Sunday, 24 December 2017

Gorgeous painted napkins in 10 easy steps.

Christmas is a lovely time to create personal gifts and this year, we had fun indulging in a bit of fabric painting.  This is a fantastic project for anyone wanting to add some personal touches to their dinner table - simply change the napkins and paint colours to match the time of year or event you are wanting to use them for. 


For this project, you will need: 

A set of napkins
Round brush Starter kit and any extra 
Fabric chalk/crayon
Cardboard template 
Scrap cardboard 

Before we even got started painting our napkins, we washed them using washing powder containing no softeners as this would prevent the paint from adhering properly to the fabric.  Once we had ironed them, we were ready to begin. 

Step 1: Create your template.  The heart template in our Round Brush starter kit was too large for what we wanted so we created our own. We chose a heart but this would look lovely as a wreath shape too.  

10 steps to beautiful handpainted napkins. If you want to add a personal touch to your dinner table, click through to find out how simple it is to create your own with You Can Folk It. #handmade #tutorial #howto #painting

Step 2: Using the fabric chalk, draw your template where you want to paint them.  We chose to paint one heart in the corner of each napkin.  

10 steps to beautiful handpainted napkins. If you want to add a personal touch to your dinner table, click through to find out how simple it is to create your own with You Can Folk It. #handmade #tutorial #howto #painting

Step 3: Squeeze out your paint onto your palette and add DecoArt Fabric medium to each colour in equal amounts (1:1) Adding this medium not only makes your design permanent and washable, it makes the paints softer so they move with the fabric instead of peeling and cracking.  

10 steps to beautiful handpainted napkins. If you want to add a personal touch to your dinner table, click through to find out how simple it is to create your own with You Can Folk It. #handmade #tutorial #howto #painting

Step 4: Before you begin, slip your piece of scrap cardboard under your napkin to prevent the paint soaking through to the layers or table underneath.  Using the dotting tool, add your dot roses around the heart as we teach you in the Round Brush Starter kit

10 steps to beautiful handpainted napkins. If you want to add a personal touch to your dinner table, click through to find out how simple it is to create your own with You Can Folk It. #handmade #tutorial #howto #painting

Step 5: Still using the dotting tool, add dots to fill the space between the roses.  We used Hauser Dark Green but you could use the Avocado from our Flat Brush Starter kit (or any other darker green you wish). 

10 steps to beautiful handpainted napkins. If you want to add a personal touch to your dinner table, click through to find out how simple it is to create your own with You Can Folk It. #handmade #tutorial #howto #painting

Step 6: Using the Hauser Light Green from the Starter kit and the Round Brush, start adding 'leaves' to your heart around (and sometimes over) the dots you've just created to fill out your wreath shape.  Remember to leave a few gaps for the next layer of colour too. 

10 steps to beautiful handpainted napkins. If you want to add a personal touch to your dinner table, click through to find out how simple it is to create your own with You Can Folk It. #handmade #tutorial #howto #painting

There is no technique to this, we just used the tip of the brush to dab on small leaf shapes.  This is a fantastic project for anyone starting out with fabric painting as you will quickly realise that painting on to fabric is completely different to painting on to a smoother surface and it creates a beautiful, almost worn look.  You may find you wish to go over a few of the leaves as they do dry darker. 

10 steps to beautiful handpainted napkins. If you want to add a personal touch to your dinner table, click through to find out how simple it is to create your own with You Can Folk It. #handmade #tutorial #howto #painting

Step 7: (Optional) Using your round brush and Warm white from the Starter kit, as you did with the Light Green, add 'leaves' of white to create a snowy effect.  This is down to personal preference as you may find you would prefer to stick with different shades of green to fill out your heart.  

Step 8: Repeat all the above steps to complete the design on each napkin you need.  

Step 9: Leave to dry for 24-48 hours to allow the paint to fully bond with the fabric.  When they are dry, heat set them using an iron for 30 seconds.

10 steps to beautiful handpainted napkins. If you want to add a personal touch to your dinner table, click through to find out how simple it is to create your own with You Can Folk It. #handmade #tutorial #howto #painting

Step 10:  Pop them in the washing machine once again with washing powder (and no softener) and wash on 30 degrees.  Once dry, iron and fold ready for your dinner table.  If these gorgeous painted napkins are a gift for a loved one, why not tie them with a gorgeous co-ordinating ribbon? 















