Sunday, December 30, 2018

Altenew Academy Level 2 Final Project...

Hi! I am very happy to bring you my final project for the Altenew Educator Certification Program Level 2 today. I was very hesitant when the program was announced as I was sure that the competition was going to be fierce. But I decided to give a shot anyway. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I received the acceptance email! I have completed my 20 classes required for the certification. And I can truly say it has been a wonderful experience. I have learnt new techniques, revisited some old favourites and really developed as a crafter and cardmaker. Since AECP allows you to proceed at your own pace, there is very little stress.

For the final project for Level 2, my brief was to create a home decor project incorporating at least 5 different techniques and giving a step-by-step tutorial. I decided to create a tray and coaster set. This is the first time I have attempted using my stamping supplies with wood. So I definitely experimented and learnt as I went. I also created a set of cards using the same supplies and techniques.

I started with a wood base covered with veneer and some MDF coasters. These are raw materials left over from the time when I used to paint home decor products for sale. I used acrylic paints for my work then and wasn't sure if my stamps and inks were going to work as well. I was pleasantly surprised by the end result.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial of my process.

I used the Versafine Onyx Black ink for all my outline stamping. I also used the tips for using masking from Masking Unleased by Svitlana Shayevich. This class is invaluable if you are intimidated by masking. I stamped two floral clusters at both ends using the stamps from the beautiful Peony Bouquet stamp set.

I was a bit worried about getting a good impression with stamp blocks as I couldn't use the stamp positioner. But there was no issue. Here is the completed base.

I repeated the masking process when I stamped the layers of the flowers. The All About Layering 1 & All About Layering 2 classes were a big help here. I had found it very difficult to line up the layers of the Peony Bouquet flowers before this. Nicole Picadura's tips have really helped me master this set. Here is the completed base.

I used the Red Cosmos, Rose Petal and Warm & Cozy mini ink cube sets for my stamping. I diluted the Mocha ink and used it to darken the corners a bit. Here is a close up of the stamping. I love the beautiful texture that shows through the dye inks.

I also added some green colour to leaves.

Here is my final panel.

The final tray.

For the coasters, I started with bases that were 4 x 4 inches squares.

I covered them with some gesso that I tinted with Mocha ink.

Once the gesso was dry, I added some more streaks of brown with a paintbrush and the Mocha ink.

I stamped the images from the Peony Bouquet set with Versafine Onyx Black ink. Once the ink was dry, I stamped the layers with the same inks I had used for the base. I had one coaster on which I stamped the leaves and berries from the set. I used the Altenew markers for colouring these images.

Once all the stamping and colouring was done, I felt the coasters looked a bit flat. So I decided to darken the colour a bit. I also wanted to do a bit of ink blending on one side. I first covered the stamped images with masking fluid and allowed it to dry completely.

I used distress oxide ink and an ink blending sponge to add some more colour. The idea was to make the coasters match a bit more with the tray base.

I continued adding layers till I was happy with the shade. I also added some more, darker ink on the sides. I learnt this from Marika Rahtu in her class Beautiful Details. I used Espresso ink for this.

I allowed the inks to dry for some time. Definitely didn't want any smearing after putting in all the work! To finish, I buffed the coasters with dry tissue paper and simply used an erasure to rub away the masking fluid.

The set of 6 coasters.

I also made a set of 5 cards. I kept them one layer to go with rest of the decor pieces and used the same techniques that I used for the coasters.

I hope you liked my home decor projects and will try some of the techniques. I would love to hear from you. And I would definitely encourage you to try some of the Altenew Academy classes. They are really great!



  1. The tray and coasters look great, I had no idea that stamps could be used on wood, this really looks awesome. You have lots of patience. Love the coloring on the flowers.
    Have a great day.

    1. Thanks Chandhini. First time I tried it on wood. So it was a process of trial and error for me too!

  2. Your tutorial is awesome, Nandini! Love the process photos and descriptions of the tray and coaster designs! I absolutely love the coloring on wood and they turned out so fabulously! The examples you share are simply gorgeous! Thanks so much for entering your beautiful work in Altenew AECP assignment Gallery. I love your write-up and descriptions! Please keep up with your excellent work!