How to Make a Mixed Media Birdhouse

This article is written by Shari Welch

Have you noticed the decoration of your own birdhouses at your local craft store? Are you tired of just slapping paint on them? I will show you how you can make a unique, one of a kind birdhouse using mixed media materials.

I decided on creating a decorative indoor birdhouse.

Here are the materials I choose to use and how I incorporated them into my project.

I wanted to try something new with my washi tape.

It worked perfect for the outside.

Shari Welch Mixed Media Birdhouse

I cut out a series of scalloped shaped strips for the roof, a flower for the opening, and a banner using burlap paper.

Shari Welch Mixed Media Birdhouse

I didn’t want it to just sit on a table. I purchased a wooden candlestick and a round disc of wood. I glued them together and then attached them to the bottom of the house.

Shari Welch Mixed Media Birdhouse

I attached a wire to my roof, and then to a decoupaged wooden bird with E6000 glue.

Shari Welch Mixed Media Birdhouse

To finish, I added 2 types of buttons,small rick rack, shaded the flower and roof-line with Memento Dew Drop Dye Ink Pads and markers.

Now I have a decorative piece for my small table!

Shari Welch Mixed Media Birdhouse

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Author bio:

Shari Welch is a mixed media artist living in Denton Texas. She is known for using reuse and recycle materials in her artwork. She volunteers for SCRAP Denton where she is on the education committee, teaches workshops, and performs art demos. She is passionate about mixed media art and loves helping bring creativity into the lives of others.

You can follow Shari and her mixed media art at www.facebook.com/my.altered.life
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Turn your Gelli Prints into Inspiring Framed Gifts

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This article is written by Michelle G. Brown

Mono-printing with GelliArts Gelli Plates has become one of my favourite mixed media art techniques for creating backgrounds (you can see some of my first attempts and step-by-step guide here and once you get into the swing of things, the prints pile up quickly! So I decided to take a second-hand photo frame and up-cycle it into an inspiring piece of mixed media art.

Use background papers into a handmade gift

Materials

- Background papers or Gelli prints

- Photo frame; here I used a 5” x 7” frame

- piece of cardboard to fit frame

- glue; PVA or Gel Medium

- Washi tape

- Black Marker; here I’ve used my Golden Black pen Montana Marker with Golden Fluid Acrylic

Create your Framed Gift

1. Gather your materials and a few pieces of background paper in colors that work well together

Using Gelli prints to make handmade gifts

2. Take the back off your photo frame and use it to cut a piece of cardboard to size so it will fit into the frame. I used a piece of cereal box cardboard. Check that it does fit into the frame and trim if needed.

Gelli prints to create mixed media gifts

3. Use the cardboard to cut a piece of background paper to size.

Gelli prints to create mixed media gifts

4. Use a piece of scotch brite or sandpaper to rough up the cereal box cardboard. Then stick the background paper to the cardboard. Flatten out any wrinkles.

Gelli prints to create mixed media gifts

5. Cut two contrasting background papers into strips and thin triangles. Stick these to the background piece. Leave to dry and trim the ends to size.

Gelli prints to create mixed media gifts

6. Add a strip of Washi tape and write in your inspiring quote with the black marker. Seal with Gel medium or varnish. Leave to dry.

Gelli prints to create mixed media gifts

7. Place your mixed media art into the frame, replace the back and your gift is ready to give!

(I forgot to take a final photo of my piece in the frame but here it is finished!)

Gelli prints to create mixed media gifts

I hope this has inspired you to get out those Gelli prints or dive into your stash of background papers and put them to good use!

Happy creating,

Michelle

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Michelle G. Brown is passionate about mixed media art and enjoys sharing her knowledge and techniques with you to allow you to express your own creativity. Michelle understands that many of us have an inner need to create. By learning a few basic techniques the amazing world of mixed media art is accessible to everyone!

Michelle lives with her husband and two boys in Melbourne, Australia. When she is not creating or on Facebook, she’s at karate training. Just to make sure she’s properly busy, she has also adopted the From Picture to Page Scrapbooking and Papercrafts Show

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Packing Tape Postcard

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This article was written by Martice Smith II

Create an image transfer from packing tape to design a custom postcard

Learn a quick and simple way to create image transfers made from packing tape. Layer bold graphics and found imagery, combined with stylized handwriting, to create a dynamic piece of correspondence. In the end, you’ll have a stunning postcard- worthy of being framed!

Gather supplies of your choice

Gather supplies of your choice.

You’ll also need:

  • a bowl of water
  • bone folder
  • scissors
  • magazine pages and paper ephemera (Grab up some of your favorite, textured papers, too!)
  • 4×6 inch cardstock paper (elements will be layered onto this)

How to Make a Packing Tape Postcard

Prepare the image transfer

Cut strips of packing tape, slightly larger than the size of your image.

1. Cut strips of packing tape to the size of your image.

Carefully, lay the tape across the magazine image, starting at one end and slowly working your way across. Use manageable strips of tape for this step.

TIP: Images (photos or text) with white or light-colored backgrounds will show up transparent in the final tape transfer. This is a great way to add interesting dimension by layering multiple graphics, text, or paper.

Burnish with a bone folder.

2. Burnish with a bone folder.

From the center out, use the bone folder to remove any bubbles or creases. You do not need to apply heavy pressure when burnishing. Simply rub the tool across one way and repeat going another direction.

TIP: Lay the tape down on a clean plastic, wooden, or any non-porous surface to prevent tape from picking up fibers and dust particles.

