Recycling Halloween into Winter/Christmas

Hi everyone it’s Louise here with what I hope you will find a useful and cost saving activity.

A lot of you, especially after the recent Halloween season, will have some decorative items that you may want to clear out. I had this Halloween sign that I picked up from a poundshop that after the event, I wasn’t sure whether or not to keep. I had a think and decided why not upcycle it and make something for the winter season.

I began by coating the sign in 2 coats of Prima white gesso. It’s important to do thin layers and dry and repeat as necessary rather than try to do one thick coat as you’ll more than likely find it doesn’t dry properly and will cause problems later when you want to add things on top. I decided on 2 coats to help cover the slippery and dark surface.

Next, I wanted to start adding some interest and texture. I took our exclusive winter stencils and my favourite Fabrika Decoru texture paste and added pattern to each of the parts of the sign. I also use a palette knife and the paste to create the effect of snow by patting it onto the sign with the knife flat. I love this paste as it really holds shape well and rises as you dry it. Also, I find it drys very quick compared to some others I have used.

This created a great start for my piece and now I wanted to build a bit more dimension and great interest. I took a selection of metals, chipboards and moulded pieces from my stash and used Fabrika Decoru 3D gel to stick them to the sign. The moulded stars were made previously using Prima Marketing modelling material

and stars and moon mould

Some of the pieces weren’t the right colour or the surfaces too slippy to be add water based mediums too so I then gave these a light coat of the same white gesso

Now my piece was ready for the fun stage – colour. I chose 3 winter colours of my beloved Prima Marketing impasto paints. I decided to create an ombre sort of effect. I achieved this by watering down the white paint and adding all over the sign. I then gradually added the jade colour and at the very end worked in the cobalt. These are 2 of my favourite shades.

Impasto paint has a matte finish which I think i wonderful, but for a bit of added interest, I decided to introduce a touch of metallic paint using Prima Marketing Sparks paint in Unicorn Hair. This is a soft silver/gold colour adding a nice highlight to the texture on my piece.

I continued this principle by adding a soft metallic lilac wax colour over the textured parts of my work, particularly the stencilling. This really helps to pick out any details that may seem a bit lost under the layers and bring them to the forefront again. This product is in the colour Heather Hills

Now I needed to create a focal point for my work. I used the same wax on our exclusive winter chipboard bauble piece. I didn’t add gesso first as I wanted a rustic look. I stuck this to the piece this time with Prima 3d gel as its super thick. On top of this  I added a Tim Holtz vintage ephemera winter scene and for a title his chipboard winter title. I added a little of the same wax to the title and photo to bring the piece altogether.

And with that, my piece was finished. Here it is hanging and some close ups.

I really enjoyed making this piece and I think it just shows you can easily recycled things and can incorporate less expensive materials in our work to bring a good cost balance. Why not give something like this a try for yourself.