A View of Prague (Canvas Cutout Tutorial)

Prague Canvas Cutout

I finally bring you the total experiment piece that I promised you guys! 😀 What do you think of my silhouette of Prague (ignore the vinyl cutouts, those are other experiments ;))?

I have a sort-of tutorial on how I made it. It’s a sort-of tutorial because I totally made up everything as I  went along and would probably change quite a few things the next time around 🙂 But it was fun to try 😀

I totally was planing on doing something else with the canvas, I’m sure you guys have seen the tutorials on how to do this:

I was totally planning on making my own, then I couldn’t decide on what pattern to use so I thought of something completely different to do 🙂

Materials: Canvas (you can find packs for pretty cheap, I got a pack of 3 for $5 at Ross of all places), Exacto Knife, Cardboard, Paper, Acrylic Paint (cheap stuff rocks! ;)), and image with multiple layers.

Step 1: Choose your image and print it out. This is the image I used:

What I loved about it was the multiple layers of the buildings, that’s the type of image that will work the best for this. Print it off, black and white is probably easiest. When you have that done make sure you can fit it on your canvas in the way you want. I had to cut off a couple inches from the sides. Tip: Remember that you can’t go onto the wooden frame of the canvas. So stick to the square in the middle.

Step 2: I use the “I’m poor and crafty” method of transferring outlines of images I want. This means on the printed side of you image trace the lines you want. Keep in mind that the first layer has to be attached to the canvas, so you can’t have random bits that aren’t attached to anything. Trace all the layers you want, I only did two. Make sure to trace hard, it’s easier if you can see your lines on the other side of the paper. Next flip your paper over and shade over where your trace lines are. You want a nice thick layer of pencil on that side.

Step 3: Now you transfer the first layer onto the canvas. To do this cut out the area of the photo that you wanted to fit into the square/rectangle of the under side of the canvas (I really wish I realized that I should take a photo of this :P). Now place the photo in the space behind the canvas (the wrong side of the canvas) with the shaded side of the photo touching the canvas. Trace over the first layer of the image that you want to be the front of the cutout. Press hard, it’s not easy to transfer the pencil lines. After you finish tracing, take out the photo and go over the lines on the canvas again. Make sure you can see the lines well.

Step 4: Use your Exacto knife to cut along the lines you just made. Then repeat the same steps but transfer the second layer image onto a piece of cardboard, I recommend using something thicker than what I used (it will look cooler and more 3d). Just make sure you remember which side will face forward in you cutout (I didn’t realize until just now that my second layer is flipped the wrong way).

Step 5: Cut out a support for your canvas layer. It really flops around otherwise. Out of cardboard cut out the basic shape of your outline, it doesn’t need to be perfect.

Canvas cutout steps 2,3,4

Step 6: Now with all the cutting out done it’s time to paint. I just used acrylic paint I got on sale and a large brush. Do whatever color scheme you want. I didn’t have newspaper to protect the floor, so I used a large piece of paper. I also painted half the paper to be the background of the cutout. You can have your wall be the background if you want, but I wanted a 3d painting effect. Tip: Don’t forget to paint the sides of the wood frame a dark color. Otherwise it will be really obvious that there’s a wooden frame.

canvas cutout step 5

Step 7: After your stuff dries, glue everything together. Start with the support for the canvas, then the second layer, then the background. I can’t really give you much help with this since I just stuck it all together the best I could. You might want  to think of supports or something to keep the layers from bending funky. Tip: Glue very carefully! Believe me the glue will show if you get it on the nice side of your layer, and you will have to repaint. It’s a serious pain so whatever you do, do it carefully!

Canvas cutout step 6Background paper, right before gluing

Canvas cutout step 6

See what I mean about glue showing? After everything’s glued and you’re happy you can hang it up for all the world to see 🙂 I used packing tape on the back side and then attached a command strip.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I realized some important things I need to change the next time I do this. It was still fun and I think I’ll let it stay on my wall (surrounded by other experiments ;))

I want to know how your cutout’s turn out!! Send pictures and comment on the blog please!! 😀

Now don’t forget you can follow me on twitter (here), visit my etsy shop (here), or like my Facebook page (here)

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Update on Galaxy Shoes

I finally have some time to myself 🙂 What I mean is that I’m on spring break 🙂 So because of this I had some time to make an update to my galaxy shoe tutorial. (Click the link to see the original tutorial). I made myself a pair of galaxy shoes and actually took pictures of the beginning steps 😀

This is my result:

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I like the way they turned out. This time when I went to target to get the shoes I found out that they didn’t have white shoes in my size so I got black ones instead. It was a bit more difficult to paint them and I did need more paint because the black seemed to absorb the color more. The shoes turned out great but darker than the other pairs I made.

shoes before they were painted

shoes before they were painted

The last two photos are of how I started painting the shoes. I forgot to take these last time. It is really simple to paint these shoes.

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Just continue to add color around the shoes. I added blue next and you just keep spounging it on until you have the effect you want.

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Don’t be too hard on yourself while painting them because it may look like they are going to turn out terrible, but adding the white stars makes all the difference.

Since I have free time for the next week I’m hoping to add a few more posts about various projects I want to do. We’ll see how that goes 🙂

Silhouettes

For Christmas I made my parents their presents. I decided to give them my own take on old-fashioned silhouettes. They are now the proud owners of their own silhouette portraits 🙂

After weeks I finally have time post this tutorial 🙂

By the way you need watercolor paints, and masking fluid. You can use other paints but you need to think of a substitute to the masking fluid.

