Monday, July 7, 2014

Seaside Canvas Mixed-Media Tutorial

Hi all! This week we have a super fun theme at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - make something from scratch. As you might know, I love to make things from scratch: flowers, embellishments, backgrounds, 3-D projects and more. So many possibilities.
I made a mixed-media canvas board with a tutorial.
One of my favourite things is to take a die and use it to make something it wasn't originally meant for and ever since I first saw Tim Holtz Matchbox die, I knew I wanted to use it to make little houses. These little red houses are a common sight on the Swedish coast, and are historically used to store fishermen's tools etc. There is a photo of one on this layout of mine. I worked on a 6 x 8 in canvas panel.
Start by covering the panel with a layer of gesso.

Next I smeared on a layer of Wendy Vecchi's fabulous Crackled Texture Paste, where I wanted the sky to be. Leave it to dry and cracks will appear, they will be larger where the paste is thicker. For the cliff, I used White Embossing Paste, in a pretty thick layer.
When the pastes are dry, paint the sky with Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Salty Ocean and Spun Sugar, making it darker towards the top. I mixed a little water into the paint first. Paint the cliff grey, with touches of green. Leave to dry.
Darken some of the colours and add some dry-brushing, especially on the stone textures. Water down a little Frayed Burlap and paint here and there, especially around the edges. Stamp the birds with Salty Ocean paint.
Stamp the main sentiment on tissue paper and glue it down with multi medium, the tissue paper disappears. The rest of the stamping was done straight on the canvas, but I didn't want to mess up with the main sentiment. There are some words here and there, another sentiment, and cracks on the cliff.
Die cut three outer box parts from chipboard - that is the lower part of the die, which you can see here.
Measure the mid point on both sides of the house, and cut with a craft knife as shown. I made one house shorter than the others.
Emboss in a woodgrain folder for texture.

I used the Matchbox die to make the roofs too. Die cut the central piece of the inner box and cut as shown. Cut in two, and you have two roofs. Score and fold in the middle and cut the little front part in the middle.

Paint the roofs with Rusty Hinge and white for the front part. Use the Burlap stencil and White Embossing paste, applying the paste with a palette knife. Leave to dry. You can also do all the painting after applying the paste.
Paint again with Rusty Hinge and dry-brush with Walnut Stain and Black Soot. 

To make the houses stronger, I die cut an inner box - which is the part you can pull out in a normal matchbox. Cut it smaller so that it fits into the houses. I die cut it from red cardstock. Assemble it and if you want to you can place something inside, so that if someone touches the houses, there is more stability. I used the foam that comes with Sizzix embossing folders.
Assemble the houses, and paint them red. When dry, sand the paint to reveal some of the chipboard and make the woodgrain more visible. Paint the corners white. Of course, you don't need to make the houses red.

I cut doors from a piece of white cardstock, also embossed in a woodgrain folder.

Glue the roofs to the houses. Dry-brush a little brown paint on the houses.

Glue the houses to the canvas board with multi medium, placing them on the cliff. I was happy with how close to the real thing these matchbox houses ended up looking.
I placed the smaller house some distance away from the others.

The crackle sky has a really cool texture, especially with the mix of smaller and larger cracks.

I glued a few Idea-ology pieces to the canvas. Love these arrows.  

Under the houses, I glued some shells, adding a bit more Glossy Accents than I needed. Antique Linen Distress Glitter was sprinkled over the Glossy Accents, giving the look of some sparkly sand.

More shells and glitter, and one of my favourite sentiments.

From the top, the canvas looks like this, with the dimension of the houses and embellishments.

I hope you will be inspired to make something from scratch this week and join us in our challenge. It might be you who wins a $50 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp, drawn randomly.
Thank you so much for visiting today!

Happy Crafting!


Surfaces: canvas board; chipboard
Dies: Sizzix: Matchbox
Embossing folder: Sizzix: Drapery & Woodgrain
Stamps: Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz: Stuff to Say, Odds & Ends, Cracks & Specks, Mini Ornates
Ink: Ranger Archival Ink Jet Black
Paint: Distress Paint: Rusty Hinge, Barn Door, Aged Mahogany, Walnut Stain, Black Soot, Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Salty Ocean, Spun Sugar, Iced Spruce, Pumice Stone, Peeled Paint, Picket Fence, Frayed Burlap
Medium: Wendy Vecchi Stampers Anonyous: Crackled Embossing Paste, White Embossing Paste; Dina Wakley Ranger White Gesso
Glitter: Distress Glitter: Antique Linen
Stencil: Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous: Burlap
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-ology: Locket Keys, Arrows Adornments


  1. wow what an amazing project, thanks for your inspirational ideas , love this one :)

