Saturday, May 11, 2019

Third Time's the Charm

Having an extra hectic schedule right now, I thought I would do myself a favor and create a quick and easy project this week.

Of course just thinking that thought activated instant doom.

Due to artist error or some weird fluke (let's just go with the latter) I ended up having to recreate this artist trading coin not once or twice, but three times. So much for saving time.

Ok, I admit, the first time I had to remake the coin was entirely my fault and frankly kind of stupid. I got into the zone and forgot about some basic principles of working with distress ink. I will share what went wrong in my tutorial so that you don't encounter the same thing (though I am certain you are waaaaaay smarter than I and would never make such a silly mistake).

Mistakes aside, artist trading coins are fun and (usually) quick projects that can be completed in one sitting. Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts offers a really nice package of three artist trading coins that are perfect bases for paper, paint, ink, glue, embossing powder and more.

To make the artist trading coin, begin by covering the coin with white gesso.
Next blend yellow and two tones of blue ink onto the coin.
Use a third blue ink to stamp an alphabet background onto the coin. Heat the coin with a heat gun to help the ink dry.
While it is drying, go ahead and print the coin phrase, Vintage Children 2 and the wings (made by Gypsy Soul team Member Nichola Battalina!) on an inkjet printer. Print the wings onto acetate and the rest onto white cardstock. Fussy cut everything you plan to use for the coin and set aside.

Here is where I made my mistake. I had left the project and come back the next day. Somehow I managed to forget that I needed to seal the coin so the distress ink would not smear. I added a coat of matte medium intending to adhere the words to the coin and the alphabet background turned into a great big smudge. Before the matte medium dried, I wiped the coin with a baby wipe and started over blending the inks and adding the alphabet background.

This time after finishing the background I was careful to add two coats of matte spray sealer. This is a great technique for sealing water soluble inks and sprays before adding other wet materials.

However, while this process normally work great, for some fluke reason this time it didn't and the ink still smeared when I added the matte medium!

Let's just say that Beauregard, the new puppy in our house, might have learned some choice new words.

Repeat scene of me wiping off the coin. Then not quite sure what had caused this fluke, I sanded the coin down and started from scratch--reapplying the gesso, blending the ink, etc.

While I know that the spray sealer technique normally works, I didn't trust my luck at this point and decided to skip adding matte medium and instead just use glue to adhere items to the coin.
Back to the tutorial--To continue making the coin, glue the acetate wings to the back of the girl and then adhere the girl to the coin with foam adhesive so she stands out from the coin.

Next glue the words to the coin in a staggered pattern.
To finish your coin, draw a black pencil line around the edge of the circle and smudge it with your fingers. Hope you have a great weekend that is free of mishaps and blunders! -Betsy

Great Stuff

Artist Trading Coin
Paper Calliope Vintage Children 2
Wings by Nichola Battilana
Distress ink
Blending tool
Alphabet stamp
White cardstock
Beacon Zip Dry
White gesso
Matte spray acrylic sealer
Foam adhesive
Stabilo black pencil


  1. Thanks for sharing this with us and reminding us that creating is process and sometimes it takes more than once to get a project we are proud of. It always nice to have a few extra curse words to use in such occasions I know my go to s- word gets overused whenever I am creating

  2. LOL
    (Is there any other way for a project to progress chronologically? That sounds like every one I've ever done!)
    Thanks for the laugh.

  3. it is super cute so it was worth repeating 3 times!