Monday, August 30, 2010

Mini Monsters Canvas Set (Cricut Crafts)

Here is a really fun project I worked on today. I have been meaning to do this for awhile. I saw this project featured on an awesome blog called Under A Cherry Tree. I highly recommend you check it out.
She has awesome projects, info, and cool ideas on how to get the most out of your Cricut and the carts.

Her blog featured the use of Create-A-Critter. I choose to use Mini Monsters because I am in Halloween mode. But plan on making some cute canvas critters soon.

The tools I used for this project are:
A set of flat blank canvas from Dick Blick
Acrylic paint (I used Making Memories & Folk Art, whatever you have it fine)
Foam brushed and acrylic paint brushes.
Contact paper
Cricut using the Gypsy
Mini Monsters cart.

The first think I did was pick out the monsters. I choose four that I thought had easy layers to work with. So the lucky monsters were: Argh, Gross, Spooky, & Slimy.

Next I used the Gypsy and the handbook to break up each of the layers of colors I would need. For example for Spooky I need four colors. Purple for his body, then whites for his eyes, then a grey layer for his right eye, and then the final layer black to complete eyes and mouth. Each of the monsters had 4 layers to complete the canvas (although in Argh 4th layer I used two different colors for pink his mouth and purple for his toes).

I used the base function as a guide of where the cuts should be. I was working with 6x6 canvas and the monsters were cut around 5inches, some of them tweaked a little to make them fit easier.  It was important to have the base as a guide because some of the elements of certain layers would be joined together closely. So I would use the hide contour to break them up to get a perfect stencil. For example the Gross monsters eyes and mouth did not line up with the base. So I copied it 4 times and hide areas of the layer until I got what I needed. Hope this makes sense. 

I kept the base file with all the placements lines until I had all the color layers figured out. Once all the layers were set I used the hide contour to hide all the placement (slit lines). And then copied this blackout version of the base to each of the different color layers (pages) I had made. This way it made a perfect stencil.

I think that was the most time consuming part, the rest was fun. I painted the canvas a solid background colors, two coats and let dry. While drying I cut my elements out on the Cricut using contact paper. Under A Cherry Tree found this the easiest and cleanest looking way to do the stencils. I am sure you could use vinyl, but that would be expensive. I used some cheap contact paper from the dollar store. I would not suggest because sometimes I would have left over adhesive/residue from the contact paper. It was kind of a pain to get off and you can see remnants of it in the photos, the shiny/glossy parts. She used clear brand name Con-Tact paper on hers and did not report any problems. Will definitely be using this brand next time and will let you guys know.

After all the cuts I just built the shapes up layer by layer. Usually putting 2-3 coats per each color and letting them dry completely. This project does take a little while because you can't go step by step, you have to drying time inbetween. So I worked on a Yudu project as well (hope to complete and post tomorrow) and caught up on some t.v. and cleaning.

Here are the monsters by themselves:




This was a very enjoyable project. Made me feel like a kid again, lol. I am sure this would be a lot of fun to make with some younger ones. And they end project comes out looking so good. There's a big market at Union Square in NYC where many artist/crafters sell goods like this. I would have definitely bought something like this if I had seen it there.

While writing this I thought it would probably have been a good idea to take pics of the process instead of just explaining. Maybe will do that next time when I make the critter ones.

Thanks for stopping by and please follow and comment if you would like.

p.s. almost to 75 followers, I feel a giveaway a coming. :-)


  1. Love what you've done. (I think I'm your 75th)

  2. I really love these! You've inspired me to try something similar!

  3. love it!!!I am ur 76 follower!! woohoo

  4. This is si cool!

    Curious as to your thoughts about doing this with paper on canvas as opposed to stenciling?

  5. Yay for 75+, giveaway soon!

    @Kim: I bet that would look great as well. Please let me know if you do.

  6. Wow! I thought you layered vinyl...didn't realize you painted each layer! So much work (I mean fun) and the little monsters turned out great!!

  7. These are so cute! I love those little monster guys! Such a creative project, it turned out great!

  8. Wow, they came out awesome!! may have to break out the paints.

  9. Yes Tink lets do a canvas painting cricut craft day! :-)