14 Days of Love – Day 2 DIY “Love Story” sign

I have been working on this sign for a few days and I am so excited (and quite surprised) I was actually able to complete it BEFORE Valentine’s Day! Ha!

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I originally saw this sign on Pinterest and almost bought it from the seller on Etsy. However the more I looked at it sitting in my Esty cart, the more I kept thinking “I can probably make this…” There wasn’t a tutorial or anything that I followed, although there are plenty of different ones out there.   I realize this project could have been WAAAAAAAY easier if I would have just cut out some vinyl lettering using my Cameo. However, I didn’t have any vinyl on hand and I didn’t feel like ordering it and having to wait another week to do this project. I did have contact paper though! I figured I could use the same technique that I used on my hand painted canvas to make this sign. I didn’t create a tutorial for that one so I thought I’d go ahead and do one for this.  So here’s whatcha do.

What you will need

*12×24 plywood board. You can find these at Michaels or JoAnnes already cut to size for around $2 with a 40% coupon.

*Red and white acrylic paint (or any other color you like. You can even use leftover latex paint. For the letters I used Martha Stewart’s acrylic in “Holly Berry” and some leftover latex paint in “Quail Egg” from Valspar for the main color.)

*small roller

*#2 flat acrylic paintbrush

*contact paper, cut into 2 12 x12 sheets

*Silhouette Cameo or letter stencils

First paint your entire board red (or whatever color you want your letters to be). This will be the color you want to show through once you peel your letters off.

While that is drying, created your the letters in the Silhouette program and cut them out of the contact paper. I used Franklin Gothic Heavy as the font type at mulitiple sizes. **If you don’t have a silhouette machine, don’t fret! You can buy letter stencils at any craft store, buy them on Etsy or just go ahead and buy the vinyl lettering.

Your board should be dry by now. If not, WAIT until it is completely dry before moving on. Measure 3/4 of an inch around your entire board. This will be your guide to make sure all of your letters line up properly and there is equal amount of space around the words.

Take some tweezers and very carefully weed/peel each letter off the contact paper and placed them on your board sticky side down.

Once you complete each row of letters, measure about 1/4 of an inch from the bottom of the row and draw a line. This line will indicate the top of the next line. Use this as a guide to align the top of the next line of letters. Do this for the following line of letters on the top half of the sign. Once you get to the bottom half, use the same technique except now work your way from bottom to top. Start with the last line and measure 1/4 of an inch from the top of those letters and draw a line. This line will be your guide to align the bottom of the previous line of letters. Doing it this way will ensure that there is equal amount of space at the very top and very bottom of the board and that the blank space in the center is actually centered. I hope this is not too confusing… and if you have an easier, less confusing way to do this, let me know!!

Once all your letters are placed on your board go back and make sure they are firmly pressed down and that there are no edges peeling up…

Now it’s time to paint the board again, this time with the main color.  Paint first coat, let dry for at least 1hour and paint a second coat.

I made the mistake of painting my first coat with a sponge applicator instead of a roller and the white paint seeped through the edge of pretty much every letter. I think if I would have rolled it on with a roller the first time, I could have saved myself A LOT of time in the end. I rolled my second coat on with a roller and it was so much easier and WAY faster. USE A ROLLER!! Just be careful not to get too much paint on the roller or you might experience the same thing.

Once your paint is dry, take your tweezers and gently peel off each letter.

See all the seeping paint I was talking about. Ugh.

This is where the time consuming make your eyes bug out craziness begins. Take your itty bitty #2 flat paintbrush and your red paint and paint over all the spots the white paint seeped through.

This is about the time I realized maybe I should have just ordered the vinyl!

Nah – then I couldn’t say I painted it myself 😛

Once that dries, go back with your white and clean up any areas that aren’t as clean as you’d like.

Almost finished…

Add some twine and a few paper hearts and you’re finished!

A completely hand made, hand painted work of art.

So beautiful and SO true. I’m hoping to give you a little glimpse of our love story soon. But for now, just know that it IS truly my favorite, as I’m sure all of yours are as well.

Hello stranger!

There’s a reason I’ve never blogged before.

A holiday or birthday or life for that matter gets in the way and I am a crazy mess.  I just can’t keep up.

Now that Christmas is over, I won’t bore you with the multitude of Christmas projects that kept me from doing anything else.  But for the sake of sticking to this blog and not giving up just yet, here is a recap of what I have been up to these last few weeks since then.

The painted canvas I made for my wonderful sister-in-law.

                 

Made a pinterest inspired reward system for B (that actually seems to be working for once!)

and turning this inspiration

into this FABULOUS pillow!

I don’t have tutorials for any of these projects.  However, I did take pics of each step, so if you are at all interested in how I created these beauties, let me know and I’ll put one together.

What have you been creating lately?

DIY Calendar

For about a week leading up to New Year’s, I was on a quest to find a calendar for this year.  Every store I went to either didn’t have the right color combo I was going for, boring, not the right size or was WAY more than I wanted to pay.  So I pulled out my hand dandy phone and went to my pinterest app and voila!  A plethora of DIY calendars appeared.   I really liked the simplicity of this one and then I saw this one and fell in love with the personalization of it.  I decided I had to make it…right now!

Lucky for me, I just so happened to be close to my favorite craft store.  I ran in and grabbed some supplies. Here’s what you will need.

– Frame – I already had the frame (mine is 16×20, but you can do any size).  *Side note*  You DO NOT need to buy a brand new frame!  For around $3, you can go down to your local thrift store, pick up a picture/frame that is around 16×20.  You don’t even have to like the color,  as long as you like the shape/design.  Once you get it home, you spray paint it any color you’d like.  Which is exactly what I am going to do mine.  I think an oil rubbed bronze maybe…?  Black was SO last year.   Haha!

