Thursday 19 February 2015

Alphabet Soup. . . For ATP Exchange

I'm sharing my DT project for the new challenge at Artist Trading Post Exchange which starts today. The hugely talented Ruth is our host and here's what she has to say:

'Hi, Ruth here. I'm sure we all have alphabet stamps or maybe you have some chipboard letters that need using up? This time our challenge is about using letters or numbers in some way other than making a word or marking an anniversary with them. Maybe random stamping or use of diecuts to make a collage background, borders or some pattern building with them?'

There is some wonderful inspiration by the rest of the DT over on the blog - click HERE to have a look. Our sponsor as always is the Artist Trading Post in Derbyshire and they generously donate a £10 voucher for the challenge winner, so it's always worth linking up with us!

Here's what I made this time using mainly Fresco paints and a blank wooden book drawer:

Front of the book box.
I wanted to make use of the book drawer and keep my die cut letters in so I'm not rummaging around trying to find any - and then resort to cutting more as per usual!
Firstly, give the bare wood two coats of gesso and allow each coat to dry thoroughly before lightly sanding the surface.
Die cut letters from plain grungeboard and textured grungeboard (in my store for ages!) and glue into position.. Give everything another coat of gesso.
Die cut more letters and randomly arrange them on the back of the book drawer. Add gesso as previously mentioned.
Follow the same process for the 'spine' of the book.
These colours of Fresco chalky paint are then applied to the front and back with a piece of foam in varying amounts.
Not exactly my usual colour palette but sometimes we need to branch out! At this stage it all looks plain and chalky so I felt it was necessary to add something else.
Add some stencilling using a the same colour palette. Add various letter/word stamps using DecoArt Chalky Decor paint in Carbon.
Stamp the die cut letters with the DecoArt chalky paint and dry. Add a coat of gloss varnish to add more interest.
Use a black pencil and another in a shade similar to one of the paint colours to add interest around the pieces of textured grungeboard.
Add colour to the back of the box using the paler shades. Use the darker colours in conjunction with the pale ones on the letters; stamp and add gloss varnish as before.
Add simple stamped letters on the background.

Add colour with a sponge to the textured letters. Stamp randomly with the Fresco paints shown earlier. When dry add gloss varnish to both the letters and the background. 
Paint the drawer inside and out and seal with soft sheen varnish - I wanted to leave the drawer as chalky as possible. Stamp using the previously shown paints in a very random fashion. Stamp the outside base and the edges of the drawer. Leave the inside as plain paint.
DecoArt chalky decor paint is used to edge the box - just seen at the bottom of this picture.
A great place to keep those elusive die cut letters (and numbers)!

I hope you enjoyed reading how this alteration came about. This is my interpretation of Ruth's lovely challenge - can't wait to see what you come up with!

Don't forget to pop back to Artist Trading Post Exchange on Saturday to see who won our last 'Love Is In The Air' challenge.


  1. A great make Julia , lovely way to store your letters too ! X

  2. Gosh Julia, what a fabulous inspired piece, 4 for the price of 1! Love all the different faces and they've come together beautifully, thankyou so much for taking this to such a gorgeous's wonderful! Hugs Ruth x

  3. Wow, Julia! A stunning make! And as always with so much attention to detail! LOVE it!
    Claudia x

  4. Fabulous project, great colours and i love the bump technique you have used on the stencilled area. How great to have a draw just to store your letters:-) xxx

  5. Loved this post!!! So inspiring and exactly the tutorial I was looking for :)

  6. This is fantastic! I love the finish of the chalky paint and what a great way to use up those random letters!

  7. A fabulous project and so useful. The blend of colours you used are a wonderful combination.
    Yvonne xx

  8. Love, love, love this gorgeous make Julia, you certainly 'branched out' in a brilliant way! Hugs, Anne xx

  9. Fantastic make! Love this !!
    Loving all your art posts here.. I am your new happy follower :)

  10. A great project Julia! Beautiful and useful, what could be better! Love the way you have painted and stamped your letters. Mounting them on the grunge board has given them a letterpress look, love it ! Toni x

  11. This is fabulous Julia, I love the colour combo and it's very useful.
    xxx Hazel.

  12. Great colour combo and idea for storage Have a great weekend

  13. Fantastic project Julia ! Love the textured Grungeboard and the colours are fabulous ! What a brilliant way to store those pesky letters and numbers ! Sue C x

  14. fabulous make Julia and I love the way you have applied the letters etc. Great colour combination too.

    TFS and have a lovely weekend
    Annie x

  15. I'm always inspired when I come to see your work Julia. LOVE the blend of colours over this. Must dig out that textured grungeboard too! Jenny x

  16. This is so totally different from what I do - but I love it! I would like to do what you do! I am your newest follower! Hoping to learn some techniques from you - I like how you show photos of each step along the way. I am a beginner, who hasn't begun yet. I don't even know if I can work up the courage to try this type of art but, wow, I love to look at it. I don't have a lot of the products required but I think I could substitute. I was blown away to see your textured grungeboard - I have some of this (I won it) and had no idea what it was or how to use it so I've learned something already. Looking forward to seeing more of your amazing projects!

  17. This really is beautiful - such a lovely colour combination! Chrisx

  18. How clever on that drawer, and love to see you using those older grunge goodies...I still love them! Gorgeous hues of purple too!

  19. A fabulous project Julia!!!! :D I haven't had time so far to look at it in details, done now and I really don't regret it!...Thans for the fantastic idea and gorgeous work as usual, I love what you do each time!! Coco xxx

  20. Fabulous project for keeping all those letters in! ( mine are in little plastic bags :-(!)



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