Category Archives: DecoArt Paints

Thanksgiving Harvest Mini Album Tutorial

Thanksgiving Harvest Mini Album Tutorial by Kathy ClementThanksgiving Harvest Mini Album Tutorial  and Video Tour for Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts

Hello, Friends!  My favorite holiday is right around the corner!  Thanksgiving is the perfect time to gather with family and friends, enjoy good food, play games, laugh and take photos!  To help you capture all those great memories, I’ve created this Thanksgiving Harvest Mini Album Tutorial.  I’ve used the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Bracket Edged Stagger Mini Album and Fall Shape set along with the gorgeous Authentique Harvest papers.  Get out your scissors and pencils because class is in session!

Thanksgiving Harvest Mini Album Tutorial YouTube Video Tour

Because I am a visual learner, I like to experience the flow of an album via a video tour.  In this short tour, I’ll share tips and tricks for working with chipboard and demonstrate how all the various interactive elements of the album work.  I think you’ll find it is a good introduction to the Snapguide tutorial below.

Thanksgiving Harvest Snapguide Tutorial

This Snapguide tutorial will guide you step by step through the process of building your album.  You will learn how to use embossing powders and paints to alter your chips, see how I assembled each page and find a complete supply list within this tutorial.  Enjoy!

Check out How to Thanksgiving GSL Bracket Edged Mini Stagger Album by Kathy Clement on Snapguide.

Here are some still photos for you to enjoy!

Thanksgiving Harvest Mini Album tutorial by Kathy ClementThanksgiving Harvest Mini Album tutorial by Kathy Clementbegin-each-day-with-a-thankfulThanksgiving Harvest Mini Album tutorial by Kathy ClementThanksgiving Harvest Mini Album tutorial by Kathy ClementThanksgiving Harvest Mini Album tutorial by Kathy ClementThanksgiving Harvest Mini Album tutorial by Kathy ClementThanksgiving Harvest Mini Album tutorial by Kathy ClementThanksgiving Harvest Mini Album tutorial by Kathy ClementThanksgiving Harvest Mini Album tutorial by Kathy ClementI hope I’ve shared some techniques that you will enjoy trying.  Making little albums like this is pure joy for me, and I hope you’ll be inspired to make one yourself!

Thanks for stopping by!



 GSL Product Links for Harvest Thanksgiving Mini Album Tutorial



Winter Birds Altered Book

Winter Birds Altered Book for Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts

Hello, Friends!  As I write this, our bird feeder is alive with winter birds of all types.  Chickadees, nuthatches, tufted titmice, wrens, woodpeckers, cardinals and more are making me smile at their antics.  I love birds all year round, but there’s something special about winter birds.  They provide a spot of cheer against the bleak backdrop of winter.  So when I began to ponder what to make for my guest designer spot this week, I had winter birds on my mind.  I dug deep in the Closet of Shame and found a cheap little photo album that I’d picked up at the Goodwill some time back.  It had thick chipboard pages with oval and rectangular openings for photos but little else to give it merit.  Until, that is, Imagination, Creativity and Whimsy stepped in and transformed it into a gorgeous winter birds altered book.  Take a peeky:

Kathy by Design Winter Bird Altered Book for Gypsy Laser Cuts 01Here’s a list of the supplies you will need for this project:

From Gypsy Soul Lasercuts:

Paints and Mediums:


  • Graphic 45 Botanical Tea 12×12 papers and 8×8 papers
  • Gold Metallic Cardstock


Kathy by Design Winter Bird Altered Book for Gypsy Laser Cuts 02

Prepping the Chipboard for the Winter Birds Altered Book

I find that Distress Paint works beautifully with Gypsy’s Laser Cuts.  For the snowflake chain on the cover,  I put down a single coat of Antique Linen Distress Paint and gently dried it with my heat gun.  Don’t hold the heat gun too close, or the paint will bubble, and that is not what you want!

When that layer of paint is dry, gently tap the chipboard with Iced Spruce and Evergreen Bough to create a sort of mottle effect on your chippies.  You can repeat this process until your chipboard looks the way you want it to.  While the paint is still wet, sprinkle with Antique Linen Distress Glitter.

For the yarrow, I cut the largest flower blossom off the top of the chipboard.  Now I have a piece that looks like a lovely, woodsy pine branch.  I painted this as above, but added more evergreen bough and iced spruce than on the snowflakes. Don’t add the glitter.  Instead, use the Sprinkled Sugar Stickles on the tops of the branches and “needles”.  This gives them a very subtle shine, like iced branches in wintertime.  Set all your chipboard aside to dry.

