Friday, October 9, 2015

Whimsical Watercolor Gift Tags and Boxes

Thank you to DecoArt for sponsoring this post!

I designed this project to be super quick, fun + easy to make with just a few special products. DecoArt has a new mixed media line that includes everything you need (Guess what? These little boxes came with my order! Ha! Dont'cha just love re-purposing?)

DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics:
  • Diarylide Yellow 
  • Primary Magenta 
  • Pyrrole Orange 
  • Titan Buff 
  • Titanium White
DecoArt Media Products:
  • DecoArt white gesso 
  • Metallic Lustre- Gold Rush 
  • paintbrushes (Filbert + 2" flat) 
  • palette knife
other supplies + tools:
  • 140-lb Watercolor paper (I like the textured look of cold-press)
  • container of water 
  • paper towels 
  • hair dryer
  • Kraft boxes 
  • markers + pens to decorate boxes 
  • embroidery thread 
  • scissors or decorative punch to create tags 
  • eyelets 

STEPS 1 and 2: Apply clean water to paper with 2 inch flat brush.

Saturate the paper with water but don't allow it to puddle.

(Loose brushstrokes will help the paint flow more spontaneously, in the following steps.)

Select a base color - lightest color
Titan Buff is my first layer of color. Immediately add water to the paint. Paint most of the paper but leave the white of the paper untouched in a few areas. Let dry.

--> Quick tip: A hair dryer speeds up the drying process! 

STEP 3: Continue layering paints (light to dark) 

Gently push the paint around with a filbert paintbrush. Spritz water onto paper surface to force paints to blend without leaving hard edges. This technique creates our beautiful watercolor effect!

Here's the order:  Diarylide Yellow, Pyrrole Orange, Primary Magenta, Titanium White.
(Titanium White was added last, to keep the surrounding colors bright. Remember to allow paints to blend with each other for a variegated wash.)

I love bold, eye catching colors so it's no surprise that DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics are my absolute essentials! They are highly concentrated, pigmented acrylics that will not fade. ONE drop goes a loooong way.

Bonuses...they are professional grade, intermixable + affordable so you can get a whole range of colors to play with.

Did you know DecoArt Media products can now be found at or at your local JoAnn Fabric and Craft store?

Ooooo! I love how this looks! I hesitated on the thought of cutting this beauty up so I decided to scan it so that I could use it as many times as I wanted. Brilliant idea, right?! ;-)

Once you are satisfied with how the watercolor effect looks, dry the front and back of the paper with a hair dryer or heat gun. (This method ensures that all paper fibers are thoroughly dry.)

STEP 4: Decorate kraft boxes

Use markers or pens to draw whimsical botanicals, scalloped edges + doodles.

A white china marker is great for creating a hazy, cloud-like effect!

Sharpie markers are my favorite because of their opaque, creamy look on most surfaces.

STEP 5: Make round tags, then embellish!

Use a decorative punch or scissors to create your gift tags.

Or, lightly trace around a circular object with a pencil to create perfect circles.

Cut circles out with scissors or a circle punch, if you have one.

Next, scrape a very small amount of white gesso through a letter stencil with a palette knife.

Give your tags a punch of shimmer by rubbing Metallic Lustre in Gold Rush onto the letter with your finger.

--> Quick tip: The Metallic Lustre is water-soluble so if you accidentally get some of it in an area you don't want, you can go in with a paintbrush + water to clean it up.

STEP 6: Punch eyelets onto kraft boxes + attach gift tags

Punch one hole on the front of your kraft boxes, then another hole at the top of your round tag.

String embroidery floss through the eyelet + gift tag, then tie into a bow.

Here are my finished whimsical watercolor gift tags + gift boxes...

What do you think? Do you like creating handmade gifts? How often do you make them?

Thanks for visiting me today!

For more info on each product, visit

Indulge in more creativity! DecoArt Mixed Media blog is a great place to find inspiration, tips + the latest design team creations. 

We LOVE hearing from you, too! 

Share your projects with us by using these hashtags: #decoartmedia #decoartprojects #mixedmedia

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Graffiti Backdrop Tutorial for DecoArt Mixed Media Design Team

Whoa! I have been invited to join the phenomenal design team at DecoArt! My first project as their NEW DESIGN TEAM MEMBER is already up on their blog. 

Say what, say what?!!!

One of things I love about being a photographer is that I get to style photo shoots. Bringing "life" to  various products, clothing, accessories, home decor + artwork in fun ways to help potential customers "see" how it would look in their own space.

Backdrops are essential because they help accentuate the personality/characteristics of the subject that's being photographed. The one I made for you brings an instant surge of excitement + energy!

