Technique: Die Cutting/Scrapbooking
1.5mm balsa wood
'decor' crackle medium
silk flowers and leaves
fine grade sandpaper
Sizzix Big Shot die cutting machine
Tim Holtz Alterations Caged Bird die
Oh I love my die cutter indeed I do! Just for fun I entered this project into the "Anything Goes" Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge.
Cut 2 bird cages from balsa wood and glue together. You could use just one thickness, or use chipboard/cardstock if you prefer, but I love working with the balsa.
When dry, apply two coats of base colour, front and back. I used Jo Sonja Antique Green.
There are different types of crackle mediums and paints available, and they can create different types of aging in your work. For this project I used Jo Sonja Decor Crackle Medium, which is a 'sandwich' crackle. This means you apply a base coat, then a coat of crackle medium, then a contrasting top coat, and the crackle medium will cause the top coat to crack as it dries, allowing the base coat to show through. Apply a coat of crackle medium according to the directions on bottle, and then your top coat. I chose a plain white for my project because I planned to antique it. Allow to dry overnight.
Using the sandpaper, distress the cage further. Go a bit heavier in some spots to let more base coat show through, attack the edges, you don't have to be delicate! When you have the appearance you are happy with, you can age it further by using an antiquing medium. Again there are lots of ways you can antique a project. You can mix a little drying retarder with burnt umber acrylic paint and rub that over your project to age and darken it. You can buy ready made antiquing liquids that are primarily just a mixture of drying retarder and acrylic paint. For this project I used a Tim Holtz Distress Ink to add a dark tinge to the edges. It's subtle but it's there, shame on me for not taking before and after photos to show you.
Once the whole lot is dry, give front and back a coat of matte varnish. When that is dry, use hot glue to attach your embellishments. Hang and admire!