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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

3 beautiful Scandi style looks for Christmas

One of our favourite things to do at Christmas is to wrap the presents.  There's nothing better than sitting around surrounded by gift wrap and pretty accessories to decorate that one gift you handpicked your loved one. Of course, it has to be accompanied by a little festive music too.

Scandi style inspiration is everywhere at the moment so here are a few of our favourite ideas for gift wrapping this year....


Scandi style, gift wrap, DecoArt, handpainted, gift tags

There's nothing more festive than lovely shades of red and we just loved this Scandi Style gift wrap we spied in Paperchase recently.  Whether you choose red gift wrap or choose to add splashes of red on the gift tag or ribbon, it does not matter it's bound to put a smile on your face.   

Brown paper packages all tied up with string.... simple kraft paper, twine, we can't help but love this rustic look.  We teamed these clean, crisp colours with beautiful blue to tie this Scandi look together.  Why not add our dotty snowflakes on to our baubles for a quick easy gift tag? 



Scandi style gift wrap, hand painted, DecoArt, folk art

Scandi style isn't just for festive red! This gorgeous turquoise blue paper, again from Paperchase is just stunning.  Why not pair it with handpainted cards and gift tags using DecoArt's Chalky Finish paint in 'Treasure'


folk art, hand painted gift tag, uni posca, metallic

Deep blues and metallics are a match made in heaven. We chose DecoArt's Metallic acrylic paint in Zinc to co-ordinate with this gorgeous Paperchase Recycled Silver kraft paper.  Hand write your name or greeting with Uni Posca's paint pen in silver and brush a little metallic lustre around the edge of the tag to complete the look. 

There's still time to pick up a few accessories to decorate for the festive season but be quick, the days are flying by! 

Happy festive folking x 



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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

3 ways to wow with Gift Tags


At the moment, you cannot go far on Pinterest without coming across blush.  The pink tones are coming into their own in 2017 inspiring home decor, art and more. 
Blush and grey, copper and blush are on trend at the moment - perfect for Home Decor, Craft projects and more

With many of us embracing the beauty of grey this year, it didn't take long for it to be paired with the popular blush but whether it is paired with greys, coppers or golds, there is no doubting that it creates a sophisticated, feminine look.  We love this colour palette we spied over at The Pixel Odyssey and thought we would use it as inspiration for a few gift tags to use this Christmas.  

Pink and Rose Gold create a delicate and feminine gift tag for a birthday gift

Our first gift tag was decorated using the beautiful Pink Chiffon from DecoArt as its background.  We painted the folk art flower from our Bluebirds kit using DecoArt's Metallic Lustre in Rose Gold, finishing the tag with a little brush lettering learnt at one of Nikki Whiston's fabulous lettering courses.  If you are interested in learning this on trend skill, there are many courses around the UK and of course you can find plenty of resources and tutorials on Pinterest.  

We painted DecoArt Rose Gold and Yesteryear grey to hand paint a few gift tags - the perfect finishing touch to the perfect Christmas gift

Completely in love with the Rose Gold we decided to transform our Dotty Snowflake and that it did! Inspired by this vintage look wrapping paper from Katie Leamon we reached for DecoArt's Chalky finish paint in Yesteryear, a warm grey that works beautifully with the metallic look here.   To complete the project, we lightly brushed Rose Gold Metallic Lustre around the edges of the card.  

Inspired by Kate Leamon's Vintage style gift wrap, we created this handmade angel covered gift tag for our Christmas gifts

Another gorgeous grey is DecoArt's Artefact in their Chalky Finish range.  Taking a step away from the coppers and golds, we paired it with Metallic acrylic in Zinc to create these cute angels from our Christmas kit using our Liner brush.  

These small tags did not take long to decorate but they made a huge impact on the gifts we have to give this Christmas.  If you cannot decide where to start, do as we did and look to your favourite wrapping paper or your ribbons and trimmings to inspire you.  We love picking out colour schemes from old gift wrap and this was interestingly how Carol first decided on the colours we included in our Round Brush Starter kit.  

