1 pre-stretched canvas
Water colors (and water color supplies)
Embroidery Needle (thin one so it doesn't put large holes in the canvas)
Modge Podge in Matte
Brushes for Modge Podge application
Painters Tape (optional)
I learned some things along the way while doing this so hopefully the next 2 canvas' will turn out even better. But, here is what I did on this one:
Step 1: Paint the canvas with your basic watercolor wash. I used a blueish green with some white to lighten it. Make sure to use good quality water color paints here as the cheapy containers will just puddle. (Lesson learned: Use a canvas for water color if you want the color to stay on really well. When I got to a later step some of the color was coming off. I was trying to be
Step 2: Once your first wash has dried create a second wash with some yellow and brown to give the first wash a slight aged look.
Step 4: (This is different than how I did it because I learned some things along the way which is why there aren't pictures for the following few steps. I'm trying to save you the trouble of where I went wrong, but I will explain to you later what I did and what happened as a result.)
Cut your fabric into free form leafy shapes. Try to choose a fabric with some variance in color on it to make the cut outs more appealing to the eye. Plain colored fabric will loose the dimensional look you're going for. Using a small brush and Modge Podge in Matte (that's important) glue down the back sides of the leaves onto your canvas.
Step 5: Sew your buttons onto the canvas using embroidery thread and a thin embroidery needle. In this case I was doing a bunch of grapes so each button represented a grape. Try to use buttons in one color scheme but some that are lighter and darker than others and vary in size. This is why the scrap booking packages of buttons are so great.
Step 6: Take an old rag (torn up t-shirt works great) and rub it on a Walnut stain pad (Looks like a stamp pad, and you can get it at most scrap booking stores). Gently rub the stain on the canvas, including the leaves you glued down. Be gentle, and pat. Test this on the sides of the stretched canvas first so you know how much stain you want on your rag. If you're not careful you can be too heavy handed. I did some extra rubbing and staining on the corners to age it further.
Step 7: Modge Podge across the entire canvas carefully (it will dry clear so if a little gets on the buttons that's okay). Some stain may come off. That's okay. Just reapply a little more if you need to. Let dry.
Step 8: Using green embroidery floss stitch some curly vines and a stem onto your canvas, and voila...you're done!
So...here's a few things I did wrong along the way (in my opinion).
1. I glued the leaves down after a sewed the grapes (buttons) on. This left some gaps of water color showing through that I wasn't really wanting. No biggie, but lesson learned.
2. I Modge Podged the back of the leaves and the tops of the leaves in one step. This sealed them in so they wouldn't peel up as I worked. However it created an area of Modge Podge that lifted some of the water color and also left some Modge Podge "outlines" around the leaves which is why I now have the top coat of Modge Podge in a later step.
3. The Walnut stain will come off on your fingers so I recommend Modge Podging over that to seal it all in. My fingers were brown while stitching my vines. Then the Modge Podge smeared my stain a little so I had to put a little more on top to even it out giving it a slightly more antiqued look than I was going for, but I still love it.
4. Be careful and even with your Modge Podge brush strokes. Go all of the way to the edge of the canvas.
5. If you have painters tape you could use that on the front to tape off where the slats are on the back so you know how far out you can go when sewing on buttons or stitching leaves easily.
Sorry for the lack of pictures with the steps, but it wouldn't have made sense to you since I did it in a different order. Still to come I'm thinking of a cherry and a strawberry. But, blueberries have popped into my brain now so we shall see. :)