Monday, December 19, 2016

Gwen's Gems - Stenciled Mixed Media Door Signs

Hi Everyone! It's Gwen back again with the December edition of Gwen's Gems! This month I was back to playing with stencils and cardboard as I made a fun personalized sign to go on the door of my studio.

I love the idea of a personalized piece of art that I can hang - you could customize the shapes, colors, and embellishments to do something for holidays, for childrens' rooms, even to designate a guest restroom!

If you're interested in making your own mixed media door sign, here's a little overview of how this one came together.

First, I took cardboard from a package that came in the mail and cut it into circles. I used my Curvy Cutter (very old scrapbooking tool) to cut the top layer of the circles, and then I finished cutting through with a sharp x-acto knife. I knew that I wanted a layered design, so I cut several different sizes.

When the circles were cut, I used stencils with molding paste to add dimensional designs to each circle. For the largest one I used Crop Circles by Mary Beth Shaw, for the medium one I used my Decorative Medallion stencil, and for the smallest I used the 6x6 from the March 2016 StencilClub collection by Suzi Dennis.

Once all of the molding paste had dried, I painted over top. For the large one I used Dina Wakley's Umber, then I used her Gilt (gold) paint or a combination of the two for the others. I also cut 4 isosceles triangles that were going to turn it into kind of a compass shape and gesso'd those.

Next up, I started embellishing. I used Glossy Accents and micro beads in the openings of the stencil design on the large circle, then edged it with some gold plastic bead trim.

I went back in with Gilt paint and a small paintbrush and painted the raised areas from the stenciled design so that they would show through a bit more.

That done, I attached some gold bead trim to the underside of the circle - this gives a nice embellishment, and also covers up the raw edge of the cardboard. I also decided that you couldn't see the microbeads well enough for those to be the only beads, so I used polymer medium and pearl beads and sprinkled some on top in the open areas.

While that was drying, I took the medium circle and coated the edge in white glue, then dipped it in embossing powder. I used my finger to rub some umber paint over the raised areas of the design and then set it aside to let the glue dry. (I also painted the triangles gold and did the same thing to the edges of those.) When the glue was pretty much dry, I used my heat gun to melt all the embossing powder. This gives it sort of a soldered look, and at the same time it covers up those raw cardboard edges.

Once everything was dry, I started assembly. First I put the triangles in place in the north, south, east, and west locations on the circle, using a small piece of cardboard underneath to prop them up to the height of the beads so that they would glue down flat and sturdy.

Next I glued the medium circle on top, then put another small piece of cardboard in the middle before gluing down the small circle. Finally, for the part that makes it a room sign, I just wanted my initial in the middle. As a former (and maybe once again future) scrapbooker, I have a TON of these alphabets in my stash, so I took one in a fun font and painted the surface gold, then went over it with gold glitter glue and stuck it in the very middle.

Finally, once all of the glue was dry, I flipped the whole thing over and added a picture hanger Command Strip to the back so I could hang it on my door without having to put in any nails (this also makes it easy to swap out different designs if I want.)

Voila! It's ready to hang!

A closer view...

I like the final project even better than I thought I would! I may have to go and make some seasonal versions of this, just for fun, or just label all the doors in my house!

That's it for this month's post, I hope you enjoyed it! Have you ever used your stencils to make a door sign or a door hanger? We'd love to see it!

Until next time, happy stenciling!


  1. Enjoyed your article and process. End-result is beautiful. One question I have is about how soon do you lift the molding pasted stencil?

    1. Hi Debbie, thank you! RE the stencil and molding paste... you mean how soon after you put the paste through the stencil? Immediately. You don't want anything to have a chance to dry in the stencil because it will clog up the openings. I just peel it back carefully from one corner and I usually don't have too much trouble. I clean the stencil immediately with a baby wipe.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Mary! I was making it because I thought it would be cool, but I didn't know what the application was going to be until I was pretty much done and wondering what on earth I was going to do with this thing! lol.

  3. What a great idea. And a gorgeous piece as well!

  4. Beautiful! I never would have thought that was cardboard, I thought it was wood!!!

  5. Thanks for sharing your awesome talent and creativity. Best wishes for the holidays. ❤️

  6. Just admiring your work and wondering how you managed this blog so well. It’s so remarkable that I can't afford to not go through this valuable information whenever I surf the internet! Best Automatic Door Closer


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