-Scrapbook paper – which you can usually find on sale, 5/$1!

– some sort of paper craft adhesive.  I used an adhesive tape runner to adhere all of the paper and some craft glue to add my embellishments

– an 11 x 17 calendar (you can download mine here).  I had mine printed in color at Kinko’s for $1.50 .  It would have only been $.59 but I’m picky and didn’t want my calendar to be black and white.  If black and white goes with your color scheme, you can save even MORE $!  Heck for that matter you can even print yours at home, if you already have the paper and your printer accommodates 11×17 paper.  Mine does, but like I said, I’m cheap and I really didn’t feel like spending $6 on a ream of 11×17 paper that I’ll probably never use again!  Like I said, Kinko’s – a buck fifty. Done.

Once you have all of your supplies together the first thing you’ll need to do is create a template to adhere your paper to.   Take a lg piece of cardboard or blank  white paper (I taped 4 pieces of white printer paper together to make mine big enough) and trace the glass onto the paper.  Cut it out.  This is your template.

Take your calendar and adhere it to the bottom left hand corner first and the “Notes”  section to the bottom right (sorry I don’t have a pdf of this).   The remaining space is left for you to fill.  Let your creativity lead you.  I made our family nameplate, pennants and banner on my Silhouette, but you could easily cut these out by hand.   If you need an image to trace, let me know and I’ll see if I can pull one together for you.  I also added some ribbon to separate the header from the calendar and to “hang” my pennants on.  You can’t really tell in the pics, but it’s there. 🙂

Ta da!

At first I used a regular dry erase marker but every time I needed to write something down, I would erase a date with my hand while I was writing.  It was quite frustrating, I must say.  I racked my brain and thought “oh great, after all this it’s not even going to work!”  BUT…I had some wet erase markers lying around  (you know, the ones our teachers would use to write on the transparency sheets in math class… No?…am i the only one who remembers that….) Anyway, THAT worked 10x’s better!

I really like how it turned out…hopefully now, I’ll be a little more organized and things that need to get done, will actually get done!  I have no excuse.  🙂

Anthropologie inspired Ruffle Lamp

I saw this lamp on pinterest and fell in love.

And after reading this fabulous tutorial  from mama says sew, I said “I can do that!”

So I did.

Isn’t it gorgeous!  I just love how it turned out.

I did a few things differently so here’s my breakdown.

Materials

  • lamp base
  • drum shade
  • 1.5 – 2 yards burlap
  • iron
  • glue gun

I found my original lamp bases (I made two of these lamps) at a garage sale.  Aren’t they ugly  pretty!

I primed them first


and then used Krylon Satin Oil Rubbed Bronze (Michaels).

Oh what a can of spray pain can do!  They already look 100 x’s better, dontcha think?

Now for the shades.  In my quest to find some cheap re-purposeful drum shades, I scoured our little town from one side to the other.  And by scoured I mean I went to approximately 400 garage sales, thrift stores, Goodwills and Salvation Armys over a period of 3 days,  just to come back empty handed (ugh).  So instead of waiting patiently and adding this project to my “to be finished later” pile, I went to target.  In the tutorial from mama says sew, she covers her lamp shade with burlap, which I was planning to do.  However when I arrived at the happiest place on earth, low and behold, they had a 2 burlap wrapped drum shades just waiting for me!  Hey, I was either going to spend $13 on a plain white drum shade and cover it myself or pay $13 on a drum shade already wrapped in burlap.   Nuff said.

Now the fun part begins.  After you wrap your shade (or buy one) you will need to cup your remaining burlap into strips.  I used about 60 strips.  Cut them double the width you want them to stick out on your shade and 1.5 x’s the height of your shade.   I cut mine about 3 inches wide and about 15 inches long (my shade was 10″ in height)

After you have all of your strips cut, fold them in half and iron them.

I wanted to add a little more ruffle to my shade.  To do this, unfold your strip and find the center thread.  Pull it so the strip cinches.  And please do not make fun of my thumbs! 😛

Tie the thread in a knot at the base of your cinch.  This will help to keep the cinch in place as you glue.

Should look like this when you’re finished

Now it’s time to glue.  Take your ruffle strip and place a strip of hot glue  along the folded edge, about half way down.   Quickly place it on your shade.  Glue the remaining side down as you go.

I made it so the edges of my strips curled down at the top and bottom of the shade.  To me, it looks a little more “finished” this way but you can do it however you choose.

I spaced my strips about 4 inches apart all the way around and then filled in the spaces as I went.

Almost finished

I wanted my shade to look really full,so I filled it in until I couldn’t fit another strip anywhere!

2 hours and 865 glue gun burns later, Ta-Da!

*Side note – no you’re eyes are not deceiving you, that IS a completely different lamp base.  After putting the shade on the other lamp base, I thought it might look a little too busy.  SO I went to my “to be finished later” pile (remember that?) and found this lamp base which just happen to be the perfect size and shape I was looking for.  I primed it and spray painted it exactly like the other lamp base.  Makes me wonder why I even needed to buy the other lamp base to begin with… oh well, NEW project!  🙂

My Cost Breakdown

  • Shades – $2-3 at a thrift store if you can find the right shape, size, etc.  If you’re impatient like me, $13 at Target
  • Burlap – I had mine left over from some table runners but it’s usually only about $2.99/yard at Joanne’s (don’t forget your coupon!)
  • Lamp Base – $10 for 2 at a garage sale
  • Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint – $2.99 with 40% coupon at Michael’s

Total: $21 for a gorgeous, custom made lamp.  Not too shabby, if you ask me.  🙂