I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been in a particularly crafty mood lately. I guess it’s because it’s summer, it’s beautiful outdoors and I can sit on my balcony and craft away as I watch the world ride by on their bicycles. Doesn’t that sound fabulous? I wish all of my days could be like that, but alas, we’ve all got responsibilities and mine these days are fairly hefty. But when I do get to slip away to dedicate some time to my crafting, I like to work on art pieces for my house. I’ve been living in my apartment for the last three years and the walls are still looking pretty sparse. I just wasn’t finding anything that was particularly interesting, so I needed to become an artist!
This week, I’ve been running around trying to get ready for my trip to Europe in a couple of weeks and I’ve been taking things to the recycling bin downstairs. Among the bits and bobs that I was getting rid of, I came across a box of books and wondered what I was going to do with it. I usually donate all of my books to a local charity, or I take them into my favorite second hand book store and trade them in for some newer titles. But then I remembered reading something on the internet about a neat art project that involved old books. So I after I found the tutorial, of which I’m going to share with you momentarily, I went through all of my books thoroughly to make sure that they were all common titles, and that no one would miss them if I started to cut a bunch of them up! Thankfully, I was all in the clear, so I was able to get started without a hitch.
Okay, so you’re first going to need these things to get started:
Acrylic matte medium
Paintbrush, medium or wide
A Canvas (Choose your size)
A photocopy of a high contrast image in black and white
Oil pastels, liquid watercolors or acrylic paints as desired
Alright, if you’ve got everything you need, it’s time to start cutting! You’re going to need about 2-3 pages work of paper strips, so rip out a bunch of pages from some of the books and start cutting between the lines so you end up with whole sentences in strip form. Okay, next, it’s time to slather your canvas with the acrylic matte. You’ll find that working with the acrylic is a lot like working with glue, and that what you’re doing is a lot like like creating”decoupage”. Use a palette knife, or a large flat brush to quickly spread a layer of acrylic over your canvas. It’s important that the canvas stays wet, so if your canvas pieces is really large, you’ll want to do it it sections.
Now it’s time to place the paper strips on the wet canvas. Lay the strips of paper by pushing them down with your fingers, making sure to smooth them out. You have to be careful that the paper doesn’t ripple or tear, but keep in mind that the acrylic sets quickly. Keep layering strips until you get that decoupage effect, then grab your photocopied image, slather it with some acrylic and press it against your paper strips long after they are dry.
Peel back the piece of paper, your photocopies image will have transferred onto your masterpiece! The next part takes a little creativity. I focused on emphasizing certain words to make the piece pop. And voila! You have a fabulous new art piece for your wall!