Monday, April 22, 2013

TUTORIAL: How to complete and decorate an unfinished wood cutout!

Finishing your Artsy Chaos unfinished wood project is much easier than you think! If you can trace a shape onto paper and cut it out, you can decorate our wood with fun scrapbook paper! If you can glue, you can embellish too!

The first thing you need to do is trace your wood shape onto your choice of paper. Place the wood, front side down, onto the wrong side of the paper and then trace around it. Next, cut out the traced paper shape just barely inside the line. Don't worry if the paper isn't cut exactly right. Set the paper you have just cut out aside.

Next you will paint the wood. I use a very watered down acrylic craft paint. You only need to paint the sides and back of the piece. Again, it doesn't need to be perfect! Let the paint dry thoroughly.

The next step is to glue the paper you have cut out onto the wood. I like to use a craft glue like Aleene's Tacky Glue. Using my fingers or an inexpensive sponge brush, I spread the glue onto the wood in a thin layer. You can also use Mod Podge to glue the paper down but I have found you have to be more diligent in getting bubbles out of the paper with this method. Whichever you choose, smooth the paper out so there are no air pockets or bubbles. I find it helpful to turn the piece upside down to dry.

Once the paper and glue are dry, use a fine grit sandpaper OR an inexpensive nail file and carefully sand off any paper edges that extend from the wood. Again, don't worry about perfection. When you're happy with the paper, use a small ink pad like Colorbok's Chalk Ink to lightly ink the edges of the piece. This will give your project a nice finished look plus will cover small imperfections in the paper and painting. Bonus! At this point, you can add additional paper pieces if desired, like the hair and letters on our Sitting Girl shown.

You can also add eyes, flowers, and other embellishments that you would like to have sealed. Next, using a foam brush or paintbrush, cover the project with a thin layer of Mod Podge to seal, protect, and finish. You can use either matte or glossy - your choice! Things like ribbon, flowers, rhinestones, etc., can be mod podged too! Let dry thoroughly. Note: your embellishments can be attached before or after sealing the piece with Mod Podge; you can use craft glue or a hot glue gun to add the embellishments.

If you'd like to add an additional layer of protection to the piece you can seal with a polyurethane sealant. This is totally optional. Outdoor Mod Podge is also available for pieces you would like to display outdoors.

Materials needed to complete an unfinished wood cutout:
*Wood Project (available at Artsy Chaos!)
*Acrylic Craft Paint, in your choice of color(s)
*Scrapbook Paper, of your choosing
*Mod Podge and/or Craft Glue
*Foam Paint Brushes and/or Regular Paint Brushes
*Fine Grit Sandpaper or Inexpensive Nail File
*Ink Pad such as Colorbok Chalk Ink
*Embellishments, of your choice

Once completed, you have a personalized project that you can give as a gift or display proudly!