Which materials can I use with Powertex?

Powertex art by Tracey Evans

Have you wondered what materials, embellishments and bases you can use with your Powertex? Here’s what you need to get started so you can reuse, recycle and get crafting with what you have at home.

Use natural materials with Powertex

Powertex works best with natural materials. Think about cotton fabrics, cardboard, heavy papers, glass, metal. wood, cork, string and natural yarns. Powertex does not adhere well to soft plastics as it can peel off. If you want to use a plastic item such as a pot or toy as your base, it’s recommended that you prime the surface first. You can do this with masking tape or Gesso.

What materials can I use with Powertex Universal Medium. Photo by Kore Sage
Use natural materials with Powertex

What to use as a base

There are plenty of options from mdf kits to and canvases to items you can find at home. Bottles, jars and boxes are an easy place to start for any Powertex addict. If you’d rather create on a flat surface how about a notebook, wooden picture frame or even a mirror? Styrofoam pieces can be primed with Powertex and paper mache blanks can be worked on directly. Altered hats, shoes and even mannequins are popular too!

Fabric tips

Try different weights and textures of fabric for interesting results. 100% cotton fabrics will harden thoroughly and will be weatherproof when coated. Lightweight muslin, cheesecloth, t-shirt fabric, denim, cotton jersey, hessian, burlap and cotton lace trims are all popular choices because they add fantastic textures. Reuse old cottton clothes or bedsheets or raid your remnants.

Choose a variety of textures, photo by Kore Sage
Choose a variety of textures

You can coat synthetic fabrics with Powertex but they won’t harden as well and will not have the weatherproof quality of natural fabrics. The higher the percentage of natural fibres, the better your results will be!

Using glass

Bottles and jars are a brilliant starting place for Powertex beginners. Create vases and fairy houses from your empties with fabric scraps and embellishments. Glass can be slippery to work on so leave the labels on or use pieces of masking tape to add some grip for your fabric or Stone Art clay.

Use empty glass bottles and jars with Powertex
Use empty glass bottles and jars
Photo by Aserusainhuu on Unsplash

Using organic materials, leaves flowers etc

Using organic materials such as leaves, flowers, seeds is possible with a few things in mind. Plants, leaves, seeds etc contain moisture and if you add Powertex, that moisture could cause the materials to rot or decay underneath. However you can use dried pieces to ensure your project lasts.

How to use leaves and seeds with Powertex Universal Medium
Using leaves, flowers and seeds
Photo by Diana Akhmetianova on Unsplash

Adding embellishments

Whatever you’ve got, Powertex it! From wooden and clay shapes to metal treasures, Powertex will glue pretty much anything. However, it’s slow drying so hold your pieces in place until it starts to set. Powertex is a strong glue so will even hold heavier embellishments in place. Prime plastic pieces before use with Gesso or masking tape.

Blue bird tage with Powertex by Tracey Evans
Powertex mixed media tag by Tracey Evans
Powertex steampunk hat by Suzanne Tarburton from Crafting with Love and Fairy Dust
Steampunk hat by Crafting with Love and Fairy Dust

Texture mediums

Add your favourite Powertex textures such as Stone Art, Easy Structure, 3d Sand, 3d Balls, mdf shapes or Powercotton and you will have lots of different gorgeous texture! Use Powertex to prime, paint, coat your textures and glue your layers together. When it’s dry you can add colours in your favourite products.

Powertex art by Tracey Evans from Powertex UK
Powertex art by Tracey Evans at Powertex UK

If you’ve been inspired to start a new Powertex creation, join us in The Powertex Studio on Facebook to see what Powertex Addicts have been making and share your own. You can also follow us on Instagram where we love to share Powertex creations from all over the world. You can get your Powertex supplies from Powertex UK online.

Here in the magazine we have hundreds of tutorials, makes and tips to get you crafting. Take a look at these project ideas by UK Powertex tutors Shell and Donna to inspire you.

Powertex tutorial – rainbow of hope

Powertex rainbow video tutorial by Tracey Evans

Designed by Tracey Evans

Powertex tutors may have put their workshops on hold during lockdown but Tracey Evans has created a video lesson for you. Create your own rainbow jar for your water, brushes or pens with this Powertex video tutorial. Use Powertex Universal Medium with fabric and learn how to mix Powercolor pigments into a paint with Easy Varnish.

