Mixed Media – Altered Wine Bottle

I love aged, vintage looks in home décor and artwork. There are lots of ways to create this look, but Prima Marketing (Finnabair) has a series of wonderful vintage pastes that make it easy! These mediums can transform an ordinary empty wine bottle into a work of art. Here’s how I used them:

First, I used a heavy matte gel to adhere dryer sheets to the bottle (these are the dryer sheets straight out of the DRYER, not new from the box).A.Wine.Bottle.dryer.sheet

After the gel dried, I applied a thick coat of black gesso.B.Wine.Bottle.black.gesso

Then I applied the rust paste, which is a series of 3 colors. I used separate brushes for the brown and orange pastes, but applied them at the same time so they looked rather “patch-y”. Once the 2 colors covered the whole bottle, I blended them a bit, to reduce the patchiness. I let this stage dry completely before applying the yellow color. Then, I applied the yellow, making sure to highlight the raised areas. I let this stage dry completely. Then, I went BACK over the dry paste with more brown and orange paste, LIGHTLY this time, until the yellow was toned down and looked more natural.C.Wine.Bottle.DIY.rust.paste

After the rust paste was dry, I moved onto embellishments. I had some random items nearby from when I was trying out the patina paste (link below), and thought they looked kind of interesting. It didn’t seem logical from a scientific standpoint that something could be both rusty AND have the blue and greenish tint of patina, but that’s part of what made this combination so interesting to me. Plus, I liked the contrast. So, I used a heavy matte gel medium to adhere flowers, bottle caps, a pop tab, and an office clip to the bottle. It needed something, though, so I stuffed a wadded up piece of hemp twine to the side, under the flower petals. Then, I waited until that was fully dry before I decided on the flower centers. NOTE: after making several “rust paste wine bottles”, I realized that the wet paste actually serves as an incredible adhesive. So, I recommend either using more rust paste to adhere your embellishments, or else adhering them while the paste is still wet in the first place.D.Wine.Bottle.patina.embellishments.logo

I found my Stampin’ Up “Hodgepodge Hardware” tin and applied swirly metal embellishments to the center of each flower with heavy matte gel medium. Even though it dried clear, the gel medium looked a little sloppy. So I added some embossing medium with a paintbrush and an overdose of Stampin’ Up gold embossing powder. Awesome!1.Altered.wine.bottle.with.logo

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Product List:

Prima Marketing Finnabair Art Extravagance Rust Effect Pastes;

Prima Marketing Finnabair Art Extravagance Patina Effect Pastes;

Stampin’ Up Gold Embossing Powder;

Stampin’ Up Hemp Twine;

Prima Marketing Finnabair Art Basics 3D Matte Gel – transparent;

Prima Marketing Finnabair Art Basics Heavy Gesso – black;

Silk flowers and office embellishments from my stash.

DIY 8×8 Scrapbook Album – Use What You Have

Create an 8″ x 8″ scrapbook album (WITH page protectors!) using a few basic items you probably already have on hand. This album is perfect for quick and easy gift-giving, commemorating a particular event, weekend or sports season, and it even makes a great display or conversation piece for a milestone birthday or retirement party! And it’s EASY to make!

Watch a complete video tutorial HERE:


Supplies you will need:
10 pieces strong but lightweight cardboard cut into 8″ x 8″ squares for the pages (I recommend using empty beverage bottle boxes);
2 pieces strong but lightweight cardboard cut into 9″ x 9″ squares (for the front and back covers);
1 package (or more) clear document page protectors sized 8-1/2″ x 11″ (sealed on 3 sides and open at the top);
1 roll duct tape;
paper trimmer;
2 pairs scissors (1 large and 1 medium-small);
1 piece strong ribbon (about the length of your entire arm);
4 pieces patterned paper cut to 9″ x 9″ (to decorate the inside and outside covers);
sandpaper or sanding block;
scrapbooking adhesive of your choice.


1. Use a paper trimmer to cut 10 page protectors horizontally at the 8-3/4″ mark (NOTE: you are trimming off the OPEN TOP END ONLY). Set aside all the skinny “scrap” cuts of page protector to use as you go. These scrap cuts will be used later to temporarily lay on top of the sticky side of the duct tape so you can cut it easily with scissors.


