Friday, February 16, 2018

Guest Designer: Melissa Johnson

Hello everyone! My name is Melissa Johnson and I am so excited to share my first guest post for StencilGirl Products! Today I want to share with you a mixed media project that I created using an antique musical instrument.

This really cool old fiddle came into my possession in a sort of interesting way. I run a house flipping business, and come across all kinds of interesting situations, people, and homes on a regular basis. One day we closed on a house and I went by to do a scope of work to determine what needed to be done to get the house renovated and up for sale. When I walked in the door I was shocked at how much stuff was left behind. I actually called my acquisitions person to make sure the sellers had indeed moved out! I am sort of a "picker" by nature, so of course I started to dig through all of the things that were there, and that is when I found the fiddle.  I didn't know right away what I was going to do with it, but it spoke to me so I threw it in my car and brought it home.

When I was contacted about guest posting, immediately my thoughts went to the fiddle. I brought it inside, cleaned it up, and began to plan how I was going to transform it into a piece of art. I started by lightly sanding it to remove all of the old varnish and stickiness from the surface, then covered it with two coats of Liquitex Gesso.

When that completely dried, I started to do a bit of collaging using some old tissue paper, vintage music papers, and paper napkins.

After thinking about what colors I wanted to use, I decided to go with a bright colored palette. Bright pinks, magentas, oranges, and gold together are my jam and I really wanted to give this sad broken old fiddle a whole new personality. I used several different colored shades of pinks and reds for the base layer and to blend the collaged elements into the background.

To add a bit of metallic into the mix, I rubbed in some Liquitex Iridescent Gold Acrylic Ink over several places on the instrument. 

Once the base layers were established, the fun part began. Using black acrylic paint, I stenciled on Tell Your Story. I felt like this stencil was absolutely perfect for this project. What would this old fiddle say if it could talk? Where had it been? Who was the owner? All of these things went through my mind while creating. I wanted some complementary background elements, so I added the Vintage Script and Boho Patterns with coordinating acrylic paints.

When everything had dried, two coats of Amazing Casting Clear Resin were added to protect the paint and add a nice shiny coating to the fiddle. I love how the resin pulls out the bright colors. Here is the finished piece!

Melissa Johnson


  1. Melissa, this is wonderful -- I love that you think outside the box and encourage all of us to do the same! You're showing us that we can go way beyond art journals and, in so doing, make the whole world a more beautiful place. I'm honored that, for this 3-D project, you chose -- among so many other StencilGirl stencils -- one of mine, Vintage Script. May I ask your permission to post about this on my blog?--giving you full credit, of course! If you would first like to check out my blog, this is the address --

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I would be honored if you would like to share on your blog :)

  2. What a fabulous project! It turned out so beautifully!

  3. Melissa.. that is the coolest fiddle I've ever seen. Love what you did.


If you are entering a GIVEAWAY, please add your email address in the event we need to contact you.

To avoid SPAM, please write it like this:

marybeth (at) stencilgirltalk (dot com)

Thank You!