Friday, June 10, 2016

Create Your Own Tumbler

For Music Lovers and Beyond

Supply List:
Create Your Own Collage It Tumbler (or the like)
Private label acrylic paints (lt. blue, green, dk teal, black, white)
Gel Press 8” x10” printing plate
4” soft rubber brayer
Allegro Clef stencil
Doodle It Tornado Bloom stencil
Stencil Club stencils from Suzi Dennis and Mary Beth Shaw
SOFFT Art sponge
Gold Gel Pen

Not everyone in my tribe enjoys wall art, miscellaneous art tchotchkes, or even frameable cards.  Really? That sounds like crazy talk, but unfortunately the truth. I’m still a child at heart in thinking that everyone has a refrigerator or coffee table or wall that is begging to have a piece of Nancy Curry Art on it. However, the mid-fifties model that I am has come to terms with their shortcomings but I still love to be able to sneak my art in on the DL. Enter Starbucks to the rescue. I was there a few years ago and saw their version of a create your own tumbler and promptly bought four of them for “just because” gifts. Everyone has loved the practicality of them so I thought today I would share the idea. You can easily find others to use, but people have been impressed with the quality of the ones I’ve given. 
 The tumbler comes as you see in the first picture.  It unscrews from the bottom and you take the black paper out. For today’s project, I chose to use the provided black paper, but often I use that as a template and use my paper of choice. The second picture shows my paint colors, the Gel Press 8” x 10” printing plate, and my hard-to-see 6” x 6” Allegro Clef stencil that I am auditioning for size. 
Now, it’s time to begin so I start by adding small amounts of paint to the plate and use a 4” soft rubber brayer to spread the paint. I only brayer to spread the paints, not blend them, so that I retain a chunky look. In the second picture, note how I turned the stencil to the other side so the text would come out correctly when printed. 

The next step is to press the black paper into the plate and then carefully use my palms to ensure good contact between the black paper with the plate. I always do a quick check before I pull the paper off. NOTE: Any imperfections can be fixed by putting the stencil back on and using a SOFFT sponge to add color. I’m a newish convert to these, but I will say that their density is perfect to add color through a stencil. I can’t say enough about them (enabler alert).  

With the central image printed, my next step is to add some interest to the blocks of background color. I went through my vast array of stencils and settled on Maria McGuire’s Tornado Bloom and two stencils from Stencil Club, one with different sized dots from Ms. StencilGirl herself and one from Suzi Dennis, that had a circular organic quality. I begin to sponge through the stencils with the end of a Sofft sponge and black paint, adding visual texture to the background without overpowering the focal clef. I move next to the central area and add a little noise to get rid of any smudges that came from the initial printing. I repeat the process with white paint and let both dry. While waiting, I scour for a new-to-me music quote and when found, I add it in Gold gel pen. I love having pens or brushes in my hands, so I add some gold accents to fancy up the background.
The finished composition is now ready to be loaded back into the tumbler. As shown in the second picture, I roll it to fit the diameter of the bottom of the tumbler and start slowly pushing it down. It will naturally spread until it fits the top perfectly.

I am pleased that the back of the tumbler is as interesting as the front.  Enjoy the technique and the unusual substrate. I wonder where mine will go? We have several “musicophiles” in the family.

For more of my work, you’ll find me on the web, Facebook and Instagram at Nancy Curry Art. Links to my personal page (if you love poodles, wordsmithing and digital art), blog, Pinterest, and my Etsy store are on my website.  I teach workshops on a regular basis. Be sure to check the classes page on my site. More to be added shortly when dates are firmed up. My Etsy will include original work for sale, prints, and hand written rubber stamps.  

Play all the time!!!
 Nancy Curry


  1. First of all, I will make room on my wall for your work...unless it's this mug and then I will make room on my table or in my hand for it! :-) I love this, Nancy!

    1. You are very sweet! We need you to have a wall first.

  2. I totally love this idea -- thanks for showing us yet another way to use stencils!

    1. And I totally love your stencils. Many of them would work well! I use your Queen Anne's lace stencil so much especially with my Citra work. You rock!!!

  3. What a great idea!!!!!!! just beautiful!


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