Monday, June 10, 2019

A Summer Project Using the 50 States Stencils

Hi friends! I’m Debi Adams and I am loving the change of weather. Well, I'm a So. Cal girl so I can say that a little more easily than some of you, though we have had our share of cold weather this year. However, I believe things will be heating up and with summer quickly approaching, there’s no better time than now to consider doing a new project, perhaps one that can be worked on long term, over the next few months. I received these 50 State stencils by June Pfaff Daley a while back and have been wanting to create something with them and decided this would be perfect activity, kind of like the jig saw puzzle you leave out on the table.   Just a few states every day or every week and by summer's end (or sooner!), I should be done! (You"ll need to stay tuned as I will be continually adding to this art piece.)  This is definitely a work in progress. I love that mixed media can be lots of yummy layers, colors and textures but I also love that they can be applied simply, with a very clean look.  

To get started I used a large sheet of Arches Watercolor Paper, 140lb. cold press. I traced around the state lightly with a pencil and then watercolored the inside.

From there on out, it was pick and choose.  Since I am currently redoing my house to reflect my love of shibori and wood tones, I chose those colors for this art piece.  Hoping to hang it when it's completely done.  

Adding the tiny details with stencils was fun. It was the decision as to what stencils to choose that was difficult! So many great ones.  Once I decided, I laid my state stencil down and then placed the embellishment stencil over the top, making sure to tape off any areas that might go beyond where the decor needs to go. I used an ink pad and a blending tool to add to my stenciled images.

 Can I say how much I LOVE ATC MixUp stencils? And these by Mary Beth are no exception!  They are the perfect size for the state stencils.  I chose the Gridded stencil by Rae Missigman for California because of  the "grid lock" here. :). Yes, this piece actually has at least one hidden meaning.  

 I think the hardest part of creating is staying with it when you want to start over.  The temptation was great here but I know that adding mark making, doo-dah's and dimension will change the look of this piece so I'm holding on.  Remember it's a work in progress.   It gives me something to look forward to this summer.  

Playing with parts and pieces...
You can always paint in pieces instead of watercoloring them like I did for Montana or you can cut out ephemera that is the shape of the state and embellish with another stencil, as seen in Arizona.  I love dimension so I added foam dots to the bottom of AZ.   Left over die-cut numbers created a mask so I cut Colorado from the remains of it. Paper Artsy paints and Seth Apter and Emerald Creek Embossing Powder (Chunky Rust) were used on the numbers.  Really anything that stays within my color vision is a go. Again, I like things very clean, so that every state can be seen.  

So what am I doing on my summer vacation?  It's not a secret anymore.  Care to join me?  Would love to see what you are creating in the coming months.


Debi Adams

State Stencils

Other Stencils:
Debi Adams-FB
Debi Adams-Pinterest


  1. Delightful project - looks like great fun!

  2. Debi, just gorgeous! Love the different ways the states represent within the whole. Your art is really and truly a visual feast -from the colors to the mix of stencils, scale is always well respected and everything looks divine.


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