Next time I am going to try paper towels with less texture and black or dark blue paint. I really enjoy the red but a higher contrasting color will make the leaves stand out so much more.

The Craft Challenge

This project is part of the Craft Challenge.

Be sure to check out Emily’s craft over at A Pop of Red! She will have her tutorial posted later today.

 

DIY Spring-Inspired Abstract Wall Art

The Craft Challenge

This blog post is part of The Craft Challenge! If you want to learn more or are interested in joining the challenge, send a message to Emily from A Pop of Red.

DIY spring-inspired abstract wall art

This month, the Craft Challenge is a Springtime craft. I was originally planning to make Duck Tape flowers, but I changed my mind.

Spring is a time to get out of the depression of the cold winter months. That means blooming flowers, bright colors and spring cleaning. The best way to tie all of that together seemed best displayed in a painting.

I chose these colors because they remind me most of spring. Typically, spring colors are all pastel. I don’t think they have enough contrast though. I wanted some dark blues, bright pinks and dark purples to offset the pastels.

Want to give it a shot? Keep reading.

abstract wall art materials

Abstract Painting Materials

  • Cup
  • Water
  • Canvas
  • Paint board
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Paper towels

 

acrylic paint drops

Step 1: choose your paint

Drop a few blobs of each color of paint on your board.

 

abstract paint strips

Step 2: paint

Start with your lightest colors. Use a brush about the width in the image above or slightly larger. I used the same brush the whole way through the painting.

Tip: paint different shapes for a more intriguing design.

Be sure to rinse the brush before moving on to another color.

 

pastel abstract painting

pastel paint strokes

Step 3: layer the colors

Randomly paint shapes with your colors. Some should be painted directly beside another color and some in the negative space.

By the way, don’t be afraid of negative space. Leave some white spaces on the painting. It helps to lighten the rest colors.

Make sure you let each color dry before applying another color next to it.

 

abstract painting tutorial

Before you know it, you’ll have a beautiful, chaotic mess of color on your canvas. It’s exciting, right?

Get it hanged up and add a pop of color to any room in your house.

To those of you who celebrated, Happy Easter. To those of you who don’t, Happy Spring!

Either way, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I’d love to see your spring-inspired paintings.

Be sure to check out the other Craft Challenge bloggers’ DIY projects!

Check out Emily’s beautiful wire flower on canvas and Erika’s springtime craft, too!

DIY Fall Wreath Decor

DIY fall wreath

I told myself that I wasn’t going to make any fall-related crafts until September, but I couldn’t help myself. I saw the autumn leaf decor at Pat Catan’s today and wanted to use it to make a Fall wreath.  I love the colors!

It took about an hour to make and the materials cost about $12. Not too bad if you ask me!fall wreath materials

Things You Will Need

Water
Ribbon
Burlap
Newspaper
Paint brush
Acrylic paint
Wreath base
Wooden letters
Hot-melt glue
Hot-melt glue gun

painted wooden letters for fall

Step 1

Paint your letters and let them dry.

autumn leavesfor fall wreath

Step 2

In the meantime you can wrap your autumn leaves around your wreath base and glue them into place.

burlap wreath decoration

Step 3

Cut a piece of burlap long enough to stretch across your wreath and wrap about the back.

Glue it tightly into place.

wooden letter decor on wreath

Step 4

Glue your letters across the burlap so they stretch across the length of the wreath.

DIY fall wreath

Tie on your ribbon and hang up your new fall wreath!

I’d love to know what you think! Leave me some feedback in the comments 🙂

Happy crafting!

Spring Craft: DIY Herb Garden Painted and Labeled Planters

The Craft Challenge

This post is part of The Craft Challenge. If you’re interested in learning more about the challenge, you can read about it here.
DIY painted planters with labels

While deciding what I wanted to make for the Spring portion of The Craft Challenge, I kept coming back to flowers. But I didn’t want to use flowers because I painted them last week. What’s more Spring-y than flowers?

