Tag Archives: vinyl

Wet Canvas Silhouettes – Painting with Water

Wet Canvas Silhouettes - A water and acrylic painting technique I made this painting as an entry for round one of the 2013 One Crafty Contest. I’m so proud of how it turned out, and it was good enough to get me voted to the next round! A BIG thanks to those who voted!! Would you believe me if I told you I didn’t use a paintbrush? Ok, so I did use a foam brush to paint the black background, but the sunset was painted with water. What? Water? Yep! Keep reading, and I’ll tell you how!

First I needed to make my stencils to create the tree and jumping boy silhouettes.  I don’t own a Cricut or a Silhouette cutting machine (oh, how I wish I did!), so I freehanded the shapes on the back of vinyl and carefully cut them out with a sharp scissors.

(The in-progress shots aren’t the best quality since they were taken in bad lighting late at night.  It’s the best time to work, since both of my boys are sleeping!)

Hand sketched vinyl stencils
I painted my canvas completely black with a foam brush, let it dry, and put the vinyl stencils on.  I actually really liked how it looked at this point with the black and white contrast.  The contest required us to feature paint in our entry, so one layer of black paint wasn’t going to cut it!

Painting over stencils
I did a few things to ensure my stencils would come away with clean lines.  I used a credit card to smooth down the vinyl and get all the bumps and bubbles out.  I put a lot of pressure on the edges of the stencils to make sure they really stuck.  Then I painted another layer of black over the entire canvas and the stencils.  That way if any color was going to bleed under the stencil it would be the color that was already there!  This technique works well when you’re painting designs with painter’s tape too.  The second layer of paint also helped glue the stencils down and provided a barrier for the next step.

After everything dried, I used a spray bottle filled with water to completely soak my canvas.  I was a little nervous about this step not knowing if my stencils would hold on, but they did.  I squeezed my paint directly on the canvas and used the spray bottle as my paintbrush to push the paint around.  It’s amazing all the ways you can manipulate paint with water!  A light misting will blend colors, a sideways stream will move the paint, and a heavy soaking will streak the paint.  I had a lot of fun experimenting with the spray bottle. In the picture above, the paint is still wet and heavily soaked with water.  It took a really long time to dry!

Once the paint had started to dry, but before it was completely dry, I removed the vinyl stencils. Then I just let it dry the rest of the way. All that’s left to do is hang it up!

Wet Canvas Silhouettes - A water and acrylic painting technique

Wet Canvas Silhouettes

Wet Canvas Silhouettes

Wet Canvas Silhouettes

Wet Canvas Silhouettes

Wet Canvas Silhouettes

Here are some other canvas projects you might enjoy:
The Earth Without Art Wall Art DIY Wall Art- You Don't Have to be an Artist DIY Wall Art- Textured Mixed Media

Remember, if you post about this project, please be sure to give me credit and link back to me or grab a button from the sidebar. Thanks!

Your opinions and thoughts mean a lot to me.  I would love for you to leave me a comment below.  Thanks for stopping by today!


Filed under One Crafty Contest, Wall Art

Mail Center – Upcycled Formula Tubs

Here’s a project I’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting to do.
It involves spray painting, so I’ve really just been waiting on the warm weather.
Just when I think it’s getting warm enough to spray paint.. NOPE!.. we’re hit with a blizzard.. in the middle of April!
Well, we’ve had 2 days in a row that have been in the 80’s, and no snow in the forecast.  So I figured it was finally time to conquer this upcycling project!

Here’s the plan:  to turn formula tubs into a mail center.  Are you excited? Here’s the how to..

The Supplies
clean, dry formula tubs
spray paint that adheres to plastic
scrapbook paper or fabric
4. scissors and ruler or paper cutter
5. lettering – stencils, cutouts, stickers, stamps, vinyl – you choose
6. glue – I used Mod Podge
7. soda can tabs
8. hot glue

The Directions
Start with clean, dry formula tubs.  If you can’t get your hands on some formula tubs, I’m sure there are other items that would work.  For instance, the french fried onion tubs are similar, but just a little smaller.
(Let me just say, I’m all for breastfeeding!  But my health and the medications I take made that a challenge for me, so that’s why I have these tubs)

Carefully pop the covers off.  If you do this too fast, the little plastic rods will snap and go flying.  The covers are fairly easy to take off.
Spray paint the tubs.  Mine only took one coat, but it was a paint and primer in one.

You may want to paint the insides to give them a more uniform look.

Next, take your scrapbook paper or fabric and cut it into strips.  My paper was 12 x 12.  It wasn’t long enough to wrap all the way around the tub, but enough to cover the sides that would be showing.
I cut my paper at 3.5 inch intervals.  So my strip size was 12 x 3.5.  You can of course make wider or narrower strips depending on how much of the paint you want to show or how big your letters are.
My paper cutter has been on the winning side of hide-and-seek since we moved to this house almost 2 years ago.  I was pregnant at the time, so family helped pack us up, which resulted in not knowing what went in what box!  There’s a lot of hiding items yet to be found.  So I had to cut my strips in the more time consuming way.
I could only get 3 strips out of one paper.  So for the fourth strip, I started up 1 inch from the bottom of a second piece of paper before cutting my 3.5 inch strip. That way none of the 4 strips would be identical.
Does that make sense?  In other words, if I hadn’t done that, my first and fourth strip would be identical because they would be cut from the same edge of each piece of paper.