Step 1: I took photos of my parents against our white garage door. I then took the photos and converted them to black and white on gimp (a free photo editing software). I also desaturated them. Basically I clicked anything I could think of to have a clear outline of their silhouettes. (I don’t want to post the images I used, their faces can be clearly seen and I want to protect their privacy.) After I was done I printed the images out.

Step 2: Trace your silhouettes onto the paper you will be using. Use any method you like.

Step 3: Once you have your outline on the paper take your masking fluid and fill the inside of your image. Use an old brush or one you don’t care about. Masking fluid ruins brushes. Despite this masking fluid is amazing because it will keep the area underneath it clear of paint. KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA The masking fluid I used. I’m fairly sure that mine’s old despite me buying only a week before using it. It’s way too thick. Well that’s Wal-Mart for you 😛

Step 4: After the masking fluid is dry you can start on the fun part 🙂 Basically you splatter your water colors in any way you like over your paper.  If you want better directions refer to my galaxy shoes tutorial. Tip: adding water to the paint makes it easier to splatter. Experiment with the amount of water you add 🙂 KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

I got my watercolors from Dollar Tree. Their alright but they’re fairly lightKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

What your project looks like after you’re done spattering it.

Step 4: This part is pretty fun too 😀 After the paint is all dry it’s time to peel of the masking fluid. Just rub lightly until it starts peeling then carefully pull.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

It looked alright at this point but I thought it would be more dramatic if the silhouette was easier to see. If you don’t think it looks finished yet then move on to the next step. I think if the paint was darker I would have left it this way.

Step 5: At this point I took my acrylic paint and carefully filled in the middle of the silhouette. KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

I wish I had a better photo of how it turned out. It looks awesome but since my camera sucks it doesn’t look as cool in the photos.

My parents loved this and I’m sure you can do your own take on it with no problems. Give it a try 😀

 

 

Galaxy Shoes

So Christmas is coming. That means I need to give presents to people. But I’m fairly close to being broke. So its Crafty Girl to the rescue. My two best friends deserve something special. So I made them galaxy and Doctor Who themed canvas shoes (shhh don’t tell them yet :D). It was a surprisingly easy process. I once again forgot to take photos of the first steps but you should be fine without them.

All you need for this project is canvas shoes, acrylic paint, foam brushes, newspaper, masking tape, and an idea. Some type of clear coat is probably a good idea too. You can do whatever design you want on your shoes. It’s just like painting on canvas boards. I got my shoes for about $13 at target. They are simple, white canvas shoes. You can use any color you want and style as long as it is a canvas shoe.

Here are the paints I used:

My acrylic paintsLay down lots of newspaper, this can get messy. Stuff the shoes with newspaper. It helps make the shoe firmer and easier to paint.Then take the masking tape and cover the white rubbery parts that you don’t want painted. Try to get the tape to stick very well at the top so the paint doesn’t bleed throght. Thats it for the prep.

I started by painting a thin coat of white paint on the toe of the shoe. You don’t really need to do this :). After that take the foam brushes and do spots of color all over the shoe. I forgot to take a picture of this, of course :(. Update: I have pictures on my Update to galaxy shoes post. Keep it random and don’t worry that it doesn’t look anything like a galaxy. If you need more direction just google galaxy shoe tutorial. You may find a better explanation of this step. I used red, blue, and purple paint. Look up Hubble photos of space for inspiration. After the shoe is covered you take tin foil and scrunch it up. I’m sure a holey sponge would work too, I couldn’t find one in the house so I used foil. Make sure the scrunched up foil has lots of texture. Take the foil and dab it into the black paint. Try not to get too much on it since you want texture, not globs of paint. Practicing on you newspaper helps. Dab the paint randomly all over. Don’t do very much, just enough to make the color scheme darker and more space like. You don’t have to put much thought into this :). Take the blue paint and do the same thing to add more texture.

Now here comes the fun part. This is what makes the shoe look like a galaxy. It’s time to splatter the white paint all over the shoe. Take two paintbrushes. Get some paint on one of them. Hold the brush with paint on one hand and use the other brush to tap the paint covered brush. You’ll get the hang of it but it should splatter the paint. You could also flick the paint covered brush or splatter by flicking the brush with your finger. It really doesn’t matter how you do it as long as it spatter.

That is really it. I made two different pairs. One is just a galaxy themed the other is Doctor Who themed.

Galaxy ShoeGalaxy Shoe 2The second pair is the one that became the Doctor Who shoes. To make them I free-handed a little TARDIS on the toe. It turns out that carbon paper does not work to transfer images. I’m sure it would work on the shoe when they are just white but not after painting them. I also free-handed the words “Run!” and “Allons-y!” and “Doctor Who” on the back of the shoes.

Allons-y!TARDISDoctor WhoI then outlined all of it in black sharpie. It doesn’t show up too well but since I hate painting it works for me 🙂

Doctor Who ShoesDoctor WhoI’m going to spray them with a clear lacquer. I have no idea what kind of clear coat would be best. The one I’m using is my brothers. He uses it on his long boards. Just find one that is waterproof and can be used on acrylic paint. It still may not protect your shoes from water but at least it’s some barrier. Have fun and let me know if I can make this clearer 🙂 Update: I have more pictures of the beginning process on my Update to Galaxy Shoes post.