Sunday, August 5, 2012


Welcome to the Designer Connection
BLOG HOP for August!!

This month's theme is ... ScHoOl SuPpLiEs!!!

Oh, I am certain that under different circumstances
I could have been incredibly genius with my
design ideas for School Supplies,
but considering all that's going on in my life,
I'm secretly happy that I could incorporate two crafts
that I was working on for the kids into my
August post!!!

Okay, maybe it's not so secret.

First of all ... I LOVE shopping for school supplies!
Seriously, just the smell of crayons, pencils,
and fresh paper makes my endorphins do curly cues.
I. Am. In. Love.

So ... I shop early.  That way,
I have the longest possible time to spend
shuffling, separating, and organizing all the wonderful
school supplies; and, there's a twist!

I like to personalize my kids' stuff.

I've painted folders, notebooks, scissors ...
you name it, I've either painted it or personalized it
in some creatively crafty manner.

This year, I've been working on rulers.
Because I love rulers.  And paint sticks.
I especially love painting on paint sticks,
but no one had those on their back-to-school
list this year.  Weird.

So, it was rulers.
I have a second grader, a fourth grader,
a sixth grader, and an eighth grader this year.
EVERYONE needed a ruler.
But, oddly, only one person needed a
three-ring binder.

(Hey - they make those with clear sleeves
now, which makes it super simple to personalize!!
So I'll show you what I've done with that, too).

 Ahh ... the ruler.
So simple ... yet, so inviting!!!
I mean,
who doesn't want to just, PAINT one of these??

I used a sanding block to lightly sand
the clear varnish off the back.
(I left the front side alone ...
they need to USE this ruler!!!)

Then I painted it RED!
Because that's our school color.
 I also painted one cream.
(I'm going to have two ruler designs here).

For the red ruler, I divided it into sections
and marked them lightly with a pencil.

I gave each "section" a yellow
triangle beak, and six yellow claws.

 I shaded around each beak
and underneath each claw with
thinned chocolate brown paint.
Then I dipped a stylus into black paint
and dotted two eyes above
each triangle-shaped beak.

To finish the "mascot totem" I used
the stylus to dot smaller white
dots on the eyes,
and once the paint was completely dry,
I brushed a clear sealer over the ruler.

Mascot Totem.
I like that term!!  Wonder if
it'll catch on??

Now, back to the cream colored ruler:

I used my 1/4" flat brush and red paint
to "write" the name on the ruler.
Then, I used a liner brush
and thinned chocolate brown paint
to shade the left and lower sides
of each letter.

I used a darker shade of red
to shade the bottom half of each letter.
Once the paint dried completely,
I used my sanding block to lightly remove
some of the paint.

I used a liner brush and thinned black
paint to outline each letter.

Then I used white acrylic paint to
accent the right side of each letter.

After the paint dried completely,
I brushed a clear acrylic sealer over
the back of the ruler.

Repeat: three times!!


Now my second idea was to personalize
the three-ring binder for Ayden.

First, I chose a black binder,
because the school colors are red and black,
and I was painting the cardinal red.

I used a sheet of acrylic paper and
acrylic craft paints for this idea.
Acrylic paper is a heavier stock, and
has a delicious texture to it.
It is perfect for watercolor and acrylic.

After transferring my cardinal pattern
to the center of the acrylic paper,
and adding his name across the bottom,
I painted the main colors.

I used red for the cardinal and the
letters in his name, and I painted the
beak with a dark shade of yellow.

I used a darker shade of red
on the bottom half of each letter,
to add a little character.

I used the darker red to shade the
cardinal, as well.
Then I used the white paint to base coat
 the "teeth" and the eye, and
to give each letter a thin highlight line.

I thinned black paint to ink-like consistency,
and used a liner brush to outline
each letter, as well as the cardinal and his

If you're not comfortable using
the liner brush to outline your design,
you could seal your painting first with a
clear acrylic sealer, and then use a permanent
black marker to outline your design. 

I shaded around the mascot with
a honey brown acrylic paint.

Here's my KEEPIN' IT REAL pic ...
I messed up on the "D" in Ayden.
See how the black line on the curve of the "D"
is ... sloppy??

A little white acrylic paint fixed that.

Here is the final design!
Just needed to slip it into the binder ...

Ta Dah!!!
Bet he's the only second grader
with a binder like this one!!

Peace and Back-to-School Supplies!!!


Terry said...

What kid wouldn't love these!

Ann Butler said...

Great projects Meggan as always!

creativegoddess said...

LOVE this idea! Beats simply putting your child's name on with a sharpie. ;)

Subriagirl said...

How FUN!!

Melony Bradley said...

Meg! Your painting is wonderful. Really like the ruler with the little repeating patterns of cardinals. I think it is a fun thing to personalize the rulers by painting the back!

Michelle Frae Cummings said...

awwww. such great idea's! He'll love it, I'm sure!

Carmen said...

Very cute! No losing those rulers!