Monday, July 18, 2016

My Other Creations: Mermaid Art Kit with Distressed Bottles

This week's theme at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog is Nautical / By the Sea.  I got to wondering what a mermaid's art kit might look like, so that's what I tried create here:
 This project started as a 6" x 5" shiny metal tin, which I sanded down and painted with acrylic paint in shades of teal and brown.  I set is aside to dry and went to work on its contents.  I'd never done much bottle-distressing before, so it was a fun new thing to try.  I started by painting Aleene's Turbo Tacky Glue on the bottles, then when that dried, I painted them with a thick layer of Tim Holtz's Clear Rock Candy Crackle Paint.  I was grateful for online research which told me that you have to put a clear layer of something else  on the glass first in order for the crackle paint to stick.  Here's a pic of how the bottle started, then how it looked with the dried crackle paint on it:

Once the crackle finish was dry, I wanted to experiment with different coloring techniques.  Here I used paint on top of the crackle for a more milky / opaque look:

On this bottle, I used alcohol inks, which gave the bottle vibrant and bold colors:

On the bottle below, I used Distress Stain.  I like how it kept the bottle more clear, but still colored it beautifully.

In the end, I decided the opaque look worked best for this project, so I added paint to all of the bottles.  In addition to acrylic paint, I added some Prima Metallique paints which have a metal sheen.

I added some Tim Holtz mini numerals to the bottles, which I first sanded and painted to match the bottles they went with.  I also distressed the paintbrushes.

I wanted this to have an underwater vibe, so I hung yarn and ribbon from the back of my painted box to replicate seaweed, then glued iridescent beads here and there to give it a feeling of bubbles.  I also clipped on an "ocean" card from Tim Holtz's Elementary Flashcards set.

For the other side of the tin, the lid, I wove a basket out of wire, painted it with shades of brown and teal to match the rest, then I added more distressed paintbrushes.  I buy cheapy paintbrushes that I can cut down and use for projects without feeling guilty for destroying them.

I punched out some mini tags made from Simon Says Stamp Vintage Dictionary paper and adhered them to the brushes.

Not sure how many mermaids are out there doing art, but I hope I've done justice to what one of their art kits might look like!

Here are the supplies I used that you can find at Simon Says Stamp:

I know you must have some sort of brilliant vision to go along with this theme and I can't wait to see what you come up with!  Upload your creations to the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog for your turn to win a $50 voucher to the Simon Says Stamp store!


  1. An artbox for a mermaid!! where do you get your ideas from! your imagination is absolutely brilliant!! :-) I love this and I am sure any passing mermaid would love to get their hands on this ;-) haha LOVE it :-)

    Lols x x x

  2. So glad I stopped by, this is a wonderful post and your examples of bottle tinting techniques make a great reference. I bet this was a blast to make and every detail sings whimsy. When I was little, my sisters and I used to pretend we were mermaids as we played in the sprinklers in our backyard--you've brought back an unexpected memory--thanks!

  3. Simply fabulous - the altered bottles look stunning... the crackle, the numbers, the colours - and the brushes in their wire cage are so full of character. The whole piece is inventive, original and absolutely gorgeous.
    Alison x

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  5. But what a wonderful thing it is your creativity !!!
    Also this time you have created something really unique and ingenious!

  6. This is just really amazing! The textures and colors, the whole vibe is so great!! When I saw the numbers bottles it reminded me of an address, Ocean 345 !! I think it would be really fun to use somehow that way!

  7. OMG, I'm not worthy to even blog on the internet with you. THIS IS THE COOLEST THING! I just love all of the details, the crackle... the color, the basket... all of it. (Shaking my head in amazement).

  8. FANTASTIC! Your bottles are beautiful AND creative! If I found them while walking on my beach you would here my screams of JOY!

  9. The crackle provides such a cool effect! Love the dimension too! :)

    Simon Says Stamp!

  10. What a stunning treatment of the bottles! You gave them so much attention. Lovely results. I love the brushes on the other wall. Stunning project. Hugs, Marzena

  11. Oh my gosh!!! This is amazing, Andrea!! Where in the world did you come up with the idea of a mermaid's art kit. How awesome and original of an idea is that. I can't get over the gorgeous bottles and all the fine details of your creation. It must have taken hours and I could look at it for hours. Absolutely stunning and amazing all at the same time.

    Cathie ♥

  12. Your bottles tutorial is amazing ad so helpful! The project is absolutely stunning! love it! Barbara

  13. this is just so your creative mind...great technique on the bottles and I'm sure any mermaid would adore this little art kit xxx

  14. Ohh Andrea! This is amazing! Love your creative mind! The bottles look amazing and love the techniques! Hugs, Sandra

  15. This is such a beautiful and creative project, Andrea. Love all those gorgeous embellishments you created. :)

  16. Brilliant and so imaginative, Andrea! You rock!!! I think this might be my favorite yet. Love, love your imagination in making a mermaid art box, there is definitely a story lurking in there along with the brushes and paints! Your bottles are fabulous, and it was very instructive seeing the many methods you tried and how you chose the one you did. So many wonderful details, I really think the mermaids are joyously singing your praises!! Hugs, Maura

  17. Every week, you just blow me away with your imagination and creativity and this project is just amazing! The story you've told within this little work of art is so endearing and I totally and utterly adore every single element about's stunning! x

  18. This is so fun and awesome! Love it :)