Posts Tagged ‘paint’

DIY Giant Painted Silhouette Canvas

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

DIY Giant Painted Silhouette Canvas

I bought this huge canvas at A.C. Moore a few months ago. They were running an great sale on canvases – I think I bought it for less than $20 – and I’ve been looking for something large to hang over the fireplace basically since the day we moved in 6 years ago. I’ve hung collections of things, put giant vases on the mantel, made banners and art before but nothing has ever really filled the space the way I wanted. I knew a 3×4 canvas would finally be the right size but it’s been sitting in my basement for weeks now while I brainstormed what exactly I should do with it. I am decidedly NOT an artist, and although I found some cool DIY art on Pinterest I wasn’t in love with any of the ideas (and wasn’t confident in my ability to¬†execute them).

DIY Giant Silhouette

While I was talking with my IBFF (internet best friend forever) Amy, she suggested doing silhouettes of the kids. She actually made one and blogged it almost two years ago (and shouts me out in the post, because seriously IBFF!) so I used the same basic idea – took a picture of the kids’ profiles in front of a window, printed them and cut the shape out carefully. But because I wanted to make GIANT painted silhouettes I had to figure out the rest on my own.

Supplies:

Canvas
Spray paint
Craft paint
Paint brushes (at least 1 small and 1 large)
Cardstock
Printer
Scissors/craft knife
Box
Pen
Clothespin/tape/paperclip/whatever you need to get the angles right
Smartphone with flashlight app (or a very strong flashlight)

Instructions:

I took my canvas outside to paint it, which wasn’t the best choice because it was pretty windy and I ended up with spray paint on my back door. Eh, not the first time.

DIY Giant Painted Silhouette Canvas

Ignore the tree shaddows

I picked blue for my background colors since I was hanging it in a blue room but any colors would work. In a kid’s room a whole rainbow would be really fun. If you were just doing 1 silhouette instead of two you could do it vertically.

DIY Giant Painted Silhouette Canvas

 

From top to bottom: white base paint for a picture frame, kitchen stool, nursery project, picture frame, kid-size cabinet, and failed lamp shade project. All found in my basement with enough left for this project.

I lined them up from darkest to lightest and worked from the outside in on the canvas. Then I went back and used the white to lighten anywhere it felt REALLY uneven. This is what it looked like in the bright outside light:

DIY Giant Painted Silhouette Canvas

I’m not going to win any painting contests but I like it (and E was surprised I had made it myself – he thought it was actual art). I let the spray paint dry for a few hours – there wasn’t a lot of paint so it didn’t take long – while I talked the kids into posing for their profile photos. They were both in cooperative moods so it didn’t take long.

DIY Giant Painted Silhouette Canvas

Try to get a picture where your kid’s nose DOESN’T blend into the background. It still worked fine.

To make the cutting edges more distinct I lowered the blacks slider and converted the pictures to black and white in Lightroom (totally optional). Then I printed them out on cardstock (I happened to have brown, but the color doesn’t matter) and cut out just the silhouettes as closely and cleanly as possible.

painted silhouette artwork-6

Then came the hardest part: figuring out how to get that cut-out silhouette big enough to trace onto the canvas.

My first thought was I’d just hold one up next to a lamp and trace the shadow, sort of like a super-simple version of a projector. Unfortunately, a regular light bulb doesn’t direct the light strongly enough to make a crisp shadow. I tried to make a DIY projector with a cardboard box taped over the lamp but it still wasn’t clear enough.

I tried asking the internet and my husband and they both suggested I find an overhead projector so I called the library and after a lot of shuffling departments and waiting on hold they said yes they DID still have a projector and if I wanted to bring my canvas in they could set me up in one of the conference rooms on Wednesday. That would have been a good option if I hadn’t figured out an at-home solution. I got impatient waiting for Wednesday and during a little more Googling I found a tip that the flashlight app on a smartphone makes a really bright, direct light.

So I made this:

DIY Shadow Projector

That’s my iPhone with the flashlight app turned on, propped up against a book inside an empty box, with the silhouette clipped to the end with a clothespin. I set it on the coffee table and pulled it back until it the shadow was the right size on the canvas. You definitely need a dark room to make it work right, but luckily the sun goes down around 8 pm (I think it’s called “night”?) so I didn’t have to move the canvas.

