Some women have a thing for shoes – I have a thing for cheap art. Thrift store art. I buy anything in a nice looking frame. If it’s under $5 and it’s in a nice frame, it comes home with me. This is how I end up with a basement that looks like the island of misfit frames. They just sit there looking at me all, FILL ME NOW! HANG ME UP! And I’m all, Y’all. Chill.
I know there are plenty of crafty folks who would take the frame and paint some abstract art piece just to match a sofa, and that’s cool, but I think it’s nice to honor the integrity of the original piece. Find a way to layer new and old, straight and squiggled, tradition and non-conformity. Can you dig that?
Plus it’s just a really fun way to kill and afternoon and break out the stencils. When was the last time you hung out with stencils anyway?
–That’s right. Too damn long.
That geisha lady didn’t know what hit her. Last time she was hanging on a wall it was in some granny dinning room with linen napkins and a china cabinet….next thing she woke up in crazy town with a glittered giraffe and a chandelier of disco balls.
- One old piece of thrift store art (removed from frame)
- Stencil (this polka dot one courtesy of Mod Podge Rocks – check out her new line)
- Rubber cement and rubber cement eraser (fingers will work if needed)
- Brush/ water
1. Lay your stencil randomly on the surface of the artwork and brush on the rubber cement (same as you would paint). Wait a few seconds and peel away the stencil. Repeat as you see fit, covering the surface of the art. Or not. You could do a little, you could do a lot. You are the decision maker here. Exciting!
2. After all the rubber cement is dry (heavy bits may take a minute or two) paint the entire canvas with a thin layer of watercolor paint (acrylic works too — just not oil based paint). I like watercolor because I can layer a few different colors then tilt the canvas so it gets these nifty drip marks, but that’s your call. You do you.
3. When the paint is 100% dry (not even a teensy bit damp – 100% dry or it’ll rip) rub the eraser over any area that has been stenciled and watch the magic unfurl!
Pro Tip: Look for artwork on porous paper. Nothing fancy, but gloss coated paper will probably not take to paint as well. Look for older, more absorbent paper.
Pro tip: When you are all done, don’t try to wash the rubber cement off the stencil, just let it dry then rub it off with your fingers. It’ll look like boogers and your hands will look all zombie like, but that’s half the fun!
Disclosure: The stencil featured in this project is came to me courtesy of the designer, my pal Amy at Mod Podge Rocks. She just launched a whole line of nifty things at Michael’s. Because she’s cool like that. I was gawking at them at last weekend — check ’em out!