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) 

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 


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!


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 


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 


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.


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 


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 


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 


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

How to create storage that gets noticed

Making something out of nothing can feel so satisfying.  We are in the process of relocating our office at Folky HQ and we are rediscovering old boxes, bags and jars that we squirrelled away to paint another day.  As we need more storage in the office we thought we would get to transforming them and with Mother's Day later this month in the UK, we thought that there was no time like the present to share a fantastic project that can be used on any old glass jar or bottle.  The fantastic thing about projects like these is that if you make a mistake or you aren't 100% happy with your finished jar, all you have lost is an old jar.  

What you will need: 

An old jar or bottle
1:1 solution of Vinegar and water
A lint free cloth  

Before you start to basecoat the jar, you need to ensure the surface is absolutely clean. Although it is tempting to miss this step out, it really does guarantee you create the best finish. Use a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water to wipe down your glass. We have a lot of natural oils on our fingers that can ruin our finished piece so be careful not to handle the glass after you have cleaned it. 

NOTE: The ultimate grease remover is pure alcohol called Isopropyl. It is worth investing in some if you wish to paint a lot of glass and can be bought from Pharmacies. 

We could have chosen DecoArt Chalky Finish to basecoat our jar which would not require any Paint Adhesion medium to adhere to the glass.  For this project however, we used paints straight from our Series 1 Starter kit, including the Lamp Black to create a bold background for a striking project. To prevent the paint being scratched, add DecoArt's Paint adhesion medium to your Lamp Black (1:1 - you will not lose quality in colour or consistency) and using the sponge from our Starter kit, paint directly on to the plain glass. 

Once the paint has dried, using your traced pattern and transfer paper, transfer your design guide onto your surface - (don't forget any lids you may have if you wish to keep it). 

Begin to paint your design on to the jar.  You may wish to speed up the drying process with a hair dryer to prevent unfortunate smudges.  We painted our Bluebirds design using the paints provided in the Series 1 Starter kit. The instruction booklet and DVD from the Bluebirds add on kit takes you through, step by step, which colours to mix and how to tip your paintbrush to paint the two tone bluebirds.  

Once you have completed your design, sit back and admire your project and wait for the paint to cure.  Once your paint has cured, fill with pens and rulers, knives and forks at the dining table, flowers or indeed make up brushes as we have done here.  

We are big believers in documenting your painting journey to allow you to look back and enjoy seeing how far you've come since you first fell in love with Folk It.  So... if you have created this project for a loved one or if you're not 100% happy with it and do not wish to keep it, why not take a photo of it and add it to your painting journal to remind yourself of your creations.  

Things to remember.....

All paint needs to cure. A cured paint will be solid throughout, not just dry to the touch. Acrylics often feel dry a few minutes after being painted but in order to cure, it usually needs a couple of weeks. Factors such as humidity, number of coats and thickness of paint will also influence this time. A slick surface will mean paint is easily scratched off after a couple of days but becomes more robust after a couple of weeks.
Always remember, your painted objects are like a car. Scratch a car with a key and paint will come away. Similarly, if your object is scratched with some force, because it does not have that 'key', some paint will be removed, regardless of the paint used.  


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

5 benefits of learning to paint

It's true that the world of crafting has enjoyed much more attention in the last few years; maybe thanks to celebrities like Kirstie Allsopp and maybe thanks to the economy. It is certainly true that many crafters have embraced the up cycling trend as we begin to think outside the box instead of buying what we need straight off the shelf.

While many dabble with paper craft and card making, some delve in to baking and others decide to try their hand at sewing, many are often hesitant to learn to paint.  At each show we do, we hear so many people saying 'Oh I couldn't possibly paint' followed by their exclamations that they haven't got an artistic bone in their body...they failed art....they were told many years ago they were just not good enough. The list goes on.  The thing is, we are no strangers to these excuses, we've all said them but it made us wonder, why do we persevere? Why should we learn to paint? In all honesty, there are so many reasons why we should get out of our comfort zone and create but here are our top 5 reasons why we love to Folk It!

1.  It takes us away from the 'real world' When we paint, whether it is with our dotty tool or paint brush, we relax.  We don't have space to worry about the other things that are going on in our lives because we are busy concentrating on creating beautiful patterns or improving our brush strokes. There is no better feeling of 'being in the flow', that wonderful state where the hours seem to fly by.  We are not surprised when we hear that scientific studies have found that learning to paint can help us feel calmer, alleviate depression and keep our brains sharp.  For Folk It founder Carol, it is a form of meditation, a way of relaxing and even after 20 years of painting, she says there is no better feeling than the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that comes with painting a new design or completing a new project.

2. It allows us to re-discover our creative side.  For children, being creative is part of their daily lives but as we grow up, it becomes harder to hold on to that creativity.  Whether the enemy of creativity is outside (family, an unsupportive teacher or a friend) or within us (the critical voice that often seems to get louder the more we try to do something for ourselves), by the time we reach adulthood, we've often lost or damaged that creative part of us.  Being creative can help us become creative in other areas of our lives - to think outside of the box, to solve problems easier, to see the lighter side of life.