  2. Ohh wow, Anna-Karin! This canvas is amazing! Love the dimension of the houses! They really stand out! Stunning! Hugs, Sandra

  3. amazing canvas and a great tutorial - that cracking texture paste looks like a must have - love it! Brilliant! Hugs rachel x

  4. How gorgeous! Your imagination is fabulous. I really love this Scandinavian scene.

  5. This is awesome! I love visiting your blog, so inspirational! Thanks so much for sharing~kim

  6. I love this canvas Anna, as it brings back memories of the lobster shacks in Maine.. that would dot the coast line back in the 50's and 60's... so quaint... Love this whole view, which is lovely... thanks for the trip back in time... Love, Light and Peace...Bonnie

  7. Your little houses idea is brilliant! I love the background, too.

  8. This is an awesome canvas with so much it! Thanks for sharing the hows also!

  9. Sign me up! I am ready to go on vacation in your little cottages. That key for a shovel is brilliant! Your dimensional art is getting more and more fabulous! Love these little cottages and the texture you created!

  10. you are amazing, in every way!

  11. OMG Anna-Karin!! This is AMAZING!! From your first layer of Gesso to your finishing touches of shells and 'sparkly sand' this canvas is Fantastic!! So clever how you used the Matchbox die to construct these darling red cabins! You're a Genius!! XOXO-Shari

  12. Fantastic use of the matchbox die and I love how you created the roof tiles on the houses. This is a wonderful piece of work. Anne x

  13. Hi Anna-Karin! Thank you for your sweet comment. I have just seen this and oh my... I'm in love with this piece. All the texture and the innovative way of using the matchbox dye! Brilliant! Ingrid xx

  14. Oh my Anna-Karin! What a fabulous project! Love all the textures and fun dimensional scene that you created! Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. Anna-Karin, your piece of art is fantastic. I love the little red houses - such a clever idea! Thanks for sharing. Jean.x

  16. What an absolutely fabulous make Anna-Karin!!!! I love how you created this from Tim's matchbox die. Wow!!!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. I'm glad you got a moment to read that post. It was a very special one to me. I'm doing better. The surgery was successful. It's going to take time to mend (about 6 months in total). I'm feeling well enough to get back to crafting!! Just trying to not over do. Hugs -- Mary Elizabeth

  17. This is just fabulous Anna-Karin, I love the crackled sky and adore the little beach type houses. Great job xx

  18. Brilliant use of the die, I love love your little houses which sit beautifully against your textural background. A wonderful piece of art. Tracy x

  19. Your creation is gorgeous! Love all the beautiful details you created. Awesome! :)

  20. Gorgeous canvas. Love how you made those houses.

  21. So many lovely textures in this piece! I always enjoy the breathtaking scenes you create and this is no exception. Such an amazing project and so fun to see it come to life from scratch! Thanks also for always including such great step-by-step pictures.

  22. Brilliant Anna-Karin! What a fantastic use for the matchbox die! I am instantly transported to Scandinavia. Love it! Jenny x

  23. Phenomenal canvas, Anna-Karin!!

    I just love how you painted the sky! The colors are beyond beautiful!

    Simon Says Stamp!

  24. This is an awesome piece Anna-Karin! Those little red cottages are brilliant!

  25. this project is absolutely awesome!! I love all the textures and elements, the background, the houses... very creative use of the die too!

  26. Your project is just amazing. I love your ingenuity. I followed all your directions on how to do the crackle paste etc. and made something I had been thinking about for a long time. Thank you so much for taking the time for your tutorial. I have one question, because I don't want to mess up the project I have done, it is with the main sentiment. Did you stamp the words with archival ink, glue it down with multi medium over the top of the tissue paper and that's all you do? Thanks so much for the help.

  27. Darlene, thank you for your comment. I am so glad to hear my tutorial inspired you. I am sorry, I didn't explain that step in detail - I stamped the sentiment with Archival Ink on tissue paper, then put some multi medium gloss on the canvas where I wanted the sentiment to be. Tear the edges around the sentiment, place the tissue paper on the multi medium and carefully apply a layer of multi medium on top of the sentiment too. Have fun!

  28. Those little houses are brilliant. I never would've thought to have used that die. Such a clever idea! I love the way that they stick out a bit from the canvas and add dimension. And that sky! Oh my! That sky alone is a beautiful work of art.
    Fabulous piece!

  29. You are an incredible teacher of mixed media! I love your tutorials!BArbarayaya

  30. Wow!! I absolutely love this piece Anna-Karin and what a wonderful use of the die. Fabulous tutorial and a wonderful work of art ~ just stunning! :)


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Happy Crafting!