Powertex Giraffe

Unique Powertex giraffe garden feature

Designer – Donna Mcghie

For this article I was asked to create a 3D animal using Powertex and recycled materials.  As anyone who is familiar with Powertex will know, the possibilities for this are endless. My brain was buzzing with ideas.  However, it was when I was sorting out stuff to take to the dump, that inspiration hit for a Powertex giraffe.

Step by step blog on how to create a powertex giraffe
Follow my step by step to create a unique Powertex Giraffe for your garden

I was loading a broken floor mop into my van that I settled on what I was going to create. The mop was speaking to me, and what it was saying was one word.  Giraffe.  As I turned it round in my hands, a picture started to form in my mind.  I even had a ready made pose, with the head lifted high, as though nibbling on leaves.  Yes I thought, I’m going to make you into a giraffe’s head sticking out of a plant pot in my garden. 

A strange thing to think?  Maybe, but I’m willing to guess that anyone who is into Powertex will have had similar thoughts on a regular basis.

mop to use for giraffe
Look at that, a ready made Giraffe shape

We have a plant that overhangs our fence and I decided to turn this into a feature by placing my giraffe so that it can decoratively nibble on the leaves. I opted to only make the neck as I thought it would look quirky sticking out amongst my plants.

Materials List

Making a Powertex Giraffe Garden Feature

Create the head

mop head for giraffe
I like to recycle a lot of packaging in this way

I scrunched up old plastic from packaging and old rubber gloves to form the shape of the face, before covering tightly with masking tape.

Create the base

sand base
Sand in the base that contained the disinfectant holder gives a bit of weight to stop it being too top heavy.

I filled the part that held the disinfectant base with sand before also covering with tin foil and tape to add weight.

Create the neck

masking tape to prep the surface
Please excuse the photobombing from Logan my dog. He was very interested in what I was making

Using old plastic I padded out the shape of the neck all the way down, and bound tightly with masking tape before painting with Powertex Fabric Hardener.

Stone Art clay and horns

giraffe head with stone art clay
I used old toothbrushes for the horns, and stones for the eyes

I mixed Stone Art Clay  face and neck leaving some pole (and sand) free to bury in soil in my plant pot.

Make the eyes and ears

Top tip, leave some wire hanging over the end of the ears to dig into the clay to ensure they stay put

I molded some ear shapes using tin foil and wire, before covering with tape and clay and adhering to the head. I also pushed some stones in for the eyes.

Easy 3d Flex clay

Make 3D Flex Clay in exactly the same way you made the Stone Art Clay. Be sure to leave it somewhere warm to dry off and create crackle and texture

I dry brushed with Powertex Rich Gold Pigment before adding some Easy 3D Flex patches. A stamp added even more texture.

Fabric eyelashes

I wanted my Giraffe to have gorgeous long lashes

I used Black Powertex Fabric Hardener and some tassles from an old key ring to create luscious lashes for my Giraffe.

Use some fringing

fringing for neck
This fringing that I got from the Scrap Store was perfect for my Giraffe’s neck hair

I soaked some of this fringing in Bronze Powertex to create the hair for my giraffe’s neck, and left the whole thing to dry off completely.

Dry brushing

giraffe neck with Powertex texture
Just look at all that texture in that 3D Flex!

The finishing touches

The final step was to dry brush the whole thing in Bronze Gold Pigment. This create a contrast to the Rich Gold that was on the Clay underneath the 3D Flex patches.

I wanted to be sure that anything  I used apart from Powertex was recycled.  Hence the stones for eyes, and the toothbrushes for horns.  I had thought of using old corks for the horns, and toyed with using hessian for the patches, but my love for Easy 3D flex won
out. 

If you decide create something similar, to ensure it is weather resistant please be aware that Stone Art Clay needs to be kept indoors for 6 months initially.

Gerald will stay safely inside until next year. Just before putting him
outside I will give another couple of coats of Easy Varnish, especially on the
Easy 3D Flex patches.

Powertex giraffe by Donna Mcghie
Powertex giraffe by Donna Mcghie

Obviously if you choose to make your own Giraffe you can do it on as big, or as small a scale as you wish – using anything that is available to you at home. If you decide to make one please do post a photo over on our Facebook page as we love to see what people are inspired to create. 

If you are unsure about how to create Stone Art Clay, my fellow design team member Annette has great instructions in this blog.

Thanks so much for reading, I hope you are inspired by Gerald. You can see more of my work on my facebook page, and my website www.artandmurals.co.uk.

Until next month, take care and Happy Powertexing 🙂

Powertex sculptures from recycled items

Designer – Annette Smyth

One of the great things I love about working with the Powertex product range is the ability to recycle and upcycle everyday objects into something completely different.