If you would like to share your photos of your hand painted gift wrap this festive season, we'd love you to tag us in your creations or use the hashtag #youcanfolkit 

Happy Folking! x 








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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

How to make your paints last longer


There's nothing we love more than browsing the paint colours and swatches at Folky HQ, deciding which ones we would like to use or which combinations will create a dreamy shade for a new project.   However, just like when you sit down to indulge in a bit of creative me time at home, it is very rare we can paint uninterrupted and use all our paints up and when you are painting, the last thing you need when painting your comma strokes is drying paint.  Even if you do get to enjoy an uninterrupted Folk It session (yay!) sometimes paints go such a long way, we end up wasting a lot of the paint we've poured out.  Fear not though, we are here to share a crafty secret that will change all that.  

The most valuable piece of kit for us is a wet palette. This container will help keep your paints wet for a few days, perfect for those times when we get interrupted.  The great thing is that with a bit of time and a few supplies, you can create your own.  

For a wet palette you will need: 

An airtight container (we purchased a cheap klip lock style food container) 
Sponge cloth 
Baking paper (ensure that it is the unwaxed version, your paints will not sit well on waxed paper making blending your paints especially difficult) 
scissors 

Step 1: cut your sponge to size.  You will need the sponge to sit neatly inside the lid of the box once it is wrapped.  

Prevent waste and make your paints last longer with your own wet palette. For the price of a few household items, save money and art supplies.

Step 2: Lay your newly cut sponge cloth on your baking paper and cut your baking paper to size. (imagine you are wrapping the sponge just as you would a gift). 


Step 3: thoroughly wet your sponge cloth and squeeze out any excess water.  

Step 4: wrap the (now wet) sponge in the baking paper so that one side of the sponge is smooth.    

How to save money and paints - create your own palette

Step 5: lay the sponge in the lid of the box, add the acrylics you need and paint as normal :) in the event of any interruptions, simply clip the 'lid' on over it.  

Prevent waste and make your paints last longer with your own wet palette. For the price of a few household items, save money and art supplies.

Sit back, relax and enjoy your new palette! For the price of a few household supplies, you can rest easy that you can pop the lid on any time you wish and return to your project soon.  The box will keep the paints fresh for a few days (hopefully enough time to complete the project you are working on).  Make sure that you refresh your sponge with water and rewrap in fresh baking paper when it becomes too messy to use.  

Prevent waste and make your paints last longer with your own wet palette. For the price of a few household items, save money and art supplies.

If you have any handy hints and tips that make life easier when you are painting and crafting, do let us know, we love a good craft hack. 

Happy Folking x 




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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Brand New Folk Art workshop

We will be teaching everyone how to create the perfect base for their project and how to paint beautiful Folk Art designs.

The time has finally come! After a few setbacks over the last year, we are excited to finally announce our first brand new painting workshop.  If you came to visit us at the Handmade Fair recently, you will know that we have recently finished teaching a few Skills Workshops at the event and we definitely got a taste for it again.

Avid followers of You Can Folk It will know that we first introduced workshops back in 2016 but we had to take a step back due to personal reasons. That's why, after a bit of re-thinking and re-formulating, we are so excited to come back with a bang.  We have a fabulous new venue at Kempton Park and are excited to meet faces old and new for the fun filled, creative and inspirational day.

Learn to paint the comma stroke and it can be used to create so many different handpainted designs.

After over 20 years of painting, there is not a lot that we don't know! During the workshop, we will be concentrating on teaching each and every one of you have to use a Round Brush to paint three common Folk Art brushstrokes and learn how to put these together (just as you learn letters to put them together to write words) to create beautiful flowers and other designs that are not included in our Round brush series. Whether you are a fan of our kits already or are a complete beginner who has never held a brush before and you fancy learning something new, head on over to our workshop page.

Create these beautiful Folk Art sunflowers on our Round brush workshop.
These beautiful sunflowers are just one of the flowers Carol will be teaching on the day

However, the fun won't stop there, we ask that everyone who attends the course brings two small items; new accessories for the home or treasures that you have simply fallen out of love with to transform throughout the day.  These can be wooden, metal, glass or terracotta.  As well as learning the brushstrokes, we will also be taking you through the basics of preparing your project and creating a variety of finishes from using DecoArt's Weathered wood, antiquing and using metallic lustres to compliment your painted design.

We are kicking off our first round of workshops at Kempton Park but if you can't make the 11th November, worry not as we will be announcing more dates and venues for early 2018.  We hope to see you there!