I forgot to take pictures of this next part.
Glue your strips to the tub.  Put glue on the center of your strip and position it on the front center of your tub.  I found it easier to not have glue on the whole strip while I was trying to get it in the right position.  Once you’re happy with where it is, glue down the rest of the paper.

Then I got my lettering ready.  It took me awhile to decide how I wanted to do the letters.  At first, I wanted to stencil them on with a creamy white paint that matched my scrapbook paper.  But when I tried it out on a scrap piece, it didn’t come away with clean edges.
So I decided to go vinyl!  This was actually perfect, since vinyl is repositional, you don’t have to worry about crooked, unevenly spaced letters.
Unfortunately, I’m not blessed to own a Cricut or Silhouette, so I used the same method I used to make the monogram for L’s nursery.  You can read about it HERE.
I traced letters on to the back of my vinyl, making sure to trace unsymmetrical ones backwards. (ignore the extra markings in the picture, they are leftovers from a different project) Then I carefully cut out each letter.
Now add your letters!  Mine say:  OPEN, PAY, AWAY, ITEMS.  Short words worked best for me, but yours can say what ever you want.  Other examples: IN, OUT, PENS, KEYS, SUPPLIES, STAMPS, COUPONS, RECEIPTS.

We’re not only going to upcycle the tubs, but upcycle some soda can tabs! They will be used to hang the tubs to the wall.
There are different ways of doing this.  The most common way is putting a screw through the little hole on the bottom of the tab to attach it to your item.  Well… 1. I can never get the tabs off with those little circles in tact. And 2. I didn’t want an unsightly hole going through the container.  I opted for hot glue.
I bent each tab slightly while holding it over the edge of my kitchen counter. Then, I marked the same spot on the back of each container as a guide, and glued them on.  I added an extra layer of hot glue on the top to really bury the tab in glue.

Now hang them up, be proud of your work, and enjoy the organization!

We were in desperate need of a mail sorting system.  We usually have random piles sitting around the house…
Like this one on the kitchen counter…

and all this opened mail that’s invaded the wine rack.  There’s usually a pile or two on the dining room table, too….

But this is just so much better!  And now you have a sneak peak into our kitchen makeover!

Thanks for stopping by today! If you have any questions about this project, please put them in the comment section.

Remember, if you post about this project, please be sure to give me credit and link back to me or grab a button from the sidebar. Thanks!


Filed under DIY - Do It Yourself, Free Tutorials, Kitchen, Kitchen Makeover on a Budget, Upcycled

Easy DIY Vinyl Monogram

photo (42)

(click on pictures to make them larger)

I knew I wanted some kind of monogram in L’s room.  I had already done the hanging wood letter thing when M was a baby, so I was really leaning toward vinyl decals.  I didn’t like a lot of the ones I found, and it seemed kinda pricey for just a few stickers.  So, I decided to make my own, and you can, too!

The Supplies

  1. a roll or sheet of adhesive vinyl
  2. scrap paper
  3. pencil
  4. scissors
  5. a quick Google search

The Directions

Search Google for different fonts or monograms in the letter(s) you would like to use. Or search for whole words.  Once you find one you like, make it large and visible on your screen, or print it out.  I decided I liked the look of just one letter instead of his full monogram.

The next step can be done 2 different ways.  I freehanded my letter onto my scrap paper while using my Google search as a reference, but if you aren’t feeling very artsy, just take your sized, printed letter and cut it out.  You can also use something like Word or Paint to print letters.  If you decided to draw your letters, cut them out.


Next, take your vinyl and lay the good side down (the side that will be showing). The adhesive side should be facing you.
I used adhesive vinyl made for the Cricut machine.  It comes in lots of colors.  I don’t have a Cricut, but it was a good price, and who says it HAS to be used with a Cricut? Plus, it was a decent amount of vinyl – 4 feet by 1 foot.


At this point you should have your letter(s) – or whole word(s) – cut out and your vinyl facing down.  Next take your letter(s) and place them BACKWARDS on top of your vinyl.  In other words, a ‘b’ would look like a ‘d’ when placed properly.  Arrange them so that you have minimal waste around each letter. Much like using a cookie cutter.  Place them as far to the edge and as close together as you can.

Hold your letter in place, and trace around it.  You could try taping it down if it’s sliding around a lot.  Just take your time, and hold each curve of the letter firmly as you trace it. See an example of this HERE from my upcycled mail center project.

Take a good look at what you just drew, and fix any wavy lines.

Now, cut it out!  The letter(s) I mean. 🙂

Lastly, stick it to your wall, or mirror, or dresser, or crib, or block, or box, or.. you get the point..
I found it pretty easy to eyeball the straightness, but if you’re putting up a lot, you might want to use a tape measure and a level.  I used the smoothing tool that came with my vinyl to get all the bumps out.  You could just use a craft stick or a plastic kitchen spatula with a smooth edge.

photo (41)

The best part of this project?  I have TONS of vinyl left for future projects! That L probably cost me around 50 cents.  I call that DIY success!!!

~You can use the same concept to cut out shapes.  How cute would little vinyl animals or shapes be to border a room?
~To get the best images, search for silhouettes.

Remember, if you post about this project, please be sure to give me credit and link back to me or grab a button from the sidebar. Thanks!


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Filed under DIY - Do It Yourself, Nursery