Author Archive | Kimberly Brimhall

Mod Podge

Reported by: Kimberly Brimhall

I have always been a fan of Mod Podge when using wood, but I was not sure how it would translate over onto canvas. I was asked to do some handmade home decor items for a church auction, and knew I was going to be doing canvas art. I was worried about the transport of the canvases, as well as, their ability to withstand being in any location. I decided that decoupaging the outside of the canvas would be a good idea. This would keep all the pieces from moving and falling off. I chose two finishes, each for a different look.

The first finish I used was the Gloss-Lustre finish. I wanted to add another dimension to my canvas that already had many textures. I first painted my 8×8 canvas, picked up at my local Wal-Mart for cheap. I used spray paint for a flawless finish. Before the paint was dry, I laid the canvas (paint side down) on some dry grass I had collected. I added some dry grass pieces from a local field and let it all dry.

I then applied the Mod Podge, paying special attention to the grass areas. I made sure to make even strokes so that it would look smooth. I sprayed some spray adhesive on the tops of the grass to ensure they would not break.

I was very pleased with the result; it turned out just as I had hoped. The grass pieces were intact and would not be trouble to move. I liked that the gloss look matched with the natural look of the grass. It added the right amount of dimension I was going for.

The other finish I tried was the Mod Podge Matte. I wanted something to fade into the canvas that would not compete with the actual design of the canvas.

I first painted the canvas, again using spray paint for a smooth finish. While the paint was still wet, I added my bird silhouette and letters. Then I let it all dry.

I applied the Mod Podge in even strokes, paying close attention around the letters’ edges and the bird. I then let it dry and added my red embellishment with hot glue.

I was pleased with this finish as well. I felt it gave a complete and finished look without adding to the actual design. I am confident that each canvas will be able to stay in one piece no matter where it ends up.

The only downside I had with the product was that on the cheaper canvas, I had some separation on the edges of the canvas. I am not clear on whether it was because I added it after the spray paint or not. If this happens, I would add some sort of adhesive underneath to ensure a flat fit.


  • Widely available in craft stores and big box stores
  • Lots of varieties, (including SPARKLE!) for all of your crafting needs
  • Cute little trial-sized bottles available so you can try them out without buying a ton


  • May have caused the canvas to separate from the edge of the frame

I would recommend these products on both wood and canvas. It allowed me to have stability in my projects, as well as adding dimension when needed.

For more information on Mod Podge products, visit

You can find these products in most craft stores such as Michaels and Hobby Lobby, and retail stores such as Wal-Mart and Target. For online shopping, try AC Moore, Joann, or Save-On-Crafts.

Have you used Mod Podge over canvas, or do you use something else to seal your work? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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Krylon spray paint

Reported by: Kimberly Brimhall

A while back my family made a big move from Indiana down to Texas. Due to our home being on the market in Indiana, we left most of our furniture with our house and moved into an apartment until it sold. One of my biggest struggles was finding a way to make all of my furniture for the apartment match. We had decided to use the furniture that was in my studio because it was smaller…the downside however…it was a huge mix of different types of furniture and storage.

I decided that by painting the furniture and decor, I could make it match without having to buy new stuff. When deciding on a paint, I ask the paint person at Wal-Mart what they recommended. They did not have a recommendation, only knowledge that the Krylon brand was supposed to be the best. I went with that knowledge and decided to try the Krylon Multipurpose Indoor/Outdoor spray paint in a gloss finish. I chose three colors that matched things I already had: Blue Ocean Breeze, Watermelon, and Ivy Leaf. I was impressed with the fast (10 minutes or less) and the EZ Touch 360°™ Dial Spray Tip features immediately. I was able to do 3 projects with this spray paint.

First, I chose a frame that I picked up from the goodwill on my way to Texas. I chose not to sand the frame first and painted it with two coats insuring that the paint would not run. I thought the paint provided great coverage without a ton of coats.

Next, I was able to paint an old dining chair that was worn and dated. I chose a bright watermelon pink color and sanded the chair first to remove the lacquer from the entire chair. Because the chair had many crevices and a top and bottom, the 360 degree feature was extremely useful in getting to the hard to reach areas. Again, I found that the paint provided great coverage, as well as, a smooth finish.

The last project was a organization board. Being in a tiny space to live, made it essential for some sort of organizing space. I wanted something that would not be an eye-sore if I had company. I chose the Blue Ocean Breeze for my board. I bought a magnet board from IKEA for 15 dollars and did not sand it before I painted it. I painted it with two coats like the projects before. I thought it provided great coverage. However, after a few days, the places where the magnets were attached started to peel and the paint began to faulter. My suggestion would be to use some sort of primer when using this paint for metal.

I had a great experience with this paint. I have often thought of spray paint as a great fix to many decorating problems and this added to my thinking. I love the vividness and quality of the colors I chose. The gloss finish ensured that I did not need an addition lacquer for a finished look. I already have many more projects lined up using spray paint and at the price, I will not have any guilt about how many I can actually finish.

So what are some of your Krylon paint stories and tips? Let us know!!

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The Art of the Family Tree

Reported by: Kimberly Brimhall

Back in February at the winter CHA, I was given a copy of The Art of the Family Tree: Creative Family History Projects Using Art, Fabric & Collage. I immediately loved the cover so of course I kept it. Author Jenn Mason references why she believes she was destined to write this book because she has a big family, her mother made family trees, her family members are interested in family research and she is an artist. She includes tips for getting started from finding and organizing your space to tools and materials.

This book really made me look at the family tree in a different light. Rather than looking at pages of random names printed on paper, Mason shows the art of making a visible record of family members. She outlines step by step how to arrange your family tree, even solving tricky dilemmas for things such as divorce and adoption.

The Art of the Family Tree is filled with so many ideas for making a a visual family tree or documenting it. Some are done on canvases, some in shadow boxes, some in journals. There is something for everyone’s style from journaling to collage art.
I decided to make a collage family tree and a library of relatives mini journal collection…
The idea was to take an old hardcover book and remove the pages and use the the outside for the journal holder.

Eyelets were used to string the ribbons that hold the mini journals inside. I made one for each member of my family…here I can record important events, awards, allergies, things that might not go in a scrapbook. I also added a small envelope for little memories such as movie tickets, stamps, things with the date so years from now we can look back on the past.

This book is step by step easy to follow. I am usually not a big “project” person, unless I can figure it out in under 5 minutes, so this book was perfect for me. Mason and other artists are spotlighted in this book. There are visual examples of projects from canvas art to family wreath trees to postcards. If you are someome who has is interested in family history or just want to make a family tree, this book is a good fit. It’s easy to follow steps are wonderful for people who are just getting started as well. I enjoyed this different perspective on family history and I am still working on a canvas family tree. Have you taken a look at this book? Let us know what you think!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!