Thursday, January 26, 2012

A short tutorial showing how to make a chunky, wooden ATC

Recently one of my viewers asked if I would show how the wooden ATCs are made.  I will do a short photo tutorial to show how easy and fun these are to make.  Your only limits are your own imagination!  In addition to that, it is a great way to use up older materials that you have had around for years.
First I start with a wooden block cut to measure 3 1/2" by 2 1/2", the more distressed looking the better the block.
Then I paint the block with whatever color I like, in this case I like "My Studio" Acrylic Paints in 72710 Light Pink and 72702 Ivory.  I mixed them together and gave the block a couple of coats last night and allowed them to dry all night.  If there are any rough edges you don't like just take a little sandpaper to them.  You may at this point decide what papers you might want to use or stamps.  I decided to first stamp the block with a crackled look using IndigoBlu crackle stamp.  My inks were Ranger's Distress Inks, Worn Lipstick for the crackled part.  Then to distress it a little bit more I used Ranger's Distress Ink in Tea Dye and a little bit more of the Worn Lipstick applied to the edges with Tim Holtz's applicators called Inkssentials.  That tool helps me to control how much ink I apply.  Now the block looks like this:
I heat dry all the stamping at this point so the crackle is very pronounced and now I'm ready to apply my papers, stamping and ephemera.  I started by stamping some butterflies called "Papillon" made by Stampers Anonymous, Tim Holtz Collection.  I used the large butterfly stamp and the small one, for the side panel.  I found that Ranger's Brushed Corduroy ink showed up nicely, especially after I applied embossing powder and heat set it with my trusty heat tool.  I liked the effect so much I decided to stamp the "curiosity" phrase on the other side panel  from a different Stampers Anonymous collection called "Visual Artistry", also a part of Tim Holtz's Collection.

The phrase side looked a little lonely so I attached an antique keyhole that I picked up at a metal salvage store in Boston.  The man that works there has been doing this for the past 50 years and he had some really cool things.
I also added little bead feet with Glossy Accents and a picture of Marie Antoinette, from a collage sheet by Alpha Stamps.  Young Marie is in her "hunting costume" which I am sure she only used for photo ops.  She just didn't strike me as much of a huntress.  The text next to Marie is torn from an old French "up-cycled" book.  I gave Marie a little orange satin flower on her jacket and topped the whole thing off with a knob from 7 Gypsies, some waxed twine and a couple of keys.  I hope that explains my process.  I love these chunky ATCs!  This is my first "tutorial" so I hope you will bear with me until I get the process down.  Any constructive criticism is welcomed.  : )
Thanks for visiting and taking a look around!


  1. Oooh, this is so mind goes wild with all the amazing things you can do with these, LOVE yours and the details, especially the cool key! I would've never thought to heat dry...thanks for sharing your process!


    1. Thanks,Scarlett, such a nice compliment. : )

  2. These are so cute Renee!!!!! I'm wondering what should go on Gianna's shelf next!

    1. Thanks Niki! This can be our next art project we do together with Gianna.