Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Everyone Needs an Angel: Part II

Now that you have your angels made, you have to decide what you would like to do with them.  You can leave them as they are.  You can let your kids paint them, or add glitter.  There is no limit to what you can do to “finish” these cute little ornaments.  This tutorial may seem like overkill for a simple clothespin craft, but.  I wanted to take something simple and it into an heirloom quality item.  I think I accomplished that.  I decided to “antique” my angels.

I used inexpensive tubes of Apple Barrel paint and Deco Art crackle medium.  I first painted the angels a cream color.  I allowed them to dry.  Then I went over the paint with the crackle medium. 

There are no bonus points for neatness here.  You want the finish to be a little rough.  If the paint is thicker in one spot than another – perfect!  The perfection is in the imperfection! Use the same thought process with your crackle.  As a matter of fact, you don’t have to crackle the entire angel.  If you like, you can just do a spot or two.  Use your own artistic interpretation of “antique.”

Close-up of crackle finish

Now we want to really give it that dirty, dusty, old look.  For this we need stain.  You can purchase a water based stain if you like.  I chose to make my own stain.  To do this I used an olive colored paint and mixed it with water. 

The more water you use, the thinner your paint.  This is completely up to you.  You can experiment on a scrap piece of wood if you like to determine the best consistency for your taste.  My stain is pretty runny.   The crackle finish on my angels is pretty fine and I want the stain to get down into the small crevasses. You can drop your angel in the stain or use a sponge or brush. 

You can rub off excess stain (as I have done) or you can allow the stain to dry as is. I recommend using coffee filters to remove excess stain.  They are lint free and absorbent.  I have found they work best for me.  You will need to let the stain completely dry before moving to the next step.

We are in the final stretch now!

Once your angel is completely dry, we need to put a protective coating on her to keep her looking great.  My choice of medium for this task is paste finishing wax.

Using a small amount of wax and a coffee filter, lightly buff the angel with the wax.  This will give her a protective satin finish.  It adds just the right finishing touch to the antique character of the angel.  A bonus too in that there is no drying time once you are done, you are done! A word of caution though;  buffing too hard can damage your angel.  An angel without wings and a halo, just isn't an angel.  Go lightly and you will be pleased with your outcome.

If you would like your angel to star in your latest Christmas tree production, then you will want to add a string.  I have chosen to use silk cord, like that used for jewelry (mainly because I make jewelry and have it handy), but you may use whatever stringing material you like.

Put a dot of tack or craft glue (something that will dry clear) at the center top of the angel's wings.  There should be enough space to gently tuck the ends of the string so that they are hidden below the wings.  You may need to use a toothpick to aid in hiding the ends of string.  Let this dry overnight to insure a firm hold on the string.

All this work has paid off!  We now have a beautiful angel(s) to adorn our household Christmas scenes!

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