Creative Zone Blog

From Puzzle Pieces to a Masterpiece

What To Do After You’ve Finished A Puzzle

Puzzles are painstaking, meticulous and often impermanent but they do not have to be. If you have been puzzled in the past by what to do with your puzzle after it is finished, look no further!

Tri-Art Polymer Medium
Liquid Glass Pouring Medium/Resin
Substrate: Tri-Art’s Alu Panel, Alu Cradle, Bamboo Panel (Note: Use same size as puzzle)
Palette Knife and Fine-haired Paint Brush

Tri-Art Finest Quality Polymer Medium & Liquid Glass Pouring Medium/ Resin.

Tri-Art Substrates: Bamboo Panel and Alu Panels.


After finishing your puzzle, use an acrylic medium to adhere the pieces together. For this, we recommend using an acrylic medium like our Polymer Medium. Brush it onto both sides of the puzzle. Each side will take about an hour to dry.


Find your substrate and adhere your puzzle to it. There are a multitude of surfaces you can use for this, we recommend using Tri-Art’s hard Bamboo Panel or Alu Panels or Alu Cradles. We used one of our 12×12” cradled Alu Panels because it had the same dimensions as the puzzle itself. You can adhere the puzzle to your surface by brushing the Polymer medium onto your substrate, then applying your puzzle on top of the surface. Wait approximately 1 hour for the puzzle to fuse to your substrate before proceeding to Step 3.


Apply Polymer Medium to substrate surface.


Spread evenly across entire surface with fine-haired brush.


Lay puzzle on top of substrate, gently aligning sides.


As a final touch (and for additional adhesion and gloss finish), apply a coat of Liquid Glass Medium/Resin. This will give your puzzle a saturated, glass-like finish. Before pouring the Liquid Glass Medium, it is best to tape the sides of your substrate with masking tape as protection from dripping. Pour the Liquid Glass Medium directly onto your substrate and spread it across the surface area. You can do so through physically tilting your piece and allowing the Liquid Glass Medium to gradually spread across the full surface or you can use an acrylic tool like a palette knife. Pop any air bubbles before leaving it to set. If you see any imperfections in the pouring process, you can add small drops of Liquid Glass over top of the divots. These will self-level but you can also continue to use an acrylic tool to help smooth the surface. 


Example demonstrates using a palette knife to spread the Liquid Glass Medium/ Resin


Allow the Liquid Glass Medium/Resin to cure at room temperature for at least 24 hours (drying time can vary for this depending on how thick the Liquid Glass has been applied and the humidity of the room). Ensure that your substrate is level to avoid pooling and sagging of the medium. (Optional: Cover with box to keep surface clean and free of dust and particulate being embedded.)

Now your masterpiece is ready to hang!

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A painted fabric pillow

Tri-Art’s, versatile Low Viscosity Acrylic paint performs for fabric painting projects. It is thin, flexible and soft to touch when dry.  It is also washable!

Bottle of Low Viscosity Acrylic Paint in front of painted fabric

Tri-Art’s Finest Quality, Low Viscosity Acrylic Paint
Fabric (test in an indiscrete area for paint adhesion. Paint can’t stick to synthetic materials as well as cotton) 
OPTION* use an existing pillow slip 
Pencil, chalk scissors, paint brushes, thread and needle
Optional: Sewing machine 

Note: Fabric may be washed prior to sewing or in cool, luke-warm water once painted. 
Washing recommendation:  hand wash or a warm, gentle cycle. 

Drawing tools and scissors with pencil drawing of fish

Create a stencil 
Create your pattern or stencil to scale on a heavy weight paper. Then cut it out and trace onto the fabric surface. This will ensure correct size and placement on the fabric surface for the pillow.

Use a cut out to trace and reference your design

Trace pattern on to fabric and paint
Using chalk or a colour pencil to draw the pattern that is the same colour as your paint will avoid outlines showing once the painting is complete. Chalk is easily removed in case of mistakes or required changes. Depending on the weave of the fabric, a piece of paper or hard surface may be required to prevent bleed through on the reverse side from touching surfaces. 
The paints may be thinned (very little) with water to increase flow if desired. Test the ratio to be sure the paint won’t bleed and have fuzzy edges. Too much dilution will effect the paint film’s ability to adhere and it may wash away with water. 

Two spools of thread and a needle on top of the painted surface

Sew the pillow together by hand or machine
There are a number of options for creating the actual pillow if not using an existing pillow slip. Sewing up the sides for a pillow slip that encases a pillow you already have, or stuffing to create a new pillow. 

Finished pillow displayed on a chair


Display your pillow. NOTE: The fabric may be washed prior to painting to remove sizing.  In this case, the fabric wasn’t washed prior to keep the crisp body of the fabric and for soil resistance. Washing recommendation:  hand wash or a warm, gentle machine cycle. 

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Animated Line Objects

Use Liquid Glass, wire and logs to create a decorative objects with animated lines!
Tri-Art White Gesso
Liquid Glass Pouring Colours
Wire, Aged Log, Drill.
These wires were finds in a parking lot. To create the swirls and animated line effect, a soft gage wire can be twisted and manipulated.
Note: Logs should be dry.


Sand, then prime the top of the log with Gesso. This will create a sealed and reflective surface for the paint. 2-3 coats, full strength Gesso recommended.

Pour Liquid Glass onto the surface.  Liquid Glass may be mixed prior to adding or allow unpredictable mixing and paint patterns to happen with wet on wet mixes. In the photo above, White was applied and then the Red.
Pour on and tilt the surface in order for the paint to flow around. In this case some of the matte gesso was left to create different reflections and a textured layer effect.
Once painted, leave on a level surface in an area away from air borne particles.

