Inspiration to get more done, Mixed Media Art

Accordion House Scrapbook Layout – Inspired by Somerset Studio Magazine

Today I am reviewing the March-April 2017 back issue of Somerset Studio Magazine from Stampington & Company and then creating an “accordion house scrapbook layout” inspired by that issue. Somerset Studio features the art of paper and mixed media, and it is FULL of inspiration! Special thanks to Stampington & Company for sending me this issue of Somerset Studio to review!

Purchase this issue HERE:
Somerset Studio March/April 2017 – $9.99

from: Stampington & Company

*this post contains affiliate links*

The March-April 2017 issue of Somerset Studio is 144 pages of inspiration, including amazing photography, detailed project descriptions and full product lists. A full year’s subscription includes six issues, and even the back issues are trendy and motivating. There’s just something about relaxing with a magazine, actually turning the pages, and looking at good-quality photography that proves to be cathartic. Even if you’re not into mixed media, your tour through the pages of Somerset Studio would seem like walking through an art exhibit.

Each issue includes Artist Papers, which are specially designed tear-out papers perfect for cardmaking, scrapbooking or other papercrafts. These Artist Papers have a smooth, lightly glossed feel, and are sized at 8-1/2″ x 11″ (perfect for running through your printer)! Each issue also includes project templates and easy-to-follow instructions for creating something new. For my inspiration, however, I left the Artist Papers and the project template intact, and created a project of my own. I was inspired by two featured contributions to Somerset Studio, both of which had a “house and home” theme.

So, I found a pile of mixed media papers I had made a while back, and let my imagination go! Watch the complete magazine review and process video HERE:

First I used Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive to attach 2 mixed media pieces together accordion-style.

Next, I used more Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive to glue more mixed media paper on the back of my little accordion. I scored and folded them firmly (however I wanted… no particular pattern or measurement). Then, I used a Stabilo All Marking Pencil — Black to draw guidelines for myself before I trimmed out little rooftops. The Stabilo All Marking Pencil — Black at this stage will be handy in creating the look I want later on.

I punched out little squares for windows, and trimmed and glued little triangles for rooftops. All of this was solely based on my imagination and my own mixed media papers I had created months earlier (but hadn’t used yet). I adhered everything down with the Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive.

When I was happy with both sides of the accordion house, I used a water pen and a baby wipe to drag against the marks made by the Stabilo All Marking Pencil — Black. This is no ordinary pencil! It smudges, smears and drags, and it writes on plastic, glass, metal… almost anything you can think of! MUCH better than a marker for achieving the look on this project that I had in mind. I outlined my doors and windows as desired.

Stabilo All Marking Pencil — Black

from: Stampington & Company

I used Ranger Ink – Tim Holtz – Distress Crayons – Set 2 an old cross-stitching stencil from my stash to create little houses on a sturdy piece of cardstock.

Also, I wanted the top corners of my cardstock to be torn at an angle (to accent the angle of the rooftops), but I also wanted the torn corners to reveal a surprise patterned paper underneath. ALL of the cardstock was pulled from my personal stash.

Prima – Finnabair – Art Basics – 3D Matte Gel – 8 Ounces works great to adhere heavy things on all sorts of surfaces, so I used that to adhere my accordion houses to my scrapbook page.

Behind the houses, I adhered a large black torn piece of journaling paper from my stash. I accented the edges with some inexpensive white matte acrylic paint (dragged over the page with a palette knife), and found adhesive letters from my stash to add a title to the page.

Prima – Finnabair – Art Basics – 3D Matte Gel – 8 Ounces

This would be so cute as a first page of a family album! You could add little pictures inside the windows and rooftops of the fold-out houses. You could tell stories about a special house on the journaling section. I enjoyed this layout so much, and I was SO inspired by the Somerset Studio Magazine!

If you were inspired, check out Stampington & Company for all their publications! And don’t forget to LIKE and FOLLOW the Sandpaper Road Blog!