I love to create 3D sculptures, especially animals and birds. I often walk around car boots and local charity shops dreaming of all the things I could create from the weird and wonderful items on offer.

Sometimes I find an object that just attracts me but I don’t have an immediate project in mind. In cases like this, I sit the item in my studio and wait until I get that lightbulb moment.

Powertex sculptures from recycled items

Here are a few of my upcycled sculpts.

Lamp bases make great legs!

Lamp base

These beautiful lamps were no longer working and were gifted to me by my good friend Jacqui Mexson. Jacqui knows me so well that she knew I would be over the moon and brimming with ideas with their beautiful shape.

I removed all the electrical gubbins and the lampshades (I’ve reserved these for another project!!). Along with some polystyrene, pipe lagging, foil and masking tape, they were then ready for their transformation into…

Powertex flamigoes by Annette Smyth.  from recycled items.

The flamingoes

Using Powertex Universal Medium, Stone Art and packaging from an Amazon delivery, these birds just came into being.

Candle holders are perfect armatures

Candle holder as a sculpture base

This candle holder was a pleasant find at the local tip shop for the grand price of £1. Candle holders are often solid forms with a decent weight so lend themselves perfectly as armatures. The flowing curves of this treble clef shape immediately called out for a sea themed project. I removed the top flat plate and built up the shape with tin foil to create…

Sea horse by Annette Smyth

A fabric draped seahorse

Again I used Powertex Universal Medium along with pigments and 3D sand and balls for the base.

Empty tape rolls make perfect circles

Powertex fish sculpture by Annette Smyth. from recycled items.

Here I have used the empty masking tape roll to create a perfect circle to build on.

Powertex fish by Annette Smyth

Some foil, masking tape, Easy3D flex and pigments made this fish a fun project.

Plastic milk containers as animal bodies

Powertex rabbit from milk container

My rabbits and dogs are created from 4pt plastic milk containers for the bodies. The cardboard tubes from the centre of rolls of tinfoil are the perfect for shape for legs. Foil enables me to add bulk and shape for the head, ears and paws.

Powertex dog from container Annette Smyth from recycled items

Once formed these are covered in masking tape and painted with a layer of Powertex Universal Medium.

Powertex rabbit from milk container by Annette Smyth

Before being covered with fabric or Stone Art clay.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing a few of my Powertex sculptures from recycled items and that I have inspired you to have a go yourself. If you would like an easy start into sculpting check out my previous article on sculpting penguins.

Don’t forget we would love to see your makes by posting them on the Powertex Studio Facebook group or into the Powertex Addicts Facebook page.

If you would like to join me for a workshop at my home studio then please take a look at the workshops page on my website.

Until next time, Happy Creative Adventures…..Axx

Sweet dreams upon a Powertex night sky

By Shell North

I love the simplicity of using something like string or twine and knots to create something magical and unique. Wanting to step away from the full circle dream catcher I drafted a moon with star idea for sweet dreams.

I wanted to use techniques to create vegan feathers with twine. A lot of my past customers have been vegan and dislike the use of animal products so creating an ethical dream catcher was up there on my to do list. Created with a ‘boho’ style making from twine, a recycled lampshade ring, recycled jewellery (charity shop) and Ivory Powertex to make weatherproof for outdoor use.

Powertex sweet dreams dream catcher by Shell North
Dream Catcher by Shell North

What are dream catchers exactly?

Sometimes referred to as “Sacred Hoops”, Ojibwe dream catchers were traditionally used as talismans to protect sleeping people, usually children, from bad dreams and nightmares. Native Americans believe that the night air is filled with dreams, both good and bad.

When hung above the bed in a place where the morning sunlight can hit it, the dream catcher attracts and catches all sorts of dreams and thoughts into its webs. Good dreams pass through and gently slide down the feathers to comfort the sleeper below. Bad dreams, however, are caught up in its protective net and destroyed, burned up in the light of day.

Sweet dreams

Make as a soothing tool for kids! I made dream catchers for my children when they were young. Explaining how these would help ease their nightmares, quite handy indeed.

Call it a placebo effect for non-believers but my children believed what I said and they worked at soothing their nightmares, happy days!

Note – Use real feathers with children however as the twine ones will be slightly shape and pointy when hardened.

Putting it all together

Twine dream catcher for sweet dreams by Shell North
Pre Powertexed dream catcher by Shell North

I made the twine feathers first, using a knotting technique  around a length of twine, next I wrapped the lampshade hoop with twine. Using the standard catcher webbing but didn’t go all the way around so I could create the moon shape. I added a hanging beach wood cut star and then covered everything in Ivory Powertex hardener.

