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Handpainted "Fanciful" CD Case

Olivia Coelho loves experimenting with paint and beads to design accessories, as she does here with this handpainted fanciful CD case.

Olivia Coelho grew up making her own outfits. Coelho's fine-artist mom fostered her outgoing fashion sense. That environment provided her the confidence to pursue a degree in fine arts, with a focus on fashion. Most of her time is spent designing women's clothing with a utilitarian, yet artsy flair, but she loves experimenting with paint and beads to design accessories, as she does here with this handpainted fanciful CD case.

Materials and Tools:

transparency sheets
fine point black flow pen
medium weight cowhide (sealed on one side)
leather cutting shears
1/8" - 1/4" screw posts
plastic CD/DVD inserts (with 3 hole punch on the right side)
hole press for leather
brown fine point flow pen
acrylic enamel
letter-writing brush*
sequins (beads and glitter etc.)
two-part epoxy
instant glue
overhead projector
* A letter-writing brush is a thin brush with very long hairs, it allows for fine detail work, holds a lot of paint, and steadies any shakiness in the hand.

1. Find or take a photo of a person's face. It is recommended that the person should be looking at the camera with a closed mouth for the best results. Lay a transparency over the top of the photo and trace the facial features with a black fine point flow pen. Note: Photo may need to be resized so it will "reflect" correctly from the overhead projector to the CD case. Scan it into the computer, resize it and print out on another transparency.

2. Lay one CD/DVD insert on top of the leather (cowhide) and trace around the edges allowing for a 1/8 inch extra on all sides to create the front of the case. Cut out with leather shears.

3. Place this cut out case on top of another piece of fresh leather. Trace and cut this back cover to match the front cover.

4. Place the insert on top of each cover and trace the 3-hole punch holes. Punch out the holes with a hole press. Assemble the case to make it easier to trace the face on the easel.

5. Transfer the image on the front cover using an easel and an overhead projector.

  • Place the case on the easel and the transparency on the overhead projector.
  • Focus the image on the case and trace it using a fine point flow pen of a similar color to the case, so you can just barely see it.

6. Disassemble the case to decorate the front cover. Using acrylic enamel and a letter-writing brush, paint over the traced drawing. Fill in the outlines.

7. Embellish the case with feathers, sequins (beads, glitter etc.) and arrange them on the front cover. Glue feathers onto the case using a two-part epoxy and glue the sequins, beads, glitter, etc. on with instant glue.

8. Reassemble the case using the screw posts.


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