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Window to Spring – How To Create A Mixed Media Canvas

Window to Spring – How To Create A Mixed Media Canvas main article image
Posted on February 15, 2021 by Jan Hunter

It’s been a long winter already and it’s likely that you too are ready for a breath of Spring. A great way to celebrate Spring is by creating a Mixed Media canvas. Mixed Media in visual art is a process that uses more than one medium or material. You can choose how many or how few. This project offers a jumping off point for bigger and better. If you’ve never worked with Mixed Media before, it’s truly a treat!  Enjoy the journey of creating a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

Spring evokes fond memories of the rose gardens in our community from long ago and finding joy in visiting them as a child, teen, and adult.  All of the plaques in the gardens naming the roses were made of wood and stenciled using a stencil type of font. As the gardens grew and new roses became a part of the garden, the wooden plaques were eventually replaced and the stenciled letters disappeared. The gardens became the “heart” of the park in our small community and were a treasure for many years.

Choose your designs

This digital collection, Old Digital Paper has several background pieces that will work nicely for a spring themed canvas.

And don’t forget the fonts! The two fonts chosen were perfect for this project – you can use these or choose your own favorites!  These fonts are available at Creative Fabrica!

The Old Navy

and, Signaday

For this canvas you’ll need:

  • 8 x 10 wrapped canvas
  • Creative Fabrica Digital Collection – Old Paper
  • Fonts (The Old Navy and Signaday)
  • Stencil(s) – from stash
  • Gesso (if the canvas isn’t primed and ready for use)
  • Gel Medium (acts as a glue)
  • Modeling Paste
  • Electronic Die Cutting machine and software
  • Printer
  • Townhouse Windows SVG file (SVGCuts)
  • Hope tag (stencil, muslin, chipboard)
  • gold thread wrapped clay heart (stash)
  • Cardstock (AC white cardstock 6” square)
  • Chipboard (.005 mm thick)
  • Paint
  • Patina
  • Foam Brush
  • Foam tape
  • Hot glue gun

Let’s get started 

Prep the canvas with a coat of Gesso if needed. Let dry. The 1 inch border is a boundary left for framing purposes but isn’t necessary. 

Cut the window using the electronic cutting machine. Since you’re using chipboard – cut at least 2x with the machine with your blade set to the deepest setting  (cut 1 bottom, cut 2 tops – remove the window panes in one of the tops – so it’s just a frame.) Set aside.

Open the digital file folder (Old Paper) with the paper designs. For this project, image (001.jpg) was chosen. Choose your favorite! 

Print 2 copies of the paper you chose for the background on a 6×6 piece of white cardstock (a custom setting for many printers. Reset the electronic machine to cut cardstock. On the mat in your cutting software, open the font tool and using The Old Navy font, typing out the Alphabet and numbers.  Everything should fit within a 4.5 x 4.5 square. Cut the alpha using one of the printed images. Remove the paper from the cutting mat and set aside. 

Apply the stencil

Using the stencils of choice, add some texture with the modeling paste and a palette knife as desired. A brocade pattern stencil and script stencil were used for this project. Let the modeling paste dry. Remember to wash your stencils and palette knife before the paste dries. 

After the modeling paste has dried, glue the printed paper with the letter cuts to the front of the canvas as shown using the gel medium. Brushing the back of the paper and applying a coat of the gel medium to the canvas for a stronger adhesion. You can brush the medium over the top of the paper as well. The gel medium used in this project has a matte finish. 

Add color as desired. India ink, Patina inks were used for the first image shown here. Let dry. 

An oops! The colors were too dark for this project, so a coat of white paint was dry brushed over the entire canvas bringing the colors back into the correct perspective. No need to trash it!  Let the paint dry. See all the details? The colors? 

Paint the clipboard window

Pick up the window pieces you cut earlier. Paint the chipboard window back with white paint.  Using the second piece of printed paper and gel medium, apply the print to the window back. Trim the paper. Cut the windowpanes from the interior of one of the window tops. Glue in place over the top of the window back. 

From the window top piece of the chipboard, trim the “molding” from the top of the window. Paint the molding piece. Set aside to dry.  Use the remaining piece of the window front, paint on the front.  This piece looks old – it’s just the way the paint held to the cardstock If you want a more finished look, add another layer of paint, and paint the underside as well.  * TIP:  you can also lightly sand and seal for a less distressed look.    

Using 2 layers of foam tape, apply to the back of the molding piece and adhere to the top of the window frame back. Cut the remaining piece of the window in half. If desired place an ornamental piece in the middle of the back of the window. The heart used in this project was finish from a previous project working with clay. 

Add the front of the window frame. The centers flare a bit as if the window is opening. Add a little bit of the pink gold patina along the edges of the window frame if desired.  It just adds a little more interest as shown in the image below.

The “hope” tag was created using a stencil* using the Sign A Day font, chalk paste, and muslin wrapped around a chipboard piece. Some pink gold patina was brushed around the edges of the tag.  Adhere to the front of the canvas using the hot glue gun or some foam tape.

Sign your piece and you’re done. 

If you choose to make something similar – please be sure to share. We’d love to see your works of art.   

*If your printer allows you to print on fabric, you could use that option rather than using a stencil or vinyl. 

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Wow, I love how it turned out! Really beautiful. Thank you for the detailed instructions, I will give this a try!

Jan Hunter's profile picture
Jan Hunter

February 17, 2021


Thank you. Can't wait to see yours! Be sure to share.

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