Create a Powertex rainbow of hope with Tracey Evans Powertex video tutorial
Create a Powertex rainbow of hope with Tracey Evans

Learn how to use fabric with Powertex to create texture and how to colour your textures using Powercolor and Easy Varnish.

Tracey used:

  • A clean glass jar
  • Masking tape
  • Fabric scraps in natural fibres and a variety of textures
  • Powertex Universal Medium in a dark colour (Black, Bronze, Lead, Red or Blue)
  • Easy Varnish
  • Powercolor pigments, rainbow or in your favourite colours
  • A paper or plastic plate or container for your Powertex
  • A craft mat, plastic or paper plate to mix your pigments
  • A flat paintbrush
  • Gloves are optional

(All supplies from www.powertex.co.uk. Please note the online shop is not currently processing orders due to COVID-19.)

Watch Tracey’s Powertex video lesson here

In this time, maybe you have limited supplies or you’re not able to shop for a product. Powertex works well with so many materials, just work with what you have. If you don’t have a jar, try a bottle or box. If you don’t have all the colours of the rainbow, pick your favourites and use those to create a unique rainbow of hope.

This gorgeous jar is a perfect entry for the monthly challenge in April. Create your own rainbow of hope and enter the challenge in The Powertex Studio. Look for the April photo album to enter. Remember one UK entry will win a prize and entries may be featured here in the magazine.

If you would like to see more of Tracey’s projects take a look at the Powertex UK YouTube channel.

A rainbow of hope

Powertex rainbow butterfly by Jacqueline Frances Butler

The April Powertex UK challenge encourages us to create a rainbow of hope as they appear in windows across the world. Rainbows are giving children a creative activity, celebrating schools, the NHS and connecting friends and neighbours.

Do you have a project in a rainbow of colours you can share? Perhaps you would like to create a Powertex rainbow to put in your own window? Here is some inspiration from our Powertex tutors to help you get creating a rainbow of hope. Create a Powertex sculpture or any Powertex art with a rainbow of colours and post your entry in The Powertex Studio.

Jane’s rainbow unicorn uses fabrics on an mdf shape for perfect Powertex textures.

Jane Harrison Fawcett Powertex Rainbow Unicorn in Powertex
Rainbow unicorn by Jane at DoCreative

Emma creates a textured Powertex art with Easy Structure, stencils and Secret Art Loft inks.

Emma Portberry Crafts Powertex rainbow art
Powertex rainbow art by Emma at Portberry Crafts

Jacqueline layers a variety of textures and embellishments with Ivory Powertex and inks for this rainbow butterfly.

Powertex rainbow butterfly by Jacqueline Frances Butler
Powertex rainbow butterfly by Jacqueline at Isalei Crafts

Annette’s Spring wreath uses fabric and mdf hares with Powertex on a styrofoam ring.

Rainbow wreath by Annette Smyth
Rainbow Spring wreath by Annette Smyth

This gorgeous sea themed tag by Kirsty layers stencil textures and embellishments perfect for inks and dry brushing.

Powertex rainbow tag by Kirsty @LoveknottCreations
Powertex rainbow tag by Kirsty at LoveKnott Creations

Remember the challenge runs over on Facebook in The Powertex Studio group and there’s a prize for one lucky UK winner. Entries may also be featured here in the magazine. Just post your photo in the April photo album by the 25th April to enter.

If you would like to know more about the challenge find the details here in the magazine.

Get creating and we’ll see you in The Powertex Studio.

Powertex projects by Annette

Powertex Clownfish sculptures by Annette Smyth

Powertex Master tutor Annette Smyth

The Powertex tutors may be taking a break but there’s plenty of tutorials to help keep you creating with your Powertex. Annette Smyth is a Master tutor based in Leamington Spa and has plenty of ideas to keep you crafting. Her blog is full of inspiration and step by step tutorials.

Powertex project by Annette Smyth
Powertex mosaic by Annette Smyth

If you have followed the magazine for a while you might recognize some of these from her previous blogs. Annette shares her ideas on her website too along with some brilliant step by step tutorials, some with video instruction to help you.

