Arts'n crafts ideas (Full version)

black and white n for noel (christmas) picture frame

Flower-stars' in shades of Black and white in their soliflore vases making up the "N" of Noel are set off by festive gray metallic-effect tones. This mixed media design (wood, beads, artificial snow, boondoggles) creates a design with a strikingly visual, 3D approach.Decorative Black and white Christmas picture

Materials needed to make this design

An 8.7 x 7.1 inch beveled door sign (and a fastening point to be attached to the back)
3 second-hand test tubes (3 inches high)
2 or 3 delicate, light-weight wooden stars (3 inches across)
2 scoubidou/boondoggle threads: 1 white and 1 gray
brass wire
small black seed beads (if possible, already on a thread) otherwise, you will need some nylon thread
double-sided tape and strong glue
white, black and metallic silver acrylic paint
'snow' texture effect/modeling paste
crackle medium

Marking out the 'N' and the strips to be painted

Drawing the N for NoelIn gray pencil, mark out a capital N, placing it in the center, widthwise, of the frame but leaving a 2 inch space at the top (the stars will fill up this space). Parallel to this line, mark out a 2 inch wide strip followed by a 0.8 inch wide strip. Draw a horizontal line 1.6 inches from the bottom of the frame.

Solid-color painting and cracked paint effect

painting the picture frameApply the 'snow effect' paste to the top part of the wooden board. Paint the top strip black and the next strip gray. Paint the bottom strip gray too. Also paint one of the sides of the stars gray. Applying the crackle-effect medium/paint: feel free to try out the crackle medium and the acrylic paint together beforehand to test whether or not they produce the desired effect. The thickness of the coats and the direction in which the paint is applied will influence the extent and visibility of the cracking. Still using a paintbrush, apply a uniform coat of crackle medium onto the wide black strip (the paint must be already dry). You should paint horizontally, in single, even strokes ...or not, as the case may be, depending on the effect you're after: the thicker the layer of crackle medium, the bigger the cracks will be.
As the crackle medium dries it will become transparent but will still be sticky. Apply white paint to the black-colored strip, in one single, vertical brush stroke (load your brush well): the cracks may start forming immediately, others will appear as the paint dries. Once again, the thickness of this coat of paint will determine how the cracks form. The painting in black and white
Close-up of cracked paintPaint the upper part of the board white too, (in other words, paint the 'snow effect' paste), along with the intermediate area between the strips of gray. Paint the "N" black (don't hesitate to apply a second coat of paint), and the other side of the stars.

Making the soliflore vases

soliflore vase tubesEach tube is covered with a length of double-sided tape, leaving just the bottom 0.4 inches of the tube uncovered.
Two tubes are covered in scoubidou/boondoggle threads (white and gray): the scoubidou's starting point (which is easier to undo) will be glued to the picture frame and will therefore be fastened tight. Wrap the scoubidou thread around the tube
The last tube is covered in black seed beads (which must be threaded onto a nylon thread, if they're not already supplied like this) : wrap them directly around the tube. Glue each tube to the  "bars" of the "N".Wrap the thread of beads around the tube

Making the flower-stars

flower-star Christmas decorationTake the remaining bits of scoubidou thread, pass the brass wire through the scoubidou to give it shape. Make 2 holes in each wooden star. Start by bending the very end of the thread and fold the end of the scoubidou back on itself. Scoubidou used as a Christmas decoration
Wrap all of the scoubidou thread around a pen: this will give it a spring shape. Then add a star (either black side up or gray side up). Set this rather strange flower into a soliflore vase and adjust its length. If necessary, cut the thread jutting out of the star at a point about 0.4 inches past the hole in the star. Where the third star should be, we've put a sailing knot, made using the white scoubidou thread: it's called the "southern cross knot" and is included, together with a little on its history, in the decorative knot-tying methods by Guy Franquet. This knot is simple, being based upon the 'lovers' slip knots' knot, and brings a light, aerial, poetic note to the flower-star design, like a piece of foliage. All that remains is to hang the picture to the wall to wait for Christmas or else to place it on the black and white-themed Christmas table...

You will find the materials for this design on les-creatifs