I had a good day yesterday finishing up my new snowflake candle tray and getting some instructions written. I know the tray looked finished yesterday, but I wanted to see how it would look with a little tint and – yes – some sparkles added to it. I was certainly not disappointed.
I had purposely used ash to cut the tray because of its light color. While maple can be light in color like the ash, I find that sometimes the grain is very nondescript and when I use stain or color on it, it is lost completely. While some projects look good with less grain, I wanted this one to have the grain showing through. The simplicity of the swirling design on the tray would look better (I felt) with the grain of the ash visible.
I used the DecoArt Staining and Antiquing gel to make the color very transparent and help it to move as I applied it. This way I was able to achieve a very sheer hint of color without the piece looking ‘painted.’ I used a light blue paint for the base of the tray and dabbed on white for the snowflakes. This coloring was very subtle and still allowed the beauty of the wood to show through.
I then wanted to add just a hint of sparkles, as it was supposed to replicate ice and snow and needed to have some shimmer to it. For the swirls on the tray, I used the DecoArt Glamour Dust Glitter Paint in a pretty blue. The Glamour Dust paint has very finely ground glitter and the base is very slightly tinted. I mixed it with the Staining and Antiquing so that it would be very subtle and just gently brushed it on over the swirls. This gave a shimmer without actually seeing chunks of glitter.
For the snowflakes however, I chose to use some Crystal Craft Twinkles, again by DecoArt. The Craft Twinkles are different from the Glamour Dust in that they are much larger pieces of glitter suspended in a clear base. While this may seem to be a trivial difference, it really affects the overall look of the piece.
I was tossing back and forth as to whether I wanted to use the clear Craft Twinkles or the silver on the snowflakes. I wanted them to stand out from the rest of the piece – especially on the tray. But while I wanted them to sparkle, I didn’t want them to look too gaudy.
In the end, I went with the clear (Crystal) Craft Twinkles, which have a rather iridescent shimmer to them. They are a bit more subtle and really made the tray look nice.
While I liked the natural colored piece, I really feel that adding this bit of color greatly improved the overall look. It gave it that “wow!” effect without smothering the wood grain. So you could still see that it is made from a beautiful piece of wood.
And you need to believe me when I say this takes NO SKILL at all! You simply brush the colors over the areas. No lines. No neatness required. The colors I used are so transparent that if you make a boo boo, it is easily fixed. And the products are so cheap (around $1.50 for a 2 oz bottle of each of the paints/mediums) that your total investment in purchasing the paint/colors for this project would be well under $10. That is one thing that I really love about these DecoArt products. Not only are they easily found (and you can get them online at their website) but they are very cost effective too. I am sorry if I sound like I am doing a commercial for them, but I really think that they have great products and I do use them all the time.
In any case, below is the finished tray:
I think you can see how soft and subtle the color is. You can barely see the shimmer from the Craft Twinkles. Here is a little better picture:
I hope it gets the idea across. Besides . . . subtle is good, isn’t it?
Well, that’s it for today. I am still working on the pattern for this and the site update. Hopefully I can get the newsletter out by this evening. We have several new things to up there and more fun yet to come.
Monday already? It will be different to have a ‘normal’ week again. But good. I hope you all have a graeat day! :)
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"