Monday, March 28, 2011

Mom Gothic Arch - #7 Cardboard Grunge

Down to the last few Gothic Arches to complete our Inspirational Mom Book :)

If you've been around here for a bit you know how much I love to incorporate one persons trash into art.  Today I want to challenge you to use one of my FAVORITE recycled materials ~ Cardboard!!  I LOVE this never ceases to amaze me how cool this stuff makes art look. 

Mom Gothic Arch - #7 Cardboard 001

So grab yourself a hunk of cardboard and get ready to play!


Corrugated Cardboard
Molding Paste, Embossing Paste or Acrylic Paint (optional)
Acrylic Paint (metallic or other)
Sponge (damp)


1. Draw and cut out your arch from the corrugated cardboard.

2. Begin peeling away one layer of the cardboard to reveal the corrugated center.  You can peel away as much or as little as you would like.

Mom Gothic Arch - #7 Cardboard 002

Me?  I like to peel away lots and lots!  If you're having trouble getting the cardboard to peel away you can use scissors or a craft pic threaded into the corrugation, lift to tear the upper layer of cardboard giving you an area to start peeling.

Mom Gothic Arch - #7 Cardboard 005

3. Glue your main image to the arch.

Mom Gothic Arch - #7 Cardboard 006

4. (optional) This step is totally optional but I like the dimension it adds to the arch.  Use a spatula to apply a layer of molding or embossing paste around the photo.  It doesn't have to be pretty...we're going for a patchy Fix-er-Upper kinda look.   

Note: If you don't have molding or embossing paste on hand you can get a similar look by using several layers of acrylic paint.  Simply apply a thick layer of the paint around your image, let dry and repeat 2-3 additional layers.  

Let the paste/paint dry completely.

Mom Gothic Arch - #7 Cardboard 007

5. Paint the cardboard and paste with desired color of paint.  I personally like to pair metallic paints with cardboard.  The metallic color really emphasises the texture of the cardboard and molding paste.    I used Golden's Iridescent Bronze and Micaceous Iron Oxide paints that I applied using a damp natural sea sponge.

Mom Gothic Arch - #7 Cardboard 008

6. Embellish as desired.  I added a few clock parts, dried flowers, a nifty wire squiggle and pearls to emphasise her "unique-ness" and the sentiment.

Mom Gothic Arch - #7 Cardboard 011

just another view to show the depth of textures....

Mom Gothic Arch - #7 Cardboard 014

Several people have e-mailed me about their arches curling as they dry.  No worries...if this happens gently bend them back either while the arch is drying or after.  If it bends one way it will bend the other as long as you are careful :)   I have had this happen with a few of mine as well but once I re-bend it and attach it to my book pages you can't tell they were ever wonky.

Also, I wanted to drop a little teaser for you all...I've got some fun stuff coming up to share with you in the next couple weeks.  I'm going to be sharing the mystery project that I posted photos of some of the "ingredients" last week;
I have a great store/mfg to share with you that I have been planning on sharing for a while now
I have another fun give-away planned for a very big milestone here at Ink Stains. 

 I can hardly wait....
I think you're going to enjoy it all ~
well, at least I hope you will ;)  LOL!!!


  1. what fun! I want to try more of your art.Thank you

  2. Hi Roni -

    I love the texture you've achieved on this page. It makes you want to touch it. Love all that shine behind her and the extra pieces you added, her hair piece, the clock parts. This one is just fantastic!

    Elaine Allen

  3. Wow, positively gorgeous! I love the addition of the flowers all around - really takes it to another, oh-so-feminine level.

  4. Wow- love the look of the cardboard and the metallic ink on it! Wow!

  5. Roni I too love cardboard, Don't think I've used metallics on it though. Looks fabulous, thanks for the inspiration !!!!!

  6. Wow, this is gorgeous! I wasn't sure where this was going when I saw the spatula and paste, but the painted end product is wonderful. Especially the metal squiggle with the pearl on top. Where do you get your ideas? ;-) TFS!

  7. Oh wow...that arch is just gorgeous! I love the metallic paint on the torn cardboard....!

  8. I think this might be my favorite arch. I love shiny, metallic accents and I just got an order from Dharma Trading which is Lumiere Metallic Acrylic Paints. Oh, they are beautiful! Can't wait to hear about your surprise!

  9. Roni your arches are incredible.
    Thanks for all the techniques you share here. Love corrugated cardboard as well. I really love this arch.

  10. Tried to use cardboard from a USPS priority mail box and it did not work so well. Off to find a more heavy duty box. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration once again!

  11. This arch is now my favorite! I'm lovin' the metallic on cardboard look with the pearls & all!! I just wish I had half of the ideas you have!! Thanks again (for the gazillionth time) for sharing!!

  12. I love this. The flowers are gorgeous...


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!