Friday, October 29, 2021

Alpine Glam Grunge Pencil Case - by Claudia

Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by today, dear stencil loving friends! 

Today I would like to share a project that emanated once more from my feeling utterly blessed to live in such a beautiful and inspiring spot by the fantastic Austrian Alps. Autumn has already settled in and the trees have started to show their most beautiful colours, afternoons are getting shorter and quite often the world around me is covered in mist now - which makes it feel as if it were enchanted. You can hear the crows' muffled cries and sometimes you are even able to catch sight of their characteristic silhouettes sitting in the trees. Deer have started visiting our garden, looking for food - all of which makes autumn the most enchanted and glamorous time of the year for me. 

So in today's project I tried to capture and combine all of it - the fog, the deer, the ravens, the darkness, the start of nature's decay (which adds some delicate kind of grunge to nature, doesn't it?) but also the glamour of the rich autumn leaves' colours and the beautiful sunlight at this time of the year. My substrate this time was a plain cotton pencil case as I wanted to make something useful but also pleasurable to look at. 

Grunge and a bit of glam go together so well! By adding a bit of bling and sparkle to grunge looking projects, you break the grungy feel of the project and create a lot of interest and thrilling contrast - which also takes the beauty of grunge to the next level. 

I love both sides equally I found - especially the backgrounds turned out even better than I had hoped they would! To create my grungy Alpine Glam Pencil Case I used the following StencilGirl stencils: 

- ATC MixUp - Peot Birds Stencil (by Margaret Peot)
- Thicket Background Stencil (by Trish McKinney)
- Small Deer Antlers Stencil and Mask (by June Pfaff Daley)

It was one of those projects where switching between letting take project and materials used the lead and consciously deciding next design steps worked absolutely harmoniously! But let me take you through the process and show you how I made the backgrounds and which decisions were influenced by what...

I started with the raven side. The picture above shows the main products and paints I've used. To use my DecoArt premium and Americana acrylic paints on the fabric of the pencil case I like to add DecoArt Americana Fabric Painting Medium to them (one part medium - two parts paint). 

It is also important to protect the other side of the pencil case from getting stained by paint that soaks through to the other side while working on one side. To do so I inserted a folded to size left over acetate packaging. 

I only needed to remember to take that out when using the heat tool to quick dry the paints inbetween steps!!!

The fabric painting medium works with many different kinds of paints and special paints like DecoArt Dazzling Metallic paints as well as Chalky Finish paints I found - so I added a bit of bling and matte paints to my project alongside the DecoArt premium Carbon Black and White Gesso. 

To prep the paints for my project I used a sheet palette and a palette knife. The latter works perfectly to work the fabric painting medium into the acrylic paint! 

I spread the black and white paint on the palette and left some space between the two so I could mix various shades of grey from them while working on the raven and the backgrounds. 

I started with the raven and worked from black to the lightest grey using a stencil brush (I also like to use an old bristle brush for smaller detail sections)...

The final details (like the highlights on the eye and the beak) on the raven were painted in using a detail brush. I used the white on the still wet grey paint. This way it mixed harmonically into light grey tones. 

Next I cut a mask from some paper scrap to cover up the raven while doing the background around it. 

I used my largest stencil brush and worked wet on wet to create different tones from dark grey to almost white...

then put the Thicket Mask right on top (leaving the raven paper mask in place) and went all over it again with lighter tones and this was the result:

I took out the folded acetate sachet and heat dried the paint. Then I inserted it back again and started working on the background of the reverse side. 

Using the large stencil brush again with the paints left on the palette I loosely stippled on a "foggy" background - making sure there were really dark and bright sections. 

I wanted to create a subtle ghostly white thicket on top of that - so I decided to use the Thicket mask to print with. 

I picked the section of the mask I wanted...

...then "loaded" it with stippled on white acrylic paint from my palette (of course still with fabric painting medium added to it). 

Then I quickly put that face down on the pencil case, covered everything with my non stick silicone work sheet...

...and rubbed firmly with my flat hand across the whole covered area to press the paint from the stencil into the fabric. 

The result was absolutely cool! Grunge at its best!!! Yay! :)

At that point I decided to add some bling to break the dull grungy look - that background was just the perfect base for some Alpine glamour! And the "Sweet Mango" Glitz glitter gel by gina k. Designs was the perfect addition! I stippled it on using a small stencil brush. 

Time to continue working on the raven side!

I had decided to add some orange to that side too - so I painted the sun with DecoArt Jack-O'Lantern Americana acrylic paint and "Bronze" Dazzling Metallic paint (both of course mixed with the fabric painting medium). 

The eye and beak got a thin coat of DecoArt media Interference "Violet" - which added a beautiful contrast to the orange and some decent bling as well. 

So far, so good. 

But not there yet! 

I thought both designs were still missing something - so why not add some cool stencilled patterns?!
I chose Seth Apter's awesome Grunge Strips & Borders stencil and more Jack-O'Lantern paint (as there was still some left on my palette)...

Much better!!!

I also still had some prepared Dazzling Metallics paint on my palette and decided to sprinkle that on using a fully loaded soft brush, tipping it against my other hand to create random drips and drops. 

I also found the square raven image with the thin white border didn't fuse well enough with the rest of the design and the background, so what to do next? 

My solution to this problem was to "complete" the circles at the right side, so they would overlap with the background - I think that definitely made a huge change for the better! 

Done!!! :)

I hope you've enjoyed your visit here today! 

Have fun stencilling away, stay safe and creative! 



  1. I absolutely love this project, Claudia - perfection!!!

  2. Wow, this is great. Thank you for the detailed instructions. I am working on a group project for Prayer Flags,was planning on appliquing a Crow but now may try the painting instead. Thanks for the inspiration very timely for me!!

    1. So glad to hear this comes in handy! Thanks for the kind words! x

  3. The project is very inspiring, especially after that beautiful word picture of the Nature around you. Thanks!

  4. Hi Claudia, great project. Happy creative weekend, Angela xXx


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