Kathy by Design Winter Bird Altered Book for Gypsy Laser Cuts 03

Prepping the Base of the Winter Birds Altered Book

For this part of the process you will need a sharp craft knife.  Since I wanted to create a rectangular niche inside my book, I used a ruler and my craft knife to cut out the oval pages.  Then I glued the remaining rectangular pages together and clamped them with binder clips until the glue dried.

Once the glue was dry, I painted the entire book, inside and out, edges and all with white gesso.  To speed up the drying process, I used my heat gun, but again, don’t over heat.  Keep the heat gun moving over the surface of the book to prevent bubbles from forming.

Next, I used a palette knife to spread crackle texture over the front and back cover and the spine.  You can let this cure overnight, or if you are impatient (like some people I know) you can use your heat gun and very, very carefully speed that process up.  If you let the crackle texture get too hot too fast, it won’t crackle well.  So be careful…or be patient and let it cure overnight.

Once the crackle texture has done its thing (and this is glorious to behold, my friends!) use the Rusted Metals paint kit and spray the front and back cover of the book, following the directions that come with the kit.   I like to dry between layers so that the colors don’t get too muddy.

Now, spritz lightly with the White Linen Dylusions spray and use a brush to kind of swirl that white around. Then, water down some Evergreen Bough and Iced Spruce paints and brush them over the surface.  This is all a matter of taste.  If you like how it looks, you’ve done it right! When this part is dry, spritz Gold Glimmer Mist generously over the entire surface.  Then step back and clap your hands in glee! That’s what I did, anyway!

The final thing you need to paint is the inside edges of the  front and back cover and the edges of the glued together pages.  Use gold metallic paint for this.

Kathy by Design Winter Bird Altered Book for Gypsy Laser Cuts 04Decorating the Winter Birds Altered Book

Place your designer paper on the inside back cover and use a pencil to lightly trace around the edges of the book to create a template.  Trace through the “window” of the niche you’ve created.  Use your craft knife to trim out the center panel from your  paper. Save the evacuated piece, as you will use the reverse pattern behind your window, and it just happens to be a perfect fit.  I glued this down, then used a little washi tape around the edges to ensure that none of the white gesso showed.   I painted the front edge of the niche with gold paint to frame my papers, and I really love the way that looks.

Now you just need to cover the left hand side of your book, and decorate, using the chippies that you prepared in step one.

Kathy by Design Winter Bird Altered Book for Gypsy Laser Cuts 05I super love the way this little bird seems to be perched in amongst the yarrow, leaves and berries.

Kathy by Design Winter Bird Altered Book for Gypsy Laser Cuts 06The painted snowflakes are so soft and pretty paired with these papers.

Kathy by Design Winter Bird Altered Book for Gypsy Laser Cuts 07And gluing the pages together gives you so much depth to work with.

Kathy by Design Winter Bird Altered Book for Gypsy Laser Cuts 08I used glossy accents on my banner to add stability and a little shine.  And this gives you a really good view of the texture and color found on the cover.

Kathy by Design Winter Bird Altered Book for Gypsy Laser Cuts 09This is the most fun I’ve had in the studio in a long time.  I was so completely absorbed in this Winter Birds Altered Book that I completely lost track of time.  That’s always a sign that good things are taking place in the studio!

I’m amazed at how much the texture and pattern of these simple chippies transforms the vignette I created here.  Who knew that painted chipboard could pack such a punch?

Thanks again for letting me serve as your guest designer this week.  I hope you were inspired to play with chipboard, paint and paper!




It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Canvas Corp Holiday Baking: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Hello, Friends! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Decorating for Christmas, holiday shopping, Christmas carols, time with family…all these things make my heart happy!  One of the things I love the most about the holidays is that it gives me a good excuse to get busy in the kitchen!  Nothing is more rewarding than whipping up a batch of holiday cookies to share with friends and family.  Over the years, I’ve developed a handful of truly delicious holiday treats, and I thought, how fun would it be to group them all together in a way that really makes them special?  Well, one day as I was trolling the aisles of my favorite thrift store, I spotted a well-loved, faded and worn, wobbly and chipped Santa sleigh.  Naturally, it found its way into my shopping basket and came home with me for a little bit of rehab.  Its sad little self was transformed into a dazzling Christmas Sleigh loaded to the gills with holiday cheer.  Take a look:

Kathy by Design/Santas sleigh recipe holder for CCB 01This is probably my favorite holiday project so far this year!  After some sanding and reinforcing with wood glue, I painted the entire sleigh with gesso.  Next came a coat of DecoArt Paintable Texture Crackle.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly this dried, and how well it crackled!  A coat of black chalkboard paint was the next step, and I loved seeing how this little sleigh was starting to look very vintage and aged.  The final step in the painting process was to spritz it liberally with Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Mist.  This stuff is magical!  It made my little Santa Sleigh look as though it had been nipped by frost!  Now I could get down to the really fun part of building this little beauty: decorating with Farmhouse Christmas and Holiday Baking Goodies from Canvas Corp Brands!