Finally once dry I finished by attaching the junk jewellery and beads I have collected from car boot sales, donations or charity shops. I don’t think I’m going to colour this, I like the simplicity of it. I enjoyed this so much I think I’m going to re-purpose some more broken lamp shades though and create different colours!

Sweet dreams dream catcher with Ivory Powertex by Shell North

Inspired?

Why not try create one of your own sweet dreams and share on our Powertex studio group page on Facebook? We always love to see what you create that’s inspired by our blogs. Also don’t forget to comment below. What would you have done differently? Does this inspire you to create your own? Share your inspired dream catcher in the Facebook group.

Did you like my charity shop upcycles here? Catch my February blog where I used a lot of recycled items along with the Secret Art Box subscription box.

The subscription boxes are exciting boxes of exclusive Powertex goodies that are delivered to your door each month! Don’t miss out on the fun, get yours today HERE .

Well that’s all from me this month,

Peace, love and sweet dreams,

Shell x

Wedding Day Wish Box

 

Hello there
I used the Frame kit available at Kirsties Handmade Fair, Ragley Hall to create a Wedding Day Wish Box for the happy couple.  Simply write your wish or words of wisdom onto the paper heart, tear off and place in the box for the happy couple to read later.
I opted for Ivory Powertex and a variety of lace pieces to create this special gift.  I hope you enjoy this project and feel free to alter it as you go,  that’s the fun of being creative.

 

I started by using a recycled cardboard box that was the same size as the frame.  I coated this with 2 layers of Powertex to firm it up.  I also coated the frame with a layer of Powertex.

Once dry I placed the frame onto the box and drew around the inside of the heart (push out the heart shape if it is still attached to the base) and then cut that out with a craft knife.

Then I painted the inside of the box at the back that was now exposed.  I also painted the back of the frame and repainted the front of the box and stuck the two together.

I used various pieces of lace to create a patchwork effect on the box.

All lace needs to be coated with Powertex so that is is covered but not dripping.

Firstly,  I took a piece of lace and used the heart as a template.  I cut this out so that the lace fit snugly around the opening.  Coat this in Powertex and place around the opening making sure you press it firmly onto the box.

I then worked my way around the box with all the different laces, laying them in different directions to create interest.

The lace heart I cut out in the earlier step was placed inside the box and the edge of the cut out was covered with a thinner lace ribbon.

Once this was all covered I set it aside.

I took some lace ribbon, dipped it into the Powertex and squeezed out the excess, I then wrapped this to create flowers.  In each corner I used a small piece of gauze that had been dipped in Powertex to sit the flowers into.

Now allow this all to dry thoroughly.

There are lots of videos on YouTube if you’re not sure how to make these.

I have coloured these here so you can see them more easily

For the notepad holder, I used the back of the frame and coated one side with Powertex.  I then placed this onto the back of the wallpaper and allowed it to dry.

Using sharp scissors I cut around the edges, painted the back with Powertex,  then using lace ribbon I added a pretty border.

 


  


For the notepad itself, I used the heart on some thick paper and drew around it making sure I marked the holes.

I cut out the sheets and used a hole punch to make the holes, then threaded ribbon through to hold the together.

I painted the mdf heart burst embellishment and the mdf heart and layered them up ready to tie onto the ribbon as a paperweight.

If you wanted to you could drill holes through the notepad holder and tie the paper onto this to make it totally secure.

For the photograph, I used a laser copy as these don’t smudge.

I worked out where I wanted the heart to sit on the photograph and marked the back of the paper accordingly.

I painted a thin layer of Powertex onto the back of the paper and another layer onto the heart then placed them together.  I turned them over and smoothed out the picture to ensure there are no air bubbles or creases.  Make sure your hands are clean or better still put a piece of kitchen roll on top to protect the picture.

I left this to dry before cutting away the excess with sharp scissors.

I painted the back of the heart with Powertex then added a delicate edge by using lace ribbon dipped in Powertex.

I attached it to the box using a cushion of gauze dipped in Powertex.