Graffiti Statement Backdrop TUTORIAL by Martice Smith II
Graffiti Statement Backdrop TUTORIAL by Martice Smith II

My style is bold, cultural, urban + feminine (but, you already knew that!) This graffiti canvas backdrop complements that + it's very chic for parties or your studio wall inspiration.

Graffiti Statement Backdrop TUTORIAL by Martice Smith II

Don't miss out: Visit the DecoArt Media Blog to see the full tutorial!

DecoArt Mixed Media Art Blog

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Artsy Tote Bag - Guest Designer on Artistcellar

Hi friends!
How do you like to carry your artwork? Do you have special box or bags you haul your work in? 

I am thrilled to have been invited as Guest Designer on the Artistcellar blog!

I am sharing a fun tutorial on how to create your very own artsy tote bag(Thanks to Lisa for providing Artistcellar's most popular stencils!)

Stencil Metallic Tote Bag, TUTORIAL  | Guest post on the Artistcellar blog

Not many of you know this but ya girl can get down on a sewing machine!

Sewing is another one of my passions. (No worries if you're not machine savvy - this tutorial is great for beginners and/or those who don't sew often.)

Stencil Metallic Tote Bag, TUTORIAL
I'll see you in the comments over on the Artistcellar blog!

Enjoy :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Pattern Play ATCs

Happy Monday! My last post as a design team member is published on the Helmar Adhesives blog. 

Today is kinda bittersweet for me: my heart is a bit tender because I have to move on...I no longer get to work with some of the most supportive women artists (I'm sure we'll keep in touch, though!) but being a member of the Helmar design team has opened up a few, incredible opportunities + many more ways to share my art with you. What a blessing!

I would like to add that Helmar is an incredibly generous company to collaborate with + they have *the best* selection of adhesives for every type of project you can imagine...for reals y'all

>>> check out the tutorials at the end of this post to learn how I used their products ;-)

For my last Helmar tutorial, I bring to you: 

Pattern Play ATCs

 Pattern Play ATCs by Artist Martice Smith II
Pattern Play ATCs  | tutorial by Martice Smith II

If you missed one of my FREE tutorials on the Helmar blog, no problemo!

You can check them all out, right here:

...let me know which one is your fave!

LOVED these tutorials? Then you will also love my FREE art letter even more. Why? Because I get to shower YOU with digital gifts, artful musings, creative biz jumpstarts + you have access to download a free art print every month!

Click the button below to subscribe NOW so we can get to playin' in some paint!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Belladonna inspiration and Yummilicious collage papers

Hey hey, lovelies!
I LOVE going for early morning meditation walks. During my walk yesterday, I saw these gorgeous Belladonna lilies and quickly took a photo of them to share with you + I knew they would inspire me to play, once I got back in the studio...

Even though portions of these flowers are wilting, I find beauty in it all.
** Do you see how the centers of the lilies resemble mini suns? 
** Take a closer look: notice the subtle change of bubblegum pink color fading into a warm tan color as the flower wilts away.
** the grass is dead YET these are still blooming!

Perfect example of how WE should find ways to THRIVE in less than ideal circumstances.

Belladonna Lilies; Color palette inspiration from Martice's nature walk
Belladonna Lilies; Color palette inspiration from my nature walk

Side note: I just realized these compliment my sizzlin' Summer colors! Hmmm, makes me wonder if I could be looking for these colors, subconsciously...

Back in the studio, I imported my picture into Photoshop. I selected 5 colors directly from the picture (using the eyedropper tool), to create my own color palette. 

My idea was to design a collection of collage papers ONLY using these colors + white. Ha! Not as hard as I thought it would be!

Guess what? There will be an awesome collection of these yummilicous papers, so keep watch!
 (Better yet, you should join my MUSELetter to know when they're released.)

Each collage paper overflows with intricate stamp + stencil detailing, abstract shapes, patterns, doodling, mantras + of course, it wouldn't be me if it didn't have bold COLOR IMPACT!

Take a look at this one on my desk...
Yummilicious Collage Papers by Martice Smith II
Yummilicious Collage Papers by Martice Smith II

For these collage papers, I mixed my own colors, using: DecoArt Media Fluid acrylics:
Pyrrole Orange
Quinacridone Magenta

DecoArt Americana acrylics:
Banana Cream
Dragon Fruit
Yellow Ochre 

other tools: 
8"x10" Gelli Arts® - Gel Printing Plate
Handmade Foam Stamps and Printing Plates (click to see tutorial!)

Enjoy the sunshine + inspire yourself! Happy creating :)

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