Hi there! First off, I'd like to thank you for purchasing one of our DIY Paint-it-Yourself ornaments--it's the first time we've launched this kind of product, and everything is done by hand in our studio!
The Pippy penguin ornament comes with step-by-step instructions on how to paint your DIY ornament, but some of us are more visual learners. This tutorial has additional photos to help explain some of the techniques described in the instructions. If you're still having trouble or have any questions or feedback about the product, don't hesitate to e-mail us!
Step One: Paint Your Base Colors
Use the provided reference (on the front of your instructions) as a guide! The round brush is good for smaller areas, and the flat brush is better for larger spaces. It's okay if you paint over the lines in some places—just make sure you can still see them enough that you can outline over them later! The red paint for our penguin friend's scarf and her snowman's hat is the same color used on the stencil, but if you keep your layers thinner, you'll still be able to see them up close.
Above: The round brush is being used on the left to fill in the yellow paint, and on the right, the flat brush is being used up against the line on the snowman to fill in the larger white areas of paint.
Below: This is what the ornament looks like after filling in all the base colors and adding some background (see Step 2). As you can see, it's pretty messy! But I can still see the red lines enough that I'll be able to outline my shapes later on.
Step Two: Add Shadows and Background
Use the blue gray paint to add shadows to the snow portions of your ornament, using the reference image as a guide. To blend the darker colors into the white, you can use either of the following methods:
-Using a mostly dry brush (you can add a little bit of water though too), using circular motions, blend along the edge of your blue grey color and out until blended as desired.
-Using your disposable palette square, take some of your white paint and add very small amounts of blue gray at a time to it with your brush until it becomes a nice middle shade. Layer this over the blue gray paint on its own to create a nice gradient effect!
Above: I'm using a round brush and the blue-gray paint, mixed with water, to add some light shading. Later, I'll go over these areas with thicker paint and blend them until they're the consistency I want!
For your background, you can use the first blending technique above to add a white wash around the characters and background trees (see above picture in Step 1). You can also paint the white completely up to the top, or even leave it blank—get creative with it and make it your own!
Step Three: Outline Snow in Blue-Gray Paint
Using your round brush, outline the snowman's body and the snow on the ground. Use the very tip of your brush and apply light pressure. Mixing a small amount of water with your blue gray paint, either directly in the pot or on your disposable palette square, will help make it easier to be precise.
In this photo, you can see what the paint looks like on the round brush. It was mixed with a small amount of water to thin it (where I live, the air is SO DRY and I found myself thinning with water often), and only the lightest pressure was used so I could get the line as thin as the brush would allow.
Step Four: Outline the Rest
Using the marker, outline the rest of your ornament! In the images below, you can see how clean the ornament is looking now that the outlines are complete.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The marker bleeds easily on unpainted wood, so make sure that if you chose a white wash or no paint for your background that you stay inside the red stencil lines as much as possible. If you felt comfortable with step 3, you can also use the black paint to finish your outline!
Step Five: Add Snowflakes
Take the tip of your round brush and swirl it on top of your white paint, then dot the ornament as you please with snowflakes. We're almost done!
Step Six: Seal Your Ornament
Once your paint is completely dry to the touch, use the flat brush to apply ModPodge to the front of your ornament, using fast strokes that all go in the same direction to apply a smooth, even coat. This will help seal the wood and keep it from staining, as well as give your ornament a uniform sheen. It'll look white when applied, but don't worry-it'll dry clear and glossy! Allow 15-40 minutes for the ModPodge to dry (allow more time in more humid environments). Once the front is dry, you can also add ModPodge to the edges of your ornament to keep the bark from flaking off if desired!
I apologize for how blurry these pictures are--oof! Here you can see the ModPodge being applied in horizontal strokes. It looks like white paint, but in the next image, you can see how shiny the coating is at certain angles once dry.
Step Six: Add String
Whether your kit includes twine or nylon cord, you'll now take this and tie it through the small hole at the top of your ornament. Tie it with a double knot or a bow, whichever you please! If you need to trim the excess, you may do so with a pair of scissors.
That's It, You're All Done!