Head over to her website to see all her tutorials including for these gorgeous clown fish.

Powertex Clownfish sculptures by Annette Smyth
Powertex Clown Fish

These incredible crane sculptures were created with a Powertex UK limited edition mdf shape however Powertex can be used with many different materials so you can use what have to create an armature.

Powertex cranes by Annette Smyth
Powertex cranes by Annette Smyth

This Alice in Wonderland inspired make was even seen on Hochanda. Isn’t the texture fantastic!

Powertex by Annette Smyth

Head over to her website to find out more about Annette and read her blogs.

The Spring Collection

The Spring Collection from Powertex UK is a range of mixed media art and craft supplies perfect for use with Powertex Universal Medium. Powertex is a fabric hardener, paint and adhesive and comes in a range of colours and these supplies are chosen to work brilliantly with the Powertex product range.

Powertex art by Tracey Evans 
The Spring Collection
Powertex Spring kit by Tracey Evans

Choose from fabric florals, silicone moulds, printed rice papers, nature inspired textures and mdf shapes for Powertex projects to welcome in the Spring.

Remember Powertex Universal Medium and Easy Varnish make it easy to create projects for outside too. Just allow 3 weeks curing time for Powertex and use Easy Varnish to protect your colours.

Powertex UK Spring Collection

Fabulous florals

Use Stone Art clay mixture or air drying clay with the silicone moulds for brilliant detail in your embellishments. The beautiful fabric flowers are perfect for use with fabric hardener, because they can be shaped before setting into position and hardening. Great for curved surfaces such as bottles or polystyrene rings.

Rose and leaf mould from Powertex UK Spring Collection
Powertex UK rose and leaf mould
Fabric floral embellishments by Powertex UK Spring Collection
Fabric floral embellishments

Nature inspired

Include bees, hares, flowers or leaves for nature inspired projects. Use fabric texture packs to create natural textures and interest.

Powertex UK hare mdf shapes from Spring collection
Hare mdf shapes
Bee trio silicone mould from Powertex UK
Bee trio silicone mould

Bases

For your base try a polystyrene ring or mdf frame such as the hexagonal art board. If you love to carve out some unusual textures and shapes give the craft foam a try.

Spring kit Powertex decor by Tracey Evans from Powertex UK
Powertex art by Tracey Evans

See the full Spring Collection at Powertex UK and there’s 10% off until 22nd March for the Mother’s Day promotion.

Powertex UK 10% off Mother's Day offer 2020
10% off offer at Powertex UK

Join us for the monthly prize challenge in The Powertex Studio on Facebook.

Secret Art Box February 2020

Discover, Create and Share

Designed by Suzanne Tarburton

When I first opened the Secret Art Box February, I was amazed to discover all the fantastic goodies inside and I couldn’t wait to start creating. As I was deciding what to make I came across some chipboard words ‘Discover, Create, and Share’. They seemed to fit the bill perfectly, so I used them on my canvas, and now I would like to share my creation, and how I made it, with you.

Powertex Secret Art Box February 2020 mixed media steampunk art by Suzanne Tarburton
Powertex Mixed Media art by Suzanne Tarburton

Materials List

Materials List:

Step 1:

Take the large heart from the Feb Box, use Easy Structure through stencils, and do the same with two smaller hearts.

Step 2:

Once dry paint the large heart with Bronze Powertex and the two smaller with White Powertex from the box.

Powertex Secret Art Box Step 2 using Bronze Powertex
Step 2

Step 3:

On a 10in, x 8in canvas panel spread structure paste through stencils and spread white Powertex thickly using a spatula in some of the blank areas.

Use Easy Structure and stencils on a canvas for a textured background
Step 3

Step 4:

Before the Powertex dries, spray the canvas with Blue Bister and Aqua mixed media ink, to encourage cracks to form.

Top Tip: Use an old packaging box as a spray booth to avoid everything on your table from getting covered in ink.

Spray with Blue bister and Acrylic ink
Step 4

Step 5:

Paint the cogs from the MDF sheet with Bronze Powertex, then sprinkle with sand and 3d balls and another coat of bronze Powertex to give texture.

