Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Halloween Spider Web Vase (and a rubber rat)

Did you know that Americans spend 6 BILLION dollars annually on Halloween?  That's an enormous amount of candy and rubber spiders! I'll bet dentists LOVE this time of year, too.  In my attempt to celebrate Halloween without breaking the bank, I gave some old flower vases a makeover with a few simple items and then filled them with black dollar store flowers.  I styled my little vignette with some hideous rubber rats.  I couldn't resist!  *Leave a comment on this blog and I'll send someone everything they need to make these vases! Have fun.  
 xoxo, Mark

See how made the GLITTER SKULL here!

Watch the 1 minute video here!
Glass vase
Rubber spiders
Hot glue gun
Stick on gems
 Paint the vase black with the Gloss Enamel and let dry
Paint the spider web with the silver glitter Allure
Add gems where the lines intersect
Hot glue a rubber spider to the center of the web
Fill with black flowers
*Leave a comment and be entered to win!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Artist Light Box DIY

I've used a light box my entire career and in all of those years I've never had one that was BIG enough.   I FINALLY decided to make one that is 18" x 24" which is big enough for all of my needs including photography.  I used these very cool light strips called Lightify from Osram and they worked perfectly!  However, if you want to use different lights, there are tons of alternatives like
  slim under-cabinet lights from GE.  They're a nice alternative for this project and will work perfectly.
Be creative! Have fun!  Make art!  
xoxo, Mark

Perfect for tracing!
See how to make it here!
18" x 24" x 1/2" Plywood
White Krylon Primer
Sticky Back Velcro 
Connect the Osram Lightify strips together
Remove the backing and stick them to the plywood in a square "spiral"
Add the plug to the end
Place the clear box on top and mark where the cord hits the edge of the plastic frame
Drill a space where the cord hits the side of the frame
*This will allow the frame to lay flat
Paint the inside of the clear box frame with an even coat of the white primer
Attach the velcro to the edges of the frame and where it rests on the plywood
Follow the directions to connect the Osram Lightify system
Light up and create!

The perfect light box for my desk!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Decorative Halloween Skulls

It's officially skull season......Well, that's what I call it anyway.  I can't resist buying up all of the spooky plastic skulls this time of year because they're so much fun to decorate.  It's kind of like decorating Christmas ornaments but SOOOO much more fun.  After painting these black, I went nuts with Allure Dimensional Design Adhesive Paint (puff paint) and then added gems.  Pretty sure I'm going to keep these around all year long.  Have fun and make messes!  
xoxo, Mark

See how I made them here!
Stuff You'll Need
Plastic Skulls
Large flat back gems
Small stick on gems
 Paint the skulls black and let dry
Decorate with Allure in Silver Glitter
*I like leaves and swirls!
Fill in the leaves with Allure in Chrome
Add small stick on gems when the Allure is dry
With E-6000 Glue large gems in the eye cavities
My favorite paints!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Let's Make Tape!

I'm a tape-aholic.  There, I said it out loud and now you all know.  In fact, I'm afraid to say that one of my kitchen cabinets is entirely filled with every kind of tape you can imagine.  You get the picture....I'd rather play with my tape and forgo room for my pots and pans. PRIORITIES PEOPLE!  A while back my friend Secret Soto shared a tutorial about making tape with napkins and tissue paper and I got hooked.  This was the perfect tape for my artist trading cards and all of the crazy envelopes I make for friends.  Today I'm sharing several different ways I make tape for my projects.
Enjoy!  xoxo, Mark
Just a few of my hundreds of patterns
Painted and stamped.....My favorite!
Fun way to cover a cheap frame
How could you NOT want to stick this all over something?
Learn all my techniques here!

Old credit card or hotel key
*Get this at the dollar store!
Masking tape
Plain contact paper
Sticker paper
Americana Decoupage Papers (love the foil prints)
Tissue paper
Book pages
1. Place strips of masking tape across the non-stick mat
*I got my mats at the 99c store
2.  Ad blobs of paint in various areas on the tape
3.  Spread it around with your hotel key or old credit card
4.  Create an area of paint large enough for a rubber stamp
5. Stamp on the painted tape
6.  Remove from the cutting mat as needed
7.  Paint on pieces of contact paper
8.  When dry, stencil on top using a make-up sponge
9.  Cut in strips to make tape

10.  Grab some double sided tape
11.  Place long strips on the back of the Americana Decoupage Papers
12.  Carefully cut out the tape with scissors
*Cut it in half to make thinner strips
13.  Cut long pieces of colorful tissue paper
14.  Add double sided tape the back
15.  Carefully rip the strips of tape
16.  If you don't want to rip, you can cut the tape with pinking shears
17.  Place the double sided tape on old book pages
*My book was severely water damaged so it was perfect for this project
18.  Carefully rip into strips of tape
Finally, if you have a fun print you like, simply copy it on sticker paper and cut out strips in the size you want.   Paint the page with watercolors or color with markers for extra interest!
Um, kinda my favorite paints of all time!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bejeweled Jar Lantern DIY

My better half told me the other day that it was time for my recycled jar collection to leave the cabinet and find another home.  Apparently there wasn't any room for our real dishes anymore.  Whatever!  Because I love the puff painted lantern jars all over Pinterest, I decided it was the perfect time to try my own version with gems.  How could you NOT love a good recycled jar project?  There were some challenges, but for the most part, this project was enjoyable.  Just make sure to tape your gems in place while they dry or they might slide and only do a bit at a time so you don't smudge the fresh paint. BTW, now my jars can take up room on our coffee table instead of in the cabinet!  Take that.  Have fun, be creative and stay in touch, OK!  xoxo, Mark
Taking them for a test drive in my living room
Before I added the extra dots around the design
See how I made them here!
Tacky glue
Gold spray paint
Flat back gems
1.  Tape lace around the center of the jar
2.  Spray paint the jar gold and let dry
3.  Glue gems in a pattern around the jar
4.  Add the Allure in Gold Leaf around each gem and create a design
5.  Try leaves, swirls and dots
6.  Add dots around the rim
7.  Add another color of Allure that matches the gems
8.  Dot and swirl until you're done and then fill with tea lights

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Ultimate Spin Art Machine DIY

Hands down, making spin art is one of my favorite ways to relax.  Toss in a bottle of Pino Noir and you won't see me for hours!  I think it's something about the spinning that hypnotizes me into a great mood.  A while ago I found an old mini Honeywell fan on the street and hauled it home.  It took about 10 minutes to remove the cover and about 2 days for me to figure out what to put on top of the fan blades for a base.  Turns out an old Styrofoam plate did the trick and I was making spin art like a madman!   Just make sure to use some very sticky tape. 
Have fun!  xoxo, Mark
Spin art makes amazing postcards and, well, ART! 
Not quite Damian Hirst, but still pretty fantastic!
Stacks ready to be sent
Watered down Americana Acrylics make the perfect paint for this project!
Watch the magical video tutorial here!
*You can pick up a new one for $15!
Styrofoam plate
Masking tape
Colorful card stock
A quick peek at my spin art journal
Try experimenting with water colors, markers, color pencils and crayons

See the STEP BY STEP photos