Wednesday, 11 July 2018

How to paint a wreath - part 1

Wreaths are everywhere at the moment aren't they?! Whether they are being handpainted during an Instagram video, adorning a greetings cards or being featured on some gorgeous stationary, their popularity shows no signs of waning.

We have certainly seen the attraction of wreaths since launching our Folky Christmas kit a few years ago.  There is something so relaxing about layering up the different shades of paint and creating the wreath design to create a beautiful festive greetings card. However, what was once a symbol of the Christmas period has now become much more versatile. Whether they are made of flowers, ribbon, photos or pom poms, there is a wreath for every style and every occasion and this is also becoming the case for those wreaths we paint.

For our #funwithfolkit painting challenge this month, we have been focusing on wreaths and it is clear that this has captured the imagination of so many of you.  If you don't fancy creating your own classic foliage wreath from our Dotty Collection painting kit, we thought we would put together a few steps to help you create your own painted wreaths using the kits you already have.

Create a template to guide you when you are designing your wreath

Step 1: Create a guide for you to work to by drawing round a circle or using a compass.  If you feel like you would like more structure to work with, draw a smaller circle within the larger circle.

Use the Rule of 3 and add flowers to your wreath, space them evenly around your ring.

Step 2: When creating your wreath, it helps to balance out some of the larger elements (e.g. vintage roses or daisies) with smaller elements (dotty flowers and leaves) The great thing here is that there are no limits - you can include what you want and leave out flowers or brushstrokes that you are less confident with.  A good tip to remember is to stick with odd numbers.  On a smaller wreath, work with three larger elements like we did here. If you are working on a larger wreath, use 5 flowers and so on to suit the size of your finished piece, this will make the finished piece more aesthetically pleasing.

First, mark out where your largest flowers will be.  Here we began with roses arranging them around the circle.

Use the rule of 3 - add your large flowers to the ring, if there is space, rotate your page and add three more or three different flowers

Step 3: Next, because we had enough space, we rotated our design and added three daisies before adding leaves with our round brush (again, adopting the rule of 3 to add leaves to each side of the roses).  Remember: You can work slightly inside and outside of your guide (as we have in the placement of the leaves) but always try to stay close to your original guide to prevent a wonky or uneven wreath!

When creating a wreath, you may be the type of person who likes to plan where you will add each element. To do this, you can draw out a pattern in a sketch book to trace and transfer it to your painting journal.  The important thing is that you find a process that suits you.

After adding your larger elements, fill any gaps with smaller items such as Rosebuds, dot flowers or comma strokes

Step 4: Once you have added the larger flowers and details, take a look at your wreath to see where there are gaps and fill with smaller details like dot flowers, rosebuds, a sprig of lavender or berries....anything that takes your fancy.

Folk Art painted wreath from You Can Folk It

Step 5: Once your wreath is complete, sit back and admire!

If you have created it as you paint and would like to keep the pattern, leave your design to dry before covering with transfer paper and drawing out a rough guide of where everything is.  As you can see, we have traced within the edges of the painting. This means that when you come to paint it, you will cover the lines you have transferred.  This is a great way to build up a collection of patterns and it means that you can try it again using different colours.

Pattern from You Can Folk It using different painting kits to create a beautiful painted floral wreath

We'd love to see your finished wreaths - tag us in your social media posts and use #funwithfolkit

Happy Folking xx


Tuesday, 3 July 2018

10 painting projects to inspire you

Well another month has flown by and so has another monthly theme for our #funwithfolkit challenge.  When we posted our first Flora and Fauna themed project, we never expected it would be as popular as it was, getting thousands of views within the first week of being posted.  If you haven't seen it yet, why not pop over to the blog post here for a look. 

It seems that there are two camps for these challenges, those that love incorporating the themes in to their Folk It designs and those that run with it to create their own unique ideas.  However you interpret them, we love them all.  Here we have rounded up our favourites for the month of June.  

