Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Winter Branch Wall Hanging

With winter comes snowballs and sledding, warm coats and cold noses.  After a few months, it also seems to bring with it a hopefulness for spring and for a time when the world will again be in blossom and things will maybe be a little easier (driving, for one!).  Sometimes, we feel an emotional "winter" in our lives, and we need to be reminded that it is just for a season, and that after winter comes Spring. That is partially the idea from whence this lovely wall-hanging was sprung-- it was meaningful to me, as well as useful in filling a nice empty spot I had on the wall behind my piano.  :)

To make this wall-hanging I just needed a few easy-to-find materials:  a square canvas, Silhouette Double-Sided Adhesive Sheets, a sprig of fake red berries, brown and black crafting paint, and some fine, brown charcoal glitter (the latter was actually the hardest to find, as far as a color that I liked.)  To start, I first watered down the brown crafting paint and then applied it to the canvas with a large sponge brush.  I then immediately wiped over it with a soft cloth to create a light antiqued look.  This helped tone down the bright white background of the canvas.  I decided to paint the edges of the canvas (it stands out about 3/4 an inch from the wall) black to help the picture "pop" from the wall depending on the angle from which you approach it.  Next came designing the branch image I wanted to use.  I made my design by transforming an existing image of a tree with bare branches.  I used the Silhouette eraser function to get rid of some of the branches, used the "edit points" function to change the shape of some of the twigs (to elongate, make skinner or fatter, etc.), and finally turned the "tree" into the type of branch I had been envisioning, and which you see.  These functions can seem a little tricky at first, but they are something that even beginners can use.  I will do a tutorial post on those in the coming month.  

Because the adhesive sheets are standard "letter" size (8 1/2 by 11 inches), my entire image could not be cut on just one sheet.  I remedied this by copying and slicing my image at two different points, so as to be able to overlap each piece on top of where I had to cut it. Because of the nature of the double sided adhesive, I wasn't worried about my "cut" lines being noticeable once the glitter medium was put on, as I knew it would cover them seamlessly because of the overlap. I cut as many of these "pieces" as I could fit on one page, and then applied each piece to where I wanted it on the prepped canvas by peeling off the yellow backing sheet and placing the image sticky-side down. 

Once I had the back-side stuck in place on the canvas, I peeled off the top white protective layer to expose the top side of the adhesive image.  Next, all I did was sprinkle on some gorgeous glitter and shake it down the canvas. It adhered perfectly.  Even after giving the canvas some light tapping on the backside to help shake off excess glitter, that on the adhesive stayed perfectly in place. 

Next, I hot-glued on the berries and then chose a font for my script (I used "Painter's Handbrush"). After using transfer tape to...well to transfer the vinyl to the canvas, I was finished.

Now it's on to awaiting spring, while enjoying the wonders of winter....

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