Paint cogs from the Secret Art Box with Bronze Powertex
Step 5

Step 6:

Highlight with Copper Penny acrylic paint, Aqua media ink, applied with a brush and Colortricx clear gold pigment mixed with Easy Varnish.

Highlight with Copper Penny Acrylic paint, Aqua ink and pigment
Step 6

Step 7:

Start to layer the hearts, MDF cogs and chipboard pieces using the off cut MDF from the box underneath to support the layers.

Layer your pieces into a mixed media style with Powertex
Step 7

Step 8:

Paint the chipboard words with White Powertex, then spray with Acrylic Inks in Aqua and Violet.

Paint chipboard words from the Secret Art Box with acrylic inks
Step 8

Step 9:

Spray Brown Bister under hearts and cogs to add depth. Then highlight all over using Acrylic Inks –Aqua and Violet and Copper Penny and Silver Sixpence metallic paints.

Spray brown bister to add depth
Step 9

Hint: Don’t just think you have to use the Acrylic Ink Sprays as a spray; I very often spray them onto my glass mat and apply with a brush, for more controlled colour placement.

There is so much in these Secret Art Boxes, I was able to use other pieces from this month’s Art box to create this journal cover, and there is still plenty left for more projects.

The Powertex UK Secret Art Box February 2020
Powertex Journal by Suzanne Tarburton

I hope I’ve inspired you to ‘Discover, Create and Share’ all your Powertex Projects and perhaps inspired you further to order next month’s Secret Art Box. Why not join us over on Facebook at The Powertex Studio group. We love to see your makes and it is a great place to get some inspiration or ask questions.

I am a certified Powertex Tutor, if you would like to find out more about my art, and me you can check out my Facebook page Crafting with Love and Fairy Dust. You can also see more projects using the Secret Art box here in the magazine.

The Powertex UK Secret Art Box is also available from uOpen subscription boxes. It’s a great way to sign up and a gift option is available too. Plus, they have a Valentine’s sale on until 16th February 2020 so you can get 10% off.

Powertex Secret Art Box February 2020 mixed media art by Suzanne Tarburton
Powertex Art from Secret Art Box by Suzanne Tarburton
Sue Tarburton

Steampunk Powertex Challenge

For the Love of Steampunk – February Challenge

Take a look at these Steampunk Powertex projects from UK tutors to inspire your own crafting. It’s the theme for the Monthly Challenge in The Powertex Studio in February. Put your own Steampunk spin on these ideas or create something unique and join us!

Powertex Steampunk art by Suzanne Tarburton using the Secret Art Box
Powertex canvas by Suzanne Tarburton

Claire from Powertex UK has written a poem to inspire you too.

For the Love of Steampunk

“Wise old owl; his lucks come in
Lucky sixpence gets him a win!
Steampunk funk the cogs just spin
My heart is black but full within”

Claire Ivins

Think cogs and gears, clock parts, copper pipes, metal textures and corsetry or lace to give your creations a steampunk twist. Steampunk is all about mixing up Victorian steam age with the future so go wild with old meets new.

Steampunk crafting by Powertex tutors

Layer up a mixed media style art with mdf cogs and metal textures like Sylvia Blackshaw.

Steampunk Powertex art by Sylvia Blackshaw
Powertex art by Sylv’s Creations

Use moulds to add pipework like Samantha Thompson.

Steampunk Powertex art by Samantha Thompson
Steampunk art by Samantha Thompson

Use Powertex fabric hardener to create Victorian ruffles like Sarah Jayne Ambrose.

Powertex Steampunk corset by Sarah Jayne Ambrose
Art by Sarah Jayne Ambrose at The Skull Shed

Julie gives her owl a mechanical makeover.

Powertex mechanical owl by Julie Emery
Powertex owl by Crafts by J & C

Suzanne gets creative with cogs and gears in her sculpture.

Add clockwork parts to a hat for a steampunk costume or prop like Liz Dixon.

Use moulds, mdf and metal embellishments like Gill Goldsmith.

Add a touch of Victoriana to a sculpture like Wendy Reed.

