Monthly Archives: June 2013

Reclaimed Plastic Frame Art

framed-art

About ten years ago, we bought about eight plastic frames at a local surplus science store. These hard plastic frames were perfect in size to hold a 5″ x 7″ picture or other projects that I could use them in when crafting. We used some of them to hold some family pictures and had some left for crafting. This Project started from a CD we had purchased of vintage Victorian labels that we could print out for various craft projects.

framed-art-floral

We painted the frames in three different colors, black, cream and gray with a crackle finish. The two featured here were crackled with a kit from a craft store. I printed out a few labels that I really loved. But since they are from a vintage collection the colors were very faded, so I decided to paint in some of the highlights in the prints to brighten the colors and enhance the overall look. I used craft acrylic paints and the results were amazing on the first one, so I decided to enhance the second one the same way. After the prints were dry, I used Mod Podge on them to protect and preserve the colors. I used the gloss Mod Podge to give the pieces a more vibrant look.

framed-and-art-floral

I had some pieces of museum art boards (sturdy cardboard) that I had bought in a frame shop. The shop would sell their leftover art board remnants in many shapes and sizes in plastic bags. I decided to glue these prints onto the museum art boards by using Mod Podge on the backside of these prints, but you can use any kind of sturdy cardboard that you may have handy.

framed-art-back-side

Although we used this type of frame and medium for this project, there are so many fun prints you can use. Just have fun and create your own.

Mache Forest Maiden Mask

mache-garden-maiden

Paper Mache Forest Maiden Mask

In the past, I’ve often made small paper mache items, but some of my favorite pieces I’ve had the most fun with are the small masks. I’ve always wanted to try making a larger version paper mache mask. I thought about the many different style masks I’ve seen in the past. I had fun drawing several rough sketches and finally decided to try making a mask that looked like a forest maiden with leaves for hair.

I found a large piece of Masonite board in the garage that I thought was the perfect size base for my mask. I dusted off the board and wiped it clean. I then gathered a stack of old newspapers and started tearing up sheets into medium size pieces (about 2 to 4 inch pieces). I continued until I had a large pile of torn up newspaper pieces. I then made the paper mache paste using flour and water – with a dash of salt as a preservative.

I took some of the larger newspaper pieces and started soaking them into the paste mixture. I then started the mask with the face by placing some of the bigger soaked chunks down on the board. Once I started forming the face, I started to place smaller soaked pieces on top of the base pieces by laying them on as smoothly as possible.

mache-garden-maiden-painted

Once I had something resembling a pleasing shape of a face, I worked on building up the forehead, the eyebrow areas and then the cheek bones. I rolled and soaked several torn pieces together and placed those large soaked pieces in the area where the nose would go and then did the same with the mouth. I decided to make her mouth open as if she was whispering to nature. While the face was drying, I worked on the hair, which I tried as closely as possible to resemble leaves. I had to let the basic parts of the mask dry before adding on additional layers over certain parts of the face and hair. It is an abstract piece and once I felt it was done, I was very pleased with the entire piece because I was able to make it look closely to what I had imagined.

I had started this mask project on a weekend and after the base layers dried for several days, I waited until the next weekend to add the final layers that needed to be built up. Once, I knew the mask was completely dry, I painted a coat of gesso on the entire piece. I let the gesso coat dry overnight. I then painted a base green color over the entire piece on which I will add to at a later date. I really enjoyed making this mask, and although I used old newspapers, you can always use magazines or scrap paper of any kind to make this project.

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