Featured Manufacturer, Mixed Media Art

Altered Altoid Tin Using Brutus Monroe Surface Sprays

Today I am playing with Surface Sprays from Brutus Monroe, testing out their ability to alter metal. I love altering metal tins, and glass jars and all sorts of interesting mediums.Snapshot_127

*This post contains affiliate links*

First, I removed the lid of the tin using a butter knife. Snapshot_116Then, I lightly sanded the lid. I used Prima – Finnabair – Art Basics – 3D Matte Gel – 8 Ounces to adhere various plastic and metal pieces to the lid. This gel is PERFECT for mixed media projects because it holds heavy objects onto all types of surfaces and dries totally clear.

View the full process video HERE:

After the gel dried, I placed the lid in an old scrap plastic tray (to keep my area clean!) and sprayed the Brutus Monroe Surface Sprays. For this project, I used the colors “Oz”, “Phone Book”, and “Wagon”.


After drying, I tapped just the stem of the “Phone Book” (yellow) spray bottle here and there on the lid and sprayed it with water to encourage the yellow to move. Snapshot_123Snapshot_124

When that was fully dry, added paint spatter with white matte acrylic paint. Then, I used more Prima – Finnabair – Art Basics – 3D Matte Gel – 8 Ounces to adhere my “final touch” metal embellishments to the surface, and returned the lid of the tin to the base. The results were amazing!

Check out for a complete catalog of all their UNIQUE surface sprays and inks (plus MUCH MORE)!logo_550x
As a “thank you” for visiting the Sandpaper Road blog, you can take advantage of Sandpaper Road’s affiliate discount HERE:

Prima – Finnabair – Art Basics – 3D Matte Gel – 8 Ounces – $11.69

Retail Price: $13.00
You Save: $1.31


Featured Manufacturer, Greeting Cards

Best Wishes Card Using Products from Ranger Ink (Wendy Vecchi)/Stampers Anonymous

FEATURED MANUFACTURER: Ranger Ink (Wendy Vecchi)/Stampers Anonymous


This 5″ x 7″ card was created using products by Ranger Ink (featuring Wendy Vecchi’s Studio 490 “Stamp-it-Stencil-it” set, Circle Collage background stamp and Crackled Texture Paste; Tim Holtz’s Distress Oxide Inks, Distress Spray Stain, Distress Ink and Distress Stickles and “Festive” stencil; and Dyan Reaveley’s Dylusions Ink Spray and “Curious Corrin” stamp set).

1. First, I created a background using 4 colors of Distress Oxide (Worn Lipstick, Iced Spruce, Broken China and Fossilized Amber) by smearing Oxide ink directly on my craft mat, spritzing with water, and tapping my paper into the wet ink. I dried each layer with a heat gun. AS I WAS DRYING, I spritzed the paper with water to achieve the oxidized look I wanted. Then, I stamped the “Curious Corrin” stamp and the “eyes” stamp directly onto the background with the Iced Spruce Oxide Ink to add interest. I also stamped directly onto the background using Fossilized Amber Distress Oxide Ink with Wendy Vecchi’s Circle Collage Background Stamp, as well.


This was also the time when I stamped the sentiment using Wendy Vecchi’s stamp (included with the Stamp-it-Stencil-it “Select-a-Sentiment”) using regular Distress Ink in Black Soot. I used the same black ink and a Ranger blending tool to stencil “best wishes” right into the “window area”. All the sentiments included in the stencil wheel fit perfectly into the window of the

Watch Wendy Vecchi herself demonstrating the Stamp-it-Stencil-it at the April 2017 Adventures in Stamping Convention (Akron, OH):

2. Next, I used Wendy Vecchi’s Studio 490 Crackled Texture Paste and Tim Holtz’s Festive stencil to add dimension and texture to the card. This texture paste dries with a nice matte finish.


3. While the paste was drying, I created an embellishment piece using the “pointing hand” stamp (also from the Curious Corrin set). I used Wendy Vecchi’s Archival Ink in Fern Green to stamp the hand several times on regular white cardstock. Then, I smeared Oxide ink on my craft mat (Fossilized Amber, Iced Spruce and Worn Lipstick). With a water brush, I picked up some of the ink and colored in the hand, letting some of the water leak out to activate the Oxide ink. I fussy-cut the hands, punched a hole in the center, added a square brad from my personal stash and coated the top of the brad with Distress Stickles in Pumice Stone. While I had the Stickles, I decided to add a few dots to the swirl of the black sentiment stamp, too.

