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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Rusty ATC tutorial

May's Challenge is HERE
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Good morning all, Sammy here with this month's mid-month tutorial.

I recently made a set of rusty ATCs, and had several people ask me how to get the effect, so I thought it would make a perfect tutorial this month.

So to start with, I took a MDF ATC blank from Fernli Designs. For this particular technique MDF works really well, or you could use board or layer a couple of pieces of really think card. Anything too thin is likely to warp, as you're going to be throwing a lot of mediums at it, as well as a heavy focal point.
So one MDF ATC, covered with black gesso:


Next, you want a little texture. this can be material, like lace, hessian, cheesecloth, etc. or something else that will give you a little background texture to work with. I like to use joint tape (drywall tape for our American friends), as it's self-adhesive, and my husband bought me two rolls about 4 years ago and I've barely made a dint in the first one. This stuff will last for ever, lol.


Now you have two choices. You can Gesso each layer as you go, or build everything up first and then cover the lot. I prefer to paint as I go, as it's easier to get full coverage this way, and is less rough on your paint brush as you're not trying to squeeze it into every nook and cranny.
But it does use more paint, so if you're trying to be frugal, just coating it later on may be a better option for you.
Now you want to choose your focal piece and stick it on. I like to use large charms, or layer MDF shapes with smaller ones. For this I chose some angel wings, and stuck it to my project using Finnabair's heavy body gel. Leave it to dry. This bit can take a little while...


The next step is more texture. I've added some craft grit in a rough outline, and some inside the charm too, making sure to leave a little of my original texture visible. You can use any other small texture instead if you prefer, like microbeads or art balls. I just like the rough texture that the grit gives, as it really makes it look corroded in the end.


After another coat of Gesso (if you were waiting until the final building stage to Gesso yours, now is the time), It's time for the rust texture. I love to use Finnabair's rust pastes for this.
Tip: do NOT use your good paintbrushes for this! They will get ruined. I use a small decoupage brush that came free with a craft magazine years ago. This brush has been designated to be used only with these pastes, so I don't mind that it's no longer usable for anything else.

First of all, you want to start with the darkest colour; the brown rust paste. Cover most of your ATC. I like to leave a little black around the edges and the deepest crevices of the focal point.


Next - after washing and drying your brush - go over most of the brown paste with the red. Now you don't want this colour to seep into the cracks too much, so I recommend dabbing off most of the excess onto your craft mat or other non-stick surface. You'll be able to pick it up from there as you go, just make sure you don't have a lot of paint on your brush.
I like to leave some of the brown visible along the edges of where I painted it. The idea being that it gradually gets lighter towards the center.


Finally, after another clean of the brush, you want to dry-brush the focal area with the gold paste. You really only want the very lightest of touches here, so make sure you dab as much as you can onto your mat before you bring the brush to the project.
A little goes a very long way, and unless you spend all your time making rusty items, that small pot would last you a lifetime. I have a larger pot of the brown and red pastes, as you use a lot more of them, but for the gold you really don't need much.


As you can see below, you just want a tiny hint of gold brushed onto the raised areas.




And that's all there is to it! I edged the ATC with a gold leafing pen. Normally I like to edge my projects with a dark colour, to bring the eye into the project, but as this is quite dark already, the tiny hint of gold lifts it just a little.

You can use this technique in so many ways, like as a topper for a grungy card. You can also add extra interest by layering more pieces onto your topper. I added a couple of filigrees to the one I used below, and finished it off with a sentiment sticker.


Or even for Christmas tree decorations! We decided we're having a steampunk Christmas this year, so lots and lots of decorations are needed for the tree...


And there you have it. A fun rusty technique, that's easy to do, with great results!

And if you're feeling inspired, don't forget to come and share your altered art makes with us in this month's challenge!

Have a fab day!

Sammy-x