Thursday 5 December 2013


Hello everyone, how are the festive preparations coming along in your house? I know many of you have already put up your trees, so here is Darcy with a little project that you can add to your tree. 

I started with plain white baubles, you could use any colour, silver would work well. I knew that I would be using translucent Fresco paints and for them to be bright and true they are best used over a white or at least light coloured background. Of course you can use Snowflake to create that base layer. 

You can see mine are just plain white plastic baubles with silver coloured caps.

However they didn't start like that. I searched for about a month for plain white baubles, could I heck find any. But not one to be defeated... us designers are nothing if not determined. I bought these glitter baubles. I knew there was white plastic hiding under there, with a lot of scraping and a generous amount of cleaning product I managed to get all the glitter off them and onto me!!! My jeans,slippers,socks and floor have never looked so festive!

I started by sponging on a layer of London Bus, to achieve an even finish use a sponge or cut n dry and not a brush. I then blended in some sponging of Blood Orange and Claret. To finish this layer I added a little sponging of Old Gold. I applied this base treatment to my first bauble. 

To change the colour of the caps, I first used Old Gold, then I dabbed on some Treasure Gold in Spanish Topaz followed by White Fire. 

I then started on a base for bauble number 2. This time I wanted a more textured look, but with the same colours. I covered the bauble with sheet music. So far so good. I really liked this effect and thought I was on to a winner. 

I painted over the sheet music with exactly the same colours as bauble one. Then I decided to cover it with buttons, covered buttons to be exact. ( inspired by Alison Bomber from this post)

I stamped some tissue paper with fern green archival ink. It looked great for all of 10 seconds and then it decided to wander all over the place. So I tried again, this time I zapped it good with the heat gun and set it in place so it couldn't run away. See here the difference. On the left is my stamped image left to dry alone, and on the right is the same image that was immediately heat set. 

I started to cover my tiny buttons, realized that it just wasn't the look I wanted so onto plan B. I painted my tissue first, with several green frescos, then stamped my text in black. 

Voila! I love these little buttons now. I added some gold thread. 

I used glossy accents to stick them all over the music sheet/red painted bauble, but I can't show you because I seem to have deleted the photo, and the reason is because it was hideous. Can we say Sputnik! or possibly a suspicious WMD. It was truly terrible, so I pulled off all the buttons, scraped off the music paper....and now we are back to plain white plastic bauble. 

Frustrating, and in one sense a waste of time, but at least I ended up with some cute buttons which I am sure I will use elsewhere. 

Back to the plan, well the revised plan. 

I now wanted all 3 baubles to be similar but not completely identical, so I gave bauble 2 and 3 the same red/gold paint treatment as bauble 1.Then I looked through my Christmas stamps. I decided that holly would look good over the red base, and found 3 different holly stamps. 



I took some white tissue paper, and blended on some green Frescos. Limelight, Hey PestoGreen Olives and Hyde Park. I did this quite roughly, so that different shades were stronger in different areas. I then stamped my holly stamps using black archival ink. 

I dried the ink and cut out each leaf. I then brushed on a little Pearl Glaze, I love this glaze for adding just a little shimmer. 

The final step is to glue the leaves to the bauble. I stood the bauble on a piece of reusable adhesive (blutack) this keeps the bauble steady and easily peels back off. I used Gloss glaze to stick the painted tissue paper in place. I also went over the top of the leaves. You might think that the gloss glaze cancels out the pearl glaze but it doesn't. You get the super gloss finish with the pearl shimmer showing through. 

I decided they looked  a little flat, so I watered down some French Roast and using a fine brush I added a little around each leaf. this just gives them a bit of a shadow and adds dimension.

 For this one I also added in some berries , again painted and stamped onto tissue paper. 

Here is #2.. You can clearly see the shadow of French Roast, and also accents with Old gold and Claret. I totally sympathize with Alison Bomber and her bothersome baubles, as this is the one that had a brief former life as a musician. 

#3. This was was the fiddliest to cut out, but not impossible. 

All 3 baubles were decorated in the same way, and in total each has 3 coats of the gloss glaze  all over the whole bauble, to make them really shiny. 

I love seeing them together, they have a wonderful shine and in real life they look more like glass than plastic. 

I hope you have enjoyed this little project, why not have a go at painting your own baubles. Perhaps make them personalised by stamping names onto them, that would be so lovely for children. 

See you again next Thursday for another festive project. 

Darcy x


Helen said...

Great baubles - but what lengths you had to go to... well worth it though.

Lin said...

beautiful Darcy...they look quite 50's I think :D

massofhair said...

Baubles seem to be a very bothersome item to get just right. Love what you have done with yours, they are very festive & shiny.
Truly wonderful inspiration, maybe next year!

So glad i don't have a need to change any close to me lol:-) xxx

Steven said...

love these baubles the effect is fabulous to put aside and try next year!

Kathyk said...



Sarah B said...

these look fab - dread to think how much glitter you must have had every where !

jojo79 said...

Love them Darcy. Well worth all the effort you had to go through.


ionabunny said...

It seems baubles is causing no end of problems. You, Alison, me. The bauble I uploaded to this weeks challenge was nothing to do with where I started either!! Maybe my first ones, which on reflection look a bit like chocolate, will raise their baublyness before the silly season is over. I think it's very cruel of you not to share the picture of the WMD. I may have to try and recreate from your description. Very intrigued.....

ionabunny said...

Forgot to say how much I like these. The holly is fab against the red baubles

Cocofolies said...

Fabulous bubbles, with brilliant colours and stamped images !!! Coco x

sally said...

Really lovely baubles & I bet they look great in real life, I'm sure it was worth getting glitter all over you!


Sandie said...

love these

Linda Hart said...

Loving the end result Darcy - though scraping glitter off the originals is well beyond the call of duty, I think!!

krcmasterpiece said...

I love how you admit you didn't like your first attempt!! Ha! How many of those can I attest to??

But your final product is absolutely FABULOUS!
LOVE the deep red and the leaves. They are gorgeous!

Kathi said...

Those are very elegant.

Thanks for sharing all those photos!

laury55 said...

love your buttons and your baubles are wonderful

Sid said...

Great ideas for creating unique Christmas tree decs !!

Etsuko said...

These baubles are very lovely and wonderful idea.
Someday I want try the idea for anther item.
I always looking forward your project.
Etsuko xx

Gina said...

Now I has to make my own decorations!!! So many ideas...not enough time!!! :D XXX

Lucy Edmondson said...

These are fabulous, Darcy! I love that base layer with the red and gold! And I love your holly leaves. You made me laugh about the glitter! And the expression 'zapped it good' should go into the Collins Urban Dictionary defo! I think those new Archival colours are extra juicy as my Fern Green is the same.

Lucy x

Anonymous said...

They're so gorgeous! Well done on persevering with them, especially the second one. :)

Dawn Louise said...

Wonderful and festive thanks for all the tips too x

Gillian .... said...

Love how these turned out, still to put my tree up *gulp*. x

Unknown said...

I love making baubles for my tree and these are fab x