Wednesday, 13 December 2017

3 beautiful Scandi style looks for Christmas

One of our favourite things to do at Christmas is to wrap the presents.  There's nothing better than sitting around surrounded by gift wrap and pretty accessories to decorate that one gift you handpicked your loved one. Of course, it has to be accompanied by a little festive music too.

Scandi style inspiration is everywhere at the moment so here are a few of our favourite ideas for gift wrapping this year....


Scandi style, gift wrap, DecoArt, handpainted, gift tags

There's nothing more festive than lovely shades of red and we just loved this Scandi Style gift wrap we spied in Paperchase recently.  Whether you choose red gift wrap or choose to add splashes of red on the gift tag or ribbon, it does not matter it's bound to put a smile on your face.   

Brown paper packages all tied up with string.... simple kraft paper, twine, we can't help but love this rustic look.  We teamed these clean, crisp colours with beautiful blue to tie this Scandi look together.  Why not add our dotty snowflakes on to our baubles for a quick easy gift tag? 



Scandi style gift wrap, hand painted, DecoArt, folk art

Scandi style isn't just for festive red! This gorgeous turquoise blue paper, again from Paperchase is just stunning.  Why not pair it with handpainted cards and gift tags using DecoArt's Chalky Finish paint in 'Treasure'


folk art, hand painted gift tag, uni posca, metallic

Deep blues and metallics are a match made in heaven. We chose DecoArt's Metallic acrylic paint in Zinc to co-ordinate with this gorgeous Paperchase Recycled Silver kraft paper.  Hand write your name or greeting with Uni Posca's paint pen in silver and brush a little metallic lustre around the edge of the tag to complete the look. 

There's still time to pick up a few accessories to decorate for the festive season but be quick, the days are flying by! 

Happy festive folking x 



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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

3 ways to wow with Gift Tags


At the moment, you cannot go far on Pinterest without coming across blush.  The pink tones are coming into their own in 2017 inspiring home decor, art and more. 
Blush and grey, copper and blush are on trend at the moment - perfect for Home Decor, Craft projects and more

With many of us embracing the beauty of grey this year, it didn't take long for it to be paired with the popular blush but whether it is paired with greys, coppers or golds, there is no doubting that it creates a sophisticated, feminine look.  We love this colour palette we spied over at The Pixel Odyssey and thought we would use it as inspiration for a few gift tags to use this Christmas.  

Pink and Rose Gold create a delicate and feminine gift tag for a birthday gift

Our first gift tag was decorated using the beautiful Pink Chiffon from DecoArt as its background.  We painted the folk art flower from our Bluebirds kit using DecoArt's Metallic Lustre in Rose Gold, finishing the tag with a little brush lettering learnt at one of Nikki Whiston's fabulous lettering courses.  If you are interested in learning this on trend skill, there are many courses around the UK and of course you can find plenty of resources and tutorials on Pinterest.  

We painted DecoArt Rose Gold and Yesteryear grey to hand paint a few gift tags - the perfect finishing touch to the perfect Christmas gift

Completely in love with the Rose Gold we decided to transform our Dotty Snowflake and that it did! Inspired by this vintage look wrapping paper from Katie Leamon we reached for DecoArt's Chalky finish paint in Yesteryear, a warm grey that works beautifully with the metallic look here.   To complete the project, we lightly brushed Rose Gold Metallic Lustre around the edges of the card.  

Inspired by Kate Leamon's Vintage style gift wrap, we created this handmade angel covered gift tag for our Christmas gifts

Another gorgeous grey is DecoArt's Artefact in their Chalky Finish range.  Taking a step away from the coppers and golds, we paired it with Metallic acrylic in Zinc to create these cute angels from our Christmas kit using our Liner brush.  

These small tags did not take long to decorate but they made a huge impact on the gifts we have to give this Christmas.  If you cannot decide where to start, do as we did and look to your favourite wrapping paper or your ribbons and trimmings to inspire you.  We love picking out colour schemes from old gift wrap and this was interestingly how Carol first decided on the colours we included in our Round Brush Starter kit.  