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Fabric painting with You Can Folk It

When I first learnt Folk Art, I admit I was so excited. Not only had I found a form of painting that I could learn, that required no artistic ability (very appealing given that I believed that I had none) and one that I could see had so much potential.  Suddenly I began dreaming of all the projects I was going to create; from the candle holders and projects I lovingly created and they lovingly accepted...though I'm not sure how long they treasured them for ;)

In all the years I have been painting, I have painted small projects and large pieces of furniture. I've painted entire walls, items of clothing and one thing I love is painting on fabric.  From leather jackets to simple tote bags, nothing is safe.  Most recently I have been painting our shirts and a few pieces for my son's company, Drop Dead Clothing.

Carol Sykes from You Can Folk It has used Folk Art techniques to paint these gorgeous clothes not just for her company but for her son's company Drop Dead Clothing

When we were planning to expand the projects our customers can create with our kits, I knew I wanted to focus on how our painting kits and the designs can be added to fabric with a little help with DecoArt Fabric medium.

So, in preparation for the show on the 19th August, we have been having great fun at Folky HQ creating a range of fabric projects. Using our Series 2 kits - beautiful Oriental blossom, pretty rosebuds, topiary and lovely lavender we have been decorating everything from cards to cushions, oven gloves to hanging decorations.  With a touch of DecoArt's Fabric medium and your acrylics, no fabric is safe from your paintbrush.

We decorated this plain unloved cushion using DecoArt Americana acrylics, fabric medium and the Series 2 Oriental blossom design from You Can Folk It #sakura

Blossom covered cushions....

For a twist on the traditional greetings cards, use fabric to paint your favourite Folk It design.

We love these fabric greetings cards (get your own fabric hearts as part of our Fabric painting bundle). 

Decorated with our Series 2 Starter kit dotty designs, whether plain or filled with Lavender create a cute little gift.

Whether they are plain decorations or lavender filled hearts, they always look better with a touch of Folk Art don't they?! 

Decorated using Folk Art Rosebuds, this plain set of oven gloves have been transformed in to a beautiful accessory for the kitchen.

Transform a plain old set of oven gloves and add your own Folk Art design.  Change the colour to match your kitchen decor.  

Once you learn the techniques in each kit, with a bit of practice and the right medium there is nothing you cannot transform with a touch of Folk Art.  We hope we have inspired you and we look forward to seeing your future fabric painting. 

Keep on Folking, 

Carol x 






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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

5 ways to decorate with our Delicate lace kit

Create your own hand painted gift boxes with You Can Folk it


Knowing you have found the perfect gift for a loved one is a lovely feeling but how do you present it? Gift wrapping and presentation often fills people with dread but it doesn't have to. This month, we have been having fun decorating a few gift boxes to create beautiful packaging that will be as memorable as the gift itself.

We decorated this plain box using the Round brush Starter kit and Delicate lace kit from You Can Folk It

Basecoating our Kraft box using DecoArt Chalky Finish paint, we began by painting two diagonal lace strips across our gift box and of course, sprinkled it with a dusting of Crystal Glamour dust

We decorated our gift box using the Series 1 Starter kit, delicate lace and vintage roses. The kits from You Can Folk It teach these designs step by step.

The great thing about our Delicate lace kit is that it compliments our other designs well.  For this box, we painted our delicate lace and once it was dry, we added our Vintage roses over the top.  

This plain kraft box was given a makeover using our Folky Christmas angels and Delicate lace kit. Learn how to paint these designs with You Can Folk It and create your own.

One of the boxes we recently created for our Hochanda show recently. This time, we ditched the base coating and paired the kraft box with a plain white design.  We teach you how to paint these pretty little angels in our Christmas kit along with 4 other designs but these angels go so well with our lace, we had to pair them up :) Use this at Christmas for a lovely wow factor. 

Pairing vintage roses and delicate lace from You Can Folk It's folk art painting kits to decorate this gift box.

Getting more adventurous, for this gift box, we drew out a square and designed our own lace trim to compliment it - find out how to design your own lace pattern here



Instead of using a square, here, we used a circle template to create our design and used the steps outlined here to create the pattern.  Inside, we used the template we provide in the Vintage roses kit to paint the centrepiece and create this vintage inspired box. 



There are so many possibilities when it comes to decorating your own gift boxes and the great thing is that base coating your project means that you can even upcycle old packaging and transform it in to  a box worthy of gifting to a loved one.  However you choose to decorate your gift packaging, relax, let go and have fun, after all handmade is always better. 

Happy Folking, 

The You Can Folk It team x 


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