Posted In: diy projects

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Stenciled Linen Tea Towels

Posted On: 17th of November, 2020
Posted In: DIY Projects

We were in need of a little unique gift idea for family so we decided to turn some iPad drawings from our two year old into tea towel designs.

Stencil Film
Xacto Knife
Linen Tea Towel (we used Off White)
MTN Water Based spray paint (we used AZO Orange Pale, Naphthol Red, Blue Green Dark, Blue Green Pale)

We took some scribbles from the iPad, but could just as easily be from paper, and cut them into 6 separate stencils. We used acetate stencil film so we could reuse them a quite a few times.

We pre washed the linen tea towel to soften them an remove the starchy coating to ensure the paint adhered well.

We placed the separate stencils on the tea towel, changing the position and colour each time so each tea towel was unique. Ww waited a few minutes between each stencil so they are touch dry. We used the Water Based cans which are great if kids are helping or you are using indoors. Our other paint ranges also work.

After the paint is completely dry (we gave it a few hours), we ironed the design with a hot iron with no steam for a few minutes to set the paint.

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Planter Pots with MTN Chalk Range

Posted On: 4th of April, 2020
Posted In: DIY Projects

Get prepping and grow some herbs at home!

MTN's range of Chalk Products are the perfect friend for projects around the home. With chalkboard paint and chalk spray and markers there are endless DIY projects to keep your hands busy.

View MTN's Chalk range here.

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Noongar Counting Blocks

Posted On: 3rd of April, 2020
Posted In: DIY Projects

When we learned how to count from keny to maar-maar in Noongar we were fascinated by the number structure and created this set of Montessori inspired blocks to help learn the numbers. We have included the instructions below for an easy make at home educational toy for these Stay at Home times we find ourselves in.

• 1x 30x30mm square piece of wood, at least 1.7m long - the piece we purchased was a 2.4m length in pine
• 1x Drawstring Calico Bag
• 1x Can MTN Gesso Primer
• 2x Stylefile Markers in your chosen colours (for decorating the bag)
• 10x MTN Water Based Spraypaint in your chosen colours
• 1x MTN Water Based Paint Marker in your chosen colour (should contrast all paint colours)
• 1x MTN Water Based Spraypaint Clear Matte Varnish

• 2x 30mm in length (keny)
• 6x 60mm in length (koodjal)
• 2x 90mm in length (daambart)
• 7x 150mm in length (maar)

Sand any rough edges ready for painting.

• Slip a piece of cardboard in the bag to prevent the markers bleeding through to the back side
• Using the Stylefile Markers trace 1 of each of the 4 length blocks and write the corresponding name
- do this before you paint the blocks incase you get any marker on them
- we used dark brown to trace the blocks and black to write the names

• Print the last page of the below PDF
• Cut in half and tack with glue back to back
• Laminate

Paint the raw wood with a primer to seal the wood and prevent the coloured paint soaking in and looking uneven. We used MTN Gesso Primer which is a thick covering water based primer with no harsh solvents.

You will need to put the puzzle together and paint each number in a different colour. Some numbers are created with 1 block, and some are made up of 2 or 3 blocks. We have listed the numbers below with the MTN Water Based Spraypaint colours we used and the block sizes needed.
Keny - Titanium Light - 30
Koodjal - Grey Green Dark - 60
Daambart - Raw Umber - 90
Koodjal-Koodjal - Grey Green - 150 90
Maar - Yellow Ochre - 150
Maar-Keny - Raw Umber Deep - 150 30
Maar-Koodjal - Naples Yellow Deep - 150 60
Maar-Daambart - Grey Green Pale - 60 60
Maar-Koodjal-Koodjal - Burnt Umber - 150 60 60
Maar-Maar - Grey Green Deep - 150 150

• Put the blocks together as per the instructions and diagram on the next page
• With your paint marker, mark a visible dot on the left end of each row

We added a final coat of varnish to help protect our block set. We used MTN Water Based Spraypaint in Matte Varnish.

View full instructions here (.pdf)

If you're interested in learning more Noongar lanungue and culture we would highly recommend this free online course:

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DIY Egg Shakers

Posted On: 29th of March, 2020
Posted In: DIY Projects

Looking for some chocolate free Easter gift ideas? We had fun creating this Montessori inspired egg shaker set.

Using our Hollow Wooden Eggs and MTN Water Based Spray Paint this game is to teach sound recognition to small children - discover the 3 different sounds, match the 2 eggs that sound the same. Order them from soft to loud.

• 6x Hollow Wooden Eggs
• PVA Glue
• Edible dry foods - we used Cous Cous, Rice and Macaroni
• Wooden plank and hole saw for base (optional)
MTN Gesso Primer
• 3 Colours of Spray Paint - we used MTN Water Based Paint (We used Raw Umber, Burt Umber, Grey Green)

• Fill 2 eggs with equal amounts of Cous Cous, 2 with Rice, and 2 with Macaroni
• Use a small amount of PVA glue to seal the eggs closed
• Measure and cut a small board to sit the eggs on, and make holes with a whole saw for the eggs to sit in (base is optional, you could just find a box or basket to house the eggs in)
• Prime your wooden objets with MTN Gesso Primer (this is a water based primer with no harsh solvents)
• Using MTN Water Based Paint, paint your base 1 colour, then paint 1 set off eggs in 1 colour (so you have 1 of each sound) then the remaining 3 eggs in the last colour - an egg carton is helpful to hold the eggs as you spray them

DIY Screenprinting Kits

Posted On: 12th of November, 2018
Posted In: Store News, DIY Projects

We are now stocking Jacquard Products screen printing kits, suitable for beginners and professional screen printers alike. Available in two colours - Semi Transparent (for printing on light material) and Opaque (for printing on dark material).

