Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sleepy Little Fox

By Becca

Mom found this wooden shelf on one of our "junkin" adventures.  It looks like one of those old "tract racks" you'd see in a church entryway. At the time when she asked what we thought of it, I'm afraid that both Beth and I said "ehh...".  Do you know the story of the little red hen? It reminded me slightly of that. Since we didn't want it, she took it home and was going to do it all by herself.

When she started explaining what she wanted to do with it; turn it into a bookshelf for oversized children's books, I began to see how it could be changed, and offered to help.

Removing those two boards was quite a battle, a battle Mom fought on her own in the garage.  :)
While she was doing that I was painting a little something for the top piece. I thought that a simple illustration, say a sleeping fox, would look darling curled up right under the arched top.
He turned out surprisingly well in just one try. I sketched him out first, went over with a pen and then used watercolor sparingly. I have a bad habit of drawing something in my sketchbook and then wanting to add color- watercolor is my favorite medium- but it wrinkles my paper. I really ought to use the abundance of watercolor paper we have in our art room, I just never think that far ahead. 
He didn't wrinkle that bad though, so the next step was to take his picture. 

Following a very similar method that I used on my jewelry box, I printed out the fox and transferred that image to the freshly sanded wood.

I may have had a small panic attack when I started rubbing the paper away. Because as the paper rolled up under my fingers, so did the daisies along the edge! I must not have covered the entire area with the gel medium. My fear subsided as the fox came out just a bright as ever. This technique gives the final product a destressed vintage look to it. The fun part with this too, is anything white will be just the wood in the end. 

Mom painted the shelf with a blue/gray homemade chalk paint.

Her recipe is:
Any latex paint you want. 
Then mix in dry plaster of paris untill it's a thickish consistency, like pancake batter.

There you go! :)

I used acrylic paint to touch up his grass and daisies. I extended the flowers out beyond his little oval, transitioning between the wood and the paint. Then I covered the entire shelf, encluding the fox, with a layer of Modge Podge to seal it. 


  1. How darling! I love the fox (they are my favorite animals, along with bunnies). And what a great idea to make it into an oversized kid's book shelf.

  2. Thanks girls! It was a fun project.


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