Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Paper Mache Gilded pitcher

Hi everyone.

Thank you for all your comments. Someone asked me why I was giving away so much detail, and didn't I want to sell the product?  Well, the truth is that paper mache and gilding is so time consuming, that I would have to sell this pitcher, for instance, for at least $600 in order to make it pay for my time.  It is for sale if you want it.  And we can haggle a little over the price!

The next thing I want to share with you is my paper mache gilded pitcher, which I was talking about.  It is about 14 inches tall. It took 13-15 layers of newspaper to make the structure sturdy enough. (For paper mache I use flour and water.)


I started with a balloon for the lower half. The top was molded over the neck of a clay pitcher. A cardboard handle was added.

The scalloped base was also cut from cardboard covered with about 3 layers of newspaper. Two or three coats of gesso gave it more body. (Instead of gesso you can use latex primer.)

I realize now that for the base I could have used a plastic or cardboard deli container and then cut out the scallops, but it did not occur to me at the time! Live and learn.

Notice that in order to make it flare at the bottom, which is what I wanted, I had to cut it on a bias, and I ended up splitting the scallops to make it happen.

The pitcher decorations were cut out of cardboard from the cleaners, soft enough to cut with scissors but of a nice thickness.  I copied the design for the top from a Dover book, of which I have many.   

 For the bottom, I scored the shapes down the center to make them appear in relief. Had I thought about it sooner, I would have done the same to the top part.  I tend to act and do on impulse, although most of the time I mull the project in my head for months before I actually do it since I always have four of five things going at the same time.

Silver Leafing

After the pitcher was constructed, I covered it with 2 coats of gesso and then a coat of red latex paint. It took 2 coats of silver leaf to cover the whole thing completely. The band around the neck of the pitcher was created using 2 bands of round elastic.

If you are interested, I explained silver leafing and the use of the red paint in my first blog when I described the gilded frame.

Please ask me any questions you have and I will be happy to get back to you.  Email me or write a comment. I will try to post something at least once a week, so please check it out!  Thank you.  Lola

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stenciled Coasters

Simple Wood Coasters

Hi everyone. This is a very simple project.  I don't even remember where I got the wood pieces, I had them for so long. They are about 1/4 inch thick and 3 1/2 inches wide.  

I primed them and painted them with gray latex.  The stencil design is store bought.  A simple "S" stenciled on top finished the job.  A polyurethane finish will make them last.  

Any questions?  Thanks for reading.  Lola

Gilded frame with appliqued cutouts

Decorative ideas for your home

Hi everyone. My name is Lola Sandino Stanton.  When I was 14 years old I told everyone I was going to be an interior decorator.  That was a long time ago in a country where there were no interior decorators at the time:  Nicaragua.

I did not become one, but I think I could have been one. I have been a photographer, a writer, video maker, fitness trainer and, finally, an art teacher.  At age 55 or so, I discovered that I love painting.  I also love paper mache, stenciling, screen-printing, carpentry--- in general, just making things. I want to share with you some of the projects I  create.

Check out my paintings at

Gilded frame with appliqued cutouts

The first project I want to share with you is a silver gilded frame. 

I love decorative frames. At museums I look at frames carefully.  For a recent commission I wanted to make a delicate guild frame to enhance a portrait. It took many hours, definitely not a money making endeavor, but it was fun an interesting.

I started by making the outside frame myself. A added wood trim on the edges for more detail. You can purchase a simple frame at a place like Michael's, but I couldn't find a flat one the right size.  The insert frame is store bought. 

After priming it, I painted the frame with flat red latex, a color traditionally used under guild surfaces. I have read that a spring green is also good for silver leaf. 

I buy latex color paint samples so I can have a variety of colors in stock. Latex spreads smoothly and easily. I have tried acrylic paint but you can see the brush strokes and it gets gooey. 

The next step was to sketch a design for the decoration.  I cut it out of the cardboard that comes from the dry cleaners because it is thin enough to cut with scissors. I then glued the pieces in place with white glue.  I numbered them because I wanted the repeats to look the same, but after a while I realized that it would not make any difference.

Once the pieces were pasted on, I painted over them with more latex paint to seal the edges of the pieces just in case I had not applied enough glue. Then it was time to apply the silver leaf.  I am not going to gives details on leafing since there are plenty of tutorials in the internet.

I used a spray adhesive instead of a liquid adhesive to apply the silver leaf (actually aluminum leaf). The spray dries quickly but it allows you to work on the piece for up to eight hours.  

I had to put two coats of leaf on it because I had a lot of bald spots. For small bald patches, you can use a brush-on liquid adhesive called adhesive size. 

I waited a day or two and then covered it with two coats of high gloss spray polyurethane.  I tried liquid poly using a very soft brush, but the brush lifted off some of the leaf.  I used high gloss after I discovered that low luster or matte dulls the beautiful sheen of the silver leaf.

Make sure the glue is dry before you let your Norwegian Forest cat help you.  Cat hairs do not enhance the look! I was very pleased with the frame and so was my client.

Another appliqued frame

This was a present for my new grand-niece, Olivia. I followed the same steps as the frame above, but this time I used animal silhouettes from Google images.  I printed them out the right size and then traced them on cardboard and cut them out. The frame is from Michael's.

See you next time! Lola