Monday, January 23, 2012

cookie cutter valentine's art

I'm pretty excited to be writing my first craft tutorial. It's new to me. The project, on the other and, is an old favorite. 

I made these back in my high school art class. I had seen it done on TV at the time. I was unsuccessful in finding the original source. But I think it was done by Nate Berkus when he was first starting out on Oprah. I do remember they used a goat shape. I used a fish for these.

I didn't decorate for Valentine's day last year. I don't even own any decorations for the holiday. I wanted to try'n make something classy but playful. So, I used an old trick to create some great new artwork to decorate the wall in my living room that had nothing on it. 

Here's what you'll need:

2 canvases (you can get a pack for under $5 at hobby lobby)
heart shaped cookie cutter
acrylic paint. I used Americana Indian Turquoise and True Red.
paper template. I printed a heart image from Google on cardstock. I don't know the exact weight of the paper, but it should be thicker than regular paper. Scrapboook cardstock would work. 
adhesive I used and Ad Tech glue runner. The key is that it sticks to the canvas but leaves nothing behind when removed.
paint trays
paint and sponge brushes

Paint the canvases using the sponge brush. Let them dry completely.

While the paint is drying, you can cut your template out and apply the adhesive. As I said, the glue you use should stick well to the template and canvas, but should remove easily from the canvas later. This was an accidental discovery. But now I use it all the time. I would think double sided tape or glue dots could work too. 

Position the template on the canvas and rub it to secure that paint doesn't get under.

Dip the cookie cutter in paint making sure to cover the bottom completely. I learned that the deeper the paint, the thicker the outline would turn out. You can really play around with technique at this point and decide what you like best. (Use a scrap piece of paper to test.)

Start stamping the canvas. 
Apply adequate pressure and slightly move/wiggle the cutter to assure the paint its transferring.

Keep going.
You can really be as systematic or half hazard as you'd like. You can reapply paint to the cutter after every transfer, or used it 2 or 3 times each time getting a thinner transfer as you go. 

I debated how I wanted to finish the sides. I thought I could paint them solid our cover them in ribbon. I ultimately decided to use the cutter. I rolled it over the edge so that it created a bridge between the front and side. But there was never really any rhyme or reason to my technique.

 Gently remove the template. 
I didn't wait for the paint to dry because I was to eager to see the outcome. I originally thought the heart would appear a little bit bolder than it did. So, I decided to paint it in. (and not take a picture)

So, before you remove the template, you can actually trace lightly around the edge with paint and then fill it in. 

I always use 3m hooks (turned sideways) to hang seasonal artwork. That way I can change my mind and layout on a whim. 

That's it! I'm thrilled with the way they turned out. Although next time I will probably measure the placement of the heart because it is a bit higher in the lower painting and they looked odd hanging side by side because of this. (But that's okay because I used 3m hooks!)
But otherwise, they are perfect.
My mind was flooded the entire time with the endless possibilities. You could do any basic shape for any occasion. 

If you have any questions, please ask. And if you make a version of your own, please share. 


  1. I know this was posted a year ago, but I love the idea. We will be doing this before Valentine's!

  2. Looks awesome! Going to try to make this with my preschool class for Valentines.