Inspired by Cath Kidston, we love Jackys version - complete with You Can Folk It's Vintage Roses and ladybirds

Jacky from Chloe and Kato recently rediscovered her painting mojo and created this beautiful spray of daisies and roses - inspired by her favourite mug! We have to say though, it is definitely cuter with a few ladybugs. 

Fabric painting from Jackie - such a beautiful scarf and our Sunflower design looks great against the blue fabric

Painting on fabric takes practice, painting on silk is a labour of love but Jackie from Jacbnimble Crafts has done brilliantly creating this scarf for her friend.  

Jaxs used our Butterflies and Vintage Rose painting kits to decorate these pretty pots #giftidea #folkart

Jaxs from Vintage Crafts by Jax has created these gorgeous purple plant pots using our Butterfly and Vintage Rose kits.   By using a limited colour palette she has created a beautiful set of gifts that really stand out.  

Beautiful Vintage roses and cute bees! We love it!

The lovely Folker from At the Painting Table has got creative to add the cutest bees to these delightful yellow roses - the perfect painting project for summer

Painted dragonfly - decorated using You Can Folk It's Round Brush Starter kit

Vanessa has found this lovely dragonfly shape to decorate for the Flora and Fauna theme.  Dot daisies, dot roses and other dot patterns, it's got it all!

Vintage roses in a variety of fun colours inspired by wildlife - such a unique idea.

Stepping away from shapes and projects, Helen has used the Flora and Fauna theme to inspire her colour choices in her practice pages...what a great idea.  

Sandra from You Can Folk It designed this dragonfly project for our #funwithfolkit painting challenge.  She combined our Delicate lace design and dot patterns to complete the project.

Sandra felt inspired after creating our Bee tutorial to create a different project.  Featuring a unique Dragonfly design on the lid, she added a few dot daisies and vintage lace to the box to complete it. 

This wooden duck from Nazlie is just stunning. Decorated using our Vintage Rose painting kit

These ducks are so popular at the minute with crafters.  Using a French blue base coat and our Vintage Rose kit, Nazlie from Cositas Bonitas has turned this into a real centrepiece. 

Freestanding wooden decorations are great to decorate with Folk It painting kits available from

Who would have thought a Folked up owl would look so pretty! Helen from Mindful Crafts used our popular Round Brush Starter kit to decorate this owl beautifully.

Vikki fell in love with her You Can Folk It Starter Kit and started getting creative - she creates such great designs with her dotting tool.

Vikki discovered our stand and our kits at the Handmade Fair and she's been hooked ever since - we love the original and unique designs she has been creating with her dotting tool and this Dragonfly design worked perfectly for June's theme! 

So as we head in to July, this month in our #funwithfolkit painting challenge, we are concentrating on wreaths.  Whether they are dotty or festive, floral or not, we can't wait to see them all! 

Happy Folking! 


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Our top ten creativity quotes

We love a good quote - when you haven't got the words to explain why we do what we do, when we need the right dose of motivation or when we need to bring a smile to our face, there is a quote for every occasion.  

Here, we have put together our 10 favourite quotes, about crafting, creativity and of course, painting. Of course there are so many more fab quotes out there, we have a whole board dedicated to them :)

Enjoy a different kind of happiness with art - the benefits of art #quote

Whether it is strolling round a gallery, painting and creating or visiting the theatre, art calls to us in a way that nothing else can. 

Allow painting to distract you from every day life and focus on something beautiful #quote #mindfulness

We love painting for the way it allows us to escape our thoughts for a while. 

Wake and make - enjoy the creative way of life #quote

Once you let yourself get creative, it becomes a way of life 

Painting makes us happy, we are happiest when we paint #quote #craftquote

It is a cycle - when we paint we feel happier.  When we are happy, all we want to do is paint :) It's not about the project we create, it is about the process - about zoning out and getting lost in a little creativity. 

Ever been to a Craft Fair or shop and thought this? Yeah, us too ;) 

Weekend housework 100% crafting! #craftquote #quote

Every weekend..... 
We have priorities after all! 

What mess? this is creative freedom #craftquote #creativity #quote

There's no such thing as mess when we are being creative! 

