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Crafts for home decor: 3D Beachy Wall Art tutorial

Home and garden, Home decor  |  September 20th 2011  |  0 Comment

3D Beachy Wall Art

I finished my Beachy Kid Bath about 9 months ago.  Well, almost finished it- I left two things undone:  1) Vinyl lettering above the towel rack.  2) Something to go above the toilet.  I had a few ideas in mind for the toilet wall decor, but couldn’t ever come up with an exact plan that I loved.
I finally came up with something.  I have to admit, it didn’t turn out quite as awesome as it was in my mind; but I still think you’re gonna like it :-)
I totally made this up as I went, so instead of calling this an official tutorial, let’s call it a “how I did it”.  Of course there are a million ways you can adapt my ideas to make your project very unique! The instructions will seem complicated because there were a lot of steps, but it wasn’t difficult so don’t be scared away by the tute “how I did it”. The molding clay was uber easy with my tricky little method. I’m really relying on the photos here to help me explain what I did, because when I write down the instructions it sounds very unclear.
Six 6″x6″ pieces of 1/2″ wood
Paint (tole paint & latex, lots of colors)
Paint brushes (foam, artist, and regular paint-your-house brushes)
Mod Podge
Clear coat spray paint (or aerosol mod podge)
Colored tissue paper
Fabric scraps
Real sand (from Hawaii!! But craft stores sell sand; you could also use textured scrapbook paper)
Clear silicone caulk
Molding clay (use a coupon, this can be pricey.  But it will last a long time)
Knife, toothpick, or other clay tool
Rolling pin (I used my fondant roller)
Wooden kabob skewer (for the umbrella stick)
Wax paper
Sharpie marker
A few inches of that foamy double sided tape stuff
 Hanging hardware (well, actually B routed out keyholes)
First I took pictures of my tissue cover:
 Then used Photoshop to decide which images, and what sizes I wanted them to be, for each wood square.  I printed them off true to size (6×6). No need to eliminate the background this time.
Notice the chair is flipped horizontally (facing the opposite direction as it is on the tissue box).  I forgot to flip the boat as well, but I should have. If you have a directional image, FLIP IT HORIZONTALLY BEFORE PRINTING. This will make sense soon.
On a piece of wax paper, I rolled out a thin piece of clay big enough to cover my first image. Then I traced the perimeter of the image onto the wax paper with my sharpie.  (Don’t trace them all at once, you want the ink to still be wet for the next step.)
I placed my clay onto the wax paper over the image I just traced and pressed down on it (I used a fondant smoother, but you could use your rolling pin).  When I pulled the clay up, the ink had transfered to my clay, see?
Yay, no sculpting by hand! This is why you want to flip your images horizontally before you print them.I used a clay knife to cut out my image, and then made superficial cut marks along any interior lines (like the chair slats), which were super helpful come painting time.  Then I baked my clay according to the manufacturer’s directions. The molding clay portion was way easier than you thought, wasn’t it?!

Once they were cooled, I gave them all a coat of white spray paint (just to help the tole paint cover more evenly).  Then I busted out the tole paints and got busy!  When everything was colored, I decided I wasn’t digging the flat sheen of the tole paint so I gave all the clay pieces a quick coat of mod podge.

Now for the wood squares… first, I will have you know that I cut these little squares myself!! I finally insisted that B show me how to use the table saw :-) Back to the tutorial…
I wanted each earth element (sand, ocean, sky) to have a lot of texture, so I brought in a bunch of texture supplies: sand, tissue paper, fabric, mod podge, paint brushes, and (not pictured) paint.
I sanded the squares, primed them, and then painted the blue sky and the beige sand base colors (but not the ocean blue).  At this point, my wood squares looked like this:
Then I took my sky blue fabric scraps and applied them using mod podge.  I put a light coat of MP over the blue paint and then laid down the fabric.
I turned my square over and mod podged the top edge and top portion of the back (where the fabric would fold over), and folded up the fabric only along the top edge.
I dabbed a little podge into the corners and folded the corners down like so:
Then I podged the edge and side portion of the back, and folded my fabric up.  Repeat on other side.
Use light coats of mod podge.  If the MP seeps through your fabric like this:
Simply wipe it away with your finger.
Once all the edges were stuck to the back, I sealed them down with a thick (yes, thick, not light as I just recently suggested) coat of MP.
Flip ‘em over and they look like this:
Now for the ocean. I crumpled up my blue tissue paper, and then applied it the same way as the fabric- only I used my ‘ocean’ blue paint as the adhesive instead of mod podge.
Use an artist brush to paint down any stray edges.
Sand was next.  You’ll want to pour your podge into a bowl because you’ll get sand in it.
Using MP as my adhesive, I applied the sand just like glitter!  Sprinkle a bunch on and then tilt it back and forth until it’s covered.  I did this over a cookie sheet so I could reuse the leftover sand. (And, as you can see, I used a little block to keep my wood square up off the ground a little).
The sand needed to be sealed down so it doesn’t flake off like crazy, so I used some clear spray paint. I sprayed right over the tissue paper and fabric, and it dried up just fine without ruining the textures at all.
The next product I grabbed was my clear silicone (the kind you use to caulk your sink).  You could use wood glue, tacky glue, hot glue gun… just about anything with a thick pasty adhesive that will stick to the sand well.
Once I had caulked my clay pieces to the squares, I wrapped them in rags and places a heavy book on each of them to help them dry as flat as possible.
Then get them ready to hang (hanging hardward), and put them up on your wall!

I used the foam double-sided tape stuff to keep mine hanging on an angle, but I’m not totally convinced I like them angled.  I just might turn them back straight, who knows!