DIY Shadow Projector

I traced it with a regular ballpoint pen, being careful not to move the canvas. I should have used a level and a measuring tape to space the two silhouettes exactly right, but I just guessed based on the color stripes on the canvas. Then I switched out Caroline’s silhouette for Evan’s, moved the canvas (it seemed easier than moving the light projector set up) and traced Evan’s. I adjusted the distance a little to make his silhouette slightly bigger than Caroline’s but not so much the finished product would look unbalanced.

DIY Giant Painted Silhouette Canvas

I used black craft paint to fill in the silhouette shapes. I used a medium brush to do the major edges and a tiny brush to do things like their bangs and Caroline’s eyelashes. I filled everything in with a medium sized brush and went back over the edges to make sure they were colored in fully. I messed up both their noses a tiny bit and noses are very important in making a silhouette that looks like your child, so be extra careful. I did NOT wait long enough for it to dry before I propped it up on the mantel, so I got a black paint drip on Evan’s side. Luckily the cheap craft store brand of paint was easy to peel off the spray painted canvas so I fixed it. The other option would have been taping up the silhouette and spray painting over the mistake.

The last step was finally taking down the train station banner from Evan’s birthday party and putting a nail in the wall to hang it up!

DIY Giant Painted Silhouette Canvas

Aaaand then take some pictures. I’m happy with how it turned out. High fives for easy, inexpensive artwork!

DIY Giant Painted Silhouette Canvas

Ta-da! I’m so excited to finally have something to fill that space after six years. Total cost: $25 for the canvas sinceI had everything else on hand and approximately 45 minutes worth of total work. Let me know if you try something similar, I’d love to see your spin on it!

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7 Things To Do With Pinecones

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Thing #1 – Leave them on the ground and let them turn into pine trees like God intended. Because unless you have a herd of toddlers to put to work, why the hell would you waste perfectly good time picking up pine cones?*

First, bake them in the oven at 250 for 20 minutes to kill the spiders/bugs/nasty fungus stuff that might be living in them. Because nothing ruins the charming fall decor at your dinner party like poisonous spider bites as parting gifts for your guests.

Thing #2 – Roll them in acrylic paint and put them in a rustic basket as a centerpiece.

Thing #3 – Spray paint them and put them in a glass vase.

TODDLER FINGER PHOTOBOMB!

Thing #4 -Wrap the stem ends in yarn and make a garland.

Thing #5 – Cover them with spray adhesive and glitter and hang them up.

Thing #6 – Spread them with peanut butter and bird seed to make a bird feeder.

Thing #7 -Make scented potpourri: Put them in a ziplock bag & spray with adhesive, add cinnamon/cloves/lemon zest/pumpkin pie spice. Close & shake, open and sniff.

TA-DA! You just wasted your entire stay-at-home-lazy-day making pointless pinecone crafts!

*No toddler labor was exploited in the making of these crafts. Ok, maybe just a LITTLE toddler labor. But they liked it.

Thirty Hand Made Days

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Pinterest Living Room Makeover

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Confession: I’ve taken the “before” pictures for this makeover no less than five different times. Every time I walk through the living room (which is every time I go upstairs or check the mail) I am underwhelmed by its boringness and uselessness. We live in an old house, designed for formal entertaining (you can see the house tour here, although we’ve changed almost every room since then) which is fantastic when it comes to throwing parties but not so great for every day life. We don’t use the front door and we almost never use the dining room, so the front of the house has become a catch-all for junk. There isn’t even a couch in the living room – the free one I got off Craigslist went out with the trash before Evan’s 1st birthday and I haven’t found something I like/can afford. Which means for the last year (and then some), our living room has looked like this:

From a few weeks ago. Just ignore the ball pit we just FINALLY took down from Little Evan’s 2nd birthday party. Also, that TV isn’t hooked up/attached to anything yet, so it’s just a big black light-blocking hole.
This is from Saturday morning. I moved some stuff to the mantle to try to make it more interesting. It didn’t really work.

I know it was built for afternoon teas and dinner parties, but living in half our house is stupid – why feel cramped when we have an extra 300+ square feet of EMPTY SPACE to spread out in? And why do I keep insisting on using it as a FORMAL living room, when almost none of our living is formal?

