Monday, November 12, 2012

The Little Blue House 12 Days of Ornaments, Day #2

Hello friends, this is Susan, and I welcome you back to the second day of the Little Blue House ornament extravaganza.  For my ornaments, I created tiny mixed media canvases that can be hung on your tree or added to the wrapping of a gift for a special someone.  I hope you will be inspired to create this artsy ornament! 


Designed by: Susan Tidwell

Here are the supplies you will need for the canvas ornament
 (all of which are available at the LBH).

3"x3" canvas
Mod Podge (or decoupage medium of choice)
Acrylic paints - white, ivory and background color
Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles
Diamond Stickles
Quick dry tacky glue (Helmar's 450)
Black Archival ink
Black journaling pen (must be permanent)
Tiny wooden snowflake (Studio Calico) or jingle bell with Baker's twine (depending on which canvas you are making)
Scrap of burlap or burlap ribbon
Old sheet music to cover canvas
6 - 1/4" wide strips of coordinating Christmas papers
3" square of coordinating paper for back of ornament (optional)
1 or 2 background stamps (script or overall print)
"Tools" for mark-making (see instruction #3 below)
4-5" ribbon for hanger

1. Cover canvas with Mod Podge and decoupage music paper on top and edges. You can tear pieces or just use one piece for the entire canvas.

2. Lightly paint over the canvas with white paint, leaving some of the paper showing through. Be sure to paint portions of the edges of the canvas as well.

3. In the next steps of creating the layered background you will use various mark-making tools - bubble wrap, sole of a flip flop, punchinella. See photo below.

First lightly wipe ivory paint over the bubble wrap and "print" onto the canvas in random places. Don't forget to stamp some on the edges.

Mix some of your colored paint (I used green) with ivory or white to get a lighter color.  Lightly dab this color through the holes of the punchinella, much like using a stencil. I also swiped the paint in places with my finger. Again, don't forget the edges!
Next wipe the darker paint color on the bottom of the flip flop and print that design. Mine had a crosshatch design but flip flops come in lots of different patterns! (I promise, you will never look at flip flops again in the same way!)  Again, swipe some of the darker paint on the canvas, especially on outer edges.

4.  Now you will create even more depth by stamping with black permanent ink with several background stamps. I used a script stamp and a honeycomb-pattern stamp. If your ink is too dark, stamp off on scrap paper first so the stamping is lighter. You are creating a subtle background, not the focal image.

5.  If the background becomes too dark, whitewash with a light coat of either white or ivory paint to subdue the color.  Here I used some white to mute the bright green.

6.  Coat with Rock Candy Distress Stickles and dry.  (Note: Distress Stickles can be heated to dry, unlike regular Stickles.)

7. Cut six 1/4" strips of coordinating printed papers. These will all be shorter than 3."  (Note: this is a perfect way to use the patterned barcode strips on many brands of papers!)  Glue these on the canvas starting with the longest and working up to the top of the tree, cutting each strip approximately 1/4" shorter than previous strip.

8. Cut tiny piece of burlap for tree trunk and glue below tree.

9. Paint a tiny wooden snowflake with white paint and dab on Diamond Stickles. Glue to top of tree for star.
10. Use fine permanent journaling pen to outline and doodle as shown, if desired.

11. Form loop with ribbon and glue to center top back of canvas for hanger.  Glue 3" square of paper to back to finish canvas and hang proudly on your tree!

To create the bell canvas (or any other shape):
Follow directions as shown above, substituting the instructions below for steps 7 through 9.

Draw or trace the desired shape on lightweight copy paper. (I traced a cookie cutter I had that was the perfect size.)  Cut out.

Arrange and glue strips of papers over the paper pattern.

Turn over and cut excess strips off around shape.  Then glue entire piece to canvas.

Repeat as for tree canvas but eliminate the snowflake tree topper. Tie a length of Baker's twine through a tiny jingle bell and glue to bottom of bell.

I hope you have enjoyed these mixed media pieces. Would you like to win one of these?  Just comment on this post letting us know the craziest item you've ever crafted with. Have you ever used flip flops as a stamp?  One lucky commenter will receive their choice of these ornaments - winner will be posted tomorrow so be sure to visit again!

Happy Creating!

The WINNER of DAY#1 : Christmas Cork Tree Ornament is.....
Patti said...So cute and I know someone who has a bunch of these corks! Thanks Tracy

Congratulations Patti and Thank You for your comment! 

Please stop by or call the LBH to claim your Ornament.


  1. Great techniques! Lovely ornaments.

  2. Very cute! Thanks for all the great tips.

  3. Fabulous Susan... I always love your work..

  4. These are darling! Even my son who does not like paper ornaments decided "yeah, these would be okay, mom" !!

    I'm always looking for non-breakables now that there are little ones wandering around the tree again.

  5. Beautiful ornament and it's something my daughter and I can do together. One of the wackiest things I've crafted with, besides Miss Tracy's used dryer sheets, is the orange plastic mesh bags that some fruits and veggies come in.

  6. So cute SUSAN!! Yes, I too crafted with Miss Tracey's dryer sheets and a pile of stranger's old tee-shirts! I have also cut up my husbands dress shirts to make a christmas garland-lol... I love plaid! Keep 'em coming ladies!!

  7. Oh, very cute!!!!!! I love it!!

  8. Susan, these are so cute and artsy! The craziest thing I have ever crafted with were the strings left in the bottom of the washer after washing torn up pieces of canvas.

  9. Ohhhhh, I love this idea!!! 2 days in and I am already so inspired!!!

  10. Very cute and I love the idea of using a cookie cutter for a template. You ladies never cease to amaze me.

  11. Susan, I `couldn't wait to see what ornament you would create.You didn't disappoint! The tutorial was great and I love both of them!!
    You might remember that the unusual item I crafted with was "sanitary pads"!!!

  12. So cute Susan, I just thought about doing something like this today.


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