If you would like to share your photos of your hand painted gift wrap this festive season, we'd love you to tag us in your creations or use the hashtag #youcanfolkit 

Happy Folking! x 








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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

How to make your paints last longer


There's nothing we love more than browsing the paint colours and swatches at Folky HQ, deciding which ones we would like to use or which combinations will create a dreamy shade for a new project.   However, just like when you sit down to indulge in a bit of creative me time at home, it is very rare we can paint uninterrupted and use all our paints up and when you are painting, the last thing you need when painting your comma strokes is drying paint.  Even if you do get to enjoy an uninterrupted Folk It session (yay!) sometimes paints go such a long way, we end up wasting a lot of the paint we've poured out.  Fear not though, we are here to share a crafty secret that will change all that.  

The most valuable piece of kit for us is a wet palette. This container will help keep your paints wet for a few days, perfect for those times when we get interrupted.  The great thing is that with a bit of time and a few supplies, you can create your own.  

For a wet palette you will need: 

An airtight container (we purchased a cheap klip lock style food container) 
Sponge cloth 
Baking paper (ensure that it is the unwaxed version, your paints will not sit well on waxed paper making blending your paints especially difficult) 
scissors 

Step 1: cut your sponge to size.  You will need the sponge to sit neatly inside the lid of the box once it is wrapped.  

Prevent waste and make your paints last longer with your own wet palette. For the price of a few household items, save money and art supplies.

Step 2: Lay your newly cut sponge cloth on your baking paper and cut your baking paper to size. (imagine you are wrapping the sponge just as you would a gift). 


Step 3: thoroughly wet your sponge cloth and squeeze out any excess water.  

Step 4: wrap the (now wet) sponge in the baking paper so that one side of the sponge is smooth.    

How to save money and paints - create your own palette

Step 5: lay the sponge in the lid of the box, add the acrylics you need and paint as normal :) in the event of any interruptions, simply clip the 'lid' on over it.  

Prevent waste and make your paints last longer with your own wet palette. For the price of a few household items, save money and art supplies.

Sit back, relax and enjoy your new palette! For the price of a few household supplies, you can rest easy that you can pop the lid on any time you wish and return to your project soon.  The box will keep the paints fresh for a few days (hopefully enough time to complete the project you are working on).  Make sure that you refresh your sponge with water and rewrap in fresh baking paper when it becomes too messy to use.  

Prevent waste and make your paints last longer with your own wet palette. For the price of a few household items, save money and art supplies.

If you have any handy hints and tips that make life easier when you are painting and crafting, do let us know, we love a good craft hack. 

Happy Folking x 




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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Brand New Folk Art workshop

We will be teaching everyone how to create the perfect base for their project and how to paint beautiful Folk Art designs.

The time has finally come! After a few setbacks over the last year, we are excited to finally announce our first brand new painting workshop.  If you came to visit us at the Handmade Fair recently, you will know that we have recently finished teaching a few Skills Workshops at the event and we definitely got a taste for it again.

Avid followers of You Can Folk It will know that we first introduced workshops back in 2016 but we had to take a step back due to personal reasons. That's why, after a bit of re-thinking and re-formulating, we are so excited to come back with a bang.  We have a fabulous new venue at Kempton Park and are excited to meet faces old and new for the fun filled, creative and inspirational day.

Learn to paint the comma stroke and it can be used to create so many different handpainted designs.

After over 20 years of painting, there is not a lot that we don't know! During the workshop, we will be concentrating on teaching each and every one of you have to use a Round Brush to paint three common Folk Art brushstrokes and learn how to put these together (just as you learn letters to put them together to write words) to create beautiful flowers and other designs that are not included in our Round brush series. Whether you are a fan of our kits already or are a complete beginner who has never held a brush before and you fancy learning something new, head on over to our workshop page.

Create these beautiful Folk Art sunflowers on our Round brush workshop.
These beautiful sunflowers are just one of the flowers Carol will be teaching on the day

However, the fun won't stop there, we ask that everyone who attends the course brings two small items; new accessories for the home or treasures that you have simply fallen out of love with to transform throughout the day.  These can be wooden, metal, glass or terracotta.  As well as learning the brushstrokes, we will also be taking you through the basics of preparing your project and creating a variety of finishes from using DecoArt's Weathered wood, antiquing and using metallic lustres to compliment your painted design.

