Um, I hate to break it to you but Mother’s day is in less than 2 weeks. I hate to complain, but c’mon . . . Easter one week, take a deep breath, and then Mother’s Day?!?
I’m still waiting for more than one day of spring weather! And now it’s Mother’s day?
So I got to thinkin’ – why not make a gift that is not only pretty, and functional, but one that you can also add to on Mom’s birthday, or Christmas.
It’s kinda like those charm bracelets a few years ago, only she’ll probably use this more often.
First, you’ll need a tray.
I got two of these babies at the thrift store. . .
. . . for a buck-fifty each. Hello?!?
If you can’t find one at your thrift store, try Michael’s. They have unfinished wood trays for around $6.
And, yes, this tray is included in the Turquoise parade of makeovers. I didn’t like how light the turquoise spray paint was.
So I wound up painting the whole thing with a deeper turquoise, which looks blue, but it’s really not.
The papers? I needed a template for the inside of the tray. Rather than painting artwork on the tray itself, I decided to paint it on removable canvas. Here’s the plan: I’ll paint this canvas for Mother’s Day, and then another one for Christmas. Maybe even her birthday too. She can just switch them out whenever she wants.
Remember when I painted the tray for 4th of July last year? Same idea.
I was lucky because the tray inset was 11” wide – exactly the height of copy paper. No weird dimensions.
Since I used a roll of artist canvas, I grabbed my rotary cutter and mat.
You could also use regular broadcloth, prime it, and then paint it. Just allow extra for shrinkage.
Or, depending on the size of your tray, you can buy a pad of artist canvas that’s already primed.
For the background I dabbed on a lime green, light blue and the same turquoise as the tray, all mixed with floating medium. Then I just smooshed all the colors together with horizontal strokes.
I wish the camera showed the colors better. It’s really not this washed out.
Hmm . . . maybe it’s not the camera, but the camera operator.
Since I added some of the turquoise that I painted the tray with, even though it’s diluted with floating medium, it still coordinates with the tray.
Once again, a dragonfly. A little better than the one I drew yesterday, yes?
I painted it white so I wouldn’t ‘lose’ it after painting the poppy. I wasn’t intending on leaving it white at this point. I just wanted to keep track of the little guy.
I used a medium turquoise mixed with a ton of floating medium for the background poppy petals. Like about a grain of rice of paint to a quarter amount of medium.
You could water it down and get a similar effect, but floating medium allows you to play with it longer, where water will dry quickly.
If you use the medium and it’s too dark, it’s really easy to lighten it up by removing it. With water, you tend to get a ton of streaks.
I added just a tad bit more turquoise to add some texture to the petals.
Same turquoise – just random petals. Again, mixed with floating medium, but just for blending – not to get the ‘watercolor’ look like the background petals.
The center outline is painted with the same turquoise as the tray.
Then, just fill in the center.
I figured I’d white out the dragonfly, then decide what color to paint it. But I hadn’t let the turquoise center dry and the white mixed with the turquoise.
Impatience led to a good result this time.
I even resisted the temptation to play with the little guy and muck it up. I just left it alone.
Phew! Maybe I’m actually learning something – like, say, leave well enough alone?
Here’s where I thought I blew it, though. I added some stamen.
You know – poppies/stamen, right? Okay, maybe it’s just me . . . the hazards of being an ex-florist.
Now I mucked it up.
It’s no secret that I love my Sharpies, but their ‘turquoise’ isn’t even close to what I had painted.
Should I or shouldn’t I?
Too late. I went for it.
Hey Mikey! I like it!
It’s a lot different than what I normally paint and I think that’s why I like it.
One Mother’s Day present done!
And if you’re not sure if you wanna try painting something as a gift, you could always do some decoupage, seal it, and it’ll still be a great gift.
But, hey, this is a fun and easy paint project that’d work in any color.
Just pick a color that will work a) in your mother’s décor and b) for another season or holiday.
Awesome, you really inspired me! Could you just let me know what kind of paint you used? Acrylic? Also, I am planning on doing some painting straight on the wood… Could you recommend some paints? I’m really a beginner with painting on anything that’s not canvas or paper Thank you in advance for your help, and thank you for the inspiration too, of course!