School is starting in many parts of the country, and that means that cooler temperatures – and changing leaves – can’t be far behind! Today’s project is a piece of slate wall decor with painted leaves that will bring fall colors inside so you can enjoy them where it is warm!
- Buttons Galore “Argyle” Button Tote
- 5×7 Slate Wall Plaque
- Tim Holtz idea-ology Jute String
- Acrylic Paint in various colors
- Folkart “Leaf Variety” Stencil
(For my paint selections, I used Delta Ceramcoat “Ranchero”, Delta Ceramcoat Select “Light Foliage Green”, Folkart “Cardinal Red” and “Daffodil Yellow”, and Martha Stewart Crafts Metallic Acrylic in “Rust”. But the exact shades aren’t as important as getting a light green, a red, an orange, a yellow, and a metallic.)
The paint effect looks complex, but the technique is actually really simple. The secret to it is using disposable make-up sponges to apply the paint with a “dabbing” motion, instead of a brush. It’s so simple that even young children can do it!
Taping down the stencil, and using tape to cover all of the nearby open areas that I don’t want to paint, helped to ensure that I got a perfect impression from my stencil.
I started with the light green color of paint, using one of the cosmetic sponges. I dabbed one of the end edges of the sponge into the paint, and then dabbed most of the paint off on the palette that I was using. I then used the damp sponge to dab blotches of color onto the stencil. I repeated this process with each color (except the metallic), filling in the whole stencil area.
Then I used the metallic color and dabbed it heavily over the top of the stencil, but not filling in quite completely. I wanted small areas to peek out from underneath. Then I repeated a layer of the light green paint, but not quite as heavily as the metallic.
Sometimes when applying new paint over paint that is still wet your colors might mix and blend a bit. As long as the sponges aren’t too wet, the colors shouldn’t shift too much.
The finished effect will look something like this – a mix of metallic and green with hints of other colors like red and yellow peeking through. Just like with leaves in nature, no two painted leaves will come out the same!
The painted leaves are pretty on their own, but the slate doesn’t really look finished without some dimension on it. I wrapped jute string around the bottom of the slate and secured it on the back with hot glue. The string provides “ground” that the leaves are falling to. Then I made a bow by twisting some string and attached it with some hot glue. I attached a button to hide the hot glue making the bow. Buttons are great concealers for glue and seams! Then, finally, in the bottom corner, I attached three more buttons. I like the repetition of the three leaves as three buttons for balance, and it provides a visual anchor for the other end of the string.
The buttons I used are from our “Argyle” Button Tote. With deep reds and greens, trendy navy, and neutral cream and black, the Argyle mix is a great selection to have in your creative toolbox for the holidays in the last part of the year! What will you use Argyle for?
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