With how busy life can seem these days it’s nice when a DIY project only takes a couple of hours to complete and gives you a sense of accomplishment. For this month’s At Home DIY Project blog hop the theme is a 2-Hour DIY. So when I received my Make With Joy subscription box that was all about creating an encaustic wax piece of art for home decor I knew it was the perfect project. I really enjoy this subscription box, it comes every other month and so far has been a DIY decor project using materials that are new to me. I enjoy the challenge that comes with each of these boxes because it is taking me outside of my DIY/crafting comfort zone and giving me a new project and materials to use to expand my DIY knowledge.
This project was perfect to complete in 2 hours, there was drying time involved so that isn’t included but I am seriously excited for all the future boxes to come to add to my decor.
First a little back story on this subscription box, it will come with a free live webinar (it is recorded for those who can’t attend live) training from Amy Howard teaching how to do the DIY. I was not able to attend live so I watched the recording and then gave my own spin on the encaustic wax art. That is another thing I love about this box, you can put your own spin on the project and truly make it your own to fit your decor. I love how unique each piece can become from each box. At the end of this post, I give you a sneak peek at what is to come in the next box!
If you aren’t interested in a subscription box or the time has passed to get this box you can definitely buy all the materials separately. And for myself after experiencing the fun of creating a painting with encaustic wax I want to create more so I will be purchasing the materials to make my own unique one.
Materials Needed to Use Encaustic Wax in your Home Decor
- Soy Wax
- Colored pigment
- Embellishing wax
- Wood Surface
- Putty Knife
- Plastic chalk art spreader
- Paris mesh stencil
- Paint thinner (for cleaning the wax out of the brushes)
- Small lidded aluminum container
- Heat gun or blow dryer
- Hot plate or stove
- Optional: Scrap pieces of burlap, lace, rope, twine, cardboard, etc (for creating texture on the wax if you wish)
The first step is to prep your work area, make sure to cover the area with plastic or paper in case any wax is spilled it won’t ruin your table or countertop as the pigments in the wax could stain your surface. Then place your wood surface or board on your work area and head to the stove or if you have a hot plate plug it in.
I don’t have a hot plate so I used our stove for melting the wax. I used the simmer burner as it was easier to control the temperature of the burner. The kit came with a metal container for melting the wax, any type of metal container would work (you could even buy a small saucepan from the thrift store.) I like the idea of having these small aluminum containers as it allows me to melt and color the wax and for any that is leftover I can save it for another encaustic wax painting. Another tip is to use a clothespin or chip clip of some kind so that you can handle the hot container once the wax has melted.
I used a plastic spoon to scoop about a half cup of the wax into the container, you can add your pigment now or wait until your wax is melted. During the training, Amy used the black pigment but for mine, I chose the blue. I didn’t exactly measure but I would say to use about a 1/2 tsp of the pigment.
Now comes the fun part! I brushed the wax onto my surface for the first coat and then once it started to dry I layered it on the surface for the second coat. I did this not by brushing but by taking the brush, loading it up with wax and then dropping it on the surface but not brushing it around.
Once your two coats (or one, this is all based on what you want to do!) have dried you will want to melt some more wax and add another color. I chose white in this case. I did not melt as much wax as the blue though as I wanted this to be an accent color.
When adding the white onto your surface you will want to drop it in random spots on your board, I also splattered it in spots all over the board. After doing this you will want to scrape and blend the colors together.
Using a putty knife while your white wax is still melted on the surface you will want to scrape the white wax over the entire surface both up and down and side to side. If you feel the need you can add more white wax and use the heat gun if the wax hardens too quickly. When using the heat gun hold it about 6 inches away from the surface and go in circular motions, it won’t take much for the wax to melt on the surface. Use the putty knife to scrape and blend the colors together until it is to your liking.
Next, take the plastic ChalkArt spreader and cut about a half inch down one side of the spreader and take this to your surface to create texture lines all over the surface, some could be straight and some could be wavy. Then use the putty knife and heat gun to blend the colors and soften the lines of the texture you just made. It is good to have the texture to your art piece but sometimes the lines can be a little harsh.
Once you have the white and blue the way you want it to look on the surface with the scraped marks then you will want to let it dry for at least 15 minutes.
Now comes the part to add your stencil. The Paris stencil came with the subscription box but any of the mesh stencils will work. The box also contained gold embellishing wax that you will use to push through the mesh stencil. You will want this to also be random on your surface, so I made sure to pick up the stencil and lay it horizontal and vertical to apply the wording using the embellishing wax.
You could consider your piece of encaustic wax art done at this point or you can add some more texture using the scraps mentioned above. I used a scrap of burlap and a scrap canvas bag I had kept and pressed these into the surface to create some more interesting texture lines randomly around the piece.
The last step if you chose to is to paint the sides of the board, I used Rescue, Restore Paint in the color Blessed, and then displayed my piece in my living room.
And as promised a sneak peek of the next subscription box: making your own soy wax candles!!! I am #candleobsessed so I am super excited for this box to come!
I hope you enjoyed learning about this unique type of DIY as much as I did.