Owls & Paisley – Notebooks and Cards
By Judi Kauffman
A big thank you to StencilGirl Products for inviting me back as a Guest Designer.
I thought it would be fun to see how two of my favorite stencils, Paisley Floral Repeat and Three Owls and a Branch, would work together, as well as each on its own. At first glance, they don’t seem like a logical combination, but there are elements in the two that felt like they were designed for each other – for example, scalloped shapes in the owls’ faces and feathers, scalloped shapes within the paisley patterns. This isn’t surprising, given that they came from the same person, Jessica Sporn. I always find her style and the level of detail she puts into her stencils so appealing!
I chose waterproof, colorfast Shimmer Sheetz for the owls and made notebooks and cards, but you can take this project in any number of directions: Art journals, canvases or shadow boxes, party decorations, and so much more.
1. Glue textured handmade paper to the front and back covers of several inexpensive composition books. Leave some of them plain; stencil on others.
2. Stencil the paisley pattern with Emperor’s Gold acrylic paint, followed by a slightly offset repeat of the paisley design in Black Green. Done! You have in hand a handsome journal to tuck into a tote or keep bed-side.
3. Stencil a pair of owls onto lightly sanded Australian Opal Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz, using Emperor’s Gold and Black Green acrylic paints.
4. Cut around the owls; add flat-backed gems for the eyes.
5. Using double-sided adhesive tape to secure them, add the flat owls to a paper-covered composition book. Done! You have in hand a simple journal for doodling and jotting random thoughts.
6. Better yet: Combine the owls with a stenciled composition book, as shown in the photo above.
7. Or add the owls to stenciled cardstock backed with a piece of poster board for a sturdy flat card to display on an easel or frame behind glass, as shown above.
8. For the owls shown in the cards above, use alcohol-based inks instead of acrylic paints. Add texture, dimension, and detail to the cut out owls as follows: Use a craft knife to scrape and ‘draw’ lines on the feathers, to cut around the bottom of the feathers and the bottom half of the beak. Bend beak and feathers upward, bend claws downward for dimension. Place the owls on a soft fabric-covered mouse pad and use ball stylus tools in various sizes to press dots into the Shimmer Sheetz, and an awl or piercing tool for another level of detail. Below is a close-up of the feathers, before the owl was cut out:
9. Stencil some leaves with Black Green paint. Cut them out.
10. Position the owl so it is sitting on a long twig and holding a shorter twig in its beak. Add the leaves to the branch near the owl’s head. Use double-sided adhesive tape for the flat layers, Tombow Power Adhesive Tabs for the dimensional layers.
11. Add faceted gems topped with flower-shaped gems to the owls for over-the-top sparkly eyes.
12. Tip: Cards with twigs and dimensional gems should be hand-delivered or mailed in a box. They are too thick for standard envelopes and the twigs might not survive in a padded envelope.
13. Below are two close-ups of another owl, this one with flat center-hole button eyes rather than gems, along with a repeat of the project photo shown at the start of this post so you don’t have to scroll back to see it again:
StencilGirl Products –
Elizabeth Craft Designs –
Shimmer Sheetz in Australian Opal Gemstone
Clear Double-Sided Adhesive Tape (6mm)
Fine Point Scissors
Americana Acrylics in Black Green
Dazzling Metallics in Emperor’s Gold
Power Adhesive Tabs
Non-stick scissors (for cutting Power Tabs)
Piercing tool or awl
Craft knife (for ‘drawing’ on owls’ feathers)
Ball stylus tools
Fabric-covered mouse pad
Sanding block (to sand Shimmer Sheetz)
Flat-backed gems, flower-shaped gems, flat buttons