Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Project: Floral Wreath Stool

As it's the Easter long weekend, I thought I'd take some time to do a project that's been hanging around, undone, for far too long. And then I thought I'd share it around, so read on for a template and mini tutorial!

Back in 2016 (I told you it had been a long time) we had the painters in, and my room was painted for the first time since I was 7. It really needed it, we have an old house, and there is calcimine on my walls, so modern acrylic paint doesn't stick at all well. I was living in something that resembled nothing so much as a mid-90s slum in baby pink and blue. At one point my mother came past with the vacuum cleaner, and despite my shrieks for her not to, put the nozzle up on the wall - three square feet of paint was sucked off in an instant. >.< 
Now my room is a nice pale mauve that is called 'Cheek to Cheek' - a fine choice for someone who likes 30s musicals as much as I do! And as it's only been a year and a half, the paint is still attached. (touch wood)

I bought myself a few new pieces of furniture from Ikea, and also repainted an existing cupboard and stool in white. These had been painted when I was 7 as well, and the blue paint which had been used was vile. All my efforts to sand it off failed (I don't have an electric sander), so I just had to paint over the slightly sticky blue-turned-green-with-yellow-marks. Needless to say, that doesn't do wonders for subsequent paint jobs. Add to that the fact that this furniture was knocked up by my great grandfather some time in the 30s... and yeah. It needs a little extra to distract from the bad paint job and wonky woodwork.

So my plan was to paint floral wreaths on this furniture. I designed the wreath, bought the paint... and ran out of time. But this weekend I decided that I would at least do the stool. Before the paint starts falling off my walls in sheets again and it turns out that there's no point trying to make anything look nice!

It's a simple project, so I'm making the template and the instructions available here. It's been a while since I did a craft how-to post!

The whole thing took me just slightly over an hour, so it's definitely a project that can be done in an afternoon.

Painting a Floral Wreath Stool
(or a floral wreath anything, including paper)

Here is the template for the wreath. It's in two shades of purple, because that's what matches my bedroom. But you could do lots of different colour variations to suit your decor. I've done a few samples to give you some ideas:


I set myself up outside. My materials are as follows:

> Template, printed to the size you want (I measured the stool at 27cm, so I printed half of the circle only, because I couldn't be bothered joining up print-outs)
> Two colours of acrylic paint (I have a dark and light purple)
> Brushes (I only used the small one)
> Manicure dotting tools (not essential, but they make making nice round dots very simple, and as I had them, I thought I would use them)
> Graphite pencil (any lead pencil will do) and a pencil for tracing
> A palette for the paint (I'm using the lid of a takeaway container)
> Water to wash brushes
> Tea (essential crafting item)
> Tissue (to wipe my dotting tools)
> Blu-Tak

 Step 1

Turn the template over, and use your lead pencil to colour all over where the pattern is. This will make budget carbon paper (which is easier to get off later)


Step 2

Blu-Tak the template over the item you're going to paint on, and use your pencil to trace over all the leaves. If, like me, you've only printed out half the template, give the back a little more graphite before switching sides. And I suggest you use a different coloured pencil so you can see exactly where you've traced the second time round. I put the stool up on a table, so I didn't have to bend over.

When you've finished tracing, you should have something like this:

Step 3

Starting with the light colour first, use a small brush to paint in all the leaves. To get nice lines, start away from the 'branch', and press your brush down with a little more pressure, then gradually apply less pressure as you approach the 'branch'. This will result in nice tapering lines.

I worked in halves so that I didn't smudge anything. When I'd done one half of the light colour, I switched to the dark colour. 

I used the dotting tools to add the dots:

Halfway there!

Step 4

When your dark purple dots have completely dried, add smaller dots into the centre of some of them, using the light purple. Add a few light purple dots around the place as well. 

Step 5

Finally, once all your dark purple is nice and dry, add some light purple veins in the leaves:

I didn't add anything over the top of my paint. It's acrylic, and I'm not going to be treating this roughly. You could add a coat of Mod Podge or varnish if you liked. And you can use an eraser to remove lingering traces of graphite (before varnishing!)

Here's the finished project, badly photographed in situ in my room:


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