Steampunk Stanley by The Creative CHicken
Steampunk Stanley by The Creative Chicken

Enter the Steampunk Monthly Challenge in our Facebook Group. You can read all about the challenge in the Announcements or in this article.

Everyone is welcome to join in and you might see a lot of tutor makes in the photo album to inspire you.

Last month’s theme was Alice in Wonderland and Elisa Miles was the lucky prize winner. We’d love to see your Powertex steampunk creations in the challenge photo album too! The challenge is open until the 25th February.

Powertex UK Monthly Challenge Elisa Miles
Winner of the Powertex UK Monthly Challenge in January

Alice in Wonderland Challenge

Powertex UK Monthly Challenge Elisa Miles

Entries for the January Powertex UK Monthly Challenge

The Powertex UK monthly prize challenge for 2020 gets off to a magical start with Alice in Wonderland as the theme for entries. We have plenty of top hats, teapots, rabbits and pocket watches in The Powertex Studio Facebook group. The Powertex UK team at HQ have chosen a UK winner to receive a prize!

“We were stunned by the standard of our first challenge and choosing a winner was not an easy task however we decided on Elisa’s entry as we felt it was a great effort from someone fairly new to Powertex.”

Tracey Evans, Powertex UK

Entries from Powertex tutors are not eligible for the prize but you can see them in The Powertex Studio photo album. Here are the brilliant entries eligible to win, scroll down to see the winning entry by Elisa Miles!

Teapots were a favourite

We love these teapot themed makes from Tricia Lewis, Michele Morfett, Lynda Hodson and Julie Harding.

Powertex UK Monthly Challenge Tricia Lewis
Powertex UK Monthly Challenge Michele Morfett Alice in Wonderland
Powertex UK Monthly Challenge Lynda Hodson
Powertex UK Monthly Challenge Julie Harding

Top hats featured too with fantastic creations from Kristen Penrod, Jeanette Wright and Amanda Minx Daley.

Powertex UK Monthly Challenge Kristen Penrod
Powertex UK Monthly Challenge Jeanette Wright Alice in Wonderland
Powertex UK Monthly Challenge Amanda Minx Daley

This piece from Julia Hargreave uses Powertex for a mixed media layered creation.

Powertex UK Monthly Challenge Julia Hargreave

And the winner is…

Powertex UK Monthly Challenge Elisa Miles Alice in Wonderland
The winning entry by Elisa Miles

Gorgeous work Elisa. Elisa wins the 5% OFF prize voucher this month and next time it could be you!

A huge thank you to everyone who entered the challenge. The next theme will be announced in The Powertex Studio group on Facebook on the 5th February 2020. We hope you’ll join us.

If you’re feeling inspired, take a look at The Alice Collection at Powertex UK for Wonderland supplies. You can read all the about the Challenge in the Announcements in The Powertex Studio or here in the online magazine.

See you in February!

Powertex birdhouse

Designed by Jill Cullum

When given the brief “A Winter’s Tale” to create a blog, there were many things that sprung to mind.  However, my love of everything cute, and recent obsessions with mice, led me to create this Powertex birdhouse.

Materials

Assembling the Birdhouse stand

Assemble the bird stand

Use Fabric Hardener to attach the base to the tile and mdf square (tile at the bottom).

Cut a hole in the bottom of the birdhouse large enough to put a battery operated tealight in.

Decorating the Birdhouse

Decorate the bird house using Powertex Universal Medium

Decorate the birdhouse with fabric, embellishments and 3D balls, using black fabric hardener.

Use Powertex with fabric and embellishments to decorate the birdhouse

Add colour using powder Powercolor pigments of choice, mixed with Easy Varnish to highlight the texture created.

Making the Mouse

Powertex mouse

Cut a hole in the polystyrene egg and fit onto the top of the bottle.  Attach wire to make ears, arms and a tail.

Create a mouse shape

Use tin foil to make the arms, ears and tail fatter and cover over it all with masking tape.

Use fabric with Powertex to create fur

Cover the mouse with ‘fur’.  I used fine hessian for the fur and beads for the eyes and nose.  Dry brush with powder pigments mixed with Easy Varnish.

Decorate the table

Using materials and fabric hardener, create a draped effect over the table top.  Cover the stand with texture also.

