etsy mini

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Fun with mixed media

Yesterday I decided to play with mixed media techniques. As the leaves are changing colour I decided to base my design on an Autumn leaf. This is what I came up with
I'll tell you how I made it and you might like to experiment with ideas of your own.
As a firm base for the leaf I made some burgundy coloured felt with a few silk inclusions and whilst that was drying I set about making the textured background.
Materials I used 
Handmade paper, a brown paper bag, some silk carrier rods which had been separated into thin layers and some snippets from some hessian fabric. 
First I wanted to unify all of the elements so I made some strong, black tea and popped the carrier rods in it then painted the handmade paper with tea as well. I left the brown paper as it was but scrumpled it up until it was soft and nicely textured.
these all needed to dry as well so I began the leaf itself. I took the dry felt and chopped up all of the red fabrics I thought would blend together. I used silk, red ribbon, red scrim, red cotton fabric then added a little piece of orange silk and some chopped up gold thread. These were all bonded to the felt with bonding powder. You could use bondaweb. Next I took some sheer, red fabric. I think it is polyester chiffon. It MUST be a man made fabric so that you can melt some of it later. This was then bonded on top of my fabric snippets.
I made a template of a leaf and pinned it to my fabric sandwich and using free machine stitching outlined the shape of the leaf on to my fabric. Discard the paper template and first cut around the outside of your stitching and then add more stitching for veins. I then took some wrapped cord and couched it down the middle for the central vein and stem.
Now the fun bit! Take a heat tool, you can use a soldering iron, a heat tool that looks a bit like a hairdryer or as a last resort a lighter will do. Make sure you are standing near the sink in case of fire. Now apply heat to parts of the leaf to expose your fabric snippets in some places and the felt base in others.More stitching can be added if you wish. I added a few french knots by hand.
Now back to the paper.
So all of the elements would blend together more easily I decided to tear the paper rather than cutting it. I played around with the papers and carrier rods until I was satisfied  and then bonded then all together along with some tea bag papers and the hessian snippets. 
All that was left was to stitch the leaf to the backing which I did by hand down the central vein only so the leaf stands proud. I mounted it on a piece of mount board and trimmed the edges.
I am going to put it in a box frame to display. Here is a close up picture so you can see the textures more clearly.


  1. That sounds and looks so good. What great imagination you have used to create this work of art.