My little crafting world....

Hi all
I'm a complete craft addict! I have a small business called Surrey Crafts teaching craft workshops from my studio in Esher, Surrey and at venues around the country. I teach mixed media, decorative painting, card making and papercrafts, jewellery making and creative embroidery classes. If you'd like to find out more just leave a comment, or take a look at my other social media pages:
Crafty hugs & stuff


Friday, 4 March 2016

DecoArt Skull media tag using Metallic Lustres and Crackle Paint - with steps of the process

I made a really quick project this week using my new Tando Creative Media board. They're just the right size for a play. To find out more click HERE. Once I posted the pic of the finished project I had some lovely feedback so felt a blog post with a step by step of the process would be a nice idea. Slight snag: I hadn't taken pics of the stages while I was making it (typical!!!) but I knew it would be easy to recreate the steps, and fun to use a different embellishment too.
A quick coat of the lush DecoArt Media Black Gesso onto the Media Board - lovely creamy paint this!
Once completely dry (very quick as used a heat tool), I grabbed a few DecoArt Metallic Lustres. These again are a lovely consistency and thick enough to give a complete coverage on most surfaces.
However I wanted almost a 'dry brush' effect on the lovely gesso texture, so I dabbed the tiniest amount onto my finger and brushed lightly across the painted base, thinly enough for some of the black to still show through as you can see from the close-up. 

I repeated this with a total of 4 colours, just to see how the worked together. 

                               So having created a nice messy background I now wanted a crisp and sharp contrast to lay on top, adding more texture and some brightness. I used the DecoArt White Crackle Paint. I LOVE this product. It is the easiest crackle product I've ever used, dries quickly, starts to crack within minutes (so you don't have that dilemma about whether or not its working!) and is a vibrant white once dry.
This was straight after applying the crackle paint - before the cracks appeared.
Here is the second board next to the original - already cracking and I only just put it there, this shows you how it will eventually crackle!

That was soooo easy. Now the hard part - what to lay on top! For the original I used a skull embellishment I found while out on a walk with hubby about a year ago, it's been waiting for a background like this! It had two rivets at the back. I used them to hang some chain on before gluing down. I grabbed a few bits of broken costume jewellery and some bendy jewellery wire. With the wire I made a handle (another two holes punched) by winding it through the two holes then round itself and around to the side of the board. I added some beads and a decorative bead which I thought looked like either a snake or a sword. Once threaded onto the wire, I added a dab of glue on the wire to stop them falling off and bent the wire to the direction I wanted.

For the second board I using a fancy button and a few copper tacks and for a lighter look I used a more copper coloured jewellery wire for the handle and to wrap around the line of nails. I'll give this a spray of Americana Sealer/ Finisher Matte spray to give a bit of protection too.

And voila - almost identical and finished in super quick time - though the glue will need a little longer to set completely. 

Thanks for looking, have fun playing and feel free to ask any questions!


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Lea. Thanks for the lovely comment and taking time to look. Best wishes. Suz x

  2. I think your work is superb Suz! Love these gorgeous thingies - are they tags, collages or ATC's? I'm not sure, but they are gorgeous! I'll have a think about doing one of your courses! It is quite a way for me to come, but a friend might be interested so I'll get back to you! Luv Carol xxx

    1. Thanks so much for leaving a comment Carol! These are called media boards from Tando Creative (link in blog). They are a great size for playing! You'd be welcome to pop along to a workshop. I run very small groups. If you are going to the Ministry of Mixology Coventry event in April I'll be demoing the techniques in some more recent posts there. Suz xxx

  3. Lovely piece and an excellent tutorial Suz!!!

    1. Thanks for that Stewart! Sorry for the delay. Thought I'd already said that, but it doesn't seem to be here. Suz xxx

  4. Love them both, I need to finish mine off from the weekend! X