2. Before you begin the next step, make sure you have a large space cleared, apart from your craft space (an empty counter-top, couch space, floor space, portable table or TV trays, etc.). On the table in front of you, stretch open a large piece of duct tape at least 10 inches long. Lay the large scissors flat on the table, inside the roll of duct tape to keep it from rolling while you work.12.8x8

3. Hold one of the 8-3/4″ x 8-1/2″ cut page protectors over the duct tape, making sure the open end is at the top. “Eyeball” the inside edge of the page protector to line up with the edge of the tape (often this inside edge is white and has holes punched to accommodate a 3-ring binder). You don’t want tape to stick to any part of the page protector where your actual scrapbook page will be seen. Starting with the edge closest to you, lightly lay the page protector on the tape. If you mess up, you can pull it up again. Lay one page protector on the right and another on the left. MAKE SURE that the open end is at the top AND that the page protectors line up with EACH OTHER HORIZONTALLY. You will have a sticky space of duct tape exposed in the center of the 2 page protectors.13.8x814.8x8

4. Locate one of the small scrap pieces of page protector. Lay the scrap on top of the duct tape exposed below the 2 page protectors. Use your smaller scissors to cut through BOTH the scrap clear piece and the bottom portion of the duct tape at the same time. Cut “tabs” in the tape that meet with any page protector edge that sticks out into the piece of duct tape (see photos below).15.8x816.8x8

5. Peel off the clear scrap piece and throw away. Then, carefully fold the two outside tape tabs upward and press firmly into the white edge of the page protector. The folded tabs should line up with the horizontal edge of the bottom of the page protectors. You might need to leave a little “lip” as you fold the tab to get it to line up with the page protectors (depending on the brand). Repeat for the left and the right sides. You will be left with the bottom center tape tab exposed.17.8x8

6. Locate another scrap piece of page protector and lay it across the tape exposed at the top (in between the 2 page protectors and the full roll of duct tape). Remove the large scissors from the middle of the tape roll use them to cut through BOTH the clear scrap piece and the tape (releasing it from the rest of the roll). 18.8x8Then turn the page protectors around, so the clear scrap piece is closest to you, still stuck to the exposed tape. Cut through the clear scrap and the tape simultaneously, creating tabs just as you did on the other side. Remove the clear scraps and throw away. Fold the 2 outside tabs upward, as you did on the opposite side. Remember, you might need to leave a little “lip” on the tape to get it to line up with the bottom edge of the page protectors. Leave the center sticky tab alone for now.20.8x8

7. Repeat this process until you have all your page protectors taped securely. Don’t forget to make sure the open ends of the page protectors are at the top and the closed ends are at the bottom. I lay out all my sets of 2 taped page protectors with the sticky side up until they are all done. Next, keeping the sticky side UP, carefully lay one set of 2 on top of another, making sure the actual page protectors line up with each other. Repeat until you have a little “stack” of page protector sets. One tape side of the stack should be smooth and the other tape side of the stack should be sticky. Then, set aside this whole stack.21.8x822.8x8

8. Now assemble the front and back cover in the same manner. Locate two 9″ x 9″ pieces of cardboard box. Use a ruler to mark with pencil 1/2″ from the left edge at the top and at the bottom of one 9″ x 9″ cardboard piece. Repeat on the right side of the other 9″ x 9″ piece. Stretch out a piece of duct tape in the same manner as you did for the page protectors. Lay down the cardboard pieces, lining up the 1/2″ mark with the edge of the tape (as you did with the white edge of the clear page protector). Use a scrap clear piece to lay on top of the bottom of the tape, and cut tabs as you did before. Fold the 2 outside tabs flush against the cardboard, and leave the center sticky tab alone for now. Repeat with the top of the cardboard.24.8x825.8x827.8x8

9. Leave the newly-assembled cover where it is on the table and locate the stack of page protectors. Lay the sticky middle of the stack of page protectors against the sticky middle of the cover (STICKY AGAINST STICKY). Smooth the tape middle firmly.28.8x8

10. Trim off the long center tabs. Be careful not to cut any of the clear page protector!29.8x8

11. Stretch open a piece of duct tape at least 10 inches long (or more). Cut apart the seam of a scrap piece of page protector and lay it against the long length of the tape. Cut the tape and the page protector scrap into thirds (“eyeballing” the size of thirds). Choose the “best” cut of one of the thirds, pull off the scrap page protector, and lay the strip carefully against the INSIDE-middle of the tape. Fold the edges over, and press firmly against the outside tape of the scrapbook album.30.8x8