Makers gonna make and we have to paint  #craftquote #quote

It's not a choice...its a must!

Paint is only wasted when it stays in the bottle #quote #crafting #painting

Don't leave your paint in the bottle! Paint is made to be used...the only question is what will you create

if only! #quote #crafting #painting

If only! 


Monday, 4 June 2018

5 steps to beautiful bees

June is all about "Flora and Fauna" for our #funwithfolkit painting challenge.  Saying good bye to our Rainbow theme was difficult yet we have already been experimenting with a few new ideas including this sweet project.  

To complete this project you will need: 

Your chosen project - we chose this stone heart we originally bought from Matalan 

Step 1. Using the Tracing and transfer paper from the Starter kit, transfer the bee design (below) on to your project. 

Step 2. Using the round brush and Bright Brass, fill the shapes (labelled Brass below). While the paint is still wet, sprinkle a little DecoArt Gold Glamour Dust over these areas to add a little sparkle*

 Step 3. Next, fill in the shapes labelled white with either Snow or Warm White.  Finally, fill the remaining shapes of the body with Lamp Black.  Using the Medium liner brush, paint the legs and antennas with Lamp black.  

Step 4. Using DecoArt Metallic in Bright Brass and Americana in White and Lamp Black (for the branches and flower centres), add our Oriental Blossom design around the edge of your project (we have added it round the side but this will depend on what you have chosen to paint e.g. for a plant pot, why not paint the Blossom around the lip? For a card, why not add a spray in the corner? 

Step 5. Using a small stencil brush, load a little Metallic Lustre on to the bristles.  Before you apply it to the project, rub the bristles in a circular motion on a piece of kitchen towel to remove the excess.  Dry brush the Champagne Ice over any raised areas on your project and over the bees wings.  

*Being a decorative item, we have left our project as it is. However, if you wish to use this design on outdoor plant pots, do not use Glamour Dust and finish your item with a couple of coats of Multi Purpose Sealer (which acts as a varnish) or weather proof varnish. If you wish to add this design on to furniture, again, forget the Glamour Dust and seal your finished piece with a coat of Chalky Finish Wax.


Thursday, 31 May 2018

10 fantastic ways to paint with rainbows

 Rainbow inspiration from You Can Folk It

Last month, we announced our fun new painting challenge.  Choosing a range of broad themes for our painters to have fun with each month we hoped they would inspire your journal pages and projects.  Our first month, a month filled with beautiful rainbows has not disappointed as we have been fascinated by your projects.  We were so inspired, we couldn't resist getting involved ourselves.  Here are a few gorgeous projects we have created and admired over the last month.  

Hand painted rainbow decorations look beautiful on this freestanding lego project

Helen from Mindful Crafts has recently discovered these fantastic freestanding Lego decorations and given him a rainbow makeover.  

Carol Sykes from You Can Folk It created this beautiful rainbow using techniques from their flat brush kits available from

Our Flat Brush Cupcakes and Babushka kits teach you how to 'float' colour to create depth and dimension in your painting. Here, Carol used this technique to create a beautiful rainbow. 

A rainbow makeover for You Can Folk It's dot rose design from the Round Brush kit

One of our customers (@at_the_painting_table) transformed our Dot rose design using all the colours of the rainbow.

Dotty daisies from You Can Folk It's round brush starter kit - rainbow style

Jackie @jacbnimble_crafts indulged in a little dotting and we love rainbow daisies! 

Using a muted rainbow of colours and a liner brush to paint this dandelion clock

We got out our liner brush and did a little practice using a muted rainbow, not as bold as the bright palette but still as pretty

Play and experiment with colour - You Can Folk It vintage roses in rainbow colours

Sometimes it's fun to break the rules and experiment and Rose creates beautiful projects when she does just that! You can create the most interesting and eye catching paintings when you play with colour. 

We used paint pens and our comma strokes to create this fun painting

We revisited our childhood with this splatter painting and had great fun making a mess! 

Vikki @take_time_out discovered our kits at the Handmade Fair and there's been no stopping her creativity ever since.  Here she mixed rainbow dots with brush lettering while she took time out to create.

