Thursday, 13 November 2014

Stencil Mania At Artist Trading Post Exchange. . . . . .

Hi everyone. Today sees the start of a new challenge at Artist Trading Post Exchange. It's my turn to be the host and I've chosen to base the new challenge on the use of stencils:

For my challenge I am asking you to use STENCILS on your project: I love to use stencils for ink, paint, mediums and sprays. I'd really like to see your creations using at least one stencil (the more the better though!). You can use any medium/s you choose through your stencil/s but it must be clearly seen where a stencil has been used. In addition, our rules ask that you include stamping on your project somewhere (no digi images please). We are a mixed media challenge  and your make must reflect this style.

There are some wonderful makes over at ATP Exchange so do pop over and have a look at the inspiration the DT have made for you.

I decided to alter a drawer unit which I bought in the local charity shop. I've used stencils, modelling paste, paints, stamping, powder embossing and dry embossing. Here's what I came up with:

An altered drawer unit - front view. This has been difficult to photograph as a finished piece but I hope the close up images will give you more idea about the details of the construction.
Back view
Stamped and embossed detail on the side of the unit

The unit as it was when I bought it in my local charity shop.
The unit was given two coats of gesso with a little light sanding between coats. Stencils were then used along with modelling paste to add detail to various areas of the unit. This image shows the stencil taped down ready to apply the modelling paste with a spatula.

Modelling paste applied and left to dry.

Drawer fronts with their first layer of modelling paste through a stencil.

The shelf is given a 'tiled' finish so pieces of card are cut to size and roughly arranged.

Tiles are folder embossed then applied to the shelf with matte medium.
After applying the remaining stencilled image, the drawer fronts are painted. The left hand drawer is painted with sap green from the DecoArt media fluid acrylic range. The right hand drawer shows the second coat of paint which is green gold. This gives a more yellow green but still allows some of the darker green to show through. This paint combination is used on all areas of the unit.
The sides of the unit are painted as explained above. They are then given a coat of gold interference from the DecoArt media range. This subtly alters the surface appearance depending on how the light catches it.
Gold paint is added to the stencilled modelling paste. Titan Buff paint is dry brushed onto the open areas of the round stencilled images and layers are built up until the intensity of colour is as required:

Dry brushing and gold paint application is finished.
The tiles are painted with the colours mentioned previously and in addition, they are antiqued by applying archival ink with a piece of cut n dry foam.
Crackle glaze is applied as required.
A Tim Holtz image is stamped on the two side surfaces of the unit. Versamark ink is used followed by some gold detail embossing powder. Paint and coffee archival ink are used to antique the images.

The front narrow edges around the drawers are powder embossed as above then antiqued as described.

Stencilled detail on the back.
Detail image shows crackle glaze antiqued with raw umber DecoArt media acrylic.
Crackle glaze antiqued as before.

This image shows the various layers of colour applied to achieve the look I wanted.

I do hope you've enjoyed reading about how I altered this drawer unit. I was a little worried I'd overdone it with the antiquing but in the end I was pleased with how it turned out.

It's your turn now so why not get out those stencils, choose which medium you want to use with it, select a stamp and some colours and away you go! I'm really looking forward to seeing what you come up with for my challenge at the Artist Trading Post Exchange.


  1. OMG Julia, this is utterly amazing and thank you so much for the brilliant tutorial!!! The paint, antiquing and crackle effects look spectacular on this wonderful piece and I adore the idea of the tiling at the top! I think this must be one of my all time favourite pieces of yours, just stunning and it demonstrates so well the amazing things that can be done with stencils!!!!

  2. Awesome! glad you have shown the tiled top and all those wonderful close ups, the embossing on the frame and all that gorgeous crackle and antiquing is superb. The central flower type stencil fits perfectly too! Gorgeous result and a fabulous challenge Julia. Ruth xx

  3. Gorgeous transformation Julia! I love the tiled shelf, the colours are gorgeous and the crackle and antiquing is stunning! Sue C x

  4. WOW love it - textures, mini tiles FAB x

  5. Wow, what a fantastic make over. the stencil work looks stunning, love the vibrant colour . Its a super tutorial and the photos show all the wonderful details
    Yvonne x.

  6. Brilliant Effects as always Crackle Queen ;) x

  7. Oh wow Julia that is just fabulous !!!! What a transformation and amazing stencil work, embossing and of course your crackling which is always stunning. Thanks for a great tutorial too x

  8. Love how you've echoed the circular stencilling over this amazingly transformed cupboard and the idea of the embossed tiles is genius! Jenny x

  9. Totally amazing and stunning and gorgeous and darn clever and brilliant! xxx

  10. Absolutely stunning - so much texture you have created - Brilliant

  11. Love your version you'd never think it was the same set of drawers. Anita mixed media brits group

  12. Amazing transformation!

  13. Julia, this is an amazing transformation. I came running over after seeing your peak on FB - LOVE it!

  14. Wow! This is amazing, I love everything about it - the colour's are gorgeous.
    xxx Hazel.

  15. This is an amazing work of art you have created here! I am pinning this for future drooling. I love how you have used your stencils, and the paint is just stunning. The tiles were such an added surprise! Love it all!

  16. Julia, This is a completely fabulous upcycle!! One would not even guess these were the same cabinet! I especially love how you did the tile effect on the top shelf- brilliant!!
    Thank you for stopping by and yes, I believe I found that link right after I asked you about it-oops! ") Thank you for following up! xo

  17. Wow Miss Julia! You have achieved a beautiful transformation! I love the colours & effects!
    Have a creative weekend,
    Alison xxx

  18. WOW!!!! This is stunningly gorgeous..... such a transformation. I love the techniques you have used to transform your unit. The colours are fabulous and the gold touches look so rich against the greens. Thank you for your detailed tutorial... so inspiring! Cheers, Di

  19. Wow Julia, you did an amazing work on these recycled drawers!!!! I love the colours, your use of stencils (so cleverly and beautifully!) and the antiquing... Even the top is fantastic! :) Thanks for the step-by-step, I've really appreciated it. And I've just have a look at your ATP exchange blog and own post, looks fab, will play on it with you if I can as time is really missing too much to do all what I'd love to! Coco xx

  20. Talk about an improvement! Altering at its very best... Glorious layers of colour to create that amazing depth and glow, and the gilding is delicious. It was so lovely to see you at the weekend, and a privilege to glance over and see painty layers like these being laid down ready to wow us... and apologies again for nearly disappearing completely - brain was a million miles away! Off to have a browse of some of the other delights I've undoubtedly missed.
    Alison xx

  21. I am here from Marjie's place. Wow, this is a stunner. I love the way you showed us how you did each step. Thanks for that as I know how much time it takes.

  22. Wow Julia! What a beautiful project! Love all the gold and textured detail! Stunning texture work!

  23. Julia what a beautiful transformation. Thanks so much for the great tutorial. Karen.x


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