Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DIY monotype printmaking using what you have

Do you want to try monotype printmaking, but not sure you want to spend the money to purchase a gelatin plate?  Here is an easy way to try your hand at monoprinting, using materials you either have on hand, or can purchase for less than $5.00.  Here is what you will need:

1.  Something to use as a printing plate.  Here, I'm using a nice flat cookie sheet, but a piece of glass (use caution) from an old frame would work, as well.  Even a piece of glossy cardstock will work, just make sure the surface underneath is level.
2.  A brayer.  Don't have a brayer?  Old gift cards, or those credit card facsimiles that come in the mail, those work well.  Don't have any of those, either?  Fold up a piece of cardstock into a rectangle, and use the edge.  I prefer using a brayer, but will use an old gift card for this round.

3.  Stuff to make marks with.  In the finished prints you will see I used the end of a toilet paper tube, some big bubble wrap, and some paper cut-outs.  You could also use a chopstick, leaves, doilies, paper flowers, string, feathers--pretty much whatever you don't mind getting painty.  (Note that on a gelatin plate, you should NOT use anything that will actually scratch into the soft surface of the gel!)

4.  Paint.  Use whatever you have on hand, or get a few bottles of the inexpensive stuff--it's perfectly functional, and you probably won't want to use up your better-brand paints on this experiment.  I've even used old puff paints, the kind we used to use to paint t-shirts with, and it worked really well.

5.  Paper.  Lots of paper.  Again, use whatever you have.  I like printing on deli wrap, envelopes, thinner papers like printer paper, and book pages.  But again, you will want quite a lot on hand--once you start printing, it's hard to stop.  Plus, you may as well have fun experimenting while you have all this out, making plenty of prints with lots of layers of painty fun.

Protect your work area with some newspaper. 

Squirt some paints directly onto the cookie sheet or glass, and spread it thinly with the gift card.  You won't have a lot of time to ponder your prints, as the paint will dry somewhat quickly, but that's okay, you have plenty of paper to experiment with.  (You DID get out lots of paper, right???)

removing paint with the end of tp tube
Don't be afraid to add layers of color, scratch into the paint, or add more paint:
adding paint with the end of a tp tube on the cookie sheet
Pull prints by placing paper directly on top of the wet paint, and smooth the top all over with your hands. Pull the paper off, and check out the results. Not satisfied? No problem--set it aside for moment to dry, and later print a new layer over the old print.  
print using tp tube to add circles
TIP:  You do NOT need to clean the plate between each use, just use a print you didn't like much, or a piece of clean paper, or a page from a phone book to pull up any paint you don't want on the next print.
using bubble wrap and multiple layers

using bubble wrap

using bubble wrap, heart cut-outs, and book pages

Your new stash of prints is ready to use!  I've used mine as backgrounds in art journals, altered books, mixed media canvases, artist trading cards, greeting cards--I've even used them on collaged stone tiles.  And they don't have to remain "as is,"  you can rubber stamp on them, draw on them,  add collage images, or stencil over them.

If you enjoyed this DIY monoprinting hack process, chances are pretty good you'll LOVE printing with an actual gelatin plate--I know I do!  You can find Gel Press plates and tools HERE at Altered Pages, and brayers HERE.

If you'd like to see a few more prints from this session, you can find them HERE today at my blog, easily amused, hard to offend.  And thanks to the girl child, I'm now trying to work the instagram.  While I'm not very good at it yet, one thing I CAN do is find the people who follow me.  So, if you're an arty friend and follow me, I'll (eventually) find you, as well--I'm just nosy like that!  (This is instagram me.)

Happy Thursday!
:) trisha

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Desk Set Rescue "WIP"

This project is a WIP-Work In Progress. Last month I gave a sneak- peek of a calendar to go with the updated frame I painted. Here is the next step in the process.

Here are a few more items painted to eventually be part of my desk set. I rescued a few containers from the recycling bin for my project.

I used Dixie Belle Sea Glass... 

and Buttercream.

Along with the Alligator Stencil for some visual texture and interest.

Next month will reveal more on this project. 

Thank you for your interest and comments.

Ciao for now,
-Trish Alger

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


I have been watching several videos about Dixie Belle Chalk Paints and how they can cover up with one coat of paint.  I wanted to prove it to my self... and to you! 

I found this cute little cupboard that I intend to use in my studio for storage.  I wasn't too keen on the outside of it... so it has been sitting on the side waiting for the day I alter it!  The day came!!!

Side by side before and after!
Starting with the top... this is after just one coat of Dixie Belle Sea Glass Chalk Paint.

That is some pretty wild pattern I am covering!  Here you can see how well the paint covers the pattern.

I would not hesitated to use Dixie Belle Chalk Paints on larger projects!

This is after one coat and it is almost dry.  All I can say is I am totally impressed by the paint!  I don't intend to do a second coat of paint.   I am happy with the results... Now to think about how I am going to embellish it. 
Until next time

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Updating a Tired Old Frame

Have an old frame that needs a color facelift? 
Let Dixie Belle Mineral Chalk Paints work their magic.

Using Sea Glass and The Gulf with a light swipe of Best Dang Wax Clear, at the end; I was able to transform this tag sale frame for my next DIY project.

Here is the frame, after a wipe-down with a damp cloth.

A light coat of Sea Glass with a chip brush.

I used a dried, used, chip brush to scrape off back to the original color; in just a few places. 
(It's easier when the paint has dried to the tacky stage).

Haha, I forgot to remove the sticker from the sale.

I mixed a little of the Sea Glass into The Gulf for a custom color.

I used the same used and dried brush to scrape on the new custom color in places.

When it completely dried I used a soft paper towel to add a light coat of the wax, wiping off the excess. It can be buffed to a great shine.

Here you can see where I used the leftover custom paint.
This will be part of a DIY project you will see in a future post. Hint: think office organizing!

If this post has been helpful for you, please let us know.

Ciao for now,
-Trish Alger