Altoid Tin Makeover, or, I Learn A Crafting Secret

I’ve been interested in mixed-media art for the last few years but only a handful of pieces turn out the way I hoped they would. I keep thinking that there are secrets to learn to get the results I want, but I know in my heart it’s just a question of practice and experimentation. All I need is the willingness to make a bunch of ugly stuff in the process.

However, this past Monday night at my To The Bones art workshop (we’re working our way through Women Who Run With The Wolves), Robin Muse told me a Secret about working with metal tins that I hadn’t discovered yet – you can glue paper right onto them! I painted a tin with acrylics and the paint flaked off after it dried. I assumed glue wouldn’t stick either, but the box in the photo is an Altoid tin covered with brown paper. I used Modge-Podge to attach it, but gel medium also works. To give it a more interesting look, I painted it. I love the texture and depth I achieved. The only question is, do I love it too much? I was going to make a little shrine, but I am now afraid to mess up my super cool tin.

Technicalities for those who care: I coated the paper with a layer of Modge-Podge to seal it and let it dry. Paint layer 1 contained partially mixed ochre, burnt sienna, and gold acrylic paints applied unevenly with a brush. When it was dry, I brushed on paint layer 2 (a black I mixed myself), then took most of the paint back off with a paper towel.

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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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