(If there are bubbles left unburnished, they will appear as a clear spot on the image.) You may or may not want this effect- sometimes it can leave an interesting, distressed effect to your transfer. You might like it after all!

Trim around your image and place into bowl of water.

3. Trim around your image and place into bowl of water.

4. Rub away the paper backing with your thumbs.

The paper will start to roll up. This indicates that you can start rubbing the paper off.

TIP: For a clean, crisp image, make sure you do not scratch the surface of the tape while rubbing off the paper. If you want an old, worn-out look, gently scratch the tape’s surface with your fingernail. If you want wrinkles, take the entire piece and ball it up, in your hand; unfold and smooth out.

If you’re heavy-handed like me, you will appreciate this technique because this it allows you to rub quite vigorously without tearing the tape.

Remove the paper and let dry

5. Remove the paper and let dry on non-porous surface. 

As the tape dries, it will become sticky again. After the tape dries, paper fibers may reappear. If so, re-moisten the paper and gently, rub them off.

These pictures show how a tape transfer looks when held near a window. Take a close look at the expressive textures! Next, I show how the transfer looks when placed on top of a white background. (Did you notice how some details from the magazine image reappears when placed on a white background?)

6. Discard paper fibers from bowl.

Flush paper pulp down the toilet- not the sink!

Of course, you can also save this paper pulp to create your own handmade paper.

Now we are ready to create our Package Tape Postcard!

Create a Package Tape Postcard

Here is the approach I took to create this postcard:

This postcard looks elegant and modern but with a slight, urban twist. I gathered some of my paper scraps from previous projects to combine with my image transfer.

To reinforce the look of the ‘handmade’, I decided to tear the paper with my hands. This creates the deckled edges.

Pushing this idea forward, I also decided to add a twist by incorporating my stylized handwriting. (I simply used the end of a paintbrush to scratch into wet, acrylic paint, on paper that had a layer of paint already on it.) Look closely to see the subtle shift in colors!

Continue adding collage elements but keep in mind that ‘less is more’. You don’t want to create an overwhelming design on your postcard. Layering is key; build up layers to add drama.

TIP: If your packing tape isn’t sticking, use a glue stick, decoupage medium, or add more tape on top to keep it in place.

Think about overall composition. My focal image is the bouquet of flowers. Everything else was secondary, or in other words, complementary to that image.

The image transfer (of the flowers) was placed on top of the stylized, handwriting layer. For exciting pops of color, I used fluorescent orange paint!

Next, a small piece of diamond patterned washi tape was added.

Finally, gold leaf was painted on to create a more elegant look.

For the reverse side, I cut out and glued some scrapbook papers onto the brown kraft paper, leaving a 1/4 inch border on all sides.

As you can see, I repeated the diagonal lines from the front side to create a divider for the text and address areas.

Create a Package Tape Postcard; variation

Here’s another postcard I created with this same image transfer technique.

I chose to go with a bold and, somewhat, abstract look. I found a beautiful image of decorative chinaware in a home decor magazine. The geometric patterns combined with organic shapes are interesting and has great sense of energy.

Create a Package Tape Postcard

This packing tape postcard features:

  • my hand-carved, chevron stamp
  • Modeling paste
  • “Grace” stencil from Artistcellar’s new Pocket Stencils, “Mini Virtues” set

Spray or brush on a varnish to seal and protect the surface. Write your message on the back, apply a postage stamp and pop it in the mail!

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Mixed-media illustrator and designer Martice Smith II

Martice Smith II is creative director of Martice Smith II – Illustration & Design Studio, based in Kansas City, Missouri and owner of Uneek Art Boutique. She established herself as a freelance Illustrator and graphic designer after receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree. Her stunning illustrations reveals her love for fashion, typography and wildlife- using a combination of analog and digital techniques.

Martice also contributes as an article writer for the Creating Mixed Media Art website.

You can see more of her work via her Facebook page or her blog. She invites you to join her monthly newsletter, Uneek Art Letter, for art biz tips, advice and free digital goodies!

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Creating your Own Mixed Media Birdhouse

This article is written by Shari Welch

Have you noticed the decorate your own birdhouses at your local craft store? Are you tired of just slapping paint on them? I will show you how you can make a unique, one of a kind birdhouse using mixed media materials.

 

I decided on creating a decorative indoor birdhouse.

Here are the materials I choose to use and how I incorporated them into my project.

I wanted to try something new with my washi tape.

It worked perfect for the outside.

adding washi tape to the birdhouse

I cut out a series of scalloped shaped strips for the roof, a flower for the opening, and a banner using burlap paper.

adding scalloped burlap strips to roof

I didn’t want it to just sit on a table. I purchased a wooden candlestick and a round disc of wood. I glued them together and then attached them to the bottom of the house.

gluing candlestick to base and then to birdhouse

I attached a wire to my roof, and then to a decoupaged wooden bird with E6000 glue.

glue the wire on the bird and birdhouse

To finish, I added 2 types of buttons,small rick rack, shaded the flower and roof-line with Memento Dew Drop Dye Ink Pads and markers.

Now I have a decorative piece for my small table!

Now I have a decorative piece

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Author bio:

Shari Welch is a mixed media artist living in Denton Texas. She is known for using reuse and recycle materials in her artwork. She volunteers for SCRAP Denton where she is on the education committee, teaches workshops, and performs art demos. She is passionate about mixed media art and loves helping bring creativity into the lives of others.

You can follow Shari and her mixed media art at www.facebook.com/my.altered.life
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