As any crafter knows UFO stands for “Un-Finished Object”.
Well, the stag’s head (which you may remember from this post) is no longer one of them. It is finished and up! It sits above the door frame at the end of our hall so that you see it when you walk in the front door.
I’m generally pleased but I think it needs a little something else…
I don’t want to draw in eyes because I think I will muck them up and I don’t know it needs eyes?
Maybe something bright hanging from the horns? Maybe a moustache? A hat?
Time to put my thinking cap on but I’m out of inspiration just at the moment!
We are gradually trying to smarten our kitchen up a bit. We inherited all the decor from the previous owners and we always thought we would completely re-do it. However circumstances changed (not least of which was me giving up teaching) and we have never managed to get the money together. Now I am finding ways to spruce it up without major investment.
We had a set of three IKEA pictures that used to hang in our sitting room before we re-decorated. Since then they have been relegated to the upstairs sitting room. Neither or us were that enamoured of the sand dune scenes and they no longer seemed to fit anywhere (and yes, we still haven’t decided what colour to paint the walls!).
I love typography and I have long wanted to put some kind of outsize sign in the kitchen but not quite found the one that was “right”. So I made my own!
- Kitchen Foil (I used the extra wide stuff you usually use for the Christmas Turkey).
- Cardboard Boxes
- “Mod Podge” or PVA Glue
- Pritt Stick
- Double sided tape
- Mount board in the colour of your choice.
- Computer and Printer
- Cutting Mat (or smooth surface that you don’t mind getting ruined)
- Steel rule (for cutting with)
- Paintbrush or glue spreader
- Tape Measure
- Blu Tack
Decide on the word that you want to feature (mine was partially dictated by the fact I had three frames to use!) and find a font on your computer that you like.
I used “Maxxi Serif” which I found and downloaded from “Dafont.com”. If you haven’t discovered this website it is an amazing resource for what is fashionable in type right now and most of the downloads are free for personal use.
If you have Microsoft Publisher it will allow you to have sheet sizes that are larger than A4. I don’t so I have a programme called Serif Draw Plus. This is graphic design software and I have the free starter edition.
This allowed me to set up a page size the size of my frame and add type to it. I then played around with the size until I was happy. When it came to printing the programme splits the digital “page” evenly amongst certain number of A4 sheets.
Print the letters out and glue the sheets together. The printer gives a 5mm overlap to each one and I made it easier to glue them together by drawing a line at the 5mm point to align the edge of the page with more easily.
I used Pritt Stick to glue the sheets together but then sellotaped over the top of each join to help it hold together as I wanted to move on quite quickly.
I cut the letters out and used Blu-tack to put them cut outs onto the frames so that I could check the size and proportions of the letters.
I stuck the paper cut outs FACE DOWN onto some card board boxes using Mod Podge spread out with an old children’s paint brush (in my experience brushes do not survive glue!)
I stuck them face down because I wanted the templates to be on the back of the final piece and the smoother surface on the front.
Whilst waiting for the templates to dry I used the one of the pictures from the frames to mark out the size on the back of the mount board. Because of the size of the frames I had to use three pieces of mount board (a bit expensive at around £2.50 a sheet, but the only thing I bought for this project).
Because of the price of the board I drew my cutting lines in with pencil completely rather than cutting with my ruler lined up to marks!
I continued until I had my three pieces of backing board ready to go.
Using a craft knife I cut out the letters attached to the cardboard. Once I thought they were cut out completely I would flip the cardboard over and check the back (it is a good way to spot bits you have not cut all the way through on and catch them before they tear and spoil the finish)
I spread the roll of kitchen foil out along the table carefully so as not to crease it. I wanted a more industrial steel finish on my final piece so I placed it shiny side up. Again I used Mod Podge to stick the shapes to the foil and weighted them down with books to dry (around two hours).
Using a scalpel or craft knife cut the shapes from the foil leaving a border around each one. Score into internal corners at 45 degrees and cut across external ones at the same angle (see the picture if that doesn’t make sense, I wasn’t sure how to describe it!)
I then put double sided tape around the edges and folded the edges tight around the cardboard.
I used masking tape to mark onto my backing boards where I needed to line the letters up with to get them in the right position and used double sided tape to secure the letters to the back boards.
I put the boards into the frames (which I had painted white with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and waxed) and secured.
Hang your pictures. This was actually quite tricky as they had to be level and it took me quite a long time to tweak the hanging cords to the right level!
I’m pretty pleased with result. They remind me of a slightly retro marquee sign and with three letters I have limited the amount of chaos Boffin and Best Boy can cause by re-arranging them!
This week I am linking to In a bid to get some more opinions this week I am linking to; Handmade Monday and Enjoying the Little Things.
Welcome to my month of “making do” with crafting using only things I already have. Money is a little tight this month so I have decided to make things, or finish things that I already have. First up – my stencilled garden feature wall!
Some of you reading this will know that last summer Boffin and I started a programme to improve our back garden and make it a more relaxing, sociable space.
Neither of us are natural gardeners so complicated planting schemes are out and we both work full time so a lot of maintenance isn’t ideal either.
The garage wall sides onto our garden and for many years I had a football goal painted on their for the kids to fire at without danger of breaking windows. Last year, inspired by someone’s shed cover up on Pinterest I decided to paint over it for something more attractive. So I decided to bring the indoors out of doors and make a stencilled garden wall.
I ordered a stencil from The Stencil Studio and invested in some masonry paint and off I went.
I used an ordinary paint roller and tray to roller on the green base coat ( Weathershield smooth in “Green Ivy”) and then used masking tape on the corners of the stencil to position it.
When I started this at the end of last summer I used cut up pieces of sponge dipped in Sandtex Smooth Masonry Paint (Chalk Hill) to stipple the design on. In the end I found that the stencil clogged and wouldn’t wash well. I ended up breaking it and ordering a replacement.
Unfortunately delivery on this was delayed and summer was over before I could use it to finish the wall.
It actually stayed rolled up in its packaging until I unwrapped it this morning and discovered a lovely little surprise. The company had included a free stencil brush (I assume because the order was delayed but I don’t know for sure). I was really chuffed I hadn’t fancied using the sponge again as it was messy and ruined the stencil for me.
I have to say that the brush was a BIG improvement. Much faster, cleaner and the stencil washed up perfectly at the end of it all!
I love the result and look forward to enjoying our garden this summer.