my Crafty Corner

Cards and other handicrafts made by Jean Straw

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Altered Beermat

Some of you may have seen the photo of my altered beermat on the Chocolate Baroque forum where we were set a little challenge by one of the members to make an altered beermat, just to make and show. Thank you to those who have left nice comments about it, and I thought some might like to see how I made it.  I have done a few before and have some nice new clean ones in my stash that my husband got for me at his bowling club.When I did them before I started by covering the mat with paper or card to give a white surface to work on, so this time I decided to try something different.I didn't really have any clear idea of what I wanted to achieve and there was no subject to stick to.I recently bought some Ranger Distress Stains and
 thought this might be a chance to try them out.
 This is the beermat I started with and I realised that the stains probably wouldn't give good coverage but decided to try it out anyway. I began with Wild Honey as it is quite a strong colour, it dried quickly and I gave it a second coat, and then went over it with a Wild Honey ink pad, but I could still see the design through it. Next I used the Forest moss Distress Stain twice I think, and by now all that showed was the little red symbol above the word Bacardi. This would be OK I thought as I would be able to cover it in some way later.By now it was a rather dark shade of brownish colour, and I think I gave it one more going over with the Wild Honey ink pad. What to do with it now? I wondered, and then decided to see if it would emboss in the Cuttlebug. I chose a  Craft Concepts folder called Venus, and I was quite surprised at how well it embossed and the beermat now looked a bit like a piece of tooled leather. Quite a good effect for some things but not really what I was looking for on this occasion. It was very dark brown so I thought I'd spray it with some gold mica mist to lighten it. I haven't used it for a while and at first it didn't want to spray properly and was just squirting drips, and then all of a sudden the spray worked and being a small piece of work it was covered in gold, and became almost too light and the effect of the embossing was almost lost. In order to make it show again I used a Vintage Photo ink pad to colour the raised areas, and to colour the edges of the mat. To make the embellishments I first chose a chipboard flourish from my stash and

 painted it with two or three coats of white acrylic paint.By now I had decided on white and gold for decoration as the background was so dark, and also about now I remembered that I needed to include some Chocolate Baroque products in my project. I used a little fern stamp from the Teeny Weeny Meadow plate and Versamark ink to stamp on the flourish and three differently shaped white paper flowers and then embossed them with gold embossing powder. I also stamped the word Bliss from the Artistic Affirmations plate in the same way on a piece of white card and then cut it out with a small Nestabilities Labels 4 die, and edged it with a gold Krylon pen.The filigree butterfly and flower were both silver coloured embellishments in my stash and I altered their colour with the Krylon pen. The nice white tassel I used had rather a long loop so I punched a hole in center of the bottom of the mat and threaded it through from the back and hooked it over the flourish before fixing it on with diamond glaze.I punched another hole near the bottom righthand corner and layered up the flowers and fixed them with the brad in the center of the gold flower.The label and butterfly are fixed with foam pads and I made a finger cord with some white and gold crochet thread to hang it with.This piece just kind of happened as it went along, I must say it was probably not the best way to use Distress Stains, but I had fun and ended up with something I was quite pleased with.


  1. Hi Jean,
    I told you on the CB forum that I think this is lovely, and I say it again here. The things that just 'happen' are often the best. I am surprised at how well the stains worked. I would have expected a beermat to soak them up , (like beer!) and you would need a bottle for one coat. Anyway, it's a super result. Kate x

  2. WOW! this is lovely Jean, the colours go together beautifully. Love the tassel and the butterfly, I just love it all!! Dianne.

  3. I also left my comment on the CB forum but am very happy to say again how much I like this piece Jean. Thanks very much for sharing how you did it. I wonder if a light coat of gesso would have made you precious stains 'hold' better and saved you using so much of them. However, you still got a lovely result and the embossing was inspired. I wouldn't have thought of putting a beermat through a folder. I would have expected it to be too thick so thanks for sharing that technique and this lovely artwork.

    Lesley Xx

  4. So clever! Love what you have done! Gorgeous! Kim

  5. Great alteration, its super. Yvonne x

  6. What a fabulous result Jean. The embossing worked very well, and I love the contrast in colours

  7. love what you did there Jean - have only got as far as the basic beermat myself so far, and glad to hear they emboss ok!