Mixed Media Project : Nameplate

The first thing we usually ask or get to know about someone is their name. That is how we relate to them. We all like it when someone calls us by our name, isn’t it? That is what my next project is all about – a name. In this post, I am sharing about making a nameplate. It could be a simple door sign for your room or studio, an open or close sign for your store or a board sign for your home.

I wanted one for my creative corner. My initials are ‘NM’ and my shop name is ‘NMartworks’. Although I do various Arts and Crafts but mainly I’m into Drawing and Painting. That is why I selected a ‘Palette and Brush’ theme for myself. I wish to to make this project using the art materials that I already have and buy as little as possible. A common problem for such projects is about assessing the quantity of various materials required.

The first step to any project is to visualise. I visit art and craft shops to look for what is available. After that I design the project. Next I list the requirements and make a rough estimate considering the variance. I check my stock, meaning I check the material that I have at home and then I source the remaining. Most of the time this works out just great and other times I have to re-work it to cross the hurdles.

If there is a special price or discount on the material it is a bonus. Once in a while, that stuff you really wanted can get picked up before you get your hands on it. Certain materials are available only in large packs or you run out of it at the last minute. Also sometimes the same design is unavailable later. These hurdles are a part and parcel of the making process. Unless you are into selling and regularly stock material, these little hiccups are for everyone. Doing my homework makes me feel in control of the situation for my peace of mind.

List of Materials

  • MDF Board – Palette Shape
  • Primed Chipboard pieces – Vintage design and Floral
  • Old Brushes
  • Glue – Fevicol
  • Gesso
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Embellishments
  • Gold and Bronze Sharpie Pens
  • String
  • Acrylic Varnish
Acrylic Colours
The material I have used

The quantity for all the material for this project can be the smallest size bottle or tube available in the market. It is a small one. We can use all the material for other projects too. To know more about selecting art materials check my previous posts. I have covered the topic in detail.

Let’s get started

I have made the Nameplate on the lines of a Mixed Media Project. What is Mixed Media? As the name suggests it is mixing different media or materials. Wood, Metal, Fabric and Paper are commonly used for Mixed Media Projects. We use objects made from different materials, arrange the objects and make one new object. I placed the MDF Palette, the chip board pieces and brushes together.

The objects I have used are of the same material family – wood. The best way to glue wood is using India’s most popular glue – Fevicol. If you don’t believe me? Check their advertisements. Yes! Even if we were to use fabric, metal or paper in our project we would have used Fevicol. The surfaces of the objects that I have used for the nameplate have different colours and textures. Some are polished, some unpolished.

Mixed Media Palette in the making
Assembling the small objects to make one big object

Colour always sticks well on a clean rough surface. Sanding them is one option but not ideal. The other is ‘Gesso’ pronounced with a ‘J’ and not as a ‘G’. Gesso is a kind of primer. It primes the base and makes it ready for painting. Gesso is a mixture of POP (Plaster of Paris) or Chalk/ Gypsum and Glue or a binder. I have used a textured one. It is thicker than paint and is used to create textures. We get a variety of them. The cracked effect is one of them. It develops cracks as it dries. We have two colour options – Black and White.

Priming the Base
Painting the Gesso

What is a primer? As the name suggests it is the first or prime paint applied. Think of it as the base coat. It prepares the surface for painting. A primed and painted surface will look very smooth and finished. It also lasts longer than a non primed one. Gesso is quick drying. It is always applied as a single coat. We can paint on top of the first coat only if any spot was left out. If we paint another coat it destroys the texture of the previous coat. Let’s paint it now.

Mixed Media Gesso Painted
Primed the Base with Gesso. Looks like one object now.

I wanted a red gold finish. I painted it using Gold, Crimson, Black and Copper colours. I added little highlights in White colour. Last but not least I used Sharpie Pens to paint the leafy texture in the background and added silver embellishments. Thereafter I tied matching Gold string to hang it. In case you bought an MDF Palette that does have the holes, make these in the very beginning itself.

Painting the Nameplate
Painting the Nameplate

Alternatively we can paint the pieces individually and then arrange them. Even that works. The chipboard is already primed and can be painted directly. Chalk Paints work very well on MDF pieces. About two coats is good and no need to prime it. I wanted the whole plate to look like it’s made from one single block. Hence I painted it as a single piece in the same colours.

All of this is fast drying. However it is important to let it set and dry completely before varnishing. What is varnish? It is a clear coat. A kind of resin. We get gloss or matt options. I often use gloss because I like a little shine that the acrylic colours give. We get liquid ones to apply using a brush and a spray as well. Personally, I like using the spray because it covers the whole canvas equally without any lumps. A varnish protects your work from dust and other particles and seals the paint.

Palette Design Nameplate
It’s Ready! The Nameplate

It becomes easy to clean an artwork after varnish. To clean a varnished Art we lightly wipe off the dust using a dry paintbrush or soft cloth. No need to frame the Paintings either. Hence varnish is a good idea for a nameplate. Now it’s ready to use! Let us put it up as the door sign.

Do share your views about the project in the comments below. Have a creative weekend!

5 thoughts on “Mixed Media Project : Nameplate

  1. Before we brought our adopted children home from Russia, many years ago, I made nameplates for their bedroom doors. I used acrylics on some leftover tiles and decorated them with pineapples, a sign of welcome.

    Your project is beautiful, NM, although it looks like a lot of effort and time is involved. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow! It must have turned out awesome. I would love to see them, if possible. I didn’t know pineapples are a sign of welcome. I’m glad you shared about it 😀 Yes! It looks like a lot of time and effort but it isn’t much. It is the idea that counts. Most of the material is readily available and otherwise it is just like acrylics. As much time and effort as it takes to paint a canvas 😀


  2. The nameplates were from 25 years and half a dozen moves ago. They were painted on aqua blue tiles leftover from our bathroom renovation. Our verdigris iron dining room chairs had a small pineapple motif in teal and orange on the backs. I just copied that onto the tiles along with the names. Thank you for asking about them. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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