Monday, October 10, 2011

Tutorial - Faux Leather using beeswax

There are several techniques available to create a faux leather finish. In fact, we’ve already shared several with you. Therefore, it was a challenge to create something new. While browsing the internet looking at some mixed media pieces using beeswax, I realized that it would deliver the perfect finish I was looking for. I love finding ways to use mixed media products on my paper crafts, so please allow me to share my discovery with you. This tutorial was featured in the July issue of Scrapbook News and Review magazine

•Distress ink
•Melting pot
•Heat gun
•Perfect Pearls

Step One: Gather all your supplies together and place your chipboard piece onto your non-stick craft mat. I was lucky to find this adorable chipboard piece at my local scrapbook store.
Step Two: We'll be adding several shades on ink to our chipboard piece. It's important to start with the lightest color first. Ink the entire surface area with Vintage Photo distress ink.
Step Three: For the next layer of ink, use Walnut Stain distress ink. For this layer only, ink the edges of your chipboard piece.
Step Four: For your third and final layer of ink, use Black Soot distress ink. For this layer only, ink small parts of your edges to create shadows. On my piece I inked the tip of the boot, the curve along the back of the boot, the heel and the sole of the boot.
Step Five: Add some natural beeswax pallets to your melting pot and turn your temperature dial to 140 degrees to allow the wax to melt slowly. Remember to never leave melting wax unattended as it’s very flammable.
Step Six: Using a paint brush with natural bristles, paint the entire surface of the chipboard. I specifically took a picture of the boot right after adding the beeswax to show you that it’s natural for it to look very cloudy and waxy. I remember how I thought I'd done something wrong the first time I tried this.
Step Seven: Allow the beeswax to completely cool before the next step. Notice how the wax clears as it cools.
Step Eight: Now take your heat gun and slowly heat the wax to smooth out the lines created by the paint brush. Don't allow the heat gun to linger on one area too long because that will create pooling. You need to move the gun over the entire area in a continuous movement.
Step Nine: This step is optional. If you want a thicker finish, add a second layer of beeswax. I took the picture right after applying the beeswax to demonstrate that even though it looks scary at first, it does clear up once the wax cools completely. Once the wax has cooled, run the heat gun over it again to smooth the wax surface. I added a coat of antique gold Perfect Pearls to my finished product for a little shimmer.

Anyone trying beeswax for the first time will probably have a few "what the....." moments. I know I did. Don't panic until the wax has completely cooled. Remember to run over the wax with a heat gun to smooth the surface if that's the finish you want. Although sometimes having the added texture of the paint brush is an essential element of your project. Just keep playing until you find what you're comfortable with.

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