Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Born in the U.S.A.

Summer va-cay is officially in full-swing! While it is true that 3 of my 4 rugrats were out of school most of last week, my mom has been here which has allowed me to lay in my bed, and craft, and read, and go running at my leisure.

One of my mom's requests this week was that the kids make her a custom work of art. Done and done. I even got to introduce her to HOBBY LOBBY, since Hawaii is void of any crafting super-stores. She was uber-impressed.

Anyway, my mom is REALLY patriotic and she LOVES anything red, white and blue. So we decided on a torn-paper collage, and as we are just a month away from the 4th of July, I am going to post it with a simple tutorial, if any of you want to customize some artwork for the holiday.

We started with a canvas that measures 16 x 20 inches. From there, I drew straight lines across it, each 2 inches wide. DISCLAIMER: I did not include 13 stripes! I'm not going for accuracy, but for *looks*, so in my world our country had 8 colonies. Deal. Or reconfigure the math to give yourself 13 stripes.

To make the blue box where the stars would go, I just eyeballed an area that looked visually pleasing. I used pencil to make the outlines for the star box and the stripes.

Next, we tore various shades of red paper...you'll see here that I opted for red polka-dots, a white paper with various stars and a red gingham. I like to choose paper that has varying colors in it, even though I wanted the stripes to appear red. Having a paper like the polka-dots pretty much assures that red will be your dominant color, but the white with the stars adds some extra depth and personality to the overall look, I think. The point here is to be a little abstract, ya know?

Here's our torn paper, so you can get a feel for the sizes we used. You'll want to vary your sizes too, again to add depth and character!

Now get your Mod-Podge out and go to town, one strip at a time. You are alternating, remember...one strip you cover in your torn red paper, the next you leave blank canvas, etc. Put a light layer of Mod-Podge down and stick some of your paper to it...as it dries (you'll notice that you begin to lose some stickiness), add more Mod-Podge, painting it over the papers you have already placed on there. You are going to overlap these suckers like crazy, and you will want to make sure the ENTIRE stripe gets covered in a final layer of Mod-Podge to give it a good schellacking. Also, DO NOT over think the placement of your torn paper...the more random the look, the better.

Here is a close-up of some of our finished stripes...in some areas, the paper was layered 3-4 pieces thick, just depending on how it all laid out. I made a point to cover all the pencil marks (you don't want to have to erase them). Also, if your paper hangs over the edge, you can use Mod-Podge to glue them down on the sides, or just trim them with a scissors when you are done.

We were going to end there, but the blank white strips looked a little dull. They needed something, but it had to be white (duh). And I didn't want to use torn paper, because I wanted to add something with...you guessed it...DEPTH.

A quick search of Hobby Lobby, and I found a container full of buttons in shades of white. BINGO! Bring in the hot glue gun, and we were back in business.

And the finished project...our American Flag collage! I'm loving it myself and thinking we will be adding this to our list of craft projects in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for the inspiration, Mom!

Also, as this was my mom's last official day here, the kids and I enlisted her help on a DOOZY of a project. And I think it is going to be super cool and 10 shades of awesome, but it won't be ready until tomorrow, so stay tuned.


birds_nest said...

what a great project! I think these are going to be great Father's Day gifts for the grandpa's!

Mod Podge Amy said...

This is darling! Love it.

Lacey said...

Hey Sara! Just wanted you to know that I'm still keeping up with the kids and I regularly check your blog! Thanks for keeping it updated! I am SO horrible at keeping up with my blog! I've tried numerous times and fail over and over! Anyway, tell the kiddos I said Hi. I miss them so much! Please let me know/email me (lacey.chandler@gmail.com) if you guys are ever in Chicago!

Kathy said...

That is so cool. I love it.

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Robyn Fish said...

SO perfect!! We are very much doing this this summer! Top of the list! Esp because we're currently decorating for the 4th!