Santas sleigh recipe holder for CCB 02I cut this tag from Farmhouse Christmas Tags on Ivory and then stitched it onto pretty red burlap. This was topped with silky soft Black and White Houndstooth Ribbon and some sparkling Petaloo Jeweled Flowers. Santa’s sleigh was trimmed out in mini red pom poms to give it a festive flair.

Santas sleigh recipe holder for CCB 03Each side of the sleigh is dressed in holiday finery.  This red sentiment panel is from Holiday Baking Butcher Paper on Ivory.  The panels are the perfect size to use as a card focal, too.

Santas sleigh recipe holder for CCB 04This side of the sleigh is equally jolly with a fussy cut image from Holiday Baking on Ivory. Tucking in some Petaloo Jeweled Red Flowers and a glittered snowflake makes for a happy scene.  I trimmed the Happy Holidays sentiment from Farmhouse Christmas Stripe on Ivory to anchor the scene.

Santas sleigh recipe holder for CCB 05The front of the sleigh sports a shimmering wreath fashioned from pipe cleaners, jingle bells and another pretty Petaloo jeweled blossom.  You can really see the texture and “frosting” in this photo.

Santas sleigh recipe holder for CCB 06I used the rest of the panels from the Holiday Baking Butcher Paper to create dividers in the sleigh.  I love these sayings!  This divider is stitched onto kraft c-flute and black cardstock.  I tucked in some printed kraft tags and 12 Days of Christmas Tags.

Kathy by Design/ Altered Vintage SpoonI picked up this vintage spoon while visiting my girlfriend in Atlanta.  Topped with ribbon, jingle bells, flowers, a gift tag and tiny Christmas tree charm, it’s the perfect hostess gift for the holidays!

Santas sleigh recipe holder for CCB 07Fun recipes to warm the soul.

Santas sleigh recipe holder for CCB 08Sassy sayings and embellished tags go great with red gingham ribbon, canvas ticking, and vintage buttons.

Santas sleigh recipe holder for CCB 09I love “dear Santa, I can explain…” from the 12 Days of Christmas Tags.

Santas sleigh recipe holder for CCB 10

Why yes, Life IS better with fresh baked cookies!

Santas sleigh recipe holder for CCB 11And here’s my family’s favorite Christmas Cookie recipe, written out on a sweetly vintage recipe card. There’s just something special about a family recipe written out in your own hand. It turns it into an instant keepsake.

Kathy by Design/Santas sleigh recipe holder for CCB 01So, Santa’s on his way….and he’s got lots and lots of goodies in his sleigh!  I think this would be a lovely gift for a new bride on her first Christmas, or to hand one of these down to the next generation of family bakers would be really special, too.  However you decide to use it this sleigh adds to the merriment that makes this the most wonderful time of the year!

I’m entering this altered sleigh in the “Altered State” challenge over at the Frilly and Funkie Challenge Blog. (My favorite!)

I’m also linking Santa’s Sleigh up at the Vintage Inspiration “Deck the Halls” Party over at Knick of Time.

And at the Anything But Cute “It’s Ornamental” Challenge.

If you’re interested in purchasing this item, it’s available in my ETSY shop.

Thanks for stopping by!






Artisan Style Shadowbox for RRR

RRRChallengeBadge“Orange You Glad It’s Autumn Challenge” Artisan Style Shadowbox

Hello, Friends!

It’s time for another great challenge at Really Reasonable Ribbon.  The theme this time around is “Orange You Glad It’s Autumn?” and you can make any kind of project you like as long as it features orange in some way with ribbon or trim.  You can get all the details on the RRR BLOG.  I chose to go “off the page” and make an Artisan Style Shadow Box using Graphic 45 papers and an 8″ x 8″ matchbox.

Kathy by Design/Artisan Style Shadowbox 01This was a challenging project for me, but I really enjoyed the process!  I layered and matted background papers from Graphic 45’s Artisan Style paper collection using foam dots to create loads of dimension.  Then I began to build my scene on the inside, using lots of flowers, fussy cut peacocks, die cut vines, real peacock feathers, altered resin embellies and incredibly GORGEOUS Vermilion Hand-Dyed Silk Ribbon from RRR.

