Monday, November 21, 2016

Silhouette Cut-Outs and Mod Podge Sign

Last week I made a cut-out on my new Silhouette cutting machine to try it out. It turned out so well that I thought I'd make a little Thanksgiving sign with it. I had originally planned to use a pine board and a brown paint wash or some stain, but when I looked in my stash of supplies, I was all out of boards. I hunted around looking for something to glue the cut-outs to, and my next best idea was stretched canvas. I bought a pack of 6 of them for like $10 at a Michael's sale and hadn't done anything with them for a couple years, so it seemed like a perfect fit.

As I was digging through my supplies, I looked at my craft paints. Because my original cut-out was made on an orange leaf-type paper, I was looking for some dark chocolate brown paint. I didn't have any. Before I went into my art paints, though, I saw a pretty dark purple. I held the bottle of paint up to the paper I used, and I thought it looked good in the basement lighting. I brought the paint, the canvas, some brushes, a paper plate and a plastic cup of water up to the table to work.

As I was painting, I noticed it was much lighter than it appeared in the bottle. It was also going on the canvas in a pretty streaky fashion. I tried to work with the streaks as best as possible to give it sort of a paint wash look. I painted along the edges and left it to dry for about a half an hour.

When I came back to my dried canvas, it was a bit darker, but when I laid the original cut-outs on the canvas, it was clear there just wasn't enough contrast in color. It was the right size, and I did save the original design, so I figured I'd just cut another one. Back into my stash of craft supplies I went. I came back with a piece of thick scrapbook paper that was a sort of blackish-grayish-brown. It was definitely dark and would work better against the purple.

I had some room on the paper, so I cut an owl out too--just for kicks--I have no idea what to do with it yet. If you read last week's post, you know that I complained about how sticky the new Silhouette mat was. It's really hard to get the design off the mat. I read a tutorial that suggested sticking it on your pants to get some of the sticky off, so I gave it a whirl. I felt a little silly sticking the thing to my jeans, but hey, whatever works. Between the pants trick, it being the second project stuck to it, and me just expecting it to be difficult to peel off, it seemed to go a bit better (but I'm not sure which of those three things made the biggest difference).

Once I had the cut-out peeled off the mat, I set it on the painted canvas. In the afternoon light, the blackish-grayish-brown paper started looking dark green. Regardless of what color it actually is, it looked better with the purple than the leaf print. I flipped the paper frame over and painted it with some mod podge. I usually use a foam brush with mod podge, but this design was much finer than what I usually end up gluing, so I used a small paint brush to paint glue onto any of parts of the frame that weren't sticking after an initial gluing.

For the wording, I painted a generous layer of mod podge onto the center of the canvas (with a foam brush) and set the lettering down onto it. After I made sure it was properly positioned, I used the small paint brush again to work glue under the lettering.

After I was pretty sure the lettering was stuck down, I painted a layer of glossy mod podge over the whole design and the rest of the canvas (so it would all be equally shiny).

Then I let it dry. It took about an hour for it to turn clear. I did have a couple spots where the paper wrinkled just a smidge, if this happens to you, don't panic, as long as it's a small bubble or wrinkle, it almost always flattens out as it dries completely. I'm pleased with how my little sign turned out. I can put it on display until I put up the Christmas decorations, and then since it's not typically Thanksgiving-y, I can hang it up in my guest room the rest of the year to remind us all to be thankful.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving week filled with thanks and giving!

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