I’ve wanted an herb garden for a long time, and Spring is a good time to buy herbs. I also enjoy painting so putting the two together seemed like a no-brainer. So, an indoor herb garden it is.

Making everything was the easy part. Keeping the herbs alive is going to be a bit harder. I’ve never kept anything green for more than a month, so we’ll see how this goes. I’ll keep you updated.

DIY planter materials

Things You Will Need:
Planters
Newspaper
Acrylic paint
Paint brushes
Painters tape
Sharpie paint markers

You will also need herbs (which you can buy at a greenhouse for about $5 each) and some potting soil. The lady I talked to at the greenhouse recommend Gardner’s Gold brand.

painting tape on planter

Step 1
Tape off the top half of your planter so the paint stays below the rim.

solid-colored planter pots

Step 2
Start painting your planters. I chose a variety of bright colors to add some pop to my living room.

painted labeled herb planters

Step 3
Paint your labels onto the planters. I chose to do some hand lettering of each herb I chose with a minimalist design.

DIY painted planters with labels

Make sure they have a good drainage system and you’re good to go! Set them on a sunny windowsill and water them when the soil feels dry.

herb garden planters

herb garden with labeled planters

I can’t wait to be able to use them for cooking and tea!

Let me know what you think! Did I choose a good Spring craft?

If you’d like to see the last challenge, check out the Yarn Craft Challenge. The other bloggers’ crafts are linked at the bottom of the post.

The Craft Challenge Participants

Craft Challenge 2015 Introduction Eclectic Enchantments A Pop of Red Found This Painted That Tinkerbell Knits Make Something Mondays Image Map

Thanks for reading 🙂 Happy Crafting!

DIY Autumn-Inspired Mason Jar Vase

autumn-inspired mason jar vase

Since it is Autumn and the leaves are finally changing, I thought I would work on some fall-inspired crafts. For the first one, I decided to replace my fall/spring-inspired vases from last year with these lovely mason jars. I wanted something decorative for fall, but didn’t want to go the Halloween route. Just something subtle. Creamy brown colors, burlap and mason jars seems like the way to go.

autumn flower vase materials

Things You Will Need
Burlap
Ribbon
Mason Jars
Acrylic paint
Burlap flower
Sponge brush

*You will also need double-sided tape or some hot glue to adhere the burlap, ribbon, and flower.

painted mason jar craft

mason jar vase

Step 1
Pour some paint into the bottom of one of the mason jars. Swirl it around until the entire jar is covered with paint.

Repeat this step with the other two jars.

Fall burlap vasesStep 2
Wrap some burlap around each vase.

ribbon burlap jar

Step 3
Wrap some ribbon around each vase in the middle of the burlap.

burlap flower decoration

Step 4
Adhere your decorative element to the larger mason jar.

autumn-inspired mason jar vase

Pop in your flowers for the finishing touches. you should have something like the above photo which is a great decorative element for the autumn season! I love them!

Let me know what you think!

DIY Spring Wreath With Flowers

DIY spring wreath with flowers

I asked my mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day and she said a wreath. Then, she sent me to her Pinterest board with a bunch of wreaths she recently pinned. “Something like those”, she said. All of them were flower wreaths, mostly with tulips and other spring flowers. So I went to Pat Catan’s and searched for an arrangement that might look good together. You didn’t think I was going to buy it if I could make it, did you? Something handmade makes a better Mother’s Day gift anyway.

So, I grabbed all of the materials I needed and headed to my parent’s house for the weekend. I remembered my glue gun, but forgot extra glue sticks. I got about half way through my project before I ran out. Thankfully, mom had a glue gun that I could use to finish up. This was the first Make Something Mondays craft my mom has been able to experience first hand. She even helped a little bit.


spring wreath materials

Things You Will Need:
Glue gun
Wreath base
Fake flowers

 

spring flowers

Step 1
Pull the flowers and leaves off of the stems and arrange them into piles according to color so that you can find the flowers you want easily.

