Give Thanks Wall Plaque Tutorial | A Mixed Media Project

(Update: Now you can buy Give Thanks Wall Plaque at GingerPeachyStore on Etsy!

I am so thrilled to be able to present to you my latest mixed media piece for Autumn!!

Actually, you could call this my first 'official' mixed media piece ever, since previous projects I still put under the scrapbook heading, such as The Dutchman and the Condesa picture.

Years ago I saw this piece in Hobby Lobby. I loved the idea and made sure to get a picture so that I wouldn't forget it. And I am glad I did because after all this time I would not have remembered.

My own idea for this came together rather well and I sketched it out to give me a visual of what I wanted and would need. You can see my sketch in the picture below. It took me a bit to get all the supplies I needed but I was excited to get started.

The crafting knowledge you might need for this project is:

  • crocheting
  • scrapbooking

Here's how I did it. And for a happy change I have step-by-step photos for you! If you are interested in making your own, you can follow along exactly, or as I tend to do, add your own little tweaks and changes.

This is the basic list of supplies you will need:

  • 12" x 12" wooden plaque (I used Mix the Media by Jillibean Soup)
  • 2 pages of scrapbook paper (the one for your base needs to be 12" x 12")
  • 10" x 10" of burlap
  • 2 - 6" doilies
  • wooden buttons
  • medium weight yarn in orange, green, brown, beige
Other crafting necessities
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • Mod Podge (fabric and all surface)

Let's get started!!

My thought was to frame it like I did The Dutchman and the Condesa, but after careful thought, I realized something open might be better. I saw this wooden plaque by Jillibean Soup while ordering the other supplies and realized it was exactly the thing I needed.

I was disappointed when I received it though. The wood was extremely rough (what I call a little too much "character") and one of the planks did not match up, leaving a large gap between the two. My concern was that the paper I planned to put over it would dip there. So I took some sandpaper ahold of it.

There was still a gap even after all my hard sanding but I figured it would work out anyway. As you can see I sanded more than just the gap. I like wood with character but I don't like too much character, and too much is when it pricks while working with it.

After sanding I was ready to start designing. I selected a page with a red pattern from my Old World Winter scrapbook page book and cut about 1/4" off of all four sides. Using a heavy layer of the all surface Mod Podge, I glued the paper to the plaque. First layer done.

There is a bit of a dip in the paper where the gap is but it doesn't show much, especially after adding all the elements.

I ordered the smallest amount of burlap I could, one yard, and only used about 10" square. But that's alright, now I have some on hand for future projects. The frustrating thing was that it smelled to high heaven of chemicals. My Grandma said it is what they use to stiffen it. Either way, the smell did not air out even after leaving it outside on the line for about 24 hours. It is good that I only needed a little.

Next I glued the burlap to the paper with Mod Podge all surface. In this picture the glue is still wet and white; I am so happy it dries clear.

Now, I have to admit I fudged a little with the doilies in buying them instead of crocheting them myself. But I had some good reasons, and really no regrets afterwards. My first reason is that I am not all that good at doilies. I have created some doily patterns in the past, yes, but I am not super impressed by my work so far. I figure I need a little more training in that area. But even so, since this was a mixed media project my focus was on more than just creating another crochet pattern. So I gave myself permission to buy them (this was necessary for me to do).

If you take a look back at my sketch you will see that I intended to use only a portion of the one doily. With this intention in mind I worked at stiffening the doily with Mod Podge fabric. After it dried I began to position it and realized that I could simply wrap it around the sides of the plaque instead or cut it in pieces. Pleased with this idea, I glued both doilies.

(If you notice the change in lighting or location in these pictures it is because I took at least two weekends to do this project. If I did it again I could probably do it in one day, but you know how long it takes to work a project out in your mind.)

Now came the appliques. A few years ago I designed some fall appliques for Crochet Spot and I intended to use them for this. (Don't you love my Spunky Soul eyeglass case?!) Here are the patterns I used (click link to view free patterns):

Pumpkin Applique
Acorn Applique
Fern Leaf Applique

I used two different sized hooks for these, the one called for in the pattern and one a whole size down. After crocheting the pumpkin in the picture above I decided to enlarge my pumpkin. Here's the extended row and redesigned stem:

Round 4: turn, sl st in next st, sc in next st, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next st, dc in next 3 sts, 2 hdc in each of next 3 sts, sc in next st, sl st in next st, (other side) sc in next st, 2 hdc in each of next 3 sts, dc in next 3 sts, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next st, sc in next st, sl st in last st: 35 sts
Finish off.

Row 1: ch 11, sl st in second ch from hook, sc in next ch, 3 sc in next ch, hdc in next 2 ch, ch 5, sl st in second ch from hook, sc in next ch, hdc in next ch, sc in next ch, sl st in side of hdc, hdc in next 2 ch, sc in next ch, sl st in last ch: 16 sts

After I was satisfied with the pumpkin, I crocheted two acorns using the smaller hook, and two leaves, one with the smaller hook and one with the original hook.

I positioned the appliques where I wanted them but wasn't ready yet to secure them. This is always the absolute last step for me. I want to be perfectly sure before I make something permanent. (Don't you like my coffee cup? The words inside say in French, "Chat sur un coussin jaune," which in English means, "Cat on a yellow cushion." Too cute, huh?)

Second to last was the words. I decided on my gold foil scrapbook page that I have been saving for an extra special occasion. My first attempt at tracing the words "Give Thanks!" was a bust as I was using a black Sharpie to write out the template myself.

My second try was much better. I got into Gimp and found a good bold font, FreeSerif Bold. I saved it as an image and put the image onto a Open Office page, sizing it up on the paper until it was as large as it could be.

After printing the bold words, I laid the page on the back of the scrapbook paper I wanted to use so that, although the tracing would be backwards, the actual cut letters would be forward. I planned to use my steel tapestry needle to merely make the indention of the letters on the back of the page. I was pleased when it instead worked as a transfer.

This is what the letters look like when cut out. Lovely and gold!! Have I told you how much I love sparkly gold? If you need proof, check out my Pinterest board, Color Appeal: Gold.

I glued everything and the beautiful wooden buttons, and voila! My finished mixed media piece. What do you think?!

I took it outside this morning and gave it a little photoshoot. By the tree, by the other tree, on the fence, on the house wall, on the brick divider, etc. They actually turned out better than I thought they would. My only difficulty was in getting the lighting right so that the words showed up.

All in all though, I am pleased. Now the question is, where do I put it?

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Let me know if you try your hand at this project, I would love to see your version!

Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below! I am dying to hear them!

My next scrapbook/mixed media project to share will be the one I have been promising for a few months now, Scooby-Doo Mystery page, just in time for the spooky season! Come back soon!

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