Swirly Birds Recycled Bag Box

By  Judy Westegaard, CDA 

size: varies

  • Swirly Birds Recycled Bag Box


  • Palette: DecoArt Americana Acrylics: Asphaltum, Autumn Red, Blue Harbor, Burnt Sienna, Desert Turquoise, Evergreen, Green Tea, Lamp (Ebony) Black, Olive Green, Payne's Grey, Prussian Blue, Snow (Titanium) White, Spicy Mustard
  • Brushes: Royal & Langnickel: Majestic: Shader, Series R4150, #2, #6, #8; Angular, Series R4160, 1/4", 3/4"; Script Liner, Series R4585, #1; Short Liner, Series R4595, #0; Round, Series R4250, #3; Filbert, Series R4170, #6, #8; Glaze/Wash, Series R4700, 3/4"; Royal Soft-Grip: White Nylon Blending Mop, Series SG1400, 1/2"
  • Sponge brush, 2"
  • Surface: Hinged Wall Box (#2640), approximately 17"x11-1/2", including back lip (Turns in Time)


  • DecoArt Traditions Mediums: Extender & Blending; Glazing; Glazing Medium; Multi-Surface Sealer
  • Square stencil, 2"
  • Mylar
  • Krylon Matte Spray
  • Optional embellishments: typewriter key charms: "f", "l", "y"; metal leaf charms, two; brass nails, two

Pattern - swirly birds recycled bag box

  • Preparation
  • 1. Sand entire surface; wipe dust. Use sponge brush and equal mix Snow White + Multi-Surface Sealer to undercoat entire surface following wood grain. Let dry and sand lightly; wipe dust.
  • 2. Use pencil to mark a 2"-wide border along bottom of box. Tape off border. Base border and lid Green Tea. Make a mix of Evergreen + Green Tea (1:1), then use palette knife to mix green mix + Extender (1:1); use foam brush to apply thin coat of extender mix over border and lid. While wet, crumple a piece of plastic wrap into a ball; open up and lay slightly crumpled wrap over wet glaze then gently press wrap onto surface. Carefully remove wrap. Let paint dry. Apply one coat Glazing Medium over glazed areas.
  • 3. Use pencil to mark a 1-1/8"-wide border above green border. Tape off edges and base border Autumn Red. Use pencil to mark 1/8"-wide borders directly above and below red border.
  • 4. Print out patterns. Trace swirl design onto Mylar with black permanent fine-line marker. Use craft knife to cutout stencil. Use Blue Harbor to randomly stencil swirls on upper "back splash" of box and in white areas of bottom of box. Use thinned BlueHarbor to spatter white areas.
  • 5. Transfer basic pattern lines onto surface. (Transfer details as needed.)
  • Green Leaves
  • 1. Use #6 shader to base Olive Green; use 1/4" angular to shade Payne's Grey along leaf base and highlight tips Green Tea. Deepen shading with Prussian Blue. Use script liner and Lamp Black to paint leaf detailing, stems and vines. Apply barrier coat. Use filbert and Desert Turquoise to accent leaves here and there; mop to soften.
  • Berries
  • 1. Use round brush to base Autumn Red. Add Snow White highlight dot to upper left quadrant of each berry
  • Bluebirds
  • 1. Use Blue Harbor to base head, back of neck, wing, and tail; shade Prussian Blue and deepen with Payne's Grey. Base upper breast area Autumn Red; shade Burnt Sienna and deepen with Asphaltum. Base lower breast with mix of Snow White + Asphaltum (3:1); shade Asphaltum.
  • 2. Base pupil Lamp Black. Paint eye ring Spicy Mustard. Use Snow White to dot ring; outline pupil and add highlight dot. Lightly shade eye ring Prussian Blue. Base beak with mix of Snow White + Lamp Black (1:1); shade Lamp Black and use Snow White to highlight lower edge of upper beak. Use black permanent fine-line marker to add detailing to eye rings and nostrils. Base feet Lamp Black; highlight with mix of Snow White + Lamp Black (3:1).
  • 3. Base checked leaves Snow White; use #2 shader to paint Lamp Black checks. Load liner with Lamp Black; outline leaves.
  • 4. Base rose Spicy Mustard; shade Autumn Red and highlight Snow White. Load liner with Lamp Black; outline and add swirl detailing.
  • 5. Base "button" center with mix of Evergreen + Olive Green + Lamp Black (4:1:tch); base outer ring Olive Green. Use thinned Snow White to add pinstripes to outer ring. Paint petals Spicy Mustard. Dot center Asphaltum; shade Payne's Grey along outer edges. Shade Autumn Red along base of petals. Use stylus to dot Lamp Black around center. Use marker to outline petals.
  • 6. Base "pearls" Snow White; shade Payne's Grey; use marker to outline pearls. Base "fleur de lis charm" with mix of Snow White + Lamp Black (5:1); highlight Snow White. Paint "jewel" Autumn Red; add Snow White highlight dot. Use marker to outline charm and jewel.
  • 7. Lightly mix lid with matte spray; let dry. Apply Extender over birds. Use liner and thinned Snow White to apply feathery strokes on bird heads, and upper and lower breasts; add a few Payne's Grey strokes on heads. Use thinned Payne's Grey to outline wing details. Float Snow White along lower edge of wing feathers; line wing tips. For tail feathers, add Payne's Grey and Snow White linework.
  • Red Border
  • 1. Use short liner and thinned Lamp Black to paint leaf and stem design. (Note: Freehand design if desired.)
  • Checked and Blue Border
  • 1. For checked border, use Lamp Black to paint alternating checks; outline border edges. Paint blue border Blue Harbor; outline border edges Lamp Black.
  • Finishing
  • 1. Use mix of Prussian Blue + Evergreen (1:1) to shade along outer edges of lid and along bottom edge of lower green border. Repeat with Desert Turquoise. Apply two to three varnish coats.
  • 2. Use nail to secure leaf embellishments to each bird's wings. Adhere typewriter charms to spell "fly" below right bluebird.
  • Artist's Tips
  • 1. Use palette knife to mix color mixtures in ratios. Use flat or filbert brushes in appropriate size for area to basecoat. When dry, reapply details and apply Extender. Use angular and filberts to apply shading and highlights. Use mop brush to soften areas. Use Glazing Medium as barrier coat to protect dried painted areas before continuing to next painting step; apply up to three Glazing Medium coats to an area in a 24 hour period, allowing to dry thoroughly before applying Extender & Blending.