Sunburst Artwork Made with Paper DIY

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Let’s make a whimsical art project! My sunburst artwork made with paper is a fun DIY craft that you can create using paint and a variety of scrapbook papers.

You’ll have lots of fun choosing all the colorful patterns to make your sun rays. I always enjoy checking out the rows and rows of scrapbooking paper at JoAnn’s. It puts my creative thoughts in motion!

Follow my tutorial to find out how I made this pretty sunshine art project!

SUNBURST ARTWORK MADE WITH PAPER DIY

the sunburst artwork that's made with paper is completed

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SUPPLIES:

  • thrift store item or art canvas
  • scrapbook paper in orange and yellows
  • stencil with swirls
  • Mod Podge
  • acrylic craft paints
  • foam pouncers
  • paint brush
  • artist brush for touch-up
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • paper towel
  • white spray paint (if needed)
supplies needed for the DIY sunburst artwork

SUPPLY OPTIONS YOU MAY NEED:

CHOOSE A SURFACE FOR YOUR SUNBURST ART

  • SURFACE IDEAS
  • art canvas
  • shadow box
  • unfinished craft wood
  • thrift store item

I chose to makeover a thrift store tray that I had on hand and I plan to display my artwork just by propping it up.

a thrift store tray that was used for the sunburst artwork

PREP THE ARTWORK SURFACE

If you use something similar to my tray that has an inset, you can tape off the top edge with painter’s tape to create crisp painted sections with different colors of paint.

I painted the top edge and outer sides of my tray with orange and the inset and base with a dark blue/turquoise.

TIP: You may need to use one coat of white spray paint for a base coat if your thrifted item is a dark color. I also painted one to two coats of white craft paint on top of that.

taping off the top edge of the tray to ready for painting

HOW TO PAINT THE SUNBURST ART BACKGROUND

Once the dark turquoise base coat is complete, use two lighter paint shades and a swirly stencil to pounce on the patterned sky.

  • Squirt 2 piles of paint on an artist palette.
  • Use 2 pouncers to alternate the colors on the stencil.
  • Work in sections when using the stencil, overlapping a bit with each new section.
  • Be sure to off load some paint from your pouncer brush before each section you paint.
  • Hold the stencil down and use pouncer #1 to cover some areas of the stencil.
  • While still holding the stencil in place, use pouncer #2 to cover the rest of the stencil.
  • Rotate the stencil as you go along so that the pattern will not look the same side by side.
  • As seen below, you can see how I alternated the 2 paint colors.

TIP: Use a hair dryer to dry each stenciled section before going to the next section to prevent paint transfer.

swirly stencil being painted on the tray for the sunburst artwork project

I didn’t bother stenciling some of the area where the sun half circle was going to be placed.

stenciling is completed on the tray for the sunburst background

STENCILS AND POUNCER OPTIONS:

HOW TO MAKE THE SUN RAY PAPER STRIPS

I started off by guessing what size I might need. Using my favorite Fiskars ruler, I started each angled paper strip starting at a bottom corner, as seen below, and chose my angle at 3 and 9. The other two sizes were at 3 and 10, and 3 and 11.

I measured and marked on the back side of each piece of paper so I didn’t have to worry about pencil marks showing on the front side.

The sizes can be altered after cutting where needed as you get into arranging your sun rays.

cutting the paper strips for the sunburst artwork

Alternate and space the dark colors among the light colored paper strips so that the colors look somewhat evenly dispersed by different color shades.

TIP: I recommend using a nice quality of scrapbook paper as the cheap stuff is much harder to work with when gluing.

orange and yellow patterened paper strips ready to be applied to the sunburst artwork

ATTACH THE SUN RAYS

Lay all the paper pieces in your desired areas before gluing anything down. Cut to alter the sizes if needed.

Use a skinny sponge brush to apply Mod Podge to some of the center portion of the half circle, leaving about 2 inches unglued to allow room to stick the sun rays underneath.

Begin gluing the sun rays into place. Carefully lift the half circle at each sun ray to allow room to stick the paper underneath. Continue like so until each strip is glued into place.

Carefully, lift the edges of the half circle and apply Mod Podge underneath.

TIP: Keep a wet paper towel at your side to wipe your fingers after glueing each paper strip to prevent the glue from getting your fingers all sticky and making your paper project a mess.

OPTIONAL: Applying Mod Podge on the entire artwork design depends upon what art surface you end up using and how much it’s going to be touched. I chose not to Mod Podge the top of my project.

I hope you have lots of fun creating your whimsical sunburst artwork!

graphic saying pin for later

graphic for sun ray artwork that's made with paper and paint

YOU MAY ALSO WANT TO SEE THESE RELATED ART PROJECTS:

DOLLAR TREE “SHINE BRIGHT” STENCIL CRAFT

HOW TO UPDATE A THRIFT STORE FIND WITH PAPER FLOWERS

DIY PAINTING IDEA FOR A WOOD SERVING TRAY

It’s time for another monthly Sustainable Craft Challenge, where my blogger friends and I create an eco-friendly project which we “use it up,” recycle, or upcycle a craft or home decor. Our August theme is “sunshine.” Be sure to click the links at the end of my post to see many more sunny decor and craft ideas!

NOW, SEE MORE THEMED “SUNSHINE” PROJECTS FROM MY CREATIVE BLOGGING FRIENDS!

graphic for the craft challenge blog hop group

Julie @ Sum of their Stories ~ Sunburst Greeting Card made with Old Magazines

Terri @ Our Good Life ~ DIY Resin Suncatchers

Purple Hues and Me ~ Sun Painting Bandana DIY

Mel @ Decor Craft Design ~ DIY Summer Sunflowers Sign

Stephanie @ Crazy Little Love Birds ~ Faux Stained Glass using Plastic Plates

Christine @ Christine’s Crafts ~ Easy Button Flowers for Home Decor

Niki @ Life as a LEO Wife ~ Box Full of Sunshine with Free Printable

Sharing my sunburst artwork at these fabulous blogs!

Thanks for Sharing!

14 thoughts on “Sunburst Artwork Made with Paper DIY”

  1. I love your take on sunburst art, what a lovely way to makeover an old tray and turn it into a work of art. The stencil effect is just gorgeous as a background and sets off the papers beautifully.

  2. Allyson, this was such a great tutorial. Your sunburst artwork is colorful and can really brighten one’s day. I love how you did the sun rays. I think all the colors go so well with the background choice. Thank you for taking us through each step. 🙂
    -Stephanie@crazylittlelovebirds@blogspot.com

  3. This is so cute! I love that you can still use it as a tray because the design is flat. We have so many boring trays, but this one is unique and screams summer! It’s great hopping with you! Pinned for my followers, & I’ll be sharing our projects on social media over the next few days.

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