Sunday, February 1, 2015

I Love You, Dear Hearts

It's February! The best month of the year. Why? Because everyone's all full of love and kisses--and HEARTS! Here are the hearts I made for my house this February. 

One of the things I love about working with old books is the endless assortment of fonts and page colors. It sounds silly, but I really do get mesmerized by it all. So for this project I decided to show some of them off.

Check out the whites, tans, and ochres. Tight font, loose font. Big letters, tiny letters. I heart them all!

So in honor of Fabulous February, I am introducing <insert fanfare here> my first tutorial!

How to Make Book Page Mosaic Hearts
What you will need:

  • Three 8"x8" square canvases
  • Red acrylic paint
  • Pink acrylic paint
  • Book pages of various colors
  • Mod Podge
  • Cardstock
  • Paint brushes
  1. First paint your canvas. I used Martha Stewart Glossy Acrylic Paint for this project. I started by painting my canvas a bright valentine-y red. 

2. Next, lighten up the canvas with a dribble of pink. I just added a couple of little dots of paint and then...

swiped it back and forth a few times.

3. Then just to add a little more depth I added a couple of dots of red and swiped everything again.

4. Let the paint dry. This takes about an hour, so go do something fun. I went to my son's house and watched his Mastiff try to dance upside down. Her sister, the German Shepherd, was having nothing of it.

5. Once you come home, make a heart template out of cardstock. You can find a heart design on the Internet or in  your favorite word processing program. I made mine so it was about 6" across. Print it on the cardstock and then cut it out.

Lay the heart template on the dried canvas and use a pencil to lightly outline the heart on the canvas.

6. Now for the paper part. Remove some book pages from their books and tear them into strips about 1" wide. 

I chose pages from four different books and took about five pages from each. I chose pages that were different colors and with different fonts sizes.

Tear the strips into pieces that are roughly 1" square.

7. Next, Mod Podge the paper squares to the canvas. I used the glossy Mod Podge, because. That's right, because.

I started by gluing the first square right below the point of the heart. Then I  glued the second one right below that. Alternate the color of the squares as you work your way down to give the heart a mosiac look.

When you get to the bottom, align the edge of one of the squares with the inside edge of the heart.

I found it easiest at that point to continue working along the edge of the heart, lining up the edge of the paper squares with edge of the heart. 

When you get to the curve, shape the squares by tearing off little bits at a time until each matches the curve you need. 

Once the outline is done, Mod Podge away until you fill in the middle of the heart.

8. Let the Mod Podge dry. It takes about an hour. I spent that time thinking about my recent Hawaiian vacation. If you don't have any memories like that, you can borrow mine. Here's one.

9. Finally, add some romantic lyrics to your canvas. I chose lyrics from Love Me Tender, because it has been one of my favorite songs since I saw the movie of the same name at the drive inn when I was about 5 years old. I mean, c'mon, remember this scene at the end?? Isn't it everyone's favorite song after that?

I cut the lyrics out of a dark grayish-brown cardstock using my fancy-dancy Silhouette machine. I thought about cutting them out of vinyl, but then I asked Babette whether I should use paper or plastic and she said, "Paper. Duh." Well, actually, that's not exactly how she said it, but regardless she was right. That's why I call her for advice. Duh.

The font I chose is called Dancing Script OT, and I think it is swell. I made the first word on each canvas (Love, Love, Never) slightly larger than the other words. And then the words and I had a Mod Podge party all over the canvas.

10. Repeat for the other two canvases.
I'm sorta in love with how these turned out. They really were easy and I was able to finish them in an afternoon. I think I see lots of little book page squares in my future.