12. Lightly sand the glossy surface of the cardboard covers (both front and back). Locate a length of strong ribbon, and cut it to 2 equal lengths. This will serve as a “tie” to tie the album closed, so be sure you have enough to secure the ribbon to the album AND to tie it comfortably. Use duct tape to secure the ribbon to the outside of the front and back covers.32.8x833.8x8

13. Cut patterned paper to 9″ x 9″ and adhere to the front, back and inside covers of the album with your choice of scrapbooking adhesive. I recommend using some kind of tape runner or other non-liquid adhesive for this step. Embellish with washi tape around the edges, if desired, although you may need to secure the washi tape with additional adhesive).35.8x836.8x8

14. The remaining empty box cutouts (measuring 8″ x 8″) will be used in one of two ways (your choice):

  • Create your 8×8 scrapbook pages separately on cardstock and then slide them into the page protectors with a cardboard center-piece loose in between two pages, OR
  • Create your 8×8 scrapbook pages separately on cardstock and then ADHERE each page to the front and back of a cardboard center-piece (don’t forget to sand or buff the glossy side of the cardboard before you adhere!).40.8x838.8x8

Either way, no one will see the cardboard 8×8 pages, but your album will be nice and sturdy. Plus, the page protectors themselves have plenty of room for bulky embellishments, metal, chipboard, bulky flowers, etc. And because the album was constructed with about a 1/2″ yield in the center (plus a ribbon-tie), you will find this sturdy album actually will strengthen AS it bulks up.37.8x8

Don’t forget to make decorate your album cover! Get creative! Use paint, make a “shaker” accent, use bling or flowers, and have FUN!42.8x839.8x841.8x8

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Gel Printing Plate Techniques

Using a gel printing plate to create papercraft projects is so easy and it is so much fun! I use the 12″ x 14″ gel plate from Gelli Arts, but there are lots of silicone gel printing plates on the market as well as a variety of different plate sizes and shapes.


Actually, despite the word “plate”, a gel printing plate is soft, supple and somewhat “squishy” to the touch (kind of like the texture of a gummy candy).

Designs and patterns are created by thinly spreading acrylic paint on the gel plate, creating impressions in the paint, and then pressing and smoothing paper on top of the paint. The gel plate instantly holds even the slightest impression, and using a medium-body or heavy-body acrylic paint will yield several “pulls”.

Watch a complete video tutorial HERE:

Thinking about trying it? Here is what you will need:

A gel press printing plate;

A brayer;

Acrylic paint (several colors);

Several sheets of white cardstock (although other colors will do fine, too);

Random household items for making impressions in the paint;

Water spray bottle;

Baby wipes and paper towels for clean up;

(Optional) acrylic blending gel to extend paint drying time.


  1. Place a few drips of paint at random on the gel plate. Use up to three coordinating colors on the plate at the same time. If you are using a quick-drying or very thin acrylic paint, you may want to drip a few drops of blending gel with your colors, as well.4.blog5.blog6.blog
  2. Use a brayer to evenly spread the paint over the surface of the gel plate as desired.7.blog
  3. Using paint combs and other everyday objects, create patterns and impressions in the smoothed paint. You can use stencils, bubble wrap, string, foam stamps, or practically anything that has an interesting shape. You can even write in the paint with a cotton swab — just remember that your words will come out backwards once you print them! Be creative and use your imagination!2.blog3.blog8.blog9.blog
  4. Carefully lay a sheet of cardstock on top of the painted gel plate. Use your hands or the brayer to press and smooth the paper firmly. You are transferring the paint to the cardstock, so be very thorough as you press and smooth it against the gel plate.10.blog
  5. Peel up the cardstock and witness the magic!11.blog12.blog
  6. Repeat this process again and again, using different colors and impressions in the paint. Use the same few sheets of paper to layer a variety of paint “pulls” and yield endless patterns! Here are full-size photos and close-up photos of several prints created in one sitting:
  7. Clean the printing plate by spritzing with water and wiping with a baby wipe or paper towel. EASY!

Use your original printed paper (plus your paint-stained impression items) to create scrapbook pages, greeting cards, or other papercrafts!img_0694IMG_0745IMG_0748IMG_0746IMG_0747IMG_0743IMG_0742IMG_0737IMG_0738

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