 

spring wreath

 

Step 2
Hot glue the flowers and leaves to your wreath base. You will probably burn yourself a few times, but make sure you press the flowers down into the glue or they won’t stick very well.

Repeat until you’ve worked your way around the entire base. Then, go back and fill in the areas that could use some extra color.

 

DIY spring wreath with flowers

Add a string or a ribbon to the top of the wreath and hang it up. Beautiful!

If your wreath is going to be semi-exposed to the outdoors, you can always go back with super glue to make sure the flowers don’t detach. This one is going to be between a door and a screen, so it should be fine without the super glue.

Mom loves it, so I guess it’s doing its job 🙂

Happy crafting!

DIY Spring Wreath With Flowers

Spring Wreath DIY under $10

My fall wreath has been hanging on my door for entirely too long. I’ve been meaning to take it down for a while but, I needed something pretty to replace it with. Ideally something spring-inspired because I’m about done with all of this snow and 20 degree weather. So, if you are feeling the same way, you can take a big leap into spring as well. At least from an inspirational standpoint…

DIY wreath materialsThings You Will Need:
Scissors*
Ribbon 1yd
Extra fabric*
Hot glue gun*
Wreath frame
Decorative flowers

*These materials are not pictured in the image above but are necessary for the DIY project.

wrapping ribbon around wreath

wreath with ribbon

Step 1:
Glue one side of your ribbon to the wreath frame and begin to wrap in around until you run out.

FYI: If you only use 1 yard of 1″ ribbon, you won’t make it the whole way around the wreath. You could buy two yards of ribbon, or you could add some scrap fabric to the open end like I do in the following step.

added material

Step 2:
Cut and position some scrap fabric over the open area of the wreath. I hot glued my fabric (because I’m too lazy to sew it).

wreath with decorative flowers

Step 3:
Arrange the flowers so that they cover the extra piece of fabric. Start glueing on the flowers until you have something like in the above image.

5 Moves to Prevent Plantar FasciitisHang it up with, you guessed it, some more ribbon, and you’ve got yourself a fun spring-inspired wreath.It is much better having a reminder that spring is coming and winter HAS to be ending at some point.

Hope you like this one! Happy crafting!

Flower Petal Window Art

flower petalsThis project is a really neat idea, especially since spring is right around the corner (we can only hope). I found this fun project on The Artful Parent today. All you do is lay out flower petals on contact paper and stick it to a glass window. It looks fantastic! Go check it out on that blog for more images though. It could be a great project to do with your kids, if they have the patience.

When it is actually warm enough for flowers to grow, I might give this a shot!

DIY Fall Leaf Bookmark

diy leaf bookmark

 

I’ve made DIY bookmarks before, and I like them, but the problem was that they extend the pages of the book. I like to carry my books with me, so when I used those bookmarks and put the book it my purse, it would always fall off the pages. So, I decided to make another version. This one is obviously fall inspired. I considered using scrapbook paper, but then decided to use leaves since there are so many of them on the ground outside this time of year. Let me know what you think!

 

diy leaf bookmarkThings You Will Need:
Leaves
Scissors
Mod Podge
Paint swatch
Paint Brush(es)
* Hot melt glue is optional but recommended. If you are impatient, like I am, it makes the process go a bit faster.

 

diy leaf bookmarkStep 1:
Cut the paint swatch in half and round the edges.

 

diy leaf bookmarkStep 2:
Glue the first leaf to the paint swatch. Press down and hold for a few seconds to make sure it sticks.

 

diy leaf bookmarkStep 3:
Repeat step 2 until the whole paint swatch is covered.

 

diy leaf bookmarkStep 4:
Add a thin layer of Mod Podge over the leaves. This will act as a sealant and will leave a gloss cover when it dries.

 

diy leaf bookmark

 

There you go. A quick and easy festive bookmark. You most likely won’t lose this one in your purse either!

Happy crafting!