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Tutorial: Sun Mosaic Wall Art

I love making wall art pieces – they are so fun to make, and they let you look at your art all the time when you display them! This sun mosaic wall art was made for the Buttons Galore booth at Creativation, but now has a permanent home in my home for me to enjoy.

[Disclaimer: My company, Nally Studios, is the social media & blog manager for Buttons Galore. I am also part of blogger programs for Cricut and Plaid, who provided some product used in this article. Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase after clicking.]

Sun Mosaic Wall ARt

Supplies:

This project is somewhat time consuming, but none of the techniques are especially difficult. The most challenging part is doing the cutting with the jigsaw, but if you aren’t too intimidated by power tools and take your time, that is very manageable.

To start my sun, I needed to make a pattern to cut my wood with. I found a sun cut file in my Cricut Design Space software, and sized it to 17″ across. This is too large to cut out on the Cricut, of course, so I use the rectangle basic shape tool to cut the design into quarters. Then I cut each quarter of the design out, and taped them back together to make my pattern!

Once the pattern was assembled, I taped it in place on my plywood and drew around it with a pencil. I removed the template and set it aside to use again.

sun template

To cut the sun out, I worked from the points down towards the center of the sun for each cut. Then I used the jigsaw to round off the tip of each ray.

Cutting Out Wall Art Background

After all of the cutting was done I was left with a rough sun shape. I cleaned up the edges and smoothed out the shape by sanding it with various grits of sandpaper until I got it to the shape that I wanted and it was smooth.

Wood Sun Cut Out

I wanted to seal and cover up the bare wood despite the fact that it would mostly be covered by the button mosaic, so before I started putting buttons down I painted the surface and the sides with Plaid chalk pain in a nice mustard color. This way, if any of the surface shows through (and all of it will on the sides), it will be a color that coordinates with the design and it won’t look unfinished.

The next step was to draw pencil lines approximately down the center of each of the rays. Before I started putting down the buttons, I sorted the “Mango Madness” buttons to remove the darkest orange ones. Then, using these dark colored buttons, I started gluing buttons along the lines I had drawn, stopping where the rays met the center area of the sun.

Mosaic Sun Construction

Once I did the lines on the rays with the dark buttons, then I started on filling in around them with the lighter buttons from the Mango Madness color blend.

Mosaic Sun Construction

For some of the smaller areas near the points of the sun’s rays, I used flat back pearls from the Candy Corn embellishment bottle instead of buttons. When I was done filling in the rays with buttons I was left with this:

Mosaic Sun Construction

The next step was to use more of the dark orange buttons to create a small circle in the middle of the sun. After that was done, I began filling in around it with the rest of the mango buttons. I worked one small area at a time so that my buttons wouldn’t get pushed and moved too much while the glue was drying.

Mosaic Sun center construction

To make it look more finished, I added beads and sequins to my sun mosaic. I sorted the seed beads from the candy cane embellishment bottles by color before I started. Next I started putting dots of glue into the small open areas between buttons, and pushing beads into it as filler. The orange beads went into any opening that touched a dark orange button, and the lighter seed beads went into other openings.A few openings between buttons were big enough for flat back pearls so I used those.

I also added beads to fill in along the edges of the rays in the gaps between the buttons. I used my fingers to mold the beads into shape along the edge after pushing them into a bed of glue to hold them.

Button Mosaic Sun

I thought my sun needed a little more sparkle, so for a finishing touch I added some of the dark orange sequins on top of the darker buttons using Glossy Accents.

To hang this on the wall, I plan to use Command Hook picture hangers, which will remove any need for me to attach a hanger to the back of my wall art piece.

This same technique of creating a pattern and cutting it out with your jigsaw to create a button mosaic base could be applied to any shape that you can make with your Cricut…what shape would you like to make?

Project | Wall Canvas with Hazel & Ruby

My studio has a whole ton of stuff in it, but until now, very little that could be called decór. The room was all function, function, function. I’ve been wanting to change that for awhile, and I decided to start with a canvas for the wall!