The kits include everything you need!
- Pre-stretched silk screen with aluminium frame (25.4 cm x 35.56 cm)
- Wood handled squeegee
- 4 x jars of screen inks (red, blue, yellow, black)
- Photo Emulsion
- Diazo Sensitizer
- 3 acetate sheets
- Stir stick
- Instruction booklet in 3 languages (English, Spanish, French)

$199 - View in the online store

Resources for Teachers

Posted On: 16th of August, 2018
Posted In: diy projects

Calling all teachers! We offer a great range of free worksheets and resources for use in secondary art classes, including our Northbridge Street Art Map.

Click here to see available resources and download files.

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Spray Painting Vinyl

Posted On: 28th of March, 2017
Posted In: DIY Projects, Chucks Know-Hows

We are often asked recommendations for painting vinyl banners - with so many one use event banners printed, they can be a great surface to repurpose with spray paint, yet can be very frustrating if your paint doesn't stick.

Some spray paint solvents seem to react with the vinyl, either peeling off very easily, or never truly drying - making a huge sticky mess.

We have put our paints to the test and have excellent results with Sugar Artist Acrylic spray paint. This spray paint contains a solvent made from sugar cane alcohol, while most of our paints use acetone based solvents. In our tests Sugar has dried perfectly and creates a surprisingly strong bond to the flexible vinyl. Coming back to our samples several months later and bending and scratching the surface shows no wear and tear.

Check check out our samples for your self in store.

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Painting on Fabric

Posted On: 14th of March, 2017
Posted In: DIY Projects, Chucks Know-Hows

We are often asked for recommendations on painting on to fabric. Most acrylic paints are suitable for fabric surfaces, we stock both tubes of heavy body acrylic, bottles of fluid acrylic and markers filled with fluid acrylic that work great on fabrics.

We have recently put some to the test - you can check out our samples in store.

We chose a very dark denim with stretch to test the products to their full capacity. For our sample shown here we used a Ironlak Basic Acrylic Set (you can also buy individual tubes here) and Ironlak Fluid Acrylic.

We applied the paint with a brush, but Fluid Acrylic can also be put into an empty marker, or purchased as a pre made marker here.

We were impressed with the coverage on dark fabrics, even colours like bright red covered well without any base white coat. We found the tubes of acrylic were a little more flexible on the stretch fabric than the fluid acrylic, though both performed well.

Once completely dry we heat set the design - we used an iron for a few minutes on the back side of the fabric, and on the front covering over the painted section with a light tea towel. A hair dryer or tumble drier could also be used.

We have washed our samples a couple of times in a regular wash cycle with no effect on the design.

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Spraying Styrofoam

Posted On: 14th of March, 2017
Posted In: DIY Projects, Chucks Know-Hows

Did you know you can use some spray paints directly onto Styrofoam?

Many spray paints will eat into Styrofoam soon after painting. This is due to the kind of solvents in the paint.

Sugar Artists’ Acrylic and uses an alcohol based solvent made from sugar cane. It does not attack the foam.

MTN Water Based also contains alcohol as a drying agent, and does not contain solvents that eat foam.

After testing we can recommend that you can safely use MTN Water Based and Sugar Artists’ Acrylic paints directly onto foam with no primer.

Most of the other paints we carry, including our main ranges Ironlak, MTN Hardcore and MTN 94 will all attack the foam, unless an appropriate primer is used. MTN 94 Foam Primer is available which is used as a undercoat to protect the foam, in which case any paint can then be used on top of the primer.

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DIY Building Blocks

Posted On: 29th of November, 2016
Posted In: DIY Projects

Tasked with making a house warming present for a young family, we got crafty with some wooden off cuts, paint markers and liquid acrylics.

We chose to feature the new house's street name, but the same project could be easily adapted for baby showers, birthdays or any occasion.

We started with 9 small wooden blocks - about 4cm cubed. We had a scrap of square pine and neatly cut it into even blocks and lightly sanded the cut edges.

We used Molotow One4All paint - both in markers and the 30ml bottles of liquid acrylic paint with a brush.

Colour Scheme
We selected 4 colours - white, grey, light pink and dark purple. Choosing a small colour range will help to keep the blocks looking unified.

Sketch out some design ideas on grids of 3x3 squares - we used coloured pencils to plan 6 3x3 squares. The blocks will get mixed up and made into all sorts of designs, but you will have at least 6 designs you know you can make from your set.

We first made a 3x3 square with the blocks, ensuing the wood grain was going in the same direction, so all the cross cuts are pointing the same way. We painted on one design, then turned each block to the left to paint the second design. We kept going like that for the 4 sides, then turned the blocks down for the 5th and 6th sides. This way when you put the letters back together you can easily flip them to find your 6 designs.

Clear Coat
Once your paint is all dry you can varnish them with matte, satin or gloss clear depending on the finish you want. We chose 94 Acrylic Matte Varnish.

If you find the paints are soaking into the wood too much and bleeding at the edge of the design, or you want really crisp painted areas with out the wood grain texture coming through so much, clear coat your blocks before you begin painting, and again once complete.