Mixed Media Canvas Collage

Today I stepped outside of my crafting comfort zone, in a way. I wanted to make something sweet for a friend's birthday - I was thinking along the lines of a little zipper bag, until I came across a 4x4" canvas in my stash. There were some techniques I've been wanting to try, and I started collecting fabric & notion scraps and embellishments from my scrapbooking graveyard (a hobby that never stuck). And voilĂ ... A mixed media canvas collage was born!

Random: mixed media or mixed medium?

First I really wanted to try printing on fabric. I had some linen scraps which I ironed to freezer paper (which makes it feed through easier) and just printed like normal. Let me say that I don't have a fancy printer and I don't have a laser printer. In fact I have about the cheapest inkjet WalMart is selling these days. In case you've never worked with freezer paper, you match the shiny side to the wrong side of the fabric and iron over the fabric (later, after you print, the freezer paper just peels away). Try not to touch the iron directly to the freezer paper. Sometimes the corners folded as it was being fed through the printer so I found it most helpful to leave about an inch of freezer paper exposed at the top edge to help it through. Wouldn't it be cute to print monograms on burlap or do custom fabric printing on your sewing projects?! The font is Beauregard from dafont.com in case you were wondering.

Next I wanted to take a page from a novel and transfer it onto the canvas as sort of a vintage looking background but I couldn't get my hands on just the right thing, so instead I found a pretty font and just printed the words my friend instead (Zapfino font) with my inkjet on plain ol' printer paper.  I transferred the words onto the canvas using the gel medium I used for my tile project. I was taking a risk because I have heard that you must use laser copies for this to work but my inkjet worked just fine (whew!). Don't forget to flip (reverse/mirror) the image so it prints backward because you will be putting it face down on the project.  Just paint the gel where the image/text will go on the canvas and lay the image face down on the gel and smooth it out. Let it dry for a few hours. Then dampen the paper and gently rub the paper away. Careful not to rub the artwork clean off!  I go into more detail in my post about image transfers on tile, if you need more pictures.

The top one is face down in the goop, the bottom one is just to remind you to print the image backwards

Moving on... I used some satin scraps and Swarovski beads to make a shabby chic little flower deal-y-o.  Mind you I know nothing about making fabric flowers!  I vaguely remembered something on Pinterest about a half circle shape and a running stitch, and just fumbled around until I had something resembling petals. I cut very rough half circles in satin and ran a running stitch along the straight edge, then gathered and tied. I made 2 large and 3 small and tacked them together and sewed a few Swarovski beads in the center. Then I roughed up the edges for a frayed effect. I was pretty pleased!

I love this picture!

Then it was just a matter of finding ribbon, paper, beads and other embellishments to arrange on the canvas. I glued everything in place and it was ready to give her the next day!  I used Mod Podge on the paper, fabric and ribbon and E6000 on the beads and heart embellishment and flower.  No, that's a lie, I used Liquid Nails on the heart embellishment because it's such a thick glue that it created a base for the heart to sit on.

Recognize these beads from my chandelier cake plates?  I think my favorite part of the project was printing on fabric, and I plan to incorporate that into more of my projects!

I think these are such neat gifts because they are do personal, and thoughtful because you really put a lot of effort into the details. It was fun to take a break from sewing, I must admit, and do something a little less precise. Don't get me wrong, I'm still itching to make myself a cross-body bag and my daughter somn hiphop pants!

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