Live Work Create CanvasHazel + Ruby has a new product line that looked like it makes creating a decoupage canvas idiot proof. Since I had only made a canvas once before in a class, I really put it to the test! Continue Reading →

Provo Craft Transfer Tape

Reported by Jessica Ripley

Every so often I run across something in a craft store that I didn’t realize I needed until I saw it. For quite awhile now, I had a supply of Provo Craft Adhesive Vinyl just waiting to be played with, but I was a little intimidated about using it. Though it came with adhesive already on the back, I wasn’t quite sure how to go about applying it to a project in the best way. Then, while perusing new vinyl colors I happened across something I hadn’t noticed before, Provo Craft’s Vinyl Transfer Tape. After a short “Ah-ha!” moment I left the store with my new find in hand.

I am so glad I did. After using it with the adhesive vinyl I’m not sure the two should ever not be used together. The instructions that come with the adhesive vinyl in fact recommend it, and there is a “For Best Results” disclaimer about using the transfer tape on the vinyl packaging, I just hadn’t noticed.

The following is my experience with using it for a wall project that I’ve long been wanting to tackle.

Step one is to simply cut the vinyl using a Cricut machine. Though I’m not reviewing the vinyl in particular I have to mention that it is very easy to work with. It comes in 12″x 24″ sheets, in an array of eye-pleasing colors that will go with just about any home decor.

Once my design was cut, I set about using the transfer tape. Like the vinyl, the transfer tape comes in 12″x 24″sheets. There are 4 sheets to a package, and they are easily trimmed using a regular paper trimmer or scissors to fit your project.

Each sheet has a grid style backing which I thought would be very helpful, until I discovered that the part of the tape you actually use doesn’t have these grid lines. I found that a little odd. I wished that the helpful grid was actually on the tape itself so I could utilize it when laying out my design. Instead the instructions say “For best results use a ruler to make sure image is straight.”

I also found it difficult to use in large pieces. When it is peeled away from its backing, it tends to curl in on itself and become stuck. Due to this I trimmed it down to a more manageable size and that worked fine, but if you wished to create one large design at once (like they show in the example photo at Provo Craft’s Website here) it might be a little tricky.


Here’s an example of how it curls in a bit, even on a smaller piece.


That aside however, the tape worked wonderfully at allowing me to arrange my vinyl pieces. If a letter was a little crooked, I could easily peel and place it again until it was just right. Without the tape, I probably would have gone through a few ruined letters by having to remove them from the wall and start again.


Once the vinyl letters were applied, the backing to their adhesive is removed. And then the design can be placed on your project (in my case a wall in our hallway).

Using the tape made it easy to move my design around until it was the way I wanted it. The sticky side doesn’t lose any adhesive as it’s being moved around, and there is no worry about damage to the paint either. It is a very gentle adhesive when stuck to a hard smooth surface like a wall or glass (but it would not work on paper, it would stay stuck!).


Once the design is finalized, you must burnish the letters onto the wall with something like a rub-on tool (one actually comes with the package of vinyl). And then the tape peels very easily away to reveal the finished project. I had no issues with the letters staying stuck to the tape instead of the wall.


The completed design:


When all was said and done I was so happy I ran across Provo Craft’s Transfer Tape in the Cricut aisle at the craft store. Could you use the adhesive vinyl without it? Well, yes, but I would highly recommend using the two together. At a MSRP of around $10.00 for 4 sheets, it’s a wise purchase in order to use the vinyl you have in the best possible way.

Pros:

  • Facilitates using adhesive vinyl in your design placement, there is less of a chance of ruining a letter and having to cut it again.
  • Doesn’t harm the project it is applied to, adhesive is just strong enough but easily removed.
  • Stays tacky after use, could probably be reused at least once, stretching your dollar even further.

Cons:

  • Large pieces can be difficult to work with. If it gets stuck to itself, it’s almost impossible to un-stick without needing a new piece.
  • I wish the grid-lines were on the actual tape, this would be very helpful in placing a design. Instead you must use a ruler to make sure your design is straight.
  • You might not know you need it until you’ve started a vinyl project! I’m hoping you read this review first.

What about you? Have you used this tape in any of your vinyl projects? Or are you now inspired to do so? Let us know what you think!