We are kicking off our first round of workshops at Kempton Park but if you can't make the 11th November, worry not as we will be announcing more dates and venues for early 2018.  We hope to see you there!

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Fabric painting with You Can Folk It

When I first learnt Folk Art, I admit I was so excited. Not only had I found a form of painting that I could learn, that required no artistic ability (very appealing given that I believed that I had none) and one that I could see had so much potential.  Suddenly I began dreaming of all the projects I was going to create; from the candle holders and projects I lovingly created and they lovingly accepted...though I'm not sure how long they treasured them for ;)

In all the years I have been painting, I have painted small projects and large pieces of furniture. I've painted entire walls, items of clothing and one thing I love is painting on fabric.  From leather jackets to simple tote bags, nothing is safe.  Most recently I have been painting our shirts and a few pieces for my son's company, Drop Dead Clothing.

Carol Sykes from You Can Folk It has used Folk Art techniques to paint these gorgeous clothes not just for her company but for her son's company Drop Dead Clothing

When we were planning to expand the projects our customers can create with our kits, I knew I wanted to focus on how our painting kits and the designs can be added to fabric with a little help with DecoArt Fabric medium.

So, in preparation for the show on the 19th August, we have been having great fun at Folky HQ creating a range of fabric projects. Using our Series 2 kits - beautiful Oriental blossom, pretty rosebuds, topiary and lovely lavender we have been decorating everything from cards to cushions, oven gloves to hanging decorations.  With a touch of DecoArt's Fabric medium and your acrylics, no fabric is safe from your paintbrush.

We decorated this plain unloved cushion using DecoArt Americana acrylics, fabric medium and the Series 2 Oriental blossom design from You Can Folk It #sakura

Blossom covered cushions....

For a twist on the traditional greetings cards, use fabric to paint your favourite Folk It design.

We love these fabric greetings cards (get your own fabric hearts as part of our Fabric painting bundle). 

Decorated with our Series 2 Starter kit dotty designs, whether plain or filled with Lavender create a cute little gift.

Whether they are plain decorations or lavender filled hearts, they always look better with a touch of Folk Art don't they?! 

Decorated using Folk Art Rosebuds, this plain set of oven gloves have been transformed in to a beautiful accessory for the kitchen.

Transform a plain old set of oven gloves and add your own Folk Art design.  Change the colour to match your kitchen decor.  

Once you learn the techniques in each kit, with a bit of practice and the right medium there is nothing you cannot transform with a touch of Folk Art.  We hope we have inspired you and we look forward to seeing your future fabric painting. 

Keep on Folking, 

Carol x 






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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

5 ways to decorate with our Delicate lace kit

Create your own hand painted gift boxes with You Can Folk it


Knowing you have found the perfect gift for a loved one is a lovely feeling but how do you present it? Gift wrapping and presentation often fills people with dread but it doesn't have to. This month, we have been having fun decorating a few gift boxes to create beautiful packaging that will be as memorable as the gift itself.

We decorated this plain box using the Round brush Starter kit and Delicate lace kit from You Can Folk It

Basecoating our Kraft box using DecoArt Chalky Finish paint, we began by painting two diagonal lace strips across our gift box and of course, sprinkled it with a dusting of Crystal Glamour dust

We decorated our gift box using the Series 1 Starter kit, delicate lace and vintage roses. The kits from You Can Folk It teach these designs step by step.

The great thing about our Delicate lace kit is that it compliments our other designs well.  For this box, we painted our delicate lace and once it was dry, we added our Vintage roses over the top.  

This plain kraft box was given a makeover using our Folky Christmas angels and Delicate lace kit. Learn how to paint these designs with You Can Folk It and create your own.

One of the boxes we recently created for our Hochanda show recently. This time, we ditched the base coating and paired the kraft box with a plain white design.  We teach you how to paint these pretty little angels in our Christmas kit along with 4 other designs but these angels go so well with our lace, we had to pair them up :) Use this at Christmas for a lovely wow factor. 

