Crackle On!

Hi Guys, we have had some questions about how I did the crackle on the frame for my recent Enchanted Seamstress make. So we thought it would be a good idea to put a quick ‘How To’ post together for you all.

This is such a wonderful and really easy technique. I first came across it some time ago from a Youtube video but more recently Craft Stamper did an article about the technique too.

For the technique you will need:

Acrylic paints

PVA glue (yes I have a HUGE bottle of PVA glue!)


A palette for the paint and PVA

The item to be altered

Step One

Paint your item to be altered with the first coat of acrylic paint. Pick which colour you want to come through the crackle, dark colours are perfect but you can do all sorts of colour combinations so don’t be afraid of trying different colours. You can always have a play on a spare piece of paper to see the end effect before using your item to be altered.

Important bit – let the first layer dry completely.

Step Two

Once the first layer is dry start covering it with your PVA. Don’t dilute the PVA, a nice consistency of soft, fluid caramel is about right. Cover the whole area and don’t feel that the layer has to be thick, but don’t make it so thin that it drys before you can get the next layer on.

Important bit – Don’t let this layer dry

Step Two

As soon as you have covered the item with the PVA start covering it with your acrylic paints, again don’t thin the paint. I don’t even change brushes, as you can see my palette has room for both the paint and the PVA. I like a smooth layer so keep the brush nicely loaded with paint, again it isn’t a thick layer but not too thin otherwise the effect will be a bit ‘lumpy’.

Important bit – leave it to dry. 

You can use your heat gun but I like to just leave mine overnight.

The PVA and Paint dry and you get contraction and this is what makes the crackle, you can actually see the crackle develop nicely as the item drys.

We would love to see any makes where you have used this technique just come back and leave a comment so we can have a nose!

Have fun!


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Kim Dellow

Kim Dellow is an artist–designer–film-maker living the creative life in London, UK. She's a freelance creative for the craft industry and others, and she loves to share her art-ventures on her blog.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Karen

    Such a lovely project Kim! I'll have to try your crackle technique too! 🙂


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