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Monday, June 10, 2013

May Arts Ribbon Design Team Call - Round One

I'm throwing my hat into the ring to try out to be selected to the premier team of May Arts Ribbonistas. The wide selection of May Arts Ribbons and Trims are unparalleled - and also as rich and luscious as they look... which is wonderful because...

Ribbon is a Staple of my Mixed-Media Toolkit!!!

I love to create...and I love to use ribbons and fibers in my projects! I consider ribbon not only an embellishment...but also a media in my toolbox. Ribbons and fibers have a multitude of uses and applications - when used in a utilitarian fashion, like bows and handles...or as a paint to add color and an alternative to adhesives. It can be used to add dimension and texture and also bring personality and whimsy to your creations. I find that it is the icing on my creations and the stash of which I can never have enough. And who doesn't love a little cake when you're creating?

This handmade paper cake is made of recycled ribbon spools; collaged with paper, inked, stamped and all tied up with delicious ribbon, lace and decorative trims - several of which were hand-colored, too. Too see more on this project, please click here.

I just love versatile May Arts Ribbon and trims are -
and their durability in stamping and inking them - SUPERB!
Too see full project, please click here.

Now for today's project!

Today I'm sharing with you a how-to on transforming a $1 paper LED lantern from the Dollar Tree using these gorgeous May Arts ribbons and trims: 393-25-01 sheer organza flowers, 419-09 mini pom-poms, 44-58-66 canvas, and EM02 net ribbon.



This started out as just a plain white paper LED lantern from the Dollar Tree. Depending on the season, they have these in plain colors that are a great base to transform to match your home/patio decor. This lantern will be an Indian Summer / Fall Color palette, that will be lovely pretty much most of the year, plus it could make a nice gift for my Mom {her favorite color is orange}.

I gathered from my stash a variety of paints, mists, inks and DIY sprays and prepared my ribbons and trims, for some inky fun. I measured the ribbons to create stripes and cut them to size {leaving a couple inches over for shrinkage}.

I popped up the lantern and hung it to prepare for painting. **A TIP** You can spray the paper lanterns with mists and drybrush acrylic onto them - BUT - only in light applications; letting them FULLY and COMPLETELY dry between applications. To get my variegated color, I sprayed about 6 finely misted layers of the same colors I used on the ribbons below. Then when completely dry, I dry brushed Golden iridescent gold acrylic paint very gently to not tear the paper.

First step: I rubbed each with Ranger Antique Linen Distress Stain.

Next I followed with some gold, copper and orange DIY mists, and also some Maya Road Mist in Bronze. Then it was time to get in there and rub the colors around with my hands to fully coat the bare white areas.

Finally, to add some additional shimmer and contrast, I rubbed some Tsukineko Pearlesent Beige Dew Drop pigment ink and Golden Iridescent Gold {Fine} acrylic paint.

I started first with the flowers, then I moved it aside to dry and then repeated the same steps for coloring the netting, canvas and mini pom-pom trim.

It's quite interesting how the different materials take the color, which made for nice color contrasts when the lamp was complete. The colors did dry back considerably lighter than as seen here when wet.

Now for the MAGIC!!! The final assembly. Using Helmar 450 adhesive, I made vertical stripes, alternating between netting and canvas. The Helmar 450 is perfect for gluing ribbon as it tacks quickly and it doesn't seep through or discolor the ribbon, like some white craft glues do. Then I wrapped the floral horizontally around the center. A the mini pom-pom was the little bit of whimsy along the bottom. I ran two sections meeting in the center with pom-pom at the bottom edge of lantern and leaving pom-poms to hang off the bottom edge. I went over the center with a section of the inked canvas ribbon to cover the binding edges. 

The finishing touch was a leftover section of a shimmery woven May Arts burlap trim around the top edge. This gave a nice contrast to the natural woven texture of the netting.

I just love the shimmer and the variegated color. It's especially beautiful when it's lit up!

VOILA! The finished project... 
from Dollar Tree - to PIER ONE knock-off!

I hope this project inspires you to create something with ribbons and fiber! Feel free to cut it, ink it, and knot or glue it! The possibilities and uses are endless...and only limited by your imagination. 

Wish me luck in my application to be a May Arts Ribbonista. I'm crossing my fingers. Have a great Monday!!!  : ) Sb

Can you believe it's JUNE already??? Have you started your Christmas crafting yet???


  1. Good luck! May Arts would be lucky to have you on their team!

    Your lantern is amazing! I may have to try my hand at something like that!

  2. Good luck, Susan. You would be a wonderful addition to their team. Love your lantern. You work is always amazing.

  3. Your transformed lantern is gorgeous!


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