Everyone knows someone who loves Alice. Go Ask Alice, she’ll tell you, 10 feet tall or not.
Vague references to psychedelic 60s rock aside, everyone really does know someone who wants to live in Wonderland. I, myself, want to live in Wonderland, but I still know at least 10 people who would undoubtedly sell a kidney to join me. As this week’s Christmas in July offering, we’ll make 4 x 4 Eat Me/Drink Me art pieces and create a bizarre ledge to display them!
First things first, you’ll need to download the designs that I’ve painstakingly created for you (Okay not really painstakingly, but really.. just for you! No no, not you, YOU. Yeah, that’s right, you. With the face), and you can do that by clicking here: Eat Me Drink Me line art
If you’d like to make an embroidered piece, print out the linework, transfer it to your fabric of choice (I used a light table, a #2 pencil, and a piece of muslin), and go to town! I’m sort of embroidery stupid, so I can’t really tell you what stitches I used or anything. I know there were some French Knots, simply because those have been my favorite thing (and the only stitch I remembered!) since my G-ma taught me to embroider when I was about 6.
Once you finish making embroidery magic, finish the backs like so:
First you’ll want to take a couple of 4 x 4 canvas panels (super cheap!) and spray them with a good spray adhesive. Once you’ve done that, quickly and carefully center your embroidered piece on top and firmly smooth it down.
Then, flip it over!
Trim excess fabric to about 2-3 inches on each side (obviously I didn’t trim mine. Yours will look so much prettier!) and give the backside a spritz with the spray adhesive. At each corner, tightly fold the material down and then fold each edge over until you have a neat and somewhat tidy bundle like so:
If it seems bulky, press it gently with a hot iron and it should compress the folds. Cut a couple of 4 x 4 squares of coordinating, contrasting, or completely clashing fabric and press the edges under. Using a super pokey (that IS the technical term) sharp needle and sewing thread, sew your funky square to the folded over fabric on the back of your canvas, and you’re done!
Now I understand that some people don’t dig the embroidery. Sometimes I like to imagine myself as a Renaissance woman, sitting in a gossipy circle while perfecting my needlepoint. Of course in these fantasies my hair is still only about 1/4-inch long and hot pink, but still. I can rock a corset in my mind. Luckily for you, this same design can be used to make mixed media canvases too. Follow me!
Wow that was a long trip. 😐
For my mixed media canvases, I used another set of cheapo 4 x 4 panels. I looked up the eat me/drink me text passages in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on Project Gutenberg, printed them out, and attached them to my canvases with gel medium. Once that dried, I used watered-down gesso and burnt sienna acrylic paint to fade out the text a bit. Then, omg, DOILIES!
I channeled my inner Martha, snorted a line of glitter, painted my face gold and used paper doilies as a stencil with some funky turquoise acrylic paint. Seriously, I could probably reach into a bag with 100 different colors of acrylic and would pull out turquoise every single time. Using a tutorial like this one, I made a packing tape transfer of my design. REMEMBER that this won’t work if you print it with a regular inkjet printer. You can print out the design then photocopy it, or do like I do and use your fax machine to print it. Seriously, who has a fax machine anymore? ME, that’s who! Once your transparency is dry, slap it down and attach it with more gel medium (I used self-leveling clear gel for this step).
Again, I say, FANCY!
Now for the final touch! FINALLY!
The inspiring factor for this entire project was actually a dollar store miniature ceramic tea set. I found this horrifically tacky and tiny ceramic tea set at my local dollar store, and they cried out to me, “SARAH!! GLUE US TO SOMETHING!!” Huh. Okay. My darling 3-year-old daughter begged me to have an actual tea party with them, but art takes priority. Plus she has her own damn tea set (we had a very nice tea party with safe plastic cups before I started assembling this whole thing). The godawful uncentered roses really called to me to paint over them, so I spray-painted everything plain old white.
I found a 2 x 2 in the garage and cut off a 8.5-inch chunk. In all honesty, I started cutting it and then my kids’ karate sensei wandered in and cut it for me with the power of his iron will. Or a handsaw. Probably a handsaw. I drilled a hole in the middle of it, found a really long drywall screw, and spray-painted the board and the screw green:
Finally, I used E3000 and glued my freshly-painted tea bits to it!
Now, midway through this whole project (after I had glued everything together, of course), I decided that the display would look even more Wonderlandy if the tea bits were on the front of the board instead of on top, so I had to move my hole, leading to about half an hour of cursing, yelling, and steam coming out my ears. Totally worth it! All you have to do at this point is wrap it up and give to your favorite Wonderland-aholic. They can simply screw the board to the wall and proudly perch your canvases on top!
Don’t let my overabundant pictures and verbose explanations fool you – this project really is very fast and easy. The embroidered bits took several hours, but the rest of it took maybe an hour, so this really is something fabulous and foolproof! Plus you get to wander around in the toy aisle at the dollar store, and I really couldn’t give you a better present than that. 😉
If you’d like to see more wonderstrange (but not necessarily Wonderland) tutorials, click here! For more mixed media madness, click here! For unique and fabulous gifts you don’t even have to make, click here!