I coated the key plate with several layers of Powertex and printed off “wedding day wishes”  but you could hand write this.  I used Powertex to stick the edges to the back of the key plate and then onto the box.
I dry brushed the piece with a combination of burgundy and rich gold however you could match the colours to the wedding party colours for that personal touch.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this project and it has inspired you to have a go.  Don’t forget to post your makes on the Powertex Studio Facebook page as we love to see what you’ve created.
Until next time Happy Creative Adventures
Axx

 

From Skye to Sea

From Skye to Sea by Abigail Lagden

I’m so excited to be part of the 2018 Powertex Design Team and for my first blog I wanted to share with you a place that is very special to me – the Isle of Skye.
It is a place of awe-inspiring beauty and diverse geology, from the looming Cuillin mountain range, across the bleak peat bogs, to the rugged cliffs and the many and varied beaches. The weather can be wild and changeable, but that is just another part of the beauty and inspiration of the place.
Glenbrittle Beach (that’s me lurking on the right with my lurcher, Benson)

On every visit, my other half (Tom) and I spend many a day exploring the outdoors, particularly the coastline. As a photographer, Tom is captivated by the light on the waters and takes stunning and emotive landscape pictures. I, on the other hand, mooch around, head down looking for treasures. ‘Treasures’ are what I call the things I collect from beaches and they can be anything from shells to stones to driftwood to glass.

Me, collecting treasures!!
(Excuse the attire – it’s cold in December)

Our last visit was just before Christmas and as usual I collected some treasures whilst out and about, so I thought I would incorporate a few of them into a sea-themed plaque. This is just one of the things I love about Powertex – how you can repurpose, recycle and reuse so many things to create something unique and beautiful.

The shells and grass roots were collected from Glenbrittle beach (above) and the coral pieces were collected from coral beach at Claigan (below).

Coral Beach, Claigan – the yellow beach is made up of little bits of coral as shown in the insert

But enough of the beauties of Skye, let’s talk about my little project. The base ingredients for my Skye to Sea Plaque design were:

I often use the journal covers to produce hanging plaques, and just cover four of the holes to leave two to hang it with. Although of course this design would also have made a gorgeous cover for a journal.

I am obsessed with texture and don’t like any plain, flat surfaces in my creations, so first I used structure paste to create some coral-like patterns on the MDF cover, before painting it all with bronze Powertex.

Rough layout of design (unsurprisingly in changed)

Next I laid out a rough arrangement of the bits and pieces I wanted to include – it is a good idea to do this at the start even if the layout changes as you progress through your projects.

 

Hollow shapes like shells can be tricky to attach securely to a project, so I like to mix a bit of 3D sand into some of the Powertex to produce a thicker paste which will hold them firmly in place. In this project I spread some of this paste over the areas where I wanted to place the shells and the coral. The shells were then filled with the paste before being positioned and the coral was just sprinkled directly onto the paste. To fill the gaps between the coral and the shells I sprinkled some small 3D balls over the area.
I added some pattern and texture to the seahorse using structure paste before attaching to the plaque and painting everything with a coat of bronze Powertex.
Left to dry before bringing to life with colour!

I coated the grass roots with Powertex and added them to make a sea plant. The texture was fantastic and I really wish I had picked up more of this stuff – I know what I’ll be looking for next time I’m at a beach – although care had to be taken when colouring as it was still rather fragile.

Then finally I used pieces of white Paper Decoration coated with Powertex to make some stringy seaweed around the sides.

 

Now time for some colour!
To produce a lovely blue-green multi-tonal sea colour I mixed blue, green, turquoise and white powercolors with easy varnish, in different quantities to get different shades and tones. This was applied using a dry brushing technique, layering the different colours gradually to blend the tones. Once I was happy with the result I couldn’t resist adding some shimmer so I used terragreen as well as the amazing new interference powders (blue, red and lilac) to give the scene some iridescence.
Then just a piece of t-shirt yarn tied through the holes for hanging and there you have my Skye to Sea Plaque.
From Skye to Sea by Abigail Lagden

I hope you have enjoyed my first Design Team blog, I know I have.
You can see more of what I am up to on my Curiously Contrary website and Facebook Page.

Until next time, Abs x

UPCYCLED CABINET TO EGYPTIAN TREASURE

UPCYCLED CABINET TO EGYPTIAN TREASURE

This cabinet had served us well in our spare bedroom but had become redundant when we redecorated however I still loved the design and the shape of the legs so I hadn’t let it go
 and thank goodness I hadn’t because when it came to finding interesting surfaces 
for creating for our Egyptian themed shows it was a perfect candidate. 
It was an incredibly difficult item to take photographs of so I have included the one above which was taken on the show and then below I have included snapshots of individual areas. 

You will see I have used lots of different techniques, Powertex products, MDF pieces, the 
“Wonderful Things”stencil and rice papers to get the effects I wanted. 
You can find the whole range on our WEBSITE
For help to achieve similar results yourself you can also find your nearest TUTOR HERE
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make a good tutor please send us some information about yourself and where you live and 
we will get back to you with the details you need EMAIL