Fabric and Powertex fabric hardener for the bird stand

Finishing touches

When dry, add colour to the stand and use Fabric Hardener to fix your mouse in place.  Sit the birdhouse on the top.

Powertex bird house
Powertex bird house by Jill Cullum

To finish I have added a tiny book made with scraps of card and also some rivets on the birdhouse stand to make it look like metal. 

I really hope that you have enjoyed my blogs throughout the year.  It has inspired me to be more creative and hope I have inspired you too.  If you like animal projects take a look at my Powertex dog project.

I would love to see your creations. Please post them here 0n the Facebook Powertex Studio at Powertex Addicts United!

Merry Christmas to you all.  Jill xx

There’s snow place like gnome

Designed by Shell North

For my last blog I’m reminiscing from 4 years ago when I made my first ever Powertex Gnome ‘Amon the Shaman’. He was inspired by a supposed origins story of Santa, collecting Fly agaric, flying with his reindeer and delivering presents.

My original Powertex gnome seems to have inspired a flourish of gnome making. They are one of my most requested items to make in my workshop schedules. So I decided this, my last article of the year would be dedicated to them.

Powertex gnome by Shell North
‘Amon the Shaman’ First Powertex gnome by Shell North inspired by the legends.

So the legend as I heard it…

*Take this tale as you please, a bit of fun or maybe something to make you think…*

The image as we know

Long before the early 20th century Coca Cola adverts, Santa was commonly depicted as more of a gnome-like little man.

Gnome Santa

As old as tales

The origins of Santa’s style, and his bag of goodies, flying reindeer, entering through a chimney to deliver gifts, Pine tree’s may link way back to the ancestral traditions of a number of indigenous arctic circle dwellers. (He may well have come from the North Pole after all!)

On the run up to solstice the village shaman would go out to gather mushrooms, they would wear a mainly red outfit with either white trim or white dots, in honor of the mushroom’s colors.

The eve of festivities

On the eve of the Winter Solstice the shaman of the village would gather Fly agaric mushrooms. They would use them to travel on a spiritual journey to the (pine) tree of life. The tree of life located by the North Star held the answer to solve all the village’s problems for the coming year.

The Shamans would feed the Fly agaric to reindeer, their digestive systems can filter out most of the toxins. This makes (dare I say it) their bodily excretion safe for humans to drink.

*Warning* Fly agaric mushrooms are seriously toxic for humans to consume. So I am in no way promoting it! Maybe this is where the saying don’t eat yellow snow comes from?!

Solstice celebrations

The legend says that the shaman and reindeer would journey (fly) to the tree by the north star to retrieve the gifts of knowledge. These gifts would then be taken back to distribute to the rest of the village.

Returning home to the village yurt, for solstice. He would enter through the hole in the roof. The hole acted as a chimney with a central pole that held the yurt up over the fireplace. In gratitude for these gifts they would decorate Pine trees with offerings.

So that’s it, the story I’d heard that inspired my original gnome creation

Modern celebrations

It seems that maybe some of these traditions were carried down to the European pagans, taking on elements originating much farther north. Inevitably different cultures influenced one another due to migration and intermarriage, becoming merged with many other cultural traditions that we celebrate differently from one another today.

However you celebrate at this time of year, give thanks for any gifts, kind/wise words. Share precious times with your loved ones, and in your community (never let anyone go lonely). look towards the New year and the light that builds ever brighter from now until summer.

More about gnomes

Of course after my first gnome I loved making them, you can make them for any time of year. Here are a few of my gnomes that have developed over the years

Powertex gnomes by Shell North
Gnomes from top right to left: Amon the Shaman, Dumbledor, Norma,
Bottom right to left: Oakley, Noel, Nose-stradamus.
By Shell North
Powertex gnome by Shell North
‘Nose-stradamus’ the gnome.
My latest up graded gnome with new nose design made from Powertex stone art clay
– He predicts gnome domination 🙂

If you fancy making one of these little guys with me, my next gnome workshop is Feb 1st, find more info here.

Well that’s all from me, thank you for taking the time to read my blogs this year.

I hope you all have many festive blessings.

Peace, love and cheeky gnomes,

Shell x