Option for applying paint:
Mix Liquid Glass colours prior to pouring onto the surface.  In the image above the White and Red were pre-mixed. White and Red were mixed first, then poured onto the surface. Inserting the Wire:
There are two options for this step.
The wire may be put in before the colours are poured or after once the surface is dry. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours.

Determine the centre of the log. Drill a hole the same diameter as the wire you are inserting. Pour in some Liquid Glass into the hole to glue/set the wire in place.
Note: A screw may be put in and removed to create a hole for the wire. The screw should be the same diameter as the wire.


Objects may be displayed on their own or in groupings.




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Decorative Art Plates

Create your own boldly decorative, graphic plates for display using Tri-Art Paint Markers and Liquid Glass Pouring Colours. These designs are based on some retro fabric patterns. What is old is new in this case.

2 plates on wall

Tri-Art Paint Markers
Liquid Glass Pouring Colours
Pencil and eraser
Optional: cut shapes to trace onto the plate

Plates. These must have a matte finish. These are Dollar store finds.

paint markes and prep materials


Create your pattern. This may be done by cutting our shapes and tracing with pencil onto the plate or drawing your shapes and patterns directly onto the plate. The matte finish should allow for using an eraser to correct errors or for making refinements.

pencil drawing of retro design


Use the Fine Paint Marker to paint the lines or to create patterns and designs within the shapes.

finished patterns on plate
adding colour with Liquid Glass


Allow the paint to dry. (10-20) minutes.
Erase any pencil lines that are not needed. Be sure the paint is dry before erasing. If not, the paint will rub off. Once dry add colour using Liquid Glass. This may be painted using a brush, poured on and tilted to direct or by  dipping the plate.

Adding Liquid Glass to finish shapes

OPTION: Leave the pencil marks and cover pattern with Liquid Glass Pouring Resin. This is shown in the plate on the right.

Three plates with hand painted design


Mix a custom colour. Put into a bowl or tray. Dip the edge of the plate into the paint. Tilt and rotate the plate to accentuate the dripping movement.

2 plates on wall

Display your graphic works!

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Lampshade Updo Redo

Lampshade on lamp

A simple redo  for a tired, generic lamp shade to make it contemporary and unique!


Paint: Art Noise Permanent Acrylic Gouache (Lemon Butter)
Brush:Flat 2″ nylon brush (fine hairs will not leave stroke lines)

Lamp shade: Shades covered in a light weave and colour fabric work best. 

Palette: for dispersing paint and loading onto brush.
Optional: painters tape to mark paint stroke edge limit.

The matte finish, lotion-like consistency and new range of colours in Art Noise make them ideal for this project.
brush loaded with paint

Prepare lamp shade by cleaning with a dry paint brush to remove excess dust and debris.
Rotate the shade so the edge that is to be painted is at the top. 
Pour paint onto palette. Lightly load brush with colour and apply. Start at the edge and use downward fanning strokes with the flat, wide surface of the brush. Lightly lift brush from surface at the end of the stroke. You want to avoid sharp paint edges.


soft edges wth paint

Place the unpainted edge down  to dry.
Depending on the material and colour of the lampshade, a second coat may be needed.  

Lampshade on lamp
Creative Zone Blog

Cracked Glaze Effect House

Cracked Glaze Effect on Tiny House

House painted and displaying cracked effects

Art Noise Permanent Acrylic Gouache paints
Tri-Art’s Crackle Ground Acrylic Medium

Tri-Art’s Liquid Iridescent Copper
Nylon brush (1/2 or 1”)
Wooden 3D puzzle house

Prime and paint house surface with gesso or  Art Noise paint. This will be the colour revealed between the cracks once the Crackle Ground dries.

Allow to dry before adding Crackle Ground Medium.

Apply Crackle Ground onto one side (surface) at a time. Surfaces must be horizontal or the medium will run off the surface. Apply a generous amount by pouring and then tilt the surface to spread or pour and spread with a brush. Using a small cup to pour gives more control. If using brush, very light pressured strokes must be used or the cracks will not happen. Let each side dry before adding the medium to other sides. 

Once dry the primed house colour will be revealed in the cracks. Paint may be applied over the white Crackle Ground. This should be done in light coats with either a brush or rag to avoid filling in the cracks with paint.

Applying paint in mutiple thin layers, glazing, dry brushing and blending techniques will accentuate the cracks and enhance the glazed effects. 

Creative Zone Blog


Sticks for Sculptural Display

Gold sticks in vase

Elevate the presence of sticks by painting and enhancing their sculptural form and  lines.

Featured Tri-Art Materials:                  F.Q. Burnt Umber Gesso
F.Q. Liquid Iridescent Gold Deep
F.Q. Liquid Naphthol Red
F.Q. = Finest Quality 

Other Materials:
Dried sticks or driftwood
Paint Brush

Prepare the sticks by clearing away debris and grit with a dry brush.
Paint the areas that will be covered with paint with Burnt Umber Gesso. This will seal and act as an absorbent ground to compliment the Iridescent Gold.

Once the Gesso is dry,  Iridescent Gold and accent colours. Use dry brush technique by lightly loading a dry brush with paint and lightly stroking the surface. Once paint is loaded onto the brush, rub excess off with a rag and then apply. This will pick up the lines and stick’s textured nuances created by time and age. Leave some of the Gesso showing through in order to keep some of the natural feel.

TIP:  Wrap and tie string to mark areas that may be painted with accent colours or remain bare.
DISPLAY: Place in a vase or on the wall.  Wrap string or nylon threat around a section and hang on the wall.