Disclosure

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

Vendor Spotlight: Glue Arts – Wall Art Decor Adhesive & GlueGlider Pro & GIVEAWAY

Reported by Erika Martin

People that know me know that I love my Big Shot die cutting machine, so when I saw that GlueArts had products that could turn my die cuts into wall art, I got very excited! This is something I’ve been wanting to do with my Big Shot for a while.

GlueArts sent me their 12″ x 12″ WallArt Decor Adhesive sheets, along with their 5″ x 5″ sheets. They also sent along a GlueGlider Pro and adhesive refill.

The 12″ x 12″ adhesive sheets come 4 to a pack, and I was so glad to see that they were a true 12″ x 12″. I do a lot of 12″ x 12″ scrapbook pages, so these are perfect for getting some of those pages out of the album and onto the wall to showcase them. The 5″ x 5″ sheets come 10 to a pack, and these are great for smaller works of art.

To be completely honest, I didn’t know how to start with using these sheets. The pictures on the package show amazing projects being put on the wall, but it was unclear exactly how they worked other than stating on the package that it was a double sided adhesive film. The only instructions on the package were to “cut and transfer and a small amount of adhesive around edges on each side of the back of the artwork. Peel clear liner and place artwork on any clean surface.” I don’t consider myself an ignorant crafter by any means but I guess I’m more used to having instructions or pictures showing a little more detail on how a product works that I was having a major brain block. Once it sunk in that it was a double-sided adhesive film (which I looked over more than a few times on the package), a bell went off in my head. I cut a small piece of the film, pulled the backing off, placed it on a piece of cardstock and pulled the liner away and AHA! It worked. My mind was stuck on seeing the picture on the package of pulling the plastic and backing away that I wasn’t understanding anything beyond just that one picture.

Before we moved into our new house almost 2 years ago, we lived in an apartment for 8 1/2 years and ALL the walls were white. We weren’t allowed to paint them, so I was always starving for something creative to put on my walls. I wish this product was out way back then, as it would have been wonderful to liven up my walls. Now that we own our own house, I can do what I want with my walls.

I started with my bedroom wall; it’s one of the only two rooms in the house that still has white walls which will some day be remedied when we have the time. But for now, I can liven up my wall without too much work. It was great to have the assurance on the package that the adhesive was not only removable, but also the pieces that I put the adhesive on would be reusable! You can’t do this with all wall art, as once it’s been put on the wall, you can still get it off, but there’s no way to re-use it.

Eventually my bedroom wall will be a rust color so I chose to make butterflies using rust colored patterned paper to match our comforter. Here’s a quick video I put together showing how to use the WallArt Decor Adhesive and how I cut out my butterflies with the Big Shot die cutting machine:

The Big Shot really is ideal for cutting out all sorts of shapes and designs to use on your wall. At one point, I was putting through 4 pieces of adhesive lined papers at once to make for quick cutting.

I cut different size butterflies and also cut small embossed butterflies and took the whole pile of them into my bedroom and peeled the clear liner off and started adhering them to my wall. One of the great things about this adhesive is that it’s repositionable. If I didn’t like the way flow of the butterflies was going, I just pulled them off the wall and adjusted them.

Something I noticed about the adhesive is that if you REALLY want it to stick to the wall well, you need to rub on the die cuts really hard to get it to stay. Otherwise, you’ll have corners peeling up and will have to reset them. Use a brayer to roll over your die cuts or use a Pampered Chef stone scraper (or Stampin’ Up! Decor Elements transfer tool) to set your die cuts securely on the wall.
I coated a sheet of cardstock and cut strips to run through my Big Shot with letter dies so that I could spell out a quote to put above my butterflies on the wall. I used a ruler to keep my letters lined up.

I was able to give my wall a quick maker-over in just an hour. It was easy and the best thing is that if I want to change it, I can pull the pieces off without any residue being left behind and without paint peeling off.

(NOTE – It’s important to let paint cure for 14 days on a freshly painted wall before applying images with WallArt Decor Adhesive.)