Pairing vintage roses and delicate lace from You Can Folk It's folk art painting kits to decorate this gift box.

Getting more adventurous, for this gift box, we drew out a square and designed our own lace trim to compliment it - find out how to design your own lace pattern here



Instead of using a square, here, we used a circle template to create our design and used the steps outlined here to create the pattern.  Inside, we used the template we provide in the Vintage roses kit to paint the centrepiece and create this vintage inspired box. 



There are so many possibilities when it comes to decorating your own gift boxes and the great thing is that base coating your project means that you can even upcycle old packaging and transform it in to  a box worthy of gifting to a loved one.  However you choose to decorate your gift packaging, relax, let go and have fun, after all handmade is always better. 

Happy Folking, 

The You Can Folk It team x 


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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

How do you fancy £5 off Handmade Fair tickets this September?



Get £5 off Full Experience tickets for the Handmade Fair with the code FOLKIT

Do you love craft? Are you unable to walk past craft shops without taking a look round because it's all so inspiring? Well then, we've got a treat for you! Until the 13th September, you can enjoy £5 off a Full experience ticket (usually £32) with You Can Folk It*.  Each Full experience ticket gives you access to 1 x Super Theatre - hearing from famous faces like Annie Sloan and Keith Brymer Jones in live demos and Q & A's, 1 x Skills workshop where you can try your hand at calligraphy, folk art, wire work and more and 1 x Grand Make where you can enjoy learning a new skills in a light creative session.

All you have to do is quote FOLKIT when buying your Full Experience ticket to get your discount.


After exhibiting at many shows over the years, for us, the Handmade Fair is one of our favourites.  More than just a fantastic craft fair, it celebrates the wonderful world of handmade and showcases the best in craft supplies, fabric and handmade goodies.  It isn't all about enjoying time browsing the stands, admiring the creations and chatting to the creators though; the Handmade Fair excels at bringing you the best Skills workshops, demonstrations and smaller taster sessions with their Grand Makes.  These are the perfect opportunity to try something new, pick up a few hints and tips and be inspired.
Learn how to paint comma strokes with You Can Folk It and create these beautiful Folk Art Christmas trees

This year, the Grand Makes and Skills workshops are adopting seasonal themes and we cannot wait to get all wintery and festive in our Berry wreath Grand Make and Winter Wonderland Skills workshop.  Whichever sessions you choose from, there is no doubt you will have a fantastic day.

Create your own festive bauble in our Berry wreath workshop at the Handmade Fair

Full of positive vibes and (hopefully) late summer sunshine, the fair has a fun, festival atmosphere with many embracing the spirit of the event and wearing gorgeous, quirky and downright wonderful clothes and accessories.  There is something for everyone at Hampton Court, we hope to see you there.  Do stop by Stand E50 and say hi, we'd love to see you!


*Saving applies to full price adult tickets and cannot be combined with other offers. Offer ends 23.59 on 13th September 2017. Booking fees apply.


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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Awesome DIY Image Transfer projects


There is no better feeling than creating something you love.  We've been getting creative at Folky HQ updating some old props and creating some fantastic projects ready for our shows.  The beauty of image transfer is that you have a wide range of choice over what you would like to add to your project.  Whether you want to add quotes and sentiments, family photos, bold typography or vintage style images, the choice is yours.  

We used our Series 2 Design book to add vintage style transfers to this plain freestanding piece of home decor to create a quirky centrepiece.

We absolutely love plain decorations like this popular free standing Love decoration because they have so much potential for creating something unique.  Using a variety of vintage inspired images from our Series 2 Design book, we copied the images using a laser jet printer and applied them randomly around this piece to create this fun project. 

Combine transfers and washes of colour to make the designs stand out. Turn unloved items into treasures.

Transfers do not have to stay black and white though.  With this up cycled tool caddy, we applied the butterflies and dragonflies before adding splashes of colour.  To add colour to your project, add water to your acrylic to thin it enough to allow the image to show through and add it to the areas you want to.  


