Alter: Decoupage wine bottles

It’s always fun designing projects as a challenge – genres of crafting thatimage I’ve admired but normally don’t dabble in. Decoupage is one of these, while I’ve decoupaged a lot during my early crafting years I felt I had grown out of it and moved the greener pastures of mixed media – until of course this project came along. An old client came to us with a very specific requirement, an image of 2 hand painted 1920’s-esque bottles. I love working with paints but fine arts is so not my forte. I turned the project down and told the client I’d help her find someone who could paint something similar for her. A few months passed (and ofcourse I forgot) she came back with the same project – this time around I was working on another mixed media project that used tissue and glassine paper to create textured backgrounds – looking at the image again sparked an idea, I knew I couldn’t paint intricately but I could definitely work something out with decoupage.

I started off with two old bottles I loved how they were not identical but similar in shape and complimented each other perfectly. The glass bottles got a through coating of white Gesso to create the base for the decoupage. The client’s color palette was specific and while I found the hot pink and yellow she wanted I decided to make my own mint green color by mixing acrylic paints together. The third component was the patterned element – I used white tissue paper and stenciled over it using Americana Decor Harlequin 12×12 stencil and black gesso. Once everything was dry, I tore up the sheets into pieces of various uneven sizes. Each piece was layered on, one on top of the other, keeping in mind that the opaque mint green pieces were mostly used in the background or exposed areas. The pieces were decoupaged using matt Mod Podge.

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#35 January 2016 – Be inspired by BOTTLES




Cast Away…. – Mixed Media on glass

Hi there and welcome back to the blog…my obsession with mixed media and alter art continues, possibly growing stronger after all the appreciation a few experimental projects got from family and friends.

The inspiration for this project came from a request send in by a friend who had bought and extremely pretty clear trunk coffee table – she was looking for decorative altered bottles that could be placed inside the trunk as a show piece. The trunk and bottles kind of spun my mind off into the whole nautical/wash on shore direction. I had 20150920_113850recently done a gentleman’s club theme birthday for a friend’s son and had collected all sorts of ephemera as props for the decor – included in the prop stash were old liquor bottles. With my background in marketing ive always loved the detailing that goes into packaging design – the shapes, contours and typographic embossing that add up to designing liquor packaging.

So i started off by picking a bottle from the stash, I knew what i had in mind for the embellishments would be visually heavy so i chose a bottle that has less detailing on it. The bottle was placed under warm, the labels came away pretty easily – what was left behind i scrubbed off using a brush. I started off by applying two heavy coats of Gesso to the bottle – this will help give a nice texture to the background and will make sure that any paint applied to the bottle adheres properly. I love force drying Gesso in places with a heat gun – this lets me create random bubble texture in the background. I let the Gesso dry over night. I started off painting with my favorite palette of colors -greens blues and golds.

I used Marie’s Acrylic colors Yellowish Green (562), Green Pale (503), Cerulean Blue (455), Pathalo blue green (450) . I cut up a sponge to purpose as a dauber. Starting with the the lighter colors, i worked up from the base of the bottle and build on layer after layer of color. The greens went on first, then the lighter blues, followed by the dark blues and finally just a bit of black. I forced dried the paint in places as well to get more of the bubbling effect. The last two layers were gold, which was either dabbed on so it was reminiscent of sand sprayed on the shore or it was blended in and stretched it in stokes towards the neck of the bottle.




Next – the fun part, embellishments! The first to go on were a piece of rope and plastic trim that went all the around the bottle, i tied the rope at one end and let it hang, i thought it looked interesting. Next to go on were an array of shells, buttons, metal findings, coins and beads – i arranged the front to be visually heavier and the back of the bottle only has a small arrangement.  Once everything was in place, the heavier pieces were stuck down with hot glue and everything else i adhered using Matt Gel.  To get the washed out look i diluted Gesso and covered all the embellishments with it.

20150920_112439Once dry, the arrangement was dry brushed with Marie’s gold acrylic paint. For the neck of the bottle i covered the bottle cap with rope, which i ran Gesso over and then dry bushed with Gold acrylic paint. I added on a small button to the top that reminded me something that goes over a sailor’s uniform. Voila! the completed project 🙂

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Mixed media: Note to self!

So I think I can officially say I’ve gone nuts mixed media-ing over everything and anything I can lay my hands on. Last weekend I was rummaging through some old boxes and found this funky orange hardback notebook (had probably bought during my “I was to collect notebooks” phase). The cover was dry brushed with a layer or two of gesso, I liked the messy look so I let the brush run everywhere. Next I rummaged through the studio and my trinket box to find some pieces that would go well with the two central pieces – the resin flower and the wooden wow speech bubble. Ripped out a chunk of corrugated cardboard to form the base and left the edges torn and raw. Added on some trimmings and beads to fill the negative spaces. The butterfly swoosh trails are hot glue melted in swirls. Once everything was in place I glued it down and went over the pieces with two thick layers of Gesso. I love drying the gesso with a heat gun, the bubbly textures that form with over heating are some of my favorite design details. I sprayed Stephan Barnard Sprays in Tangerine and Banana and watered them down with a paint brush to get a water colored effect. Once dry I dabbed on some copper Marie acrylic paint and finished the project off with a layer of Matt Gel to seal everything in.


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