Kathy by Design/Artisan Style Shadowbox 03This close-up shot shows all the layers and layers of Petaloo Darjeelling Flowers, Spanish Moss and dainty Mulberry Sweetheart Blossoms in two-tone orange, peach and brown. I love these little guys…they are so often the perfect pop of color on a project, and they come in a rainbow of hues.

Artisan Style Shadowbox 05I fussy cut the door image from the 12×12 paper collection, using my craft knife to cut the door open.  I painted the doors with Glossy accents to strengthen them, and added additional GA to the windows to give them a glassy finish.  Turquoise brad “door knobs” were inserted and the opening was backed with a sentiment panel from the paper collection. (Photo below.) Next, I fussy cut another pair of these incredible peacocks.  These were layered over the first pair to add even more dimension.  Dabbing them here and there with Diamond Stickles added amazing sparkle and shine.

Artisan Style Shadowbox 10I love this sentiment!  I painted a chipboard sentiment to go over the lintel, and then flanked the door with a Prima Shabby Chic resin piece and a Kaisercraft wood bird cage that I altered with paint. The dragonfly charm just seemed to fit as this collection features them in many of the prints.

Artisan Style Shadowbox 04Altering this lamp post was really fun!  It was chalk white to start with.  So I painted it first with a layer of DecoArt Copper Dazzling Metallics Paint.  When that had dried, Black Soot Distress Paint was swiped across the surface, left to dry for a couple of minutes and then rubbed away with a paper towel.  Then, I tapped it randomly with Ranger Verdigris Patina to give it that aged copper look.  The lamp panels were filled with Glossy Accents.

Artisan Style Shadowbox 09



The chipboard sentiment fit perfectly next to the lamp post, but didn’t “pop” until I added that little snippet of Vermilion Silk Ribbon and another sweetheart blossom.  I tucked a little wooden protractor behind it, too. Three jade stones were also added in the upper left hand corner.

Artisan Style Shadowbox 06Let’s talk about these vines!  For some reason, the whole time I was working on this piece I kept thinking about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. That’s why I chose to drape these Bella Rose Leaves all along the top and sides of the shadowbox.  After they were stamped, die cut and shaped, I painted each leaf with Glossy Accents.  I love how they turned out.

Artisan Style Shadowbox 07The top of the box has a double layer of a Kaisercraft wood flourish that was painted with Black Soot Distress Paint and glued down.  They I went to work on my multi-layered, multi-loop bow tied with Vermillion Hand Dyed silk and tied with my Zutter Bow it All.  I topped this with a flaming yellow Trellis Rose that was sponged with shades of brown and orange distress ink.  It sits like a fiery crown atop this creation.

Artisan Style Shadowbox 08Now it’s your turn!  Link your “Orange You Glad It’s Autumn” project up on the RRR BLOG.  You’ll find all the details and submission dates there.

I’m also linking up this Artisan Style Shadow Box to the Frilly and Funkie Challenge “Stamps be Gone.”  No stamps were used in the creation of this shadowbox, and you can find a great deal on these Graphic 45 papers at the Funkie Junkie Boutique.

And, if you’d like to purchase this Artisan Style Shadowbox, you can find it in my ETSY Shop.

Thanks for stopping by!



Steampunk Style Altered Letter

Steampunk Style Altered Letter: “G” is for Gloria

Hello, Friends!  I hope you are all enjoying a sunny Saturday morning!  I’m up today on the Really Reasonable Ribbon BLOG where I’m sharing this steampunk style altered letter.

G is for Gloria 01Let me tell you….this was one FUN project to create!  I made it for my dear friend Gloria…who had a “landmark” birthday in February.  I started with a simple 6″ tall white wooden letter…can you believe it?  I love the metallic look I was able to create with embossed papers, DecoArt Treasure Chalk Paint, Copper Dazzling Metallic Paint, clear embossing powder, fun embellies and luxurious variegated Copper Ribbon from Really Reasonable Ribbon.

G is for Gloria 04Just look at the lustre and shine of this amazing bow!  Although this ribbon is fairly thick, it ties beautifully with a little help from the Zutter Bow-it-All!  I added a little of my faithful Natural Jute String on top to provide some texture and contrast.

G is for Gloria 07I just can’t get over how this ribbon is the perfect match for the metallic and chalk paints!  Once again, the ribbon and trims are the elements that make this steampunk altered letter really special!   If you haven’t ever made one of these, you should give it a try…but be warned…it’s kind of addictive!

Thanks for stopping by!