Basswood Canvas vs. Wood Panels

Chris Wallace for Walnut Hollow

Thinking that we should talk about specific Walnut Hollow products now and again, I decided it would be a good idea to discuss the differences between 2 products we manufacture – Basswood Canvas and Wood Panels.

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They look quite similar if you see them in a photo or even on a shelf in a craft store.

However, they are actually very different. I don’t really have a favorite, I just choose one over the other depending on what I am creating.

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Let’s start with the Wood Panels. They are made from top-quality Baltic Birch and are cradled with a ¾” pine wood frame. They are sanded smooth and the Panels won’t flex, stretch or warp.

I enjoy creating on the front side. They can be treated just like any wood plaque – here are a few samples:

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Ellaweese (that’s the birds name!) was perfect for the Panel and since the Panel is smooth it was so easy to paint on. I used acrylics, but oils, encaustics, mists or any type of paints work very well on the Panel surface. You can also decoupage, stamp, create mixed media pieces, etc. The other Wood Panel was created like a scrapbook page. I always think that scrapbook pages inside of an album won’t be seen often. It’s fun to put something that you would secure in a closed album up on the wall instead.

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The reverse side of the Wood Panel is also great to use. The way that the cradle pieces are positioned to support the Balitic Birch, meitered corners are created and look like a frame. The recessed area allows for lots of creativity. The Friends Forever project made a perfect frame for photos of young girlfriends. The “Life is too short” project was created with ICE Resin and the inside area was perfect to hold the liquid ICE Resin until it dried to a beautiful finish.

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side back view

As for the Basswood Canvas pieces, the high-quality surfaces are ideal for fine art, encaustic art, fiber & paper collage, wood burning, wood carving and much more. Each Canvas is made from ¼” premium Basswood, cradled by a 1 ½” pine wood frame. The smooth surface is archival quality with no pitch or grain to interfere with techniques and will not flex, stretch or warp.

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Whether you are creating a project with Elizabeth Crafts Peel-Offs (Cherries) or wood burning as in the Zentangle-inspired piece, the surface is wonderful for many techniques: oil painting, paper crafting, wood burning, wood carving, encaustic art – or drill a hole in the center and make a clock!

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Marie Browning, a wonderful friend and designer, created this project by using the reversed side of a Basswood Canvas. It became a shadow box ready to hold a photo and many beautiful embellishments.

There are a couple of similarities with the products. Both the Basswood Canvas and Wood Panels are reversible and can be used with or without a frame. Both styles come in rectangle and square shapes. Another great feature is that they are easy to hang flush to the wall. And finally, they are Made in America – just like all of our fine wood products.

So, what would you like to use – a Basswood Canvas or a Wood Panel? Do you have a favorite?

 

 

 

 

 

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Take Flight Wall Art by Marie Browning

Once again our friend, Marie, has done an outstanding job designing on one of Walnut Hollow’s new basswood surfaces. The Silhouette Plaques include a circle and square as well as the bird featured in Marie’s mixed media creation.

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This mixed media plaque mixes decoupage, beadwork, and color washing to create a decorative bird themed art plaque. The bird silhouette plaque is ready-made, smooth and a perfect surface for all these techniques.

 Materials:

  • Walnut Hollow #39745 9” x 12” Silhouette Bird Plaque
  •  Book pages
  •  Bleeding tissue paper – blue hues
  •  Decorative cardstock – black and white patterned
  •  Black dye inkpad, clean, dry stencil brush
  •  Acrylic paint – Sample used Americana Colors Honey Brown, Burnt Orange and Medium Flesh
  •  Acrylic Extender medium
  •  Sandpaper – 150 grit
  •  Decoupage medium – matte finish
  •  Twigs
  •  1/2” finishing nails
  •  Plastic Egg
  •  Natural colored excelsior or Spanish moss
  •  White glue
  •  Beads – various sizes, matching colors
  • Wing charms

Create the Background

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 Add any hanging hardware to the back of the plaque before decorating.

Tear the book pages into large pieces and decoupage them to the plaque. Try to find a book that reflects your theme, for example, the sample used a book on birds that adds a few illustrations to the background. Don’t worry about creating wrinkles in the pages, they will add an interesting texture. Apply a coat of decoupage medium to the top and let dry.

When dry, sand the edges smooth around the edge and the inside of the cut bird.

Pour out the acrylic colors onto your palette. Add the extender to the colors in a 50/50 mix. Mix well to create a translucent glaze.  Apply the colored glaze to the background, slapping the colors on randomly. You should still be able to see the print under the glaze. Let the surface dry.

With the sandpaper, sand the surface to reveal the wrinkled texture and create an interesting background.

Prepare the Tissue Paper Pieces

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Tear the bleeding tissue paper into 3 to 4” pieces. Layer the different colors on a piece of white paper and spritz with water. Let dry completely. When dry, the tissue paper colors have run together and created very interesting muted colors with a subtle design.

Cut the flying bird from the tissue paper  (you can cut through many layers at once) and decoupage onto your surface using the decoupage medium. You can also cut and decoupage the larger birds on with the tissue paper to create a shadow in the final piece.

