Friday, 22 January 2016

DecoArt: Winter Wonderland Challenge

Morning everyone. I'm here to share my Design Team project for DecoArt Media's Winter Wonderland Challenge. I'm sure you've seen the wonderful work made by other team members on blogs and social media if not, click the link above and you'll be able to see all the images and details.

The challenge is open until 29th January and you could win a wonderful prize packageworth over $120! Products similar to those above will be included and who wouldn't want that gorgeous little lot arriving on their door mat!

The theme 'Winter Wonderland' made me think of blues, purples, white, a little grey and perhaps a little Scandinavian style thrown in there too. I also kept thinking of snowflakes but didn't want to go back down the Christmas style route so I found something else to give just a feel of those beautiful little icy works of art! I usually cram as much as possible on my work but this time I've pared it back to let the few elements I have used, speak for themselves.

I have been hanging on to a little key cupboard just waiting for the right theme to come along and it seemed that this was the one! It was bought at least two years ago and sat there looking a little forlorn in its' unaltered state. At some point I painted it with gesso and sanded it down and it looked like this:

The cupboard is dismantled and painted with two coats of gesso plus sanding between the coats. After quite a few stages (!!) it then looked like this:

Here are the main steps and products I used to alter the little key cupboard:

Die cut shapes are applied to the cupboard with strong glue.

Home-made clay 'buttons' are applied on top of some of the die cuts. The cupboard is given another coat of gesso to seal all the embellishments.

Everything is painted with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in a mix of cobalt turquoise hue and titanium white. The door knob, drawer knob and four feet (I glued on wooden beads to make these - sorry no picture!) have a little Texture Sand Paste mixed in with the paint to add a rough, aged appearance.

This image shows the effect the Texture Sand Paste has on the paint when used on the door knob.

Everything is then dry brushed with Prussian Blue Hue - guess which paint I've used a lot?!! The colour can barely be read! Don't like dry brushing? Get one of these paintbrushes from DecoArt - they make it so much easier! 

On the sides of the cupboard, some scraps of cheesecloth were applied under the die cuts to frame them and add an interesting texture. You can see the very delicate coat of dry brushed prussian blue hue in this image. 

All the die cuts and clay buttons were then coloured using varying amounts of the three colours above. Some were coats of paint and some dry brushing.

This is how the embellishments looked after the colour application. You don't have to be too fussy with this stage so if a little paint gets where it shouldn't, it will be covered later!

The next stage is to cover everything with a good coat of white Antiquing Cream and leave it to dry. You can then remove the cream where it isn't required using a baby wipe and this is the result you get - lovely shabby look which highlights all that wonderful texture. I always buff up the antiquing cream after with a soft cloth as it contains a wax and it gives a lovely soft sheen to the piece. You can also opt to leave this step out if it isn't appropriate. Remember that antiquing cream reacts with water so should be sealed with a sealant for long term use.

The door clearly shows how the cream can be removed almost entirely in some areas yet left in others. The edges of the cupboard are given a grungy feel with a little Archival ink applied with a sponge.

On the snowflake like ends of the die cut you can see some pewter coloured 'blobs'. These are tiny amounts of Liquid Pearls which have been applied - very time consuming but I like the effect! They add a three dimensional factor to the die cut which is better than just a flat finish.

Products as used above.

The door hinges are also painted then finished in the same way as the rest of the cupboard.

The inside didn't escape my paintbrush either! I even added some little home-made clay hearts so there was a surprise inside. I added a little dry brushed Quinacridone Gold around the hearts too.

The hooks were grunged up a little with some Archival Ink. . . . . . . 

. . . and the hinges didn't escape either!

Detail image to show those little hearts with their liquid pearl blobs!

I managed to find four matching wooden beads which got the same finish as the drawer and door knobs.

I wanted to decorate the top of the cupboard with the die cuts.

Detail shot.

I made the die cuts extend over the edges to give a more interesting look.

I left the drawer painted with Titan Buff only because I have found with wooden alterables that too much paint on the sides and edges of drawers often prevents them from closing or they get stuck!

Again, I made sure that one of the die cuts went over the edge of the drawer. The latch which closes the door is finished as before and a small amount of the liquid pearl paint is added to the nail which holds it in place - I like details!

Hope this has given you some ideas for all those blank wooden pieces you've bought which need some tender loving care, not to mention paint and mediums!

Thanks so much for your visit and I do hope you find time over the coming week to link up a project with us at DecoArt on the theme of Winter Wonderland.

Project Supply List

DecoArt Products: 
Media Fluid Acrylics: Titanium White, Cobalt Turquoise Hue, Prussian Blue Hue, Quinacridone Violet, Quinacridone Magenta, Quinacridone Gold and Metallic Gold.
Mediums & Finishes: Titanium White Antiquing Cream, Gesso, Texture Sand Paste, Decoupage Glue

Other Products: 
Ranger Archival Ink, Liquid Pearls dimensional paint, Fimo modelling clay, rubber stamp for imprinting the clay, silicone mould for clay hearts, scrap cheesecloth fabric, wooden beads, white card, plain wood mini key cupboard

Bigshot die cutting machine, various paintbrushes, foam for ink application, sandpaper, screwdriver to dismantle cupboard, non stick craft mat, scissors etc!


  1. Gorgeous project Julia. Lots of techniques and beautiful colours. Thanks for sharing. Suz x

  2. Stunning, love the colours and textures. D x x

  3. Oh....this is BBEAUTIFUL Julia. What an inspiring one...just when I was stuck with my project midway. This is giving me ideas. Great use of die cuts for texture. The shabby effect and hints of red and the pearl drops are super. Thanks for sharing all the ddetails.

  4. Live those detailed shots. Great texture and love the colours x

  5. Isn't this just the sweetest little cupboard EVER?????? YES YES YES. Wow. The colors and textures are just INCREDIBLY LUSCIOUS and PLEASING. This is just a seriously FABULOUS work of ART Julie. You have totally created PERFECTION... it is just STUNNING. Love every inch of it... and the inside too.... it's just such a treat to see what you did and how you did it. GREAT INSPIRATION. Thanks bunches and bunches. j.

  6. LOVE LOVE LOVE this, Julia!! Your transformation of this little key cupboard is AMAZING!! XOXO-Shari

  7. Wow Julia, you have done it again, what a master you are with these paint effects!! I just love the look you have achieved on all the elements, whether with sand paste or without. The white antiquing cream just finishes it off to perfection! Simply stunning!! I am now feeling very tempted by that Decoart brush.... (even though I like dry brushing lol)

  8. That key cupboard has gone from utility to designer in your hands Julia! Stunning! Jenny x

  9. Wow! This really is fabulous! Thanks for showing how you made this! Chrisx

  10. Fabulous project Julia!
    Hope you're well,
    have a lovely weekend!
    Alison xx

  11. OUTSTANDING Julia!! I absolutely love this and so appreciate the walk through!! LOVE!!
    Jackie ")

  12. Wonderful project--thanks for all the details. Great inspiration indeed for those little boxes I've been collecting with the intention of decorating.

  13. WOW you can clearly see you've put loads of work into this - great result xx

  14. What a gorgeous and fabulous alteration!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE all the additions and faux finishes to give this a glorious shabby feel!

  15. Go Julia! HOW DID I MISS THIS?!? It is such an awesome altered little cabinet. So completely different than the original and such a cool transformation. I love the color and the interesting die cut images you placed so perfectly on the little cabinet! Very cool!!

  16. Utterly charming - what a fantastic makeover! Just love how you have the die-cuts going around corners and edges, and the fabulous lustre on them.
    Alison xx


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Juliax