Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How To - Thankful Leaf Canvas

Barb here.  I am going to do a little tutorial on how to make this Fall Thankful canvas.  It measures 4 x 4. 

The first step is to adhere a book page to the canvas.  Gel medium was used to adhere the page.  A layer of Gesso was added on top.  Gesso gives your bottom layer a “bite” and by this I mean – your other mediums are able to stick to the Gesso. 

Distress paint (gold) was wiped on top.  Another color (orange) was added along the edges.  After the paint was dry I used a background stamp and stamped it with Gold on top of the canvas.  At this point I let everything dry.  Once the ink was dry, the edges were distressed with brown ink. 

Patience is not one of my finer virtues.  I find it much easier to do mixed media stages right before I go to bed – it has all night to dry – and then in the morning – before I head to work – I will add another layer.  I have no choice – I am not near my art piece so I can’t mess it up. 

I have a Silhouette Cameo and I love this machine.  The branch pattern I used for a stencil was cut with my Silhouette out of some scrap card stock I had.  I just tape the stencil to the front of my piece.  I take my embossing paste and I color it with more distress paints.  Smear it over the stencil.  I did not want a smooth texture on my leaves so I used a piece of paper toweling and just pounced it on top of the leaves.  The stencil is still in place.  I remove the stencil and let it dry.  After it was dry, I decided the leaves were not green enough so I painted some more distress paint on the leaves.

I stamped the big leaves in VersaMark on watercolor paper and used brown embossing powder.  I then got out my Twinkling H2O’s (I was surprised – I found them – I usually have put everything in a safe place and they are never to be seen again).  I wet the top of my Twinkling H2O’s to activate them.  I wet the leaves and then started adding swatches of colors.  The colors just blend together and when they dry they have such a beautiful sheen.  I then cut the leaves out.  I colored the edges with one of the colors in the leaf so no white edges would show.  I also cut a leaf with my Silhouette and colored it with the green distress paint. 

I believe at this point is when I realized I had been working on my canvas piece upside down.  How did I notice this – the words were upside down.  It probably did not matter because they really are not that visible but I would have known so now my paste embossed leaves have changed directions and the layout changes.  We move from the left side to the right side for leaf placement.  (obviously at this point my camera broke and I took no more pictures.)  You will have to draw a picture in your mind for each step.

I tore a piece of fabric (this is leftover from a blouse my daughter made when she was in college).  It is a lovely color and I will be very sad when my last piece of this fabric is all used up.  I wrapped the fabric around the top of the canvas.  A small strip of fabric was pulled through the holes of the buttons and tied in a knot. 

The sentiment banner was cut with my Silhouette.  I added a strip of paper behind the sentiment that was colored the same as the leaves.  I love how the different colors show through the openings for the word.  This was a happy accident. 

Now you start playing with your layout.  The base leaf (the one cut with the Silhouette) is adhered to the canvas with gel medium.  The next leaf was added so it just hung over the right edge of the canvas.  Pop dots were put on the back of the Oak leaf and it was put on the canvas.  At this point I just placed my sentiment on the canvas to figure out the placement of the maple leaf.  I putzed and moved and putzed some more.  I cut the stem off the leaf so I could let it sit on top of the sentiment banner.  A small piece of adhesive was put at the bottom of the leaf so the maple leaf has a natural curve to it and the top points are all loose.

The sentiment was added with pop dots and the button added on top of the fabric strip.

I hope you learned a little bit from my tutorial on making this canvas.  I would appreciate your feed back.  I promise next time I will take more pictures.  (my camera really did not break - I probably got up in the fun of creating and forgot to take pictures).

Thanks for stopping by and go – make some fun fall mixed media projects and enter our challenge. 


  1. Great tutorial Barb,well except for when you forgot to take pictures Lol. I need to try something for this fall challenge. Love how your canvas turned out.

  2. Nice job, Barb! I love your embossed and sparkly leaves in your tutorial! It helps for me to see your steps, so thanks for spelling them out for this. I look forward to seeing more!

  3. Great idea for the leaves. I would have thought you used a machine to cut those out. Awesome tutorial. ~Niki