One of our favourite Chalky Finish colours is this dreamy Vintage so when someone brought a sad looking wooden mirror in to the office, we just had to give it a make over.  Using the 'Angels' quote from our Design book, we combined it with some hand painted angels (from our Series 1 Folky Christmas kit) and stencils. It's gone from unloved trash to treasure :) 

Vintage transfer from the Design book paired with You Can Folk It Oriental blossom. Kits available from www.folkit.co

This adjustable stool started life in Ikea; plain, black and practical, it was begging to be decorated.  Base coating it using white chalky finish, we added our gorgeous Vintage transfer.  To soften the look, we played around with our Oriental Blossom flowers.  Diverging from the original design, we paired them with leaves we teach you how to paint from our Rosebuds kit.  By mixing and matching brushstrokes in this way, we were able to create a unique pattern to compliment the transfer and also work with the shape of the stool.   

We were able to create such beautiful projects using our Series 2 Starter kit. When we were creating the second series of painting kits, we wanted to add something extra.  Image transfer was something we loved because of its versatility. Whether you wish to add vintage style images, bold typography or personal photos to your project, it is possible with this technique.

So, we packed our Starter kit with DecoArt Matte medium, sentiments perfectly designed for each project and a DVD full of instructions to guide you through the process.


Each project you see here used the contents of this kit along with our extra Design book which provides a great collection of images in addition to the sentiments we provide in each of our kits.  To find out more about these resources, check out our Series 2 kits here

For more inspiration and ideas for using the image transfer technique, you can also check out our Pinterest board.  Don't forget, we would love to see your creations.  Share them with us on our Social media accounts or tag us #youcanfolkit 

Happy Folking, 

The You Can Folk It team x 





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Friday, 19 May 2017

6 creative DIY planters for your summer garden


Whether you have a home full of plants and flowers or a small outdoor space with only room for a few small planters, adding colour to your home is so worthwhile after a dark and grey winter.  We have put together 6 creative ideas to help inspire you. Whether you wish to fill your planters with flowers, succulents or herbs, create a display that will make you smile. 

DecoArt chalky finish paint is fantastic for base coating projects as the surface needs no preparation and there are a wide variety of colours - even more once you begin mixing.

For each of our pots, we chose to base coat them with DecoArt Chalky Finish paint.  For some we used the colour straight from the pot, for others, we mixed our own custom colour for our pastel theme. 


Once the pots were dry, we used the paints from our Series 1 and Series 2 Starter kits to add each of the designs from our add on ranges.  At Folk It, we begin by teaching you dotty designs from our Starter kits before we move on to teaching you brushstrokes to create the designs (like our bluebirds above) in our 'add on' lessons.  The beauty of Folk Art is that it is a skill based art, a skill anyone can learn just as anyone can learn to write.  With patience and practice, each and every one of us can paint these brushstrokes whether we believe we are creative or not.

Our Series 1 pots 

Using DecoArt Chalky Finish and You Can Folk It Series 1 Starter and Daisy details kit, we created this beautiful planter perfect for any home.

Our gorgeous Daisy pot was first base coated using a mix of DecoArt chalky finish in New Life and Everlasting, both from our Colonial colour set.  Once dry, we painted our Daisies on using the templates and techniques from our Daisy Details kit and art supplies from the Starter kit.  Add the stalks and leaves using Hauser Light Green and the liner brush.

Whether you use this pretty pot to hold a beautiful gardening gift or your favourite plant, it will be loved. Decorated using DecoArt Chalky Finish and bluebirds from You Can Folk It's Series 1 painting kits.

To create our next pot, we used the beautiful yellow shade 'Delicate' from DecoArt.  To decorate our sunny Bluebirds planter, we first added a border of dot daisies and hearts from our Series 1 Starter kit using Baby blue and Warm White (full instructions are included in both the instructional booklet and the DVD).  Next, using the comma strokes taught in our add on kits, we painted two bluebirds either side of the pot and added a simple heart between them.

