I confess I've been daydreaming about playing with neon paint ever since visiting Lisa Congdon's studio back in March. I also confess to succumbing to an overdrive of creative excitement when I saw the awesome neon-painted wooden bangles she was wearing, made by VOZ Clothing and Art. When I spotted the blank wooden eggs over at my favorite local craft shop, Once Around, there was no holding me back. Watch out neon, here I come.
Just a roll of blue tape, some wax paper, a craft knife, a permanent marker, and a pair of scissors was all I needed to get started masking out the patterns on the unfinished wooden eggs. For the leaf pattern, I taped several pieces together over the face of the egg and drew the image on the tape before taking it off to cut out the shapes with the craft knife.
To create thin strips and other shapes, I placed the tape on a piece of wax paper first and then used a ruler and knife to cut straight edges. Then I peeled the paper away before adhering the tape. I found working with the thin strips to be the easiest way to create patterns on the curved egg shape. But I couldn't just do that. Nooooo! I decided to get a little crazy and tried making some dotted patterns with a hole punch. Again, placing the tape on the wax paper first made this possible. You can also use larger craft punches in different shapes, or draw your own designs with a permanent marker. This was fun, but definitely not as easy to execute.
When you place the tape on the egg, the thinner and smaller the shape, the easier it is to smooth it down. In order to achieve crisp patterns with the paint, you want the tape to lay as flat as possible, with no bumps or openings along the edges. I used the edge of my nail and a bone folder to burnish the edges of the tape down.
Then I got down to the fun part! I chose a palette of acrylic paints: neon pink, neon yellow, metallic silver and robin's egg blue. When I'm creating a project, I like to limit my palette to just a few colors to keep it from getting too kooky. I used acrylic paints, and they worked okay, but there might be something better out there for wood. I'm still exploring options - let me know if you have any suggestions!
The big thing I discovered (after taking this photo) is that it is better to use a sponge brush and stipple the paint on, rather than brushing. Either way, working with a little bit of paint and keeping the brush from getting too wet is best. I noticed if there was too much paint on the brush it had a tendency to seep under the tape and get messy. A few coats might be necessary with more translucent colors. Make sure the paint is dry before untaping.
Taking the tape off and revealing the masked pattern, was definitely the best part of this project! Totally sastisfying :-) I sealed the eggs with some matte mod-podge, although again, there might be something better out there for this.
I did try some chevron patterns which were WAY HARD, because of the egg shape. It's no fun when a craft project becomes a math project :-( They did turn out cute, but if you're looking for fun and easy, stick to designing with the thin strips of tape, OR . . .
. . . let yourself go and do a free-form pattern! After a painstaking hour with the chevron, I was totally out of steam, but I had one egg left to go. I looked down at all the little bits of blue tape all over my work table and just decided to start slapping them onto the egg, willy-nilly and this was the result! Not bad for a happy accident.
And there you go - the dream met possibility, proceeded to action, and voila! Thanks for stopping by, Happy Easter and be sure to let me know if you try this project!