Tuesday 11 July 2017


Greetings Andy Skinner buddies!

Won't you join me in wishing Andy Skinner a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  
I think he turns 29 today.  (smile)

Do you look at your Tando Creative pieces and just stare because you don't know what to do with them?  Well, here's a solution!  Think outside the box and imagine them as something other than what they are!  For example ...

I picked out a simple journal that I had lying around.  It's interior pages feel like home made paper with roughly torn edges and I just love it!  The cover is pretty but plain and I wanted to really "Skinner" it up.  So I picked out the above Tando Creative products and laid them out to create a little "floral garden" front using left over gears, nuts and bolts, cogs, some hinges and a more random design on the back using part of a clock face (on the back side of the book) and a piece of lace border.  Simple little elements but they really worked up into something fun and different than what they were created to represent.
**BE SURE TO SAVE ALL OF YOUR TANDO SCRAPS!  See the circle rectangle on the far left?  That actually is a piece of greyboard left over after I punched out some washers.  I trimmed it up using an exacto knife and it makes a great accent piece for this book cover!

Here is the finished book cover!  Cute, huh?  Want to know how I did it?  Well, let's discover the items you'll need and then let's get started!

Items needed for this project:
  • Some sort of journal or hard cover book
  • DecoArt Media White Gesso
  • DecoArt Media Matte Medium
  • DecoArt Media Crackle Paint
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Diarylide Yellow
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Vermillon
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Silver
  • Americana Chalky Finish Smitten 
  • Americana Chalky Finish Escape
  • Americana Chalky Finish Keepsake
  • Decoart Vintage Effect Wash White
  • DecoArt Liquid Glass
  • DecoArt Decoupage Paper Vintage

  • Tando Creative Lace Borders
  • Tando Creative Hinges
  • Tando Creative Gears, Nuts and Bolts
  • Tando Creative Cogs
  • Tando Creative Clock Face
  • Stampendous Andy Skinner Toxic 
  • Stampendous Andy Skinner Shabby Chic

  • DecoArt Andy Skinner Stencils Toxic
  • DecoArt Andy Skinner Stencils Bubbles
Miscellaneous Items
  • Paint Brushes
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Craft Mat
  • Drying Gun
  • Brayer
  • Antique Buttons
  • Paper Towels or sponge
  • Rhinestones
  • Permanent Black Pen
Let's put it all together!

Begin by painting a generous coat of DecoArt White Gesso over the cover of the book.  This provides an even white basecoat and also gives all of the mediums to be added some "tooth" to stick to the book cover.  Let dry or heat set.  Then layout your Tando Creative pieces to create your design.

Glue the pieces in place using DecoArt Media Matte Medium.  Brush onto the cover of the book.  Brush onto the back side of the pieces and press them in place.  Then brush DecoArt Media Matte Medium over the entire cover to seal.  Let dry or gently heat set.  Then brush another coat of DecoArt Media White Gesso over the entire cover.  Let dry or heat set.

Brush a basecoat of DecoArt Americana Chalky Finish Smitten paint over the entire surface of the book cover and about 3/4" on the inside the interior covers.  Be sure to get into all of the cracks and crevasses to cover all of the white base.

 Squeeze a little DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black onto a craft mat and thin it out with a brayer. Roll the brayer over the surface of your stamps and randomly stamp images on the surface of the book covers.  Let dry or gently heat set.  Immediately wash off your stamps!

To soften all of the colors and pull the raised images together, use a cloth, a brush or a sponge to add DecoArt Vintage Effect Wash (white) over the entire surface of the book cover and on the interior painted edges.  Add or wipe away the Effect Wash until you are happy with the results.

Add some color to your raised images using a brush and various colors of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics paint.  I used:  Diarylide Yellow for some of the nuts on the back of the book and a couple of the gear/cog flowers on the front of the book.  I used American Chalky Finish Keepsake for the hinge stems of the flowers and some of the circles on the back.  Titanium White provided the polka dots that were made by using the wooden end of a paint brush dipped in paint and then pressed onto the flowers or circles.  Americana Chalky Paint in Escape was used on the clock ace and center gear/cog flower. I also used it to create some polka dots.

Apply another layer of the DecoArt Vintage Effect Wash in white over the surface of the painted images.  This blends them into the background and creates that beautiful vintage washed look.  Then hot glue antique buttons onto the centers of the flowers.

Measure the interior covers of the book and cut two pieces of DecoArt Vintage Decoupage Paper.  Brush DecoArt Matte Medium over the surface of the interior book covers and press the papers into place.  Brayer over them to remove any air bubbles or wrinkles.  Let air dry or gently heat set.

Mix American Chalky Finish Smitten with a bit of DecoArt Media Crackle Paint and a little DecoArt Vintage Effect Wash (white).  Brush over the surface of the interior pages and let air dry.

Create interesting interior covers by layering some of Andy Skinner's DecoArt Stencils.  First I used his DecoArt Bubbles Stencil and DecoArt Chalky Finish Smitten Paint.  I applied the paint by dabbing it with a paper towel.  

Next I added Andy's DecoArt Whirlpool Stencil by lightly brushing and dabbing DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Silver.  I love the layers, contrast and design these stencils and paint gives to the interior pages and covers.

Here is what the interior cover and first page of the journal looks like.  Pretty cool!

Now for the Tando Creative Lace Border layer that will go on top of the hinge stems on the front of the cover...
I painted the Tando Creative piece with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Silver to accent the antique buttons and the whirlpool interior pages.  After the paint dried, I randomly stamped the Lace Border using Andy Skinner's peeled paint stamp from his Stampendous Toxic set.  I love this versatile stamp! 

Next I added rhinestones to the Lace Border using DecoArt Media Liquid Glass.  It is a wonderful clear glue as well as having the capability to create a faux glass look.  I also glued all of the rhinestones on the back of the cover with Liquid Glass.  

To accentuate the details on the "flowers" and some of the shapes on the back cover, I edged them with a Black Permanent Marker.  

Here is a closeup look at the front cover.  As a final step, I lightly ran my finger with a bit of first Silver and then Black paint over the edges of the cover of the book to sort of frame it and distinguish the edges a bit more.  

And here is another look at the completed covers.  

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and you learned a few things about a product or about how to stretch your imagination to see an object for possibly something other than it was intended to be.

About the Artist:  Candy Colwell

Blog: http://candycreates.blogspot.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/candy.colwell.9
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/rindacelly
Instrgram:  https://www.instagram.com/candy.colwell/


  1. Brilliant outside-the-box thinking, Candy - and a great way to steampunk the floral look...

    And Happy Birthday Andy!
    Alison x

  2. Happy birthday Andy! I hope you celebrate the entire month of July, like I do (mine is the 19th)! Have a wonderful day, and have a pint on me!

  3. Beautifully creative and brilliant post. Thanks for sharing Candy xxx

  4. Fantastic, as you ever are! Love the mind-bending use of the gears as flowers and just LUV that color. TFS, beautiful. <3

  5. Loving this Candy. Great idea using the gears for flowers would never have thought of that xx


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