November 28, 2011 at 5:45 pm
by Suzonne Stirling
I love when I stumble onto a craft project that’s visually satisfying and yet so simple I can make multiples in an afternoon. That was my experience with these evergreen painted trays from Festive Holiday Crafts in the December issue of Family Circle. I had seen this stenciling technique used for cards, but I wanted to try it with something larger that I could incorporate into my Christmas decor. Because I have stacks of old brass and metal trays that I pick up for pennies at local thrift stores, they seemed like good objects to experiment with. It was a winner for me. I’m very happy with the results!
But don’t limit yourself to my examples. Some greens are more flexible and would work well on cylindrical objects (I’m envisioning snowy candleholders). Or, for a really quick craft, you can make holiday versions of botanical prints on colored or metallic papers and frame them. More ambitious? Try covering a tabletop with an evergreen design and make a singular holiday accessory. Whatever your skill level, I think you’ll have a lot of fun with this craft.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Prime trays with a spray primer, then spray the color that you’d like the base to be (the design that’s revealed underneath); let dry completely.
2. Flatten out your greenery so it’s easier to deal with (if necessary, place a stack of heavy books on it for a few hours), then apply a repositionable spray adhesive to the back side of it.
3. Arrange the greenery on the trays, pressing down to make sure the adhesive sticks.
4. Apply a light coating of spray paint in a contrasting color over the greenery and base color (spray overhead and keep your paint can the recommended distance). Gently remove the greenery and set aside to dry.
(Optional) If you want to use your tray instead of making it a decorative piece, apply several thin coats of finishing spray (available in matte and glossy). Don’t place food directly on the trays, but you can use with dishes or glassware.
Resources: Design Masters Modern Metals spray paint in Metallic Taupe, Champagne Silver, Krylon paint in Satin finish – white and ivory
TIP: Go to a tree lot and ask if you can buy castoff branches from trimmed trees or garlands. I bought a bundle of branches from my tree lot for $5.
Arrange multiples in a china cabinet, for a display that’ll carry you through January.
For more craft and home ideas visit me at Urban Comfort.