Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Direction

Hey folks. It's me. Your long-lost ADD, mom-in-angst, crazy, impulsive, grieving, (let's see what other titles have I inadvertantly given myself?), scatter-brained, overweight girl next door.  I've spent the last several months telling my stories and describing the person I've become.  And while some days I don't think I could have survived the day without jotting down my thoughts, I'm pretty sure I've exhausted the "self-discovery" portion of this blog. So....on to bigger and better things! 

     Well, over the past few months I've been Pinning my little heart out and slowly but surely I have actually done a few of them!  Some of them have gone smoothly and turned out more or less like the professionally staged/photographed example. And then others that started off with, "Hey, that looks easy. I could do that," have gone horribly awry. So I'm going to document my progress here.
     Okay, the only setback to this is that I have decided this retrospectively.  Translation: I already did 'em and didn't take pictures. So I will have to just recall the process for these and post pics of the finished products. From now on, though, I SWEAR (puts hand over heart) that I will include pictures of the process as well as finished products. Good.

      With summer free time, I've managed to complete a few from my wish list. This being one of them:

It's hard to tell from this sub-par photo, but this is book paper decoupaged onto a canvas. Here is the inspiration for this project. But, aside from the wording variation, I also used a few different techniques.

Here are the steps:
1. First I decoupaged old book pages onto a bargain canvas (seriously, if you ever find an ugly old painting some high schooler has done and now is being shamelessly sold in a garage sale by his mom for dirt cheap, swipe it. You neeever know when it will come in handy.)  Here's the first variance from the original pin. She suggested hot glueing the pages "for texture" but I wanted a more finished product. And plus, I'm somewhat of a modpodge wiz.
2. Next, on a regular piece of printer paper, I did a rough draft of how I wanted to letters to look. I went for the irregular pattern associated with subway art. The original pin had both right and left aligned text, which were also pretty cool. 
3. Then I roughly measured the height of my letters, accounted for spacing, and used a ruler to draw lines across with pencil (make sure it's with pencil so you can erase any lines that show up where your letters are) to make sure my letters were nice and level. Nothing makes a project look amateur like wonky lettering.
4. Then I just started plugging away, placing letters to form the text. I used the same vinyl letters recommended in the tutorial and was really happy with them since you can reposition them to get them just right. You may find you don't enough letters to do the entire project. At which point you have two options: go buy more letters or paint over the letters in parts (which is what I did b/c I'm cheap and lazy like that).
5. Now for the paint. The tutorial called for spray painting. Hmmm....while this is a good option if you have no notion how to use a paint brush or just don't want to mess with it, but again, I wanted a more finished looking product and I already had the paint I needed. I used cheap acrylic paint from Hobby Lobby. Before you paint, recheck that all edges of your letters are firmly pressed down so you will have clean lines. Then just start painting. It will probably take two coats. On my second coat I added a little tan colored paint and faded in here and there so it was so stinkin' purple and to give it texture. Repeat process until entire canvas is covered.
Tip: If you are doing your lettering in parts, as mentioned earlier, make sure you don't paint over the areas where you will place subsequent letters. Trust me, I did it. I was erked. To fix it, I just decoupaged a piece of paper back over the spot.
6. Remove letters. Easy.
7. Lastly, I added a few doo-dads. I wanted a few fillers to give detail. So I used the same tan acrylic paint I used earlier. To do this, just look at your piece and decide if any area just feels like it's missing something. If not, leave 'er alone.

I should mention, you can use just about any flat piece of wood or metal for this project, as pictured below.  As long as it can hang on a wall, use it. Hate that metal sign you got for your wedding shower?  Repurpose that sucker. If it doesn't have hangers, use this tutorial.
Using the same technique as the other sign, I made this ironic little sign to fill the space between the commode and my cabinet. I giggle every time I "go".

Stick a fork in it, you're done!  Really it was pretty simple. I didn't stray too far from the original but mine is a good example of how two people can have totally different outcomes using the same tutorial.  Mine is now hanging nicely in the hall bathroom and I enjoy seeing things I've made around the house. I take so much more pride in them than something I've bought in a store. Hope this inspires you to create your own variation!  Craft on!

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