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

Monday, 30 April 2018

Join our #funwithfolkit monthly challenges

Have #funwithfolkit and their monthly painting challenges

You may remember my admission once upon a time that I am not very good at painting without a purpose.  It's true, I would love to be one of those people overflowing with creative inspiration and the imagination of a child but sadly, it isn't the case.  That's part of the reason I fell in love with Folk Art because I finally found an art form I could master, designs I could follow step by step.

Personalise anything with You Can Folk It vintage roses and folk art painting

When I sit down to paint these days, I still like to have prompts, ideas of what to create or which colour palette to choose.  That is why we have decided to begin our Monthly challenges to inspire you to have #funwithfolkit Each month we will be providing a simple prompt to inspire your practice or your project, from pattern ideas to colour inspiration they can be interpreted in whichever way your creative mind takes you.

Wake and make - You Can Folk It daisy details, folk art painting and hand lettering

There are no rules when it comes to our monthly challenges.  Each theme can be used to inspire just one practice page or it can influence a few.  You can use it to help create a project, gift or a greetings card.  However you choose to use our theme, please tag us in your posts and use the hashtag #funwithfolkit

Each month, we will share your images across our social media and the most liked posts will be shared on our blog and in our newsletter.

DecoArt American Acrylics, You Can Folk It

So, starting tomorrow and throughout May, our first theme will be beautiful Rainbows.  I picked this one following my recent colour mixing adventures as it is a great opportunity to play with colour if you wanted to take the theme less literally.  We hope this theme makes you smile as much as we do and that you will have some great #funwithfolkit

Here's to a month filled with fun, Folk It, colour and creativity

Happy Folking x


Thursday, 19 April 2018

The first step towards understanding colour

Carol Sykes from You Can Folk It talks colour theory and the Ives Colour wheel

I will never forget that moment when I first found Folk Art painting while I was living in Australia in 1993.  I was a young mum and loved making any house we lived in into a home, I particularly wanted to paint furniture and decorate useful items.  When I found Folk Art painting it changed my world, I just loved everything about it.

I never thought much about colour as my teacher often provided a colour palette for me or I stuck to the colours I was drawn to, I didn't think much about which colours complimented each other or which colours would suit the design I wanted to create.  

That all changed for me when I came back to the UK and began teaching others, I attended every class I could to improve my knowledge.  I can still remember my first colour workshop, the teacher brought in the colour paint strips that you get in DIY stores and told us he was going to teach us how to mix those colours.  I honestly thought he was crazy!  I had been painting for about 3 years by then and it seemed impossible but...once you understand the theory, although it seems so simple, it changes so much.  

Of course you would not want to be mixing all your colours from scratch, that wouldn't be practical but I love the magic that can happen when you understand what complimentary colours are.  Those 'wow' moments when you sit those two colours side by side and suddenly, they begin to look brighter yet when you mix those same 2 colours together they begin to tone each other down.   

When I began to understand the tonal scale and what a split complimentary colour scheme is, it helped me not just in choosing my colour schemes, but my home decor and even my wardrobe! There is no end to the uses of understanding colour theory. 

Once thing is guaranteed though, you cannot learn about colour by watching - you have to do it and you have to start at the beginning!

I hope you will get your paints out and join me for your first lesson in the wonderful world of colour. 

Happy Folking,

Carol x 


Friday, 6 April 2018

The perfect project for Spring

With Spring in the air, what better time to create something bright, fresh and beautiful.  We recently took a trip to Ikea and bought ourselves a great box, perfect for a spot of gardening.  

Every year around Spring, we get requests on how to paint Daffodils and so they just had to feature along with a few new techniques and flowers to add to your collection.  We hope you enjoy it.  

You can find all you will need for this tutorial here.

If you wish to ensure this project is suitable for outside, once the project is dry, seal with a couple of coats of weather proof varnish.  

We do hope you love this project as much as we do. 

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