Monday, September 13, 2010

Friends for all Seasons

Did anyone catch the VMA’s? They were kind of boring this year, so to make them more fun the roomies painted canvases!

Now, we’ve had these canvases for a good year and they have been hiding behind and between furniture for that same amount of time. We knew where we wanted to put them, but not how they should look.

We found some inspiration from this blog post by Kalleen from At Second Street and procrastinated a few more weeks before we actually did them.

They look so great and each of them has it’s own little quirks! Additionally, the seasons we each chose all reflect something about our personality :)

Here’s how you can get started to make one, or maybe a whole set, of your own! (This would be a great project to get the roomies, kiddos, and even friends involved in!)

Collect your materials:
- 4 canvases
- Fabrics in colors that coordinate to the seasons
- Light brown craft paint
- Dark brown craft paint
- Clear “crackle” paint medium
- Mod Podge, or Elmers glue & water solution
- Various sizes, shapes and textures of paintbrushes

Once you’ve got all that together, start out by tracing your hand (down to the mid-arm or elbow, depending on arm length) onto the canvas. Give the inside of your hand and arm a coat of light brown paint. Then paint in your sky. You can get creative with your sky, or leave it simpler so that the tree is the main focus.

Once the light brown paint is dry, give your tree trunk a coat of the clear crackle paint. This needs to dry completely before you can paint the dark brown on top of it, so try to be patient. When you can’t stand it any longer, and the crackle coat is dry, give it a light to medium coat of dark brown paint. *Don’t go heavy with the dark brown, or the crackle won’t take effect. Trust me, this is what happened to my fall tree, and there is no crackle on the trunk at all. You will begin to see the crackle come through as the brown topcoat dries.


While you let the paint dry, begin to cut out your leaves. Allison is a jump-right-in kind of crafter, so she didn’t plan the way her leaves were going to be placed. On the other hand, I am a little bit more anal careful than most, so I did a trial run of placing leaves before I actually started podging. This actually worked out in my favor, because I discovered I needed to cut leaves that were a little larger.

Whichever method you choose, once you start gluing your leaves, only apply the podge to the lower half of the leaves. This way, they are still free to flutter in the breeze blasting Florida AC. We ended up gluing in a circle, working our way along the tips of our fingers, and then inward until we reached the palm/wrist. Don’t worry about being too precise. Remember: no two trees are exactly alike, and their differences will give them character.

When you have all your leaves glued on so that your tree is as full as you’d like it, that’s it! Find a place to display them, and then be proud of all your hard work. Don’t forget to let the artist sign their work!

Hindsight tip: If you want to be able to see that the trunk of the tree is actually a hand, you may want to skip the painting of the tree trunk, and place your leaves first. Then, on a brown piece of fabric, trace and cut out your hand/forearm shape. Mod podge it on at the end. You could also paint the trunk, and then cut out just your hand, and place it on top of the leaves, so that you have both the crackled trunk, and the branches showing through.

We recommend having a good snack on hand while you do this project, as it helps when you think you cannot cut one more leaf. Another one of our roomies, Val, made us her delicious chili-cheese-bean dip:
--1 large can of Hormel Chili w/ beans
--2 bars cream cheese, slightly softened
--1 bag shredded Cheddar or your favorite cheese blend
Spread cream cheese in the bottom of a clear baking dish.  Evenly layer the chili beans on top of the cream cheese, and then sprinkle the shredded cheese on top. Pop it in the oven (or the microwave, as long as your dish is microwave safe!) on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. If using the microwave, use 2 minute intervals until the cheddar cheese is completely melted.
*Sorry we’ve got no pictures of this amazing dip…it was gone before we knew it!

So there you have it! Creating these trees allowed us time spend together, and represent that we will be friends for seasons to come!

Let us know what you think, and if you try this out, be sure and let us know how it went for you!

Crafting through the seasons,
Chelsea & Allison


  1. YAYYYYY you featured my dip!!!!!! i can always make it again so we can get a good picture of it <3333

  2. These look great. Thanks for sharing and be sure to link up this week at Make It Fantabulous!

  3. Your trees look great. Thanks for sharing them with me. I'm glad you you had a great time putting them together. I wish I had some of your yummy dip while cutting all my leaves.

  4. Those are SOOOOOOOOOOOO cute! And I make a similar dip (except all those ingredients go into a crock pot ;) that my hubby LOVES! Thanks so much for linking up to gettin' crafty on hump day :)

  5. These are so pretty and I love how each season is represented, my favorite is the spring one with the butterflies. Thank you for joining us at A Crafty Soiree! I hope you'll come back next week and link up again!

  6. I looooove that dip. My mom makes it as well--although we've never microwaved it. Also, we sometimes put jalapeños on top if we're feeling particularly spicy.
    And cute pictures! What a good idea. I have at least 6 of those canvases hanging around my apartment at the moment, waiting for inspiration.