Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

Topps Tiles recently invited me to take part in their vintage-inspired craft project to celebrate their popular Henley Cool tile.

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

This was just after the Cambridgeshire craft party (which you can read more about here) and I liked the idea of having a go at crafting at home so I decided to say yes to the challenge. The idea of the project was to create my own retro design tile. 4 other bloggers are also participating (I only know of one so far though!) and the winning designer will receive £100 worth of vouchers for Not On The High Street.

I will freely admit that shortly after saying yes I had a bit of a panic as it dawned on me that the other entrants might have more arts and craft experience than me… maybe even have some kind of background in art or design. I can’t actually draw or paint so it was certainly going to be a challenge!

However a lovely box arrived on my doorstep from Topps Tiles containing my blank white tile and a whole selection of craft treats: ceramic paints, brushes and stencils plus a colouring book for adults for pattern inspiration. It all looked so fun that I decided to just relax and remember why I said yes in the first place: not to win anything, just to take part and enjoy myself.

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

Here’s what happened next and my entry (eeek!!)

Inspiration

I’m already a big fan of Art Deco, as you may be able to tell from my blog header. I wanted my tile to have some ‘Loved By Laura’ personality and also knew that I wanted to somehow incorporate birds into the design. I toyed with the idea of birdcages but couldn’t work out how to translate that onto a tile since I can’t actually draw! However whilst creating a mood board on Pinterest I came across a really lovely silhouette of a peacock which I thought could be perfect as a repeating pattern.

Colour wise, I had no further to look than the peacock’s feather itself – I have some in a vase in my hallway so I know the colours well.

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

I decided that much like the Henley Cool tile, my design would use a few select colours so that the repeating pattern could fill a big space if needed.

I picked a palette of blue and green hues to make it suited to a bathroom and also because of this lovely housewarming gift that I got from a friend which sits in pride of place on my bath.

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

What I did

I tried out the felt pens and paint freehand on a smaller white tile to practice and I’ll be honest, I made a complete mess! I decided that I would be best off using a stencil and stippling the paint on with a brush.

I printed the silhouette I’d found onto card in two different sizes and cut out the stencils. This was the hardest part by far – so fiddly and the card kept tearing, but eventually I had a couple of passable ones that I could use.

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

I marked out a grid layout with a pencil, then used masking tape to secure the stencil onto the tile.

Then I mixed my paint colours. I used the green and blue and used my brush to mix them together until I got the colour I was after.

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

To apply it onto the tile, I dipped my brush into the paint and then used a 19p plain white tile to remove the excess, before setting to work on the proper tile. Then I dipped my brush into the pure blue and stippled this around the outer edges before doing the same with pure green on the inner edges. I really liked the resulting effect.

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

It took ages to do this across the whole tile since I was mixing the colours as I went along and only using one small and one big template, but I also found it really relaxing and sung along to Taylor Swift as I worked! Pretty soon a couple of hours had passed, but my basic design was complete!

The card templates got a bit soggy from constant use and so there were a few smudgy lines so once the paint had dried a bit I used a knife to scrape away the untidy edges.

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

As a finishing touch, I used the knife to remove a circle of paint from each tail feather.

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

The finished design!

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

I propped it up so you can see how I envision it in a bathroom.

Topps Tiles Vintage Inspired Henley Cool Craft Project

I’m really pleasantly surprised with how it turned out and I have to admit it was a great way to spend my Saturday afternoon. I haven’t done anything like this since school, so to have come up with a concept and seen it through felt really rewarding.

I learned lots from it too, including:

  • I still can’t draw or paint.
  • I enjoy mixing the paints and playing around with different colours and effects.
  • Getting creative can be lots of fun, even if you just make a big mess.

And most importantly…

  • It’s best to find ways of using the skills that I DO have rather than getting hung up on things that I can’t do.

Thanks Topp Tiles for helping me get creative, I hope you like my design! 🙂

What do you guys think? What would you have done for a vintage theme?

 

Lifestyle & vegan food blogger
Peterborough | UK
Cats seem to like me

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