The V Spot

Rants, observations and home decorating from a woman with no time for a blog.

Ombre Owl Artwork (from Dollar Store Halloween decor)

I love “distressed” art projects.  They’re so forgiving.  If it isn’t perfect, or you really mess something up…. that’s ok.  I meant to do that.  That being the case, I really enjoy this type of project.  Here’s my latest:
Ombre Owl Artwork, using Halloween silhouettes from the Dollar Store.

This was really quite easy to do.
Supplies needed:

  • Owl silhouette cut outs from your local Dollar Store
  • Wooden board  (I used a 24″ x 24″ piece of 1/2″ plywood)
  • Spray adhesive (I recommend Martha Stewart Stencil Adhesive Spray)
  • Black spray paint
  • At least 3 colors of acrylic paint in the same color family
  • 1″ paint brush
  • Gold acrylic paint

The owl cut-outs come 15 to a pack and had two different designs.  I played around with placement and got a general idea where I wanted them.  I sprayed the board black* and when completely dry, I sprayed the back of each paper owl with the stencil spray adhesive and firmly pressed into place. I don’t measure, I just eyeball where I want the owls to be.  Remember… it’s distressed.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  (*Yes, you can use black acrylic paint instead of spray paint, but in my experience you run the risk of pulling up some of the paint when you remove the stencil.  Spray paint doesn’t do that.)

Now lets paint our ombre effect.

I always start with the lightest color and work my way up to the darkest, using the same brush and just blending as I go.

One thing to keep in mind.  These owls are paper.  When paper gets wet it starts to warp, so you’ll want to move fairly quickly.  Try not to have the brush strokes go on to the owls as much as come off of the owls.
Like this:

If you had the paint pulling towards the owl you risk the paint bleeding under it.  It’s not a perfect seal and you want to take care when applying the paint to minimize that risk.

You’ll notice that the paper owls will start to warp once the paint soaks in to them.  That makes it easier to peel the paper back off.  (Since the stencil adhesive is designed to be repositionable, that helps too.)  Peel off all of the owls and let it dry thoroughly.

Next?  Sand the crap out of it.

You want the black paint to show through in places.  Sand, sand, sand.  Then sand some more.  If you don’t have a hand sander, you can pick up a cheap one for about $10.  Every craft supply closet should have one.

Wipe it down with a slightly damp cloth to get all of the dust off of it, then water down some gold paint to make a wash.

Applying this watered down gold paint in a light coat creates a bit of a sheen, but it also adds to the distressed “old” look by muting the colors a bit.

I’m very happy with how this turned out.  $1 for the owls, $3 for the board and I had everything else on hand.  Yay me for keeping it under $5!

The Dollar Store had spider cut outs too.  (I’m just sayin’…)

about Vivienne Wagner



Jill @ Create.Craft.Love. said...

September 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm
LOVE this! It looks like an setting of the sun on a spooky evening. So cool!

Artsy VaVa said...

September 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm
What a great, inexpensive piece of artwork!

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

September 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm
LOVE THIS! Thanks for the great how-to. So creative and I love projects like this. Thanks!

Kisses Aren't Contracts said...

September 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm
SO creative!

xoxo Shauna

Wanda @ Just Vintage said...

September 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm
Such a fun project! I've pinned it into my Halloween folder and am going to try to find the owl stencils. Thanks for sharing!

Kati @ Obscured Flair- said...

September 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm
I just saw this on Pinterest! I wanna try the spiders!

Barking Dog Shoes said...

September 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm
What a hoot! I love owls to obsession. Great idea.

Bliss said...

September 17, 2012 at 11:11 pm
Well I'd like to say something different than everyone else, but love it just about covers it. I love it! Pinned it.


Cynthia said...

September 17, 2012 at 11:22 pm
Cauuuute! You nailed it! Looks like way more than $4. art!

Eclectically Vintage said...

September 17, 2012 at 11:30 pm
I have those owl silhouettes - they are the best! This is the best project ever! Pinning it!

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

September 18, 2012 at 12:33 am
very cool idea!

Shawn said...

September 18, 2012 at 2:39 am
$3 for the wood? I just bought a piece for the sign I made for the guest bedroom and paid $33. Now, I did buy a nice piece of pre-sanded pine but $3? Clearly I'm shopping at the wrong store!

I love this and may have to add it to my Halloween collection!

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

September 18, 2012 at 4:24 am
This is SO cute!!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

September 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm
This is such a cool piece!!! Looks like something you'd buy in the store (that's a compliment--looks professional) Very cool, Viv. :)

Jennifer @ Delightfully Noted said...

September 20, 2012 at 11:19 pm
How cool! Just saw those owls at the Dollar Store today.

Christina at I Gotta Create! said...

September 21, 2012 at 1:10 am
I am in love with your owl art! So graphic and just perfect for the season. Pinning!

<3 Christina at I Gotta Create!
Wildly Original linky party is open.

24 Owl Crafts | About Family Crafts said...

July 16, 2014 at 2:50 pm
[…] Ombre Owl Artwork @ The V Spot You can use the techniques here to make your own owl picture. […]

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