Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Painted Halloween Luminaria

I created this project a couple of years ago to enter into a contest; it did not win.

It started off as a clear plastic picture frame, the type that is sort of L shaped with a built in easel, bent plastic at the bottom. It also uses an old paper mache' frame I had sitting around, decorative paper and ribbon.

I created it the way I make my stamped/painted ornaments (I hope to post a tutorial at a later date).

Acetate/window sheet/overhead transparency
Stazon black ink
Line art image of choice (I used retired images from Stampin' Up!)
Various colors of indoor/outdoor acrylic craft paints
Small paint brushes

Stamp your image onto the acetate with Stazon ink.

Flip over the stamped image, paint on the back side.

Using the craft paints and tiny paint brushes, paint in your image. TIP: you will need to paint some portions before others depending on your image. Because you are working on the back side, you will need to think about what colors you want to be on top as you layer on the paints (depends upon the image). For example, the white "swirls" in the night sky trailing around the ghosts were painted on before the night sky.

The toothpicks come in handy to add the tiniest details, like the glowing red eyes in the windows. They are also useful in removing unwanted paint once dry: just lightly scratch at the dry paint that you want removed. Great for removing tiny mistakes, such as going out of the lines !

Be sure to let each color dry before moving on to the next ! This is a much more time consuming way to color an image on acetate, but I really like the look. I came up with this idea many years ago when the stamped acetate glass ball ornaments first became all the rage. I thought it was a neat idea, but I didn't like the look of the images colored with markers. I drug out my paints and gave it a try, was so happy to see the results were what I had hoped for, but more importantly, that the curling of the acetate to insert into the ornament did not crack the paints off since I used the indoor / outdoor paints. I chose to use that type of paint because to me they seemed more durable, flexible than regular acrylic craft paint. You can see my very first painted ornament here:
Flaky Friends Ornament

Wrap the mache frame in decorative paper, add ribbon and punch embellishments.

Once the painting is dry, adhere to the back of the mache frame with Sticky Strip. Be sure the painted part is flipped over to the underside, sandwiched between the pastic frame and the unptainted top of your acetate. You want the stamped image on the front. The painted part underneath allows the stamped line art details to show from the front. It also protects your painted image since it will be between the two layers.

Adhere the framed piece to the front of the clear plastic frame with Sticky Strip.

You can add a battery operated tea light to create a luminaria (though the light would show much better through a piece that was colored with Sharpie markers).

This was entered in an old soshelli.com contest.

Thanks for looking =)


  1. Heather,

    Awesome spooky scene. You did a great job!

  2. What a great idea! It should have won!!!

  3. very cool! new follower from SC


  4. a lot of patience and creativity went into this awesome project!

  5. Gorgeous! I hope you won the contest! I'm now following you from SC!


  6. I love all the details. They make your work so special!

  7. Great project! So creative. :)

    I'm now following you also. Thanks for looking at my blog and following me. Your blog is terrific!


THANK YOU for taking the time to leave your comments. I hope I've inspired you to get a bit crafty today ;)