Sunday, November 28, 2010
I think I was inspired by http://www.howdoesshe.com/ for these with all their wood crafts, I can't remember anymore.. but I know at the very least that's what triggered my thinking... I happened upon these handy little blocks out of the generosity of my best buddy (also a very crafty buddy at that :) ) I decided to try and paint then crackle them with holiday colors, and add the word "joy" on them (since it's short and sweet, and these are small blocks). The crackling worked, and then I sanded a bit around the edges of them, to add even more detail to them. I used Weathered Wood Crackling Medium by Americana- I mentioned in my previous post with my wood signs that I have figured out how to make it work for me for the most part without it dragging and ruining the whole look.. I found it at Michaels for under three dollars, and it goes pretty far. Anyhow, I used my Cricut to cut out vinyl letters and stuck them on there- but you could paint them on there or use stickers, whatever you want. The next point of the experiment was to see if I could manage to get a wire photo holder in the wood without mangling everything. I used metal stem wire- found in the floral arrangement dept. in JoAnn's- it was a package of about 20, and I cut them in half. I wrapped one of the ends around the end of a pair of needle nose pliers to make the spiral holder, then added another loop in the middle by wrapping it around my finger. I used a finishing nail the same width as the stem wire to make a hole. I dabbed the ends of the stem wire in E-6000 glue before pushing them into the hole, and to my happiness, it fit tightly and securely. Woohoo! These were totally inexpensive- you could use scraps of wood for anything. I highly recommend using crackling medium to instantly make something a little fancier. I'm excited that this actually worked out- those ideas in my head don't often have success :) ..
Friday, November 26, 2010
I got to playing with 2 x 4's after getting them cut, and then fiddled around with paint and crackling medium. In a previous post regarding my breadbox, I talked about my struggles with crackling medium. I think I've found a kind that I like- the Weathered Wood crackling medium. You allow it to dry completely before you put your top coat of paint on. I have discovered that the biggest trick to it not dragging when you brush the paint on, is to thin down your top color of paint with water so that you can get it on without dragging the brush- for once you don't want super thick coverage of paint. I also figured out that the other trick for me was to use a bigger brush, so the combination of the thinner paint with being able to brush it on fast, before it interacts with the crackling medium (and then drags.. and frustrates you quite a bit) and the bigger brush so that you are done faster, it seemed to work really, really well.. Yes, this makes me very happy, because it's very aggravating to work so hard on something, having it look like it's got great potential, and then have the last details snag up on you... So I painted and crackled the wood, then distressed it a bit more around the edges with sandpaper- which also reveals the base coat.. I'm really enjoying how this looks.. :) (yes, my inner craft geek comes out big time here...). All that was left was cutting out vinyl with my Cricut. The "Keep CALM and CARRY on" quote I found on a talented lady's blog (which I can't remember or find at the moment)- only she also added a crown on there, which totally adds more to the look, but alas, I have no crown- only the ones in my mouth, and those won't do me any good here.. Add a metal hanger on the back and some ribbon to finish it off.... The "Est." idea for the last name I also found in several places in blog land. I'm glad I finally got around to making it. Oh, and for the record- the Gratitude sign, I didn't crackle, I just distressed, but I'm lumping it in with all my signs for the day...
Sunday, November 14, 2010
This is a project I was asked to help with by a friend of mine. The wood pieces are 12" long- I had them cut from a larger piece purchased at Home Depot, and they cut it down for me. I used eye screws to link the pieces together. I hammered a nail into the wood to make a hole to screw the eye screws in. The only thing that is missing is that I recommended my friend to use some ribbon at the top to act as a hanger- and add a bit of pretty to offset the dark colors. You basically nail a regular picture hanger in the back of the wood to hang it by, and then glue ribbon to the back and attach it to the wall with a small pin so it looks like it's hanging by the ribbon but it's not. She chose the words "smile, relax, home" because they had significant meaning to her. The colors match the colors of her bedroom- I don't think I'd normally use a dark color to have writing on it because it's hard to see. I painted the wood and then used Cricut vinyl letters to trace around, then peeled them off and filled it in with black paint. I used a piece of sand paper to distress it, then sealed with a clear top coat. So, she's happy with the colors- personally I might have used black vinyl letters, but it's not for me, and I'm always critical of things I've made. I took pictures of the steps, probably not necessary, but I personally like seeing pictures, so maybe somebody else might too.
Have I mentioned that I love what you can do with a piece of wood? What I did: took a piece of wood and painted a base coat (bottom), then crackling medium, then a white top coat. I then used my Cricut to cut out vinyl words to go on the sign- this idea I've gotten from several blogs, so I can't specifically say which one, because I've seen it done in a variety of ways. How could you make it easier? Forget the crackling step, and just paint your wood the color you want. You could sand it a little to distress it, but that's not even necessary unless you really want to. I think I might donate this to our MOPS auction that we have in the spring.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I found this can of sorts in Craft Warehouse- there are varieties that are completely metal (more traditional paint can, versus the shape, but not the function of this particular kind). I've had this sitting in my craft stash for a couple of years now, and I've been seeing versions of them all over the internet, I just hadn't had the motivation to do it, until not. Instead of covering the outside with paper, I placed it on the inside instead, and didn't need adhesive. You can switch it out to whatever you want inside. I measured around the outside with my measuring tape to see how long I'd need the paper, and also measured how high the can was too. I took about a 1/2 inch off of the height measurement so I wouldn't have to try and jam it under the lip of the can. I needed 2 pieces of paper to fit the inside, since my 12 inch paper was not long enough, so I just stuck a shorter piece onto the longer one and rolled the entire piece up, then popped it inside the can. As it unrolls you can push it along the sides to fit better. If you'd like you can add more adhesive at the ends to keep it still, but I don't mind how it looks. I used a corner rounder to make a scallop at the top, then inked it. I like how it turned out, it makes it a little prettier to me. I used my Cricut to cut out an initial out of vinyl, then stuck it on the outside, and added a few simple pretties to it, along with some flowers and buttons. I tied ribbon scraps to the handle to color it up just a little more. At that point, I just filled it with scrapping goodies for a friend. We made a simpler version of this for our MOPS table centerpieces this year. I cut out paper in the same fashion, then added a little cut out with this year's theme on it. We tied coordinating ribbon to the handles, then made flower pens and put them in the inside of the can for the ladies to take notes with during the meetings. We'll be able to reuse the containers with other papers if we want to, since we didn't stick anything on the outside (unlike this present for a friend in which I used the vinyl and the flowers/buttons.). Sooo, the moral of this story is: don't be daunted, these can be fun and simple little goodie containers, and easy enough to make. OOh, and I now apologize for the ugly dirty window tracks behind the can in the pictures, ICK! Note to self: clean those window sills and tracks!