Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Room for improvement #2

Once I had finished making my new lampshade I wanted to keep on sprucing up my bedroom. I decided that the empty wall behind the bed could do with some brightening up. 

Remember I said that I sometimes do nothing because I can't decide what I want. Well I knew that the wall needed some art work but I couldn't make up my mind what. I had to stop over thinking and just get to it
I really love the trend of little mood boards with snippets of washi tape incorporated, so I thought I would create one for my bedroom. 
My husband does not really appreciate anything too flowery or girly, so a green colourway was the way.
I used to be a textile designer, and one of my fellow designers came up with this great way to make a sun print, without making a sun print...don't worry it will become clear. I gathered the equipment I needed and made some fairly instant art for my walls. You don't need to have an artistic bone in your body to be able to pull this off!

A few days before you start, you need to pick some greenery and flatten it in the pages of a big heavy book. I choose ferns and some little leaves (I think they are from a birds foot trefoil plant). Don't choose anything too bulky, you want leaves (or flowers) with lots of interest.

You need to stretch you watercolour paper before starting, so that it keeps nice and flat after painting. I only had masking tape, but gum tape is the best. You should really wet the paper first and let it dry before you start, but I couldn't be bothered!

Then take out your flat leaves and lay them on top of the paper in a pleasing composition!

Unleash the spray mount and spray the paper. You want a good layer of glue, but be careful that your leaves don't move about, so make sure you are spraying down onto them rather than sideways.

Then add the ink, you can use any colour, but start with a lighter tone, pure black probably wouldn't work so well.  I used Daler and Rowney Acrylic Artist Ink in sap green. Gouache or watercolours won't really work, but you can experiment with little scraps of paper before you move on to the finished piece.
Once the paper was covered I then brushed off the excess ink with a large brush.

I then kept working into various areas adding a little bit more ink and dabbing some off with some kitchen roll, until I got the effect I wanted. You can see where you spray the spray mount the ink is lighter.

Ta-da! the finished product, it's really effective, don't you think? And very easy. This works really well on the cheap ready-made canvases you can buy. Great for Christmas presents.

I wanted some other bits and bobs to go with my 'sun prints' For years (decades, probably) whenever I have gone on holiday I have sketched and painted. I find it very relaxing. I have always wanted a little group of these sketches framed, but I have never got round to it So I dug out my old sketch books, I choose some pictures that I made in my youth, but also a few sketches from my honeymoon and family holidays. I also invested in some fabulous washi tape from Tiger. 

The finished wall! With approval from Mr Lemon Drizzle! 

This is the second part of my Room For Improvement series, the last post is tomorrow.
 Moneysupermarket.com asked me to take part in a competition they were running. They are asking bloggers to improve a room for just £50, it was serendipity, so I said yes! You can find out about the competition here, there is still time to enter, and you will also be in with a chance to win £500 worth of B&Q vouchers.

Disclosure, I was provided with £50 from Moneysupermarket.com to improve my room.



  1. ooo this is very beautiful and what a lovely personal reminder of very happy times to have displayed in your bedroom.


    1. Thanks Tracey, I really appreciate all your lovely comments. xx

  2. Ok I don't understand part of this, you spray the spray mount on the paper and the leaves and remove the leaves before you add ink? I love this and want to do it!!!

    1. Andrea, yes. The spray mount acts as a barrier to the ink. so where the leaves have been the ink will be darker.

  3. i don't understand what you have covered the ferns with. it looks like another sheet of translucent paper?

    1. Gloria You put the ferns onto the paper, spray the whole sheet with a good thick layer of spray mount and then remove the ferns before painting on the ink. xx

  4. thank you, i have been inking my ferns, laying them on the paper and trying to get an image (prior to these instructions) . this looks sooo much better and easier!

  5. excellent tutorial....loved this...will definitely try this soon...I'm going through a botanical phase myself....
    ...have a look at http://nostalgiecat.blogspot.co.uk .....I think we'd get on great...love your blog!!