Friday, June 16, 2017

True North Strong and Free Canada 150 Plaque with Deb Riddell

Hello everyone and thank you for stopping by.  It’s Deb Riddell here today and I have a mixed media plaque to share with you that I made to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, happy birthday Canada!

I used Southern Ridge’s Maple Branch, Fall Leaves and Handrawn Heart in the making of my celebratory plaque but I could have made my life much easier if I had remembered to order some of the pieces that Karen designed especially for Canada’s 150th birthday! Click here to check them, they would be perfect for your own Canada 150 celebratory creations.

The starting point for my mixed media plaque was a map of Canada from 1867 (the year of our Confederation) which I found online and printed out onto 110 lb white cardstock.

The maple leaf is a symbol of our country so I chose the Maple Branch and one of the small maple leaves from the Fall Leaves set and painted them with white gesso.  I then used a multitude of Distress Crayon colours to colour them, adding and subtracting colours and blending with my finger and a baby wipe until I was happy with the result.

Three hearts from the Handrawn Heart set were basecoated with Americana Bittersweet Chocolate acrylic paint and a coat of Weathered Wood was applied over the paint.  Once it had dried, a top coat of Santa Red was painted on.  Love watching the cracks appear!

Tim Holtz’s Layered Leaf was die cut from Distress Mixed Media Heavystock and coloured with Distress Inks in shades of red.  The maple leaf was then embossed with the accompanying Texture Fades embossing folder and the embossed areas emphasized with some darker shades of red Distress inks.

I stamped a banner with a Forever In Time Banners stamp onto Mixed Media Heavystock and then die cut the number 150 into it with Tim Holtz’s Alphanumeric dies.  The banner was fussy cut and shaded with brown acrylic paint.  Another piece of Heavystock was then embossed with Emerald Creek Craft Supplies Canada embossing powder and adhered behind the die cut 150 numerals.

The phrase ‘true north strong and free’ from our national anthem has always touched a chord deep within my heart so I decided to incorporate the words ‘true north’ onto my celebratory plaque as well.  The words were die cut with the Alphanumeric dies again and another piece of Heavystock was embossed with Emerald Creek Craft Supplies Salted Raven embossing powder.  The words were cut out and the embossed card placed behind the die cut words.

The ‘true north’ reference also made me think of a compass heading, so I stamped Tim Holtz’s Compass Blueprint onto Heavystock with Hickory Smoke Archival ink and clear embossed it.  The compass was die cut with the accompanying die and then watercoloured with Distress inks.  I used Distress ink colours that echoed the colours of the vintage map of Canada that was to be the background for my plaque.

The 1867 map was cut out and the edges distressed and inked with Vintage Photo Distress ink.  I adhered the map onto a piece of kraft corrugated card with Therm O Web’s Permanent Tape Runner XL, leaving a ¼” reveal around the edges of the map.

The map and corrugated card were then adhered onto a piece of black cardstock with the Tape Runner XL, leaving a ¼” reveal again, and a Tim Holtz Small Easel was die cut from more black cardstock and adhered to the back of the plaque for displaying it.

And then the components were adhered onto the plaque.  The words ‘true north’ were mounted onto black fun foam and adhered to the top right corner.

The compass was also popped up on fun foam and adhered onto the bottom right corner, along with one of the crackled hearts.

The Maple Branch was adhered to the background on the left side of the plaque and the die cut Layered Leaf was positioned overtop of it with bits of fun foam underneath it as necessary to stabilize it.  The 150 banner was positioned over the stem of the Layered Leaf on the bottom left with fun foam underneath it as well.

And finally, the last two crackled hearts were added to the upper left corner.  The small Fall Foliage maple leaf was adhered on top of one of the hearts and the plaque was complete.

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing how my True North Strong and Free Canada 150 plaque came together.

It will be proudly displayed in our home as we get set to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1st, what a celebration that will be!

Southern Ridge Trading Company Supplies Used:

Other Supplies Used:

- Tim Holtz/Sizzix: Layered Leaf Die and Embossing Folder, Compass Blueprint Stamp and Die, Alphanumeric Dies and Small Easel Die
- Tim Holtz/Ranger Ink: Distress Ink, Distress Crayons, Distress Archival Ink and Distress Mixed Media Heavystock
- Emerald Creek Craft Supplies: Canada Embossing Powder and Salted Raven Embossing Powder
- Therm O Web: Permanent Tape Runner XL and Mixed Media Adhesive
- DecoArt: Americana Acrylic Paint and Weathered Wood
- Forever In Time: Banners Stamps
- Miscellaneous: 110 lb white cardstock, black cardstock, kraft corrugated cardboard, fun foam and clear embossing powder

As always, thank you so much for stopping by today and I hope that I’ve inspired you to create a celebratory home decor piece for your own country, no matter where you live.  Happy creating!


  1. The map is such a great base and I love the focal maple leaf and the compass is such a clever addition!

  2. Fantastic colour intensity on your beautiful maple leaves, large and small. And I love the map in the background - always love a good map!
    Alison x

  3. Love this piece, the rich colours, the map. It's great. This July 1st is going to be extra special here in Canada. I'm sure there are going to be some big bbq's and parties everywhere for the 150th
    Nice piece Deb, really good job.