How beautiful is today’s project – a Mixed Media Spring Shrine by Rebekah Meier. Rebekah uses several techniques popular in mixed media art – collage and encaustic hot wax. This is not a quickie craft, but it is do-able, and the results are a piece of artwork you’ll cherish for years. It’s sort of like spring itself – it’s made all the sweeter because you have to slog through winter to get there. I have a few suggestions for simplifying this, too, so please don’t cross this one off your list yet!
If you’re intimidated by working with hot wax, or simply don’t have the tools, go ahead and skip this part:
- In Step 8, Rebekah melts beeswax and stamps into the hot wax to create a raised and textured stamp. You can skip the wax and simply stamp directly onto the collage. It will still be beautiful!
- Ditto for Step 9 – Rebekah adhered the three buttons with melted wax, but you can easily just glue them on.
To make a Mixed Media Spring Shrine, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: one each 36″ x 12″ x 1″ and 36″ x 12″ x 1/2″ sheets; and one 2-1/2” egg
- Acrylic craft paints: light teal; cream; black
- Mod Podge, matte finish
- Vintage ephemera images (Rebekah found hers online)
- Cardstock, cream
- Tissue paper: white; natural; cream/teal print
- Natural beeswax
- Spanish moss, small amount
- Sticks or twigs, small bundle
- Buttons, three white, vintage style
- Ink pads: watermark; brown
- Large flourish rubber stamp
- Paper glue
- Low-temp glue gun
- Tools needed: Serrated knife; candle stub or bar of soap; fine-line black permanent marker; pencil; ruler; paintbrushes – medium, and one with stiff bristles; disposable sponge; cosmetic sponges; disposable palette; water basin; paper towels; detail scissors; wax melting tool; newspaper; cardboard box (optional)
To make a Mixed Media Spring Shrine:
1. Wax serrated knife with candle stub or bar of soap. Cut the foam egg in half lengthwise, and save one half for a future project. Measure and mark a 12″ square on 1″-thick foam sheet; cut out. Measure and mark 4-1/4″ x 8-1/2″ rectangle on 1/2″-thick foam sheet; cut out.
2. The ½” thick rectangle forms the birdhouse shape that frames the egg. Place the foam rectangle on a tabletop with the 4-1/4” edges at the top and bottom. Measure and mark the center of the top edge. Mark each side, 1-1/2″ down from top edge. Connect points to create the triangular “roof” and a house shape. Cut along the lines for the roof. Draw a line around the inside edges of the birdhouse,1/2″ from edges; cut on lines to create birdhouse “frame.”
3. Tear tissue papers into small pieces and randomly adhere one layer of tissue to all foam pieces using Mod Podge. Use white and natural tissue paper to cover the half-egg, and all three colors to cover the birdhouse frame and foam square.
4. Print chosen vintage, ephemera images onto cream cardstock. Rebekah used a script handwriting print, and strips of the alphabet and numbers. Trim as desired. Using photo as a guide, adhere images to foam square using Mod Podge; let dry.
5. Using low-temp glue, glue the birdhouse frame to the foam square. The birdhouse should be centered, yet slightly closer to the top edge.
6. Paint the inside edges of the birdhouse, and the inside of the birdhouse, with light teal paint. Using a cosmetic sponge, lightly sponge edges of the foam square in light teal. Let dry completely.
7. Enlarge and print a bird nest image 4-1/4″ wide for the top of the birdhouse. Trim and adhere image to top of birdhouse frame using paper glue.
8. Paint the egg cream, and let dry. Place the egg in a cardboard box or on newspaper. To “speckle” the egg, dip the tip of a stiff bristle paintbrush into black paint and gently “splatter” paint onto the egg. (You might want to practice this technique on newspaper first.)
9. Ink stamp with watermark ink; set aside, inked side up. Following manufacturer’s instructions, melt beeswax onto entire collage piece using hot melt tool. Using transfer point of tool, hold beeswax against the point, allowing the wax to melt onto the collage. Immediately impress rubber stamp into melted wax. Wait a few seconds and remove stamp from collage. Repeat, till you’ve covered the collage with stamped images. (NOTE: This step is totally optional. If you prefer, you can stamp directly onto the collage, without using melted wax.)
10. Melt more beeswax onto collage and immediately apply white buttons as shown; beeswax will act as adhesive. (NOTE: You can also glue the buttons onto the collage without using melted wax.)
11. Glue the egg to the center of the birdhouse. Tie a small bunch of twigs together with twine and glue to the side of birdhouse frame. Glue moss along the bottom edge of the birdhouse.
12. Using a cosmetic sponge and tea dye ink, lightly ink all edges and the stamped beeswax to instantly age the artwork.
Have you ever worked with melted wax? Tell me about it.
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