Project #1: for the novice
Make dramatic art out of a simple leaf. This project is truly for the craft-challenged. You do the fun part, and let the pros do the rest. We picked three attractive fern leaves from the garden, scanned them, chose our colour and had them printed on 6-foot canvases to create a wall of art that’s totally custom. A smaller, more subtle leaf in a muted colour would be equally stunning.
PREP: To create this project, you’ll need a scanner and a computer. Choose leaves that have an interesting silhouette. (We picked fern leaves.)
SCAN: Scan each leaf and convert it to a black-and-white image. (Most scanners come with basic software to do this, or you can go to picnik.com to manipulate your image.)
SEND: Upload the digital file with your colour and desired size to canvaspop.com. It will clean up the image, enlarge or reduce it, print it, stretch in onto a frame and mail it back. Get free shipping when you order more than one.
COST: $395 each (72×27-inch canvas)
PROJECT #2: FOR THE JUNIOR CRAFTER
Set the mood with a cheerful centrepiece. A simple glass hurricane gets a summery facelift with the help of our downloadable bee pattern. Try one large bee or add a ring of them around the top of the candle holder, or shrink the stencil and apply small bees all over a dollar-store vase. You can even etch wineglasses, water pitchers or cake plates — once you get going, no glass surface in your house will be safe.
PREP: You’ll need printable vellum, a graphite pencil, specialized sticky stencil paper, a hard pen, a sharp blade, glass-etching cream for this project. Begin by downloading and printing our bee stencil on a sheet of vellum.
TRANSFER: With the pencil, trace the outline of the silhouette. Turn the vellum over onto the sticky stencil paper and use a hard pen to trace over the back of the outline. This will transfer the image onto the stencil. Use a sharp blade to cut out the shape.
ETCH: Apply the stencil onto your hurricane (mark out the centre line of the stencil and glass with a pencil to help line them up straight). Apply etching cream and wait for 3–5 minutes. Rinse cream off and dry stencil completely if you want to reuse it.
MATERIAL COST: $36
PROJECT #3: FOR THE DIY ENTHUSIAST
Create a modern nautical dinner set. For this marine-inspired tableware, we played with scale and repetition to create a mismatched set of salad plates and serving dishes. A single
fish, several tiny fish, big fish, small fish — all come together in this preppy set. It just takes our cute stencil and a little porcelain paint.
PREP: Pick up printable vellum, a graphite pencil, an erasable marker, stencilling plastic, repositionable adhesive, soft sponges, porcelain paint and a blade. (It’s all available at craft stores.) Create your stencil as for the bumblebee etching, using stencilling plastic.
POSITION: Use an erasable marker to mark the horizontal and vertical centre points of the plate and stencil. Spray the stencil with repositionable adhesive, line up your marks and press into place.
PAINT: Use a sponge to apply the paint in one or two thin coats. Remove stencil while the paint is still wet. Use your blade to scrape excess paint off. Clean off marker and bake according to manufacturer’s instruction.
MATERIAL COST: $24
PROJECT #4: FOR THE SERIOUS CRAFTER
Dress up your laundry room. Silkscreening is a fail-proof way to transfer a design onto fabric. We designed a simplified version of a dandelion to print onto this hardware-store laundry bag. With the help of a silkscreen, you can transfer the image over and over, in different colours, on all sorts of surfaces, like fabric or paper.
SCREEN: For silkscreens, you’ll need to purchase a silkscreening kit (available at deserres.ca) and follow the instructions to create a custom screen. (It’s a simple, four-step process.)
PAINT: Lay your screen on the fabric, dab fabric paint across the top of the screen and use the squeegee to pull the paint down and across the fabric. Remove the screen and let the paint dry. You’ll need to set the paint by covering with a cloth and ironing at low temperature.
MATERIAL COST: $57