Christmas gift experiments – something old, something new, something… white

All my friends and relatives know – I don’t like winter.

The only period of the winter I actually like is the weeks around Christmas, with all the cookie baking and decorating, all the knitting and crocheting, all the wonderful meetings with my family, all the hot coffee and chocolate, all the laughter. And if there is puffy white, magic snow, covering all the grey and muddy streets, all the naked trees and brownish roofs, it is great. Winter in the Northern hemisphere is a sad period without snow. Only Christmas time somehow saves the mood, but all the hysterical shopping is destroying the real idea of Christmas and makes me more nervous.

Christmas gift card

So, I am trying to save my soul and not look outside by trying different crafts.

First steps and some moulding

Air dry modelling liquid is a material I haven’t used before. I have used polymer clay quite a lot and a lot of sugar dough for my Christmas cookies. But never before have I tried modelling liquid. So, I made myself a pre-Christmas present and bought a jar.

Then I decided to use one of my sugar dough moulds, which is actually does not work very well with the sugar dough. It has been sitting for a long time in my mould box and, trying to follow 100 percent the Capsule Craft Collection principles, I was planning to put it in the recycling bin. But I also like to give a second chance – to people and to craft instruments. Because, you know, sometimes the problem is in us, not in the other.

mold with modeling liquid

The result was great! I was excited! My first liquid moulding and such a great shape! Of course, I could see some little mistakes such as so much liquid used – all this extra background texture which should not be there. But for the first time, it is good I can say.

molded frame element

How I made the frame for the Christmas gift

I didn’t expect that it would be so easy to make a frame. If you have a frame paper die, you don’t need to also buy a frame mould to be able to make interesting frames. You just need one mould with little leaf elements. The combination of the paper and the small elements will give you an almost countless number of different frames. As I like to say in the last years: Reduce the number of tools!

Because the well-organized craft space is actually a well-planned one. Not one which has everything, because you can’t have everything.

So, using my Sizzix Big shot machine I cut a little frame shape. One of the small moulded elements was wonderful to decorate the frame.

recycled cardboard frame and molded frame element

The next step was to put on some glitter glue. And the reason to use glitter glue, not a gold paste or gold acrylic paint was this: My golden acrylic paint finished only a few days ago. And because I am using gold only around Christmas, I decided it is not necessary to buy another one for the next months. Ok, if someone orders a decoration with a lot of gold from me, this is something different, but for the rest of the year, the glitter glue will do a wonderful job.

Christmas gift experiments - covering the cardboard with glitter glue

Over the glitter glue, while it was not fully dried, I made a layer with white acrylic paint. The brown paper was showing through in a nice shabby style.

Christmas gift experiments - covering the cardboard frame with white acrylic paint

Meanwhile…

While the frame was drying, I glued the bigger element on the piece of paper and covered it with one layer of white acrylic paint.

Christmas gift experiments - molding and painting the molded details

And also made on the paper piece some decorative elements with my purple (brrrrr!) modelling paste and also covered them with white acrylic paint.

Christmas gift experiments

The watercolour background

Watercolour backgrounds are my favourites and also part of my working style. I love to make them! And they are so easy!

First, I just draw some lines with markers in the colours I am planning to use… It looks like a kids’ drawing doesn’t it?

drawing with watercolour markers on the background paper

And then, using my container brush I finished the watercolour effect. Actually, it worked out better than I expected because the acrylic paint under the marker’s scratches also melted a bit. I will definitely remember this for later projects!

Christmas gift experiments - watercolour background

Back to the frame

The finishing steps of the frame were blending a piece of high-quality watercolour paper with brown ink and stamping it with a “Merry Christmas” stamp.

Christmas gift experiments - blending and stamping

Then I just glued the frame on the paper rectangle.

Christmas gift experiments - molded frame

Back to the background of this Christmas gift

You know already – I love this “letter” stamp. It gives so much “story” to the projects. So, I didn’t resist again adding some stamped “writing” on the dried watercolour background.

Then, I decided to use a technique of Gabrielle Pollacco I have seen in a YouTube video. I just “draw” some tree branches with my hot silicone glue gun. I didn’t do it exactly as Gabrielle shows in her tutorial, but I was thinking it is not necessary. In my case, the hot silicone glue stuck nicely to the paper. Whatever, her idea is great and I think I will keep using it in the future.

Christmas gift experiments - stamping and molding

After the silicone dried, I used a flat brush to colour the branches. And here I realized why doing it as Gabrielle suggested would be better: sticking the element on the paper before finally treating can cause some damage. In my case – some brown spots on the background. Lucky for me, they disappeared between the watercolour spots and the ink lines and I also cleaned some others off with a little bit of water and a dry serviette.

Christmas gift experiments

Then, using bright white acrylic paint and a wooden stick, I made the snow. It is easy to do it – just take some paint and twist the stick a bit to leave the paint on the branch. Why was I using white acrylic paint? Because all my modelling paste is pink, turquoise and violet.

But the acrylic paint is actually a great material for such small details, so you don’t need modelling paste. It only dries a bit slower, so I dried it with my hairdryer for about 5minutes.

Christmas gift experiments - making snow with acrylic paint

Then with a white acrylic marker I made some falling snowflakes.

Looking at the picture now, I think maybe it would be better for these snowflakes to be 3D, but… next time.

Christmas gift experiments - drawing snow

And then I only needed to glue the paper piece onto a greeting card base. And my Christmas message to a wonderful friend was ready. Hope she will like it…

Christmas gift card

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