I’m always looking for ways to add art to my walls in my studio. I used the 5″ x 5″ sheets to do this, since they were the ideal size for my scalloped square Big Shot die.


While I had no trouble removing the film from the backing on the 12 x 12 sheets, I found that I had to go VERY slowly with the 5″ x 5″ sheets or the adhesive would tear off the film.

I wanted to create 3-dimensional art for my walls so I cut out all the pieces using my Big Shot machine. I chose the Scalloped Square as my base piece and lined my patterned paper with the WallArt adhesive first and then ran it through the die cut machine. Then I started adding the other pieces to my scalloped squares to create the 3-D art.

I used the GlueGlider Pro to adhere the bottom flower to each of the squares. It’s really easy to use and glides on easily, though there was a bit of a learning curve to it, only because I’m used to using smaller adhesive applicators and this was much bigger. The double sided adhesive can be put on projects in long strips but you can also put smaller amounts as it can come out in small pieces like shown in the photo.


Because the applicator is so large, the learning curve was tricky for me, especially around small areas like the ends of the flower petals. I was able to remedy this by turning the adhesive the hung over the edges over onto the petals. I tried on 5 more flowers and went back to using my regular small applicator adhesive to get adhesive on the small edges. Until I can get past that learning curve of using the GlueGlider Pro applicator, from my experience, it’s much better suited for me to applying adhesive in long lines and on straight edges.


With the help of a ruler, I placed my finished 3-D squares onto my wall in my studio. Because they were 3-D, I had to be careful with around the edges first with my fingers and then used a Pampered Chef stone scraper to go over them.

The beauty of the WallArt adhesive is that if you don’t like where you put your art or you want to change things up a bit, you can pull it right off the wall without a problem and put it somewhere else. I put the same scalloped square 3-D pieces over the molding of the open doorway in my studio.



So, would I use the WallArt Decor Adhesive again? Absolutely. Now that I know how to use it and know the tricks I learned along the way, I would definitely use it again. It’s a wonderful way to add art to your wall without making it permanent, and I love the ease of removable and also the fact that the pieces are reusable.

The price point for these products are $8.99 for 4 sheets of 12″ x 12″ adhesive and $6.99 for 10 sheets of 5 x 5 adhesive.

The GlueArts website has a design team that shows different projects on so if you’re in need of some inspiration and want to try something new, you can check it all out HERE.

Pros:

  • Very affordable price points
  • Images are easily removed from walls without leaving residue behind or damaging the paint on your walls
  • Images can be reused after removing
  • GlueGlider Pro adhesive tape sticks really well, has a good bond
  • GlueGlider Pro adhesive can be applied in long sections or in small bits
  • GlueGlider Pro refills are easy to slip in
  • GlueGlider Pro refills cartridges are recyclable so when you’re done with it, just put in your recycling bin and you can feel good about not filling up the land fills

Cons:

  • I would have liked a little more in the way of written directions or perhaps some pictures to go along with the directions to make it easier to figure out exactly how to use the product
  • One thing that directions don’t tell you is that you need to make sure the images are rubbed onto the wall with a lot of pressure to keep from curling on the edges.
  • GlueGlider Pro adhesive has a bit of a learning curve, especially when applying adhesive to smaller and tight areas

Now it’s your turn….Have you ever used WallArt Decor Adhesive Sheets? What have you created with them? What’s your favorite thing about the GlueGlider Pro adhesive gun? Are there any tricks you’ve found while using these projects? Leave us a comment and let us know!

GIVEWAY!
Glue Arts is giving one lucky reader a giant prize basket of over $70 in their products! To enter, just leave a comment on this post telling us if you have you ever used WallArt Decor Adhesive Sheets? What have you created with them? What’s your favorite thing about the GlueGlider Pro adhesive gun? Are there any tricks you’ve found while using these projects? One comment per person, per Vendor Spotlight: Glue Arts article, please. You have until Friday, April 30th 6pm CST to enter to win this awesome prize basket.


And Glue Arts is offering all Craft Critique Readers 15% off all their products! Just enter code CRCTQ-15 at check out and don’t forget to take advantage of their Free Shipping for orders over $40.

Disclosure

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