Saturday, May 8, 2010

Preserving the Memories

Have you ever heard of EnviroTex? I hadn't either, until a parent of one of my students used it for a classroom project for our art show. It is a high gloss varnish that is poured onto whatever is being sealed and leaves it looking like it has about 50 layers of varnish on it. No kidding, the art seriously looks like it's floating in crystal clear gloss. The parent uses it on foamcore board and makes placemats out of them. They were adorable, and I had to try it for myself!

I went to Michael's and looked at foamcore board, planning on using that and just adding some string on the back to hang the finished project. However, a full sheet of foamcore board was $5.99 and I could not bring myself to pay that much. After wandering around I found myself in their fine arts section and looked at prestretched canvases. They had two packs for $9.99 and I figured that was a little better-at least it would be professional looking for the price. Then I looked down. And saw a little sign that said "Buy One, Get One Free." SOLD. I got four two packs for this project.

I started with the Spin Paintings because although I love them, they were made by Gracie & friends, not just Gracie. If my idea flopped I wouldn't be as upset as I would be if I ruined her very first fingerpaintings. I cut them out, mounted them on black cardstock, and glued them to one of the canvases that I had painted a bright blue. I painted on two layers of Elmer's glue to seal the paper so the varnish wouldn't get to it (although, it did in a couple places, but still looks good).

When the glue was dry, I nervously mixed the EnviroTex. The stuff isn't cheap and I was afraid I would screw it up and waste all that time and money. The directions recommended that I mix a little more than needed (yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you?). I thought I had mixed extra-and it's a good thing because it ended up being the exact amount I needed! I put plastic and wax paper under the project and elevated it on coffee cups (we don't drink coffee anyway). After pouring the mixture on, I used a spatula to spread it around on the canvas, and over the edges. I had to stay and continuously scrape the edges until it was thick enough not to drip.

These are two pictures of the finished project. It's hard to get a good enough picture to truly capture how cool they are. Although you can see the glare of varnish, I can't show how thick and bright it all looks in person.

I like it so much, I've started working on the next one! Next is her first fingerpainting!


A new purpose said...

This is soooo cool! you are such a fun mom to do all of these things with your kids! Brianna and Gracie are so blessed!

erin said...

JODI!!!! They look so great!

Jodi said...

Thanks you two! I can't wait to have a bunch of them done and hang them along our hallway-I'll be sure to post pics!