Salvaged Mixed Media Canvas

This month I am sharing a Salvaged Recycled mixed media canvas. Recycled? Yes, because it is from a class that I taught.

salvaged mixed media canvasWhen I teach certain technique classes, I make samples: I use one canvas to demonstrate different techniques. I am not creating a canvas, just using the canvas to demonstrate different things. I come home with a canvas, covered in whatever, and put it in a box in the hopes that SOMEDAY I will do something with it. TODAY IS THE DAY for this sad little canvas!

salvaged mixed media canvasAs you can see, it started out with many layers of paint, tissue paper, cardboard, texture paste, and it’s primarily yellow and red. Ick.


Pre-layered canvas
Earth Safe Finishes Chalk It Up, Milk Chocolate
Earth Safe Finishes Iridescents by Ann Butler, Orchid
Earth Safe Finishes Texture Paste
Earth Safe Finishes Gesso
Envirotex Lite pour-on High Gloss Finish resin
Clearsnap Ann Butler Art Screen, Lattice
DecoArt Media Mister, Yellow Green
Thermo web glue runner
Maya Road embellishments
Ranger embellishments

How did I do it?

I want to tone down the colour and add some tooth to surfaces that might be shiny. So first, cover the surface with Milk Chocolate paint and let dry. Chalk It Up paint dries VERY quickly ( yay), so you don’t have to wait long.salvaged mixed media canvas 

Cover most of the surface with gesso, including the sides of the canvas. Let it dry. salvaged mixed media canvas
Place the art screen down and spray with Yellow Green Mister. Let it dry.salvaged mixed media canvas
Mix up a small amount of texture paste and orchid Iridescents and apply over a small portion of the Art Screen. Also paint the wood button with the Orchid. salvaged mixed media canvas
Once everything is completely dry, mix up 20 cc of the Envirotex Lite ( 10 + 10) and spread it over the canvas. I then placed the pink resin flower and ruler piece right into the wet resin. Let dry.
To finish, I added the remaining embellishments with the glue runner. I LOVE how you can see through the crystal petals 🙂

What is lurking in your closet/cupboard/on a shelf that you can breathe new life into?salvaged mixed media canvas

How to Make Upcycled Spoon Hooks

Designing for ETI was a lot of fun and gave me great creative liberty to work with resins, clays, pigments, molds, etc. Here is one of my favourite projects: How to Make Upcycled Spoon Hooks

ColorBox® Background Basics by Ann Butler

Envirotex Jewelry Clay is very versatile and has a long open time which makes it lovely to work with. I thought it would be a very easy way to add pizazz to my upcycled spoon hooks.

When I was setting up my new craft room and studio I discovered that I didn’t hav hooks for my aprons. What should I buy? Screw-in hooks or adhesive hooks or…..did I say BUY? Do you know how much hooks can cost? 

No, no, no! I went to my most favorite thrift store in the world ( in St. Catharines, Ontario) and grabbed some silver souvenir spoons – 10 for $1, and set out to make the prettiest hooks in the room.



Tools: craft mat, 2 brushes, wet wipes


1. Clean and dry your spoons and lay them out in front of you on a craft mat *Good to Know* – if you are putting clay on the handle, remember to account for the bending of the spoon and how much of the spoon will actually be visible once it has been bent. 

2. Mix together equal parts of A + B jewelry clay;
resin jewelry clay spoon hooks

blend the two until they have a nice, uniform color (albeit an icky gray). Remember to close your jars once you have taken out all the compound you will need.  The amount of clay you use will depend on the size of the spoon, how much surface area you want to cover and how rounded you want it to be.  I used about 1″ round of each A+B for my project and I may have had some left over.

resin jewelry clay spoon hooks
I used ColorBox stamp ‘Picnic’ for this spoon
3. To stamp on the clay, I first sprayed my stamp with sealer, and then pressed into the clay. This works great with no bits of clay getting stuck in the stamp!
4. Once you are satisfied with the smoothness of your surface you may begin to place your gems and found objects.  Do not press too hard or you will smush the surface and possibly cause clay to develop a ‘muffin top’! *Good to Know*– to achieve the lovely rounded sides of clay, I gently rolled a pencil down and along the curve, stopping just below the line where the clay meets the spoon. 
jewelry clay spoon hooks Roberta Birnbaum
Brushing on leaf Iridescents

5. Once you have finished placing your gems, grab some Iridescents on the tip of the bristles of your brush and gently brush the powder onto the clay, sweeping back and forth. Then take a dry brush and remove the excess powder.  
6. Take a wet wipe and squeeze out excess water. Wrap the wipe around the tip of your index finger and gently rub over all your gems to remove unwanted clay or powder. Examine the rest of your spoon and do the same. Dry all wet surfaces ( this does not include the clay).
Let the clay dry.

jewelry clay spoon hooks Roberta Birnbaum

7. Bend your spoon to form a hook
8. Use Velcro to adhere your hook to a wall or shelf.


ColorBox® Background Basics by Ann Butler

TIP for PLACING GEMS:  If you don’t have one of the special pencils that has a sticky ‘lead’ tip, just place a tiny ball of mixed clay around the tip of a toothpick. You can pick up and place the tiniest of gems this way; gently touch the gem, pick it up and place it exactly where you want to! You’re welcome! 


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