3. It helps co-ordination and dexterity.  Hand-eye co-ordination is so important and one of the activities children are encouraged to do when they are developing this skill is art.  By picking up a paintbrush or a dotting tool, it strengthens these abilities, improves these skills.  We love to hear stories from customers who have learnt to Folk It and found that it has helped them maintain mobility in their hands when they are struggling with medical conditions or that it has been a fun activity to help them rehabilitate their arms and hands after a stroke or accident.

4.  It is economical. Our main purpose for starting our Folk It journey was to teach people to paint, to help them realise that they can be creative...that it is not a magic skill only for a chosen few.  Once our customers got their hands on our kits however, they began to use our designs to breathe new life in to home decor they had fallen out of love with.  In a society where we are often looking for ways to be more frugal, You Can Folk It can help transform the most tired of possessions and personalise a gift.

5. It brings people together.  This is probably our favourite reason, especially in a world where many of us spend too much time on our phones.  There is nothing better than painting with a friend or loved one.  We cannot tell you how much we love our Ambassador courses because it is fantastic to see people inspiring each other.  Painting together starts natural conversation, stimulating learning and sparks so many ideas.  In an environment like that, you can't help but have fun.

Above all else though, learning to paint should never be taken too seriously.  The fantastic thing about Folk Art is that anyone can learn to master the skills with practice.  There's nothing worse than putting pressure on yourself for your work to be perfect straight away.  The fun is in the journey, the practice you do.  So grab your painting kits, get together with a friend, pop in the DVD and learn to Folk It.

Happy Folking,

The You Can Folk It team x


Saturday, 28 January 2017

Don't recycle....Upcycle

With the holiday season behind us, one thing that we have in our house (in addition to the lovely gifts we received) is lots of packaging; boxes, tins and jars that we cannot bear to throw away because they are too pretty, too sturdy and too useful to send to be recycled.

In time's when we are always looking for ways to save a bit of cash, one of the best ways to save is to create your own storage.  This does not mean, however, that your DIY storage has to be plain, undecorated or boring.

This week, we have been making use of our old sweet tubs and taking inspiration from vintage hat boxes to up-cycle our first project, just for you. We loved the look of some vintage hat boxes we found that were covered in beautiful roses. Although we have just used our rose design, you could add some stencilling to add to the hat-box feel, though the stencil you use will depend on the size of your project.  

For this project, you will need: 

A tub of your choice 
Flat base coating brush

Choose your project.  A Haribo sweet tub or chocolate tub is perfect for creating up cycled storage

The first decision you need to make is to decide what you will be upcycling.  This is a great project for experimenting with painting on different surfaces, for example painting on curved surfaces is very different to painting on to flat surfaces.  If your project doesn't go to plan, it can still be recycled and it hasn't cost you any money. We chose a leftover sweet tub from our Christmas gifts that was just going to be re-cycled.  

The beauty of DecoArt Chalky finish paint is that you can paint straight on to the surface without fear of the paint flaking off at a later date.  However, one thing you will need to do before you begin painting is to wipe down the tub completely with a mixture of vinegar and water to remove any greasy fingerprints.  Any greasy fingerprints left on the surface will prevent the paint from adhering to the surface.  

Once you've decided which shade of Chalky Finish paint you would like to use, begin painting the tub using a flat brush.  Be sure to cover every inch of the tub with the paint.  

1. Once the Chalky Finish base coat has dried, using your finger or, cloth or old brush apply Rose Gold Metallic Lustre around the lid.  Tip: if your lustre has hardened, put a little water in the jar, screw the lid back on and leave for a couple of hours or overnight to soften.  

2. Using the patterns, randomly place roses around the edge, alternating between 1 rose, 2 roses and 3 rose clusters.  Tip: to make it look more professional, trace a few of the roses off the edge as Carol has done here.  Next trace the larger cluster in the centre of your project, or in this case, the lid. Note: the patterns should print at the correct size. 

Next fill in the roses using your round brush from the Series 1 Starter kit as instructed on the Vintage Rose tutorial DVD. For this project, Carol used DecoArt Americana Naphthol Red. However, you can create a similar shade by mixing our Series 1 Tomato red with a bit of Lamp black, also from the Series 1 kit.  (To learn more about mixing colours, click here). 

3. Using Avocado green from the Series 2 kit, add the leaves following the tutorial from the Vintage Rose DVD.  Tip: If you do not have the Series 2 Starter kit, you could use the Hauser Light Green from our Series 1 Kit.  

Now you have the pattern to work with, add your comma strokes to paint your vintage roses, tipping your brush with Warm White - you can watch the full tutorial  on the DVD supplied in our Vintage Rose add on kit

Using your liner brush, add stalks to your leaves using Avocado around the tub.

Once you design is dried, using the warm white, add comma strokes using your liner brush. Finish by adding some 'filler foliage' this has been created by loading the end of the round brush with avocado and tipping the brush with white.

Leave to dry and apply a coat of Clear Creme wax using a round brush to protect your beautiful new  storage. You can either use it once it has dried or buff the wax with a soft, lint free cloth to create a soft sheen to your container. 

Happy Folking, 

Carol xx 

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