DIYdiy projects

diy project: mark montano’s subscription card art

by Grace Bonney

there was a brief period between my first post-college job and my second where i spent a month trying to figure out what i wanted to do and how the heck i was going to pay my rent. during that month, in addition to rampantly searching for jobs, i found myself immersed in way, way too much afternoon television. all those cheesy judge so-and-so shows? i watched em. ellen? yep. dr. phil? sadly, yes. but my real favorites were the makeover shows that would come on tlc later in the afternoon. one of my favorites being ‘ten years younger‘. so imagine my surprise the other daywhen i heard from “ten years” host himself, mark montano! apparently mark has a crafty side (outside of his ability to knock ten years off some seriously scary people) that i’ve been oblivious to all these years. even better? he’s releasing a great new book full of craft project ideas. after looking through several of the projects i found myself coming back again and again to this simple but fun subscription card artwork project. considering that i have about 20 billion of these little pieces of paper sitting around my house, i thought this would be the perfect “why didn’t i think of that?” idea to share as our first diy project of the day. mark was kind enough to share the full instructions from the book but i hope you’ll check out the full collection of craft projects in his new book, the big ass book of crafts. it’s only $14 an amazon and chock-full of great diy ideas. in the meantime, you can click here (or click “read more” below) to view the full instructions to mark’s subscription card art project. thanks again to mark for sharing!

You know how annoying it is to open a magazine and have to rip out all of the subscription post cards? It drives me nuts. I also hate when they fall out and make a mess. I decided to use them for this art project and now when I open a magazine, I’m always happy to see them. It’s so simple, but if you can make just a few things that annoy you work for you in some way, you’ll be a lot happier. Trust me on this.

-Subscription cards from a magazine
-Tempera paints in dark colors like blue, gray, green, red and deep orange
-Blue painters tape
-1″ wide flat art brush
-Rubber stamps, things like birds, leaves, trees and faces
-Embossing powder in gold and silver
-Embossing heat gun or crazy hot hair dryer
-Embossing stamp pad

*Working on some newspaper, tape around your subscription card 1/4 inch all the way around.
*Fill in the area with your tempera paint.
DON’T WORRY: If you can see the printing underneath, that’s part of the art.
*When it dries, remove the tape and with your rubber stamp, press the embossing ink onto the painted area making sure to artfully center it.
*Sprinkle the embossing powder on the wet ink and you will see the particles stick to the design of the stamp
*Set the embossing dust with your heat gun
DON’T WORRY: if your paper warps, just press it overnight in between some books.
*Frame it in a simple frame and you’ve got some great art.

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  • this looks fun! i have to admit, i liked mark much better when he was a designer on “while you were out” than when he was a stylist on “10 years younger,” so i’m thrilled to hear the news about this book!

  • I remember visiting Mark’s cool store in the east village in NYC. (in the 90s) He sold clothing of his own designs. He was sewing clothes in the back and came out to say hello. He was sooo nice! I wish him all the best! I love that he turned something annoying (subscription cards) into something beautiful.

  • I love Mark so much! I interned with him right out of college and working in his little jewel box of a store made such an impression on me. I’m so glad to see him continuing on with his craft/home side – he is so incredibly talented. And charismatic!

  • I interned with Mark right out of college and working in his jewel box of a shop was a constant inspiration. I’m so happy to see that he’s so successful with his craft/home skills. Although I do miss his clothes!

    Mark is such a charismatic person and full of constant ideas. Can’t wait to check out his new book!

  • Also looks great to do the embossing on the glass in the frame instead of on the card..or do both!!

  • I remember when Mark had his first Boutique – in Jersey City right off the PATH train, and he lived 50 yards away round the corner. But that was 1991 so things moved on and glad to see he got into Manhattan!