Basecoated in beautiful blue and decorated using traditional Folk Art techniques taught in the Delicate lace painting kit from You Can Folk It

This pot has been getting so much love across our Social media channels! This pretty planter was first painted in 'Serene', a beautiful place blue from the chalky finish range.  Using our liner brush and the techniques we teach in our Delicate Lace kit, we added detail around the top of the pot because sometimes simple is the best.

Our Series 2 planters 

Update any home or garden with this beautiful blossom covered pot decorated using the step by step painting kits from You Can Folk It

It is no secret that our favourite colour within the chalky finish range is 'Vintage' so of course it became the base coat for our gorgeous Oriental Blossom pot. Using the templates and techniques from this add on kit, we were able to paint these pretty flowers on to both sides of the pot, perfect for Spring or Summer don't you think?

Learn how to paint these beautiful butterflies using the step by step painting kits from You Can Folk It

We created this warm, pastel orange by mixing Everlasting with a smidgen of Delicate and dash of Smitten.  One helpful tip when mixing your colours is to make a note of the ratios you use, paint half a lollypop stick with the shade and make a note of the paints you've used.  You may only use it once but just in case you wish to use it again, you will then build up a colour reference tool you can refer to again and again.  We added two fluttering butterflies here using white and the fabulous Plum colour provided in the Series 2 Starter kit.  

Learn how to paint pretty rosebuds using the step by step painting kits from You Can Folk It

Another custom colour, we created this by mixing the dramatic 'Victorian' with 'Everlasting' both from our Heritage colour collection.    To compliment this beautiful shade, we blended our Plum and Titanium white from the Series 2 Starter kit to create the rosebuds around the top of the planter.  For the leaves we mixed a pale green using the Avocado and Titanium white, again from the Starter kit.  

To complete the pots, we finished with two coats of DecoArt Ultra Matte Varnish to protect these beautiful planters.  We chose this varnish specifically, not only because it is water based but because it maintains the matte look of the chalky finish paint we used.  

There you go. Six beautiful ideas to inspire your summer garden.  The beauty of these designs and our kits is that once you have learnt the techniques we teach you in each one, you can mix and match the designs to create a unique project that you love.  Which planter are you itching to recreate? We'd love to hear your comments and thoughts.  As always if you have any questions about these projects we are happy to help.  

Happy Folking x 




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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

How to paint on slate the right way

Paint on slate - how to tutorial

If we were to tell you the most common questions we get asked here at You Can Folk It, it would be how to paint on to different surfaces.  Within our kits, you receive the materials that are best for beginner projects, mount board and wood.  We chose these because they require no preparation beyond base coating and they are a delight to paint being small, manageable (thanks to the flat, smooth surface) and easily replaceable should you be unhappy with the finished result (though we have never met a customer yet who doesn't love their first project).  

Our recent tutorials have given you step by step instructions on how to paint on to plastic and glass objects that are often available and begging to be reloved instead of being thrown away.  However, what about slate? There are so many different slate products in the high street at the moment, from notice boards to coasters, placemats to photo frames.  With their rustic look and hand crafted appeal, they make the perfect addition to any home.  


So, if you want to add a few hand painted details, what do you need to know? 

1.  As with any surface, to help the paint adhere to your project as much as possible, you need to make sure that your surface is clean and free from dust and dirt.  You can do this by simply wiping down the surface with water and a lint free cloth.  

2. Being a porous surface, to paint on to slate you do not need a primer as the paint will adhere to the surface easily.


3. You can base coat your slate if you wish.  To create a matte finish similar to the natural slate, choose a beautiful shade of Chalky Finish paint.  
4. Plan your design around your surface. The natural characteristics of slate means there may be areas that you would not be able to add designs as easily as you hoped.  Think about this when you are designing your patterns.  

5.  As slate can be easily scratched, in order to protect your project from signs of wear and tear, the best way to finish it is to apply two coats of varnish.  Even though you are varnishing your project, there is no need to compromise on the matte finish.  Seal your slate using two coats of DecoArt Ultra Matte Varnish and leave to dry.  

Please note: We recommend leaving your project to cure for a few days before using them.  While paint and varnish can feel dry to the touch, they need a few days to cure completely.  

Happy Folking, 

Carol x 



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