Togetherness, inspiration and creativity

Maz Makes… Falls in Love With Mackenzie Childs!

Maz Makes… Falls in Love With Mackenzie Childs!

We have big news this week! Crafters, Maz has fallen in love! But it’s not quite what you think… Read on to discover exactly what has captivated Maz, and the exciting new upcycling project she’s started as a result!

You know the feeling – you look across the room and you just know… There’s no stopping it! Your mind is filled with thoughts of nothing but your new obsession, and you spend all day dreaming of the next opportunity you can do something together. And so it was when I saw MacKenzie-Childs for the first time. There was something so enchanting, exciting, and bursting with possibility in this fabulous work… it took three hours and a flat laptop battery before I could tear myself away!

MacKenzie-Childs is a manufacturer of ceramics and retailer of hand painted imported furniture based in Aurora, New York founded by Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs. What they do with ceramics, furniture and homeware is AMAZING!

MacKenzie-Childs – My New Love

Their whimsical and imaginative work has become quite an obsession with me. I have had trouble thinking of much else over the past fortnight… and the passion shows little sign of abating!

Sadly, my budget does not stretch to being able to get my hands on some of their originals, but they have inspired me to bring a touch of their style into our kitchen/family room. This is currently being redecorated by my husband to standards only perfectionists of the most extreme calibre will appreciate – not much pressure on me to bring a new lease of life to our furnishings then!

My Mackenzie Childs Project:

I decided to begin with some coasters as a way of experimenting with ways of introducing a touch of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

Materials used:

How I Did It:

Step 1:

I took some coasters which were past their best (but still sound, with a great cork backing) and gave them two coats of gesso.

Step 2:

Using the sofa (which is a focal point of the room) as inspiration, I chose a motif from the upholstery fabric to be the floral component of the coaster design.

Step 3:

As I am by no means an artist, I used my favourite grid technique (drawing a grid over a photo of the motif and then the same grid onto the object you are working on, but scaled to suit the size of the object). In this case, I drew a circle around the flower and divided it into four, and then drew a circle on the coaster also divided into four.

Step 4:

Once I was confident that I could draw a reasonable motif and get the colouring I wanted using acrylic paint, I drew the circle and grid drawing in the centre of the coaster. Adding the grid for the black and white checks was next and I was ready to start ‘for real’! I used a soft pencil for my gridlines and motif outlines. (Easy to rub out where not covered with paint).

Step 5:

Usng acrylic paint, I painted the motif first, using what I had learned during my practise runs. For the checks, I used a straight brush the same width as the block, which made it much easier. I started with the black squares and, once these were dry, moved onto the whites. As the checks are supposed to be a little aged and messy I wasn’t too fussy about clean outlines but did tidy up a little using a black paint pen.

Step 6:

Then came the fun part of adding a little yellow in odd corners of the white blocks and a little light grey on the black, until I was happy with the aged effect. I then painted on about 15 coats of glossy Modge Podge (not as time-consuming as it sounds, as the Podge dries so quickly) to give a lovely glazed effect.

Top Tip:

From about layer 13, paint on a thin layer of water immediately after the Podge to get rid of any brush marks.  It’s possible to get a glass smooth finish this way!

And there you have it! I’m really chuffed with how these came out, and I can’t wait to get started on some picture frames now!

Fancy trying your hand at upcycling? We’ve a range of Mod Podge goodies available at Create and Craft to help you transform ornaments, picture frames, furniture and more. What kind of household objects would you like to breathe new life into?

’til next time, Maz.

Lisa at Create & Craft
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