Handpainted flowers transformed by a bright and fun rainbow palette

We adapted our Bluebird flowers to create something unique and the rainbow colours certainly helped us do that! 

You Can Folk It Oriental Blossom flowers look beautiful in rainbow colours.  A great project when learning to paint.

Using floating (from our Cupcake and Babushka kits) and our Oriental Blossom kit, @at_the_painting_table used the theme literally and created this beautiful flower rainbow.  

One thing is for sure, the first monthly theme of our Painting challenge has inspired some new and exciting ideas.  Painting with rainbow colours is so fun, we doubt we have seen the last of this theme.  As we move forward to our next theme, flora and fauna, we look forward to seeing more gorgeous projects and journal pages from all you Folkers :) 

Happy Folking x  


Monday, 21 May 2018

No reciclar ... reutilizar! Crea hermosos elementos de almacenamiento con You Can Folk It!

Una cosa que tenemos en casa es muchas cajas, latas y tarros. No los recicles! En cambio, dales vida con un hermoso cambio de imagen. Esta semana, hemos estado utilizando nuestras antiguas tinas de dulce y nos hemos inspirado en las cajas de sombreros vintage para mejorar nuestro primer proyecto, solo para ti. Nos encantó el aspecto de algunas cajas de sombreros vintage que encontramos cubiertas de hermosas rosas.

Para este proyecto, necesitarás:

Un contenedor de plástico de su elección

La primera decisión que debe tomar es decidir qué va a decorar. Este es un gran proyecto para experimentar: pintar sobre superficies curvas es muy diferente a pintar superficies planas. Si su proyecto falla, aún puede reciclarse y no le ha costado dinero. Elegimos una tina dulce de plástico que iba a ser reciclada.

La pintura de acabado DecoArt Chalky se puede pintar directamente en la superficie, no requiere preparación. Sin embargo, una cosa que tendrá que hacer antes de comenzar a pintar es limpiar el recipiente por completo con una mezcla de vinagre y agua para eliminar las huellas dactilares grasosas. Cualquier grasa que quede en la superficie evitará que la pintura se adhiera a la superficie.

DecoArt Chalky finish paint requires no preparation!

Una vez que haya decidido qué tono de pintura Chalky Finish le gustaría usar, comience a pintar la bañera con un pincel plano. Asegúrese de cubrir cada pulgada de la bañera con la pintura.
Decorate old plastic containers with roses and Metallic lustre

1. Una vez que la capa base de Chalky Finish se haya secado, con el dedo, la tela o el pincel viejo, aplique Rose Gold Metallic Lustre alrededor de la tapa. Consejo: si su brillo metálico se ha endurecido, ponga un poco de agua en el recipiente, vuelva a atornillar la tapa y déjela reposar durante un par de horas o durante la noche.

2. Usando los patrones, coloque rosas al azar alrededor del borde, alternando entre 1 rosa, 2 rosas y 3 racimos de rosas. Consejo: para que se vea más profesional, trace algunas de las rosas que Carol ha hecho aquí. A continuación trace el clúster más grande en el centro de su proyecto, o en este caso, la tapa. Nota: los patrones deberían imprimirse con el tamaño correcto.

A continuación, rellena las rosas con el pincel redondo del kit básico de la serie 1 como se indica en el DVD tutorial de Vintage Rose. Para este proyecto, Carol usó DecoArt Americana Naphthol Red. Sin embargo, puede crear un tono similar mezclando nuestro Tomate rojo de Serie 1 con un poco de Negro de lámpara, también del kit de Serie 1. (Para obtener más información sobre cómo mezclar colores, haga clic aquí).

3. Usando Aguacate verde del kit de la Serie 2, agregue las hojas siguiendo el tutorial del DVD Vintage Rose. Consejo: Si no tiene el kit básico de la Serie 2, puede usar el Hauser Light Green de nuestro kit de la serie 1.