I also generated some text on the computer, printed it out and decoupaged it to the surface. You can alternately use stamped or stickers to add a saying or journaling.

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Decoupage on Bird Silhouettes

Use the bird patterns and cut out the birds from the decorative paper. Distress all the edges on the bird using the black ink pad and a stencil brush. Decoupage the birds in place using the decoupage medium. Paint the edges around the surface and the inside of the cut bird using the Burnt Orange acrylic paint. When dry, apply a finishing coat of the decoupage medium over the entire surface and edges. Let dry completely.

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Finishing Touches

Hammer the twigs in place using the finishing nails. Pour a little white glue over the excelsior and mix in with your fingers. Place the excelsior inside the bird cutout and nestle the plastic egg in the excelsior. Let dry. If needed, add more white glue to make the nest and egg secure.

Thread the beads onto jewelry wire and add the charms to the ends. Drape the beads over the twigs and secure where needed with finishing nails.

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FLY! SING! SOAR! Coat Rack

FLY! SING! SOAR! Coat Rack

Designed by Marie Browning for Walnut Hollow®

Our friend, Marie Browning, is back again to share another creative piece of artwork. She used a new item from Walnut Hollow, a Basswood Country Plank – 23″. It is so fun to open Marie’s shipping boxes when we know one of her projects is inside! This time was no exception.

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This country coat rack is as functional as it is decorative! Perfect for a country decor entranceway or cabin. Simple stamping and decoupage techniques will have you creating and using this piece all in one day.

Supplies:

  • Walnut Hollow #39751  Basswood Country Plank – 23″
  • Decorative cardstock – black and white patterned
  • Black permanent dye inkpad
  • Clean, dry stencil brush
  • 1” high alphabet stamps (alternately you can use an alphabet stencil)
  • Decoupage medium – matte finish
  • 4 small hooks, antique copper finish
  • Pencil, ruler and white eraser

Prepare the plank and add the words

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Add any hanging hardware to the back of the plaque before decorating.

Apply a coat of decoupage medium to the plank surface, including the bark edge. let dry completely.

With the pencil and ruler, mark on your guidelines for the lettering and line the birds will sit on.

Stamp or stencil on the lettering. Use the permanent black pen to draw in the line at the bottom of the plank. Remove any pencil lines using the white eraser.

Decoupage on Bird Silhouettes

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Use the bird patterns and cut out the birds from the decorative paper. Distress all the edges on the bird using the black ink pad and a stencil brush. Decoupage the birds in place using the decoupage medium. When dry, apply a finishing coat of the decoupage medium over the entire surface and edges. Let dry completely.

Finishing

Add the hooks along the line, and in-between the birds.  You are now ready to hang up and use your coat rack!

Vintage Chic Purse and Key Plaque

Marie is a friend and wonderful artist and designer. I asked her to do her magic on one of our new Modern Plaques and she chose the Marrakesh Plaque. I think you will agree with all of us here at Walnut Hollow that Marie’s design work is simply beautiful.Image

Vintage Chic Purse and Key Plaque
Designed by Marie Browning for Walnut Hollow®

This fancy plaque is not only beautiful; it’s practical as well. Perfect to place your purse, scarf or keys on when you come through your door. Created in neural colors to go with a wide variety of decor hues.

  •  Walnut Hollow #39812 10.5” x 14” Marrakesh Plaque
  •  Decorative cardstock – neutral colors with a small pattern
  •  Acrylic paint – Sample used Americana Ivory
  •  Petroleum Jelly
  •  Sandpaper – 150 grit
  •  Steel wool
  •  Decoupage medium – matte finish
  •  Door handle backplate (sample used an antique backplate, you can alternately use a new one or a vintage reproduction easily found in hardware outlets)
  •  Cabinet knobs – sample used one brass know and two crystal knobs.
  •  Metal flourish embellishments
  •  Flat-backed rhinestones
  •  Rhinestone flourish embellishments
  •  White glue
  • Silk ribbon

Create the Background

Add any hanging hardware to the back of the plaque before decorating.

Paint the plaque with the Ivory acrylic paint. Let dry.

Cut and attach the cardstock to the plaque using the decoupage medium. Leave a 3/4” to 1” edge all around. Apply a top coating of the decoupage medium and let dry.

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Apply the petroleum jelly to the painted edge and 3/4” into the paper. Paint over the petroleum jelly and let dry. The petroleum jelly acts like a resist, and when dry and sanded, gives you a nice weathered distressed surface to the edge of the paper and the painted wood.  Rub any excess petroleum jelly off with a soft cloth.

ImageTo soften the effect, drybrush the acrylic ivory paint around the edge.

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Prepare the Hardware

Paint all the metal pieces; the backplate, metal embellishments, hooks and screws with the Ivory acrylic paint.

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When dry, rub with the steel wool to create the distressed vintage look.

Finishing

Attach all the hardware to the plaque.

Using the white glue, attach the rhinestones and the rhinestone flourishes to the plaque.

Finish with a silk bow tied around the center knob.

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