4. Final touches! I wanted to tone down the background a bit, so I used Dylusions Ink Spray in White Linen over the areas where I had stenciled with texture paste. The moisture of the spray ink reacted with the oxide ink again, but didn’t bleach out my background. I used the same Ranger Ink Blending tool and the Black Soot Distress Ink to VERY LIGHTLY graze over the texture paste (just to make the stenciled images “pop” a little). Then, I used Distress Spray Stain in Iced Spruce to spray a touch on the top and bottom of the card. Finally, I adhered the “hand” embellishment with a few dots of Ranger Glossy Accents.

Thanks for looking!

PRODUCT LIST (click images to view details):

Distress Ink Black Soot
Distress Oxide Fossilized Amber
Distress Oxide Broken China
Distress Oxide Iced Spruce
Distress Oxide Worn Lipstick
Archival Ink Fern Green
Dylusions Ink Spray White Linen
Distress Spray Stain Iced Spruce

Dylusions Curious Corrin set
Studio 490 Wendy Vecchi Circle Collage Background Stamp
Studio 490 Wendy Vecchi Select-a-Sentiment Stamp-it-Stencil-it!

Tim Holtz Festive

Studio 490 Wendy Vecchi Crackled Texture Paste
Tim Holtz Distress Stickles Pumice Stone
Ranger Glossy Accents

square brad (personal stash)

This post contains affiliate links. Items not pictured are available for purchase at

Craft Product Demos

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
  2. Use a brayer to evenly spread the paint over the surface of the gel plate as
  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!
  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
  5. Peel up the cardstock and witness the magic!
  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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Mixed Media Art

Mixed Media Altered Art – Aluminum Beer Bottle

Aluminum beer bottles are lightweight and PERFECT for altered art projects! They make great home decor and they can also serve as custom-made “vases” for table centerpieces at events or parties. And because they are so thin, they also pack and travel well, too.

For the project listed and pictured below, I used the 16 oz. Budweiser aluminum bottles, but you can use any bottle you like.

Here’s how to create this stunning mixed media art:

Product List:
heavy gesso (Liquitex);
stencil (Buttercream/Joann’s);
modeling paste (Liquitex);
heavy matte gel (3D matte gel-Finnabair/Prima);
random metal pieces from my stash and/or my garage;
metallic paint (Butterfly Spells–Finnabair Art Alchemy Sparks acrylic paint/Prima; Violet Gold–Finnabair Art Alchemy Opal Magic acrylic paint/Prima);
pigment powder (Magicals/Lindy’s Stamp Gang);
baby wipes/paper towels.

1. Clean the bottle well. Fill with warm soapy water and let sit overnight. Rinse well and let dry completely.

2. Coat with heavy white gesso. Let dry.


3. Stencil select areas of the bottle using a palette knife and texture paste or modeling paste. Let dry. You can tape the stencil to the bottle, but I find it easier to just hold it firmly around the bottle as I stencil.


4. Use 3D Matte Gel to adhere an arrangement of metal pieces, objects, flowers, buttons and/or screws to one area of the bottle. Let dry.



5. Coat the arrangement with heavy white gesso. Let dry.


6. Using a small, dry paintbrush, apply Magical pigment powder to inside “nooks and crannies” of the arrangement. Have a paper towel or baby wipe handy as you spritz the arrangement with water and tilt the bottle around. The Magicals will spread intense color and start to run. Use the paper towel or baby wipe to control the color. Dry with a heat tool.


7. Use a small paintbrush to apply Sparks metallic paint to the assemblage as desired. Have a paper towel or baby wipe handy as you spritz with water. The paint and the Magicals will run. Control the color with a baby wipe or paper towel as desired. Dry with a heat tool.


8. Use a small paintbrush to apply Opal Magic paint (Violet Gold) to select areas of the assemblage as desired. Dry with a heat tool.


9. Touch up the color with more white gesso. Let dry completely. You can choose to seal the project with clear spray fixative, if desired.


10. Finish your art with some flowers or other lovely accents!


Share this “up-cycling” technique with your crafty friends! Leave a comment below, and when you try this technique, post a photo with your comment! Enjoy!