Thursday, April 14, 2016

Under the Sea K

Good morning! 

I have an off-the-page project to share with you today! I don't do too many of these as I'm not a big fan of 'dust collectors', but this is for my daughters room and I thought I would have a go at making it special for her.  

She loves mermaids (especially the movie The Little Mermaid!), ship wrecks, the beach ... so I thought I would create an Under The Sea inspired letter for her room.  I got this letter from Typo for about $5 each, or you can buy 3 for $10 - think gifts! I plan to make a few of these for Christmas presents or gifts - they will be a wonderful surprise for the special people in my life, plus I can  personalise them in so many different ways. Hopefully you will be inspired to give altered letters a go too.

Links to the tools and products I used on this project are listed at the end of this post. Some products are no longer available so in some cases I have listed suggested products that are close to what I used.

So I started with a plain letter, gave it a coat of clear Gesso to protect the wood from getting too soggy from the paints and mists I planned to use.  I gave my chipboard a coat of Gesso as well.

Before I glued my chipboard into place (you could also use texture paste and stencils which I have linked below if you want to give chipboard a miss) I played with the layout a little bit - I knew instantly that one piece of chipboard would suit the long side of the "K" the best, but played with the smaller gears to see where they sat best.

Once I was happy with the layout I glued them into place with Tombow Adhesive and gave another coat of white acrylic paint.

To fill in some of the gaps I brushed on some more Tombow glue then sprinkled Mini Art Stones in the cracks. I went in gently then added more until I was happy with the amount on the letter.
There were still too many blank spots even after the gears and stones, so I then went in with some texture paste and stencils - I used a calligraphy style stencil from Kaisercraft, plus a couple of other smaller stencils from my stash (listed below).  

To speed up the drying process I gave the project a quick hit with my Heat Embosser (not too much, just enough to lightly dry the surface), then added another coat of Gesso and left to dry overnight.

This was the really fun part! The next morning I  started adding layers and layers of different mists and paint in a range of greens, blues, gold and copper tones.  Lots of shimmer! The key was to keep layering the mediums.  To add the paints I used finger daubers, dry brushes and ... my fingers!

Where I felt the colour was getting off track or becoming too much I daubed sections with a dry tissue (this usually removed most of the layers) then started layering the mists and paint again which made for an interesting effect.  I dripped mists, sprayed mists from far away, close up, and then zapped with the heat tool again and then got onto adding more layers!

I found the moisture from the shimmer mists were subtle enough to leave a gorgeous shine, but also  worked as an agent to tie all the mixed mediums together.  My advice here would be to just keep layering, daubing, adding and removing layers.  Each project will be different and if you're like me you'll LOVE getting your fingers dirty!

I even went back in and added some more texture paste and stencilling, just to fill in the obvious spaces.

The hardest part is standing back and deciding that you've finished!  My daughter had been supervising the alteration and made the call - I think I could still go in and add some dark ink around the edges here and there... haha.  I'm looking forward to doing an 'A' for myself next!

Here's some close ups, and the finished project.

Here are some of the products I used and recommend if you want to duplicate this project for yourself - have fun creating!


  1. Oh so clever Amanda and Oh so outta my league, all those wonderful layers and textures, I wouldn't know where to start and you make it look so easy!

  2. Gorgeous colours and texture. Bet it looks lovely irl.

  3. Amazing project, love all of those layers and the gorgeous texture, Cathy x

  4. Just beautiful. I bet your daughter loves it!

  5. Great project Amanda. Will definitely give this one a go!


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