Ahora tiene el patrón para trabajar, agregue sus trazos de coma para pintar sus rosas vintage, inclinando su pincel con Blanco cálido: puede ver el tutorial completo en el DVD proporcionado en nuestro kit adicional Vintage Rose.
Usando su cepillo de liner, agregue los tallos a sus hojas usando DecoArt Americana en aguacate alrededor de la tina.
Una vez que el diseño esté seco, usando blanco cálido, agregue comas usando su pincel de recubrimiento. Para finalizar, agregue un poco de "follaje de relleno". Esto ha sido creado cargando el extremo del cepillo redondo con aguacate y vertiendo el cepillo con blanco.
Deje que se seque y aplique una capa de cera Clear Creme con un cepillo redondo para proteger su hermoso y nuevo almacenamiento. Puede usarlo una vez que haya secado o pulido la cera con un paño suave y sin pelusa para crear un suave brillo en su contenedor.

From an old chocolate tub to beautiful storage

Happy Folking, 

Carol xx 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

The 5 must have items in our painting stash

The five products that we wouldn't be without when using our painting kits

As a painter, there is nothing worse than getting into your flow and realising you are missing something you need.  Hours can fly by when you're in the creative zone but if you aren't prepared, if you haven't got what you need to hand, it can be incredibly frustrating. This was one of the reasons we were so passionate about the contents of our Starter kits.  We wanted to provide everything you needed (with the exception of a pot of water and kitchen towel!) so that as soon as you got hold of your kit, you could enjoy that excitement and get stuck in straight away without more trips to the craft shop.

Over the years, as we have developed our skills we have found extra bits and bobs we find ourselves reaching for time and again....

1. Kitchen roll.  A rather uninspiring start to our list we know but a definite must have! Perfect for cleaning our dotting tools, mopping up any little spillages and drips as well as drying off our brushes after each wash.  As the DecoArt Americana colours are so beautiful and the consistency is specially formulated for Folk Art, we prefer not to dilute the paint for our brushstrokes.  If you aren't sure if you are loading your brush properly for those perfect comma strokes, check out this tutorial.

Save your DecoArt Americana paints by creating and using a wet palette - easy DIY project

2. A wet palette. This is such a simple addition to your painting kit yet it makes all the difference.  There is nothing worse than wasting paints and as many of our designs don't require a large amount of paint, a wet palette is a must have.  As we head towards warmer times in the UK, we certainly notice a difference in the drying  times of our paints and so we need to do our best to prevent our paints turning in to a gloopy blob!

One of our customers used Scotch magic tape to mask off parts of this design ready for the greeting.
Photo courtesy of @at_the_painting_table

3. Scotch Magic Tape (the green one). Tape is always handy but in addition to holding down practice paper when we like to take our creativity outside, we love this tape for masking.  Although 3M do create a Scotch Removable tape (the blue one) we have found that it is not sticky enough for us.  If this magic tape is a tad sticky for our surface, pressing it once or twice on to our clothes often does the trick in removing some of the adhesive.  If you have some tape, why not try masking off a square or strip to create a clean edge in your painting?

4. Sakura Gelly Roll pen.  We have started to use these in the last few years at our events.  Although we still prefer to use our Transfer paper, when you are drawing out 300+ templates for a Grand Make or teaching a large group of painters, it can be handy to use to draw out your desired pattern.  (however, be aware this pen is obviously less forgiving than our transfer papers so wherever you leave a mark, you will need to paint over the top).  More recently, we have also used it to add writing to our projects.  From simple block lettering to fancy faux calligraphy, this white pen looks great on a dark background.

5.  Last but not least is our Drying time extender.  Featured in our Flat Brush Starter kit, we use it to help our paints blend seamlessly together to create a beautiful effect for our flat brush designs.  We also use it on our wet palettes when we are painting not just outside but as we are demonstrating at events.  Warm areas and rooms with lots of people can dry out your paints so this is great to help keep your paints workable and again, reduces paint wastage (always a good thing!)

So there you have it... our top 5 must haves for our painting kit, we hope you find it useful.  What is in your painting kit that you just couldn't live without? Leave us a comment, we'd love to know.

Happy Folking x
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