Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Button Art

These unfinished cabinet door frames have been laying around in our basement for over a year and I was finally determined to do something with them.  Photos on Pinterest of people using buttons to spell out letters had been popping up in my feed, so I thought I could spell the word JOY with my three frames.  
Here's where I can save you a ton of time...since my door frames didn't have panel inserts, I had to make my own panel out of some scrap sheetrock we had laying around.  Plywood would have been a better option but we didn't have any and I wasn't going to waste the fuel to go to the home improvement store when the sheetrock that was laying around would work just as well.  Lucky for you though, you could use regular old cabinet doors with a panel still intact!  
I had this really great turquoise burlap that I wanted to use, but burlap has a very loose knit making it especially see through.  So before I wrapped my burlap around the squares of sheetrock, I painted the sheetrock with a few coats of a similar turquoise paint that we had on hand, this way the white sheetrock wouldn't show through the burlap.  The wood frames got a few coats of antique white paint and some van dyke brown glaze to age them.

After the burlap was wrapped around the sheetrock, I placed it in the painted wood frame.
I don't have a fancy letter cutting machine, so to make the JOY letters, I simply printed each letter off on my printer and cut them out.  Since the letter would be painted red, I traced the letter pattern with a red marker to create the outline.

 Here's what my letter looked like after tracing it onto the burlap.
Using red metallic acrylic paint, I filled in the letter.  This is an important step because if you just use buttons without having the letter painted underneath, the letter will not look very solid because the buttons can't possibly cover all of the space.
Joanne's sells large packs of different colored buttons - I grabbed both of these packs so I could get some different sizes.
Before I started hot glueing anything, I laid some buttons out on the letters to practice a bit.  Some people layer the buttons, others just do a single layer.  I opted for the single layer when it was actually time to glue them down - mostly for my safety since I burnt my fingers about 100 times in the process with the hot glue.
After all three of my letter were complete, Brent used hardware like you see below to hook the frames to one another.
 We love our new holiday art and more importantly, we love that we did it for about $10!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Wood Block Christmas Countdown

I saw a cute idea on Cottage Paint's Instagram feed that I thought would be fun to make with the kids.  As I opened the door to our workshop to cut some blocks, I was happily surprised to find a set all ready for me!  Turns out, I had an extra set of blocks cut AND sanded from making wood block pumpkins a few weeks ago.  Guess this project was meant to be!
We started with some wood blocking, reclaimed wood, of course :)
Brent cut this star out with a jig saw - you have no idea how hard it was for us to draw a star.  I'm talking tricky enough that we had to google it.  Pathetic, huh?
 Emma helped me do all of the painting.
Here's our first coats of paint on the blocks.  We used base coats of regular latex paint and then brushed metallic acrylic paints over top of each one.
To do the wording - because free handing was not an option - trust me, I tried - I followed Her Tool Belt's instructions.  She used Photoshop to get her lettering but since I don't have that, good ol' Microsoft Word worked just fine for me!
 We covered each block of wood with a layer of painter's tape.
 And laid our wording on top.
Using an X-acto knife, I cut around each letter.  I thought this process was going to be pretty quick.  Spoiler, it took forever.  But I put on my headphones and listened to a few episodes of Serial - which is amazing if you haven't heard it - and the time passed rather quickly.
Then I put a few coats of acrylic paint in a contrasting color over the lettering.  Peel the tape off when dry.
 For the top block, where the number of days was going to go, I used this chalkboard paint.
 I taped off a section of the block for the chalkboard paint.
 2 coats later and once it had dried, you can pull the tape off.
 At first, I was planning to glue all of the blocks together but then decided not to.  It will be much easier to store after the holidays if it isn't such a large piece, plus, it's much easier for the kids the erase the top block and write the new number for the day if they can lay it down to do it.

 This was a fun project and the kids are having a blast changing the number each day!