Heart Tutorial

Urban Grunge Tattoo Heart Tutorial

I wanted to create a 3-D version of the classic winged tattoo. You will learn the ins and outs of creating this project, and a little of my creative thought process. I’m a klutz, and kind of messy, so have fun!


Pre-made paper-mache heart
Decoupage Glue
Black Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens: Small, Medium, and Brush
Faber Castell Pitt Monochrome Graphite Pencil
Painter’s Tape
Sepia Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens: Brush
Faber Castell Art Grip Colored Pencils: Blue and Red
Faber Castell Metallic Gelato: Gold
White Ribbon
Flower Embellishment
Glue Gun
Plastic Garbage Bag
Sponge Brush
Plastic Clothes Hanger
Shrink Plastic


1. Cover the work surface with a flat garbage bag.If you are like me, decoupage can get messy.If you are not like me, then you may disregard the need for the bag. Gather your pre-made heart, and a 12x12 sheet of red (or your favorite heart color paper). At this point, you have to make a choice, some people are precise, and the torn edges on the finished project would drive them nuts. If that is you, cut the paper with scissors.If you like the torn look, then sit down and tear up some paper. Take all your aggression out on it. You’ll feel better.

2.Get your decoupage material and sponge brush. I use Collage Pauge, mostly because my craft store did a demo of it one day and let my kid glue marbles to their table for a half hour or so while she was supposed to be making magnets. She wasn’t intentionally gluing them, but when you are six, more glue is better, and everything gets glued together. When we were done, she wanted to make more, and I had to purchase the products they used, because when you are six, you do what the teacher says. I guess the lady on the front label is famous, I don’t know, but she does make a good decoupage medium.
3. Use the garbage bag as a palate, and just squirt the decoupage medium on the plastic. If this would drive you crazy, then go get a plate, or something in which to put the medium. Brush the medium on the paper mache heart and all over the paper. For me, using the brush lasted about ten seconds, and I ended up dipping the paper in the pool of medium, placing it on the heart, and smoothing it out with my fingers. Either way works. Place paper all the way around the heart. If the paper doesn’t want to smooth, tear it into smaller pieces. When you are done, hang the heart to dry. I didn’t really think of that part beforehand, so I was wandering around with a sticky heart and hands trying to figure this mess out. The beautiful thing is that once I figured out to hang it from a kid’s plastic hanger, the garbage bag folded up nicely, and my mess was gone.

4. For the wings, I used shrink plastic; remember shrinky dinks? This is the same thing, but not preprinted, so it can be whatever you want it to be. I wanted it to be wings, so I sketched out a wing with a Graphite Pencil. If you prefer, you can find a wing image and trace it. Whatever works best for you. I secured the shrink plastic with painter’s tape because when I do not, it slides all around, and I mess up my tracing. I used Black Artist Pens to trace the sketch, and build up the lines for more dimension. Be careful tracing, as the artist pens and the shrink plastic work like a whiteboard, and if you drag your hand across tracing you have already done, it will rub off. I learned this the hard way, so don’t be like me on this one, or you’ll end up with missing lines and a black smeared hand. This is useful, however if you mess up, just rub it off and try again. Flip the image on the second sheet so your wings face out opposite and complete the second wing.

5. Once you have the tracing done, you can add some color with Colored Pencils. Don’t color against the black lines, or you will rub off the black. Then, cut your wings out, and place them on a baking sheet. At this point, I noticed I forgot to flip the wing so they would each point outward correctly, so I quickly retraced the image through the plastic. I like to live under the rule that if I mess up and it turns out ok, then it was on purpose. So, I on purpose decorated both sides of the wings. After your oven has preheated, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for shrinking the plastic. Don’t get too creative here, no one wants melted plastic in their oven. It smells bad and is a pain to clean.

6. Take your ribbon and distress it by running the SepiaPen along the edge, and by rubbing the Silver Metallic Gelato on the top of the ribbon. I used a plain white grosgrain ribbon. Once I was happy with my distressing, I laid out another garbage bag and set up some more collage pauge and ran the ribbon through the medium, and then laid the ribbon across my heart artfully. Then, I placed the heart on a new garbage bag, and set it so the ribbon had a bit of a wave to it and let it dry. The medium gives it a bit of stiffness, which works well with the end project.

Once the heart is dry, you can use the Black Art Pens to add wording to your ribbon. Glue on the wings and flower embellishments, I use a low temp glue gun because I am clumsy and burn myself on high temp, but you can use your preferred adhesive. You too now have an Urban Grunge Tattoo Heart to call your own!

Hope you liked my tutorial!



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