So my mission was two fold:
1. Make our living room both more functional and more fun and
2. Don’t spend any money

Enter Pinterest.

{handprint art, chalkboard table, bright colored room, fabric garland, covered canvas, button letter}

And here’s how it looks now:

Breakdown:
-I bought the canvases from Michael’s when they were on sale AND I had a coupon, to save for a day when I was feeling creative. The striped ones are tissue paper attached with spray adhesive.
-All the paint, felt and ribbons are from previous projects, especially Caroline’s Nursery.
-The bright colored pillow covers are from Life’s Candy, my wonderful friend Mae’s shop. I relocated them from our entrance bench.
-The fabric on the garland was tablecloths at Little Evan’s 2nd birthday.
-The plates are straight up dinner plates from our cabinet, purchased at Walmart in 2001.
6. The empty frame was in our basement.
7. I bought the vases at Target for $3.24 each back in March to fill in the empty mantle.
8. The coffee table was in the basement, the blue chair was in the attic and the toys were in the toy box.

Since the coffee table is black you can’t really see the chalkboard paint unless I’ve drawn on it, so all it takes is a quick swipe with a damp paper towel and we have our grown-up piece of furniture back. The baskets underneath neatly hide all the toys and the chalk.

So paint, buttons, fabric, and some repurposing turned our boring wasted space into a cute, usable room. Now I just need to find a small couch, some big comfy floor pillows and a DVD player for that TV and we might actually start spending some time in there!

Of course I finished this just in time to change it all again for Christmas. Maybe we’ll go with a rainbow theme for the holidays this year.

Thirty Hand Made Days

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Inspiration Execution

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Thanks to Pinterest (don’t know what that is? I recommend this brilliant how-to-use Pinterest post written by a very talented blogger)(spoiler alert: it was me) I’ve been inspired to make a bunch of stuff recently. Or at least attempt to make a bunch of stuff. I’m having some extreme spray-paint related angst. I am TERRIBLE at spray painting stuff. It’s a really debilitating condition, like people who can’t park straight or say “supposably”. So I gave up on a few ideas and wandered around Michael’s Crafts staring at other kinds of paint until I was struck with new, better ideas. I think I’ve used up all my crafting energy for the next month and a half though so don’t worry about me trying to turn this into a craft blog.

Here are my successful non-spray paint related crafts from this weekend:

 

Buttons + corks = stamps

They actually work pretty well! Even better on soft stuff, like bubble mailers.

Corks + hot glue = trivet. I KNEW drinking all that wine would come in handy.

Scrabble Letter Shadow Box

Toddler involved craft project:

My little Picasso helped me paint

This is the glass from an $8 frame I bought at the craft store. I helped Little Evan paint directly on one side with green, blues and white. After it dried I painted over his paint with yellow. When I turned it over, this is the side that shows through the frame.

 

Then I Googled "quotes about creativity" until I found one I liked, printed it on clear full-sheet label, trimmed it a little and stuck it on the front side of the glass. Voila: Art! The two other frames are just plastic paper holders from Staples. It takes 3 seconds to switch out the pictures so it will be a rotating display of Little Evan's creations.

Inspiration for some of the projects found here on my Crafty Pinterest board.

Now, does anyone have any suggestions for turning a plain beige metal filing cabinet into something prettier? AND DON’T SAY SPRAY PAINT.

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Baby Sandy’s Nursery: Vintage Bib, Ribbon Mobile, Chalkboard Tray

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Since the new “nursery” is more of a playroom than an actual nursery (I’m still debating whether or not we’re buying a second crib – so far, “no” is winning) I’m way less interested in making it perfect than making it fun and functional. At the same time, I feel sort of bad that Baby Girl is going to be forced to share her space from the very beginning with an older brother so I’m putting a lot of effort money thought into special touches just for her. I mean, it’s SUPER AWESOME that we’ve already banished most of the ugly, plastic, music playing toys to the second floor, but it also means a pale pastel princess color scheme is totally out of the question. Good thing I was already into the idea of bright colors.

Instead of boring the crap out of you with hundreds of individual posts explaining every step of each project, I’m going to do them in weekly (bi-weekly? monthly? OMG it can’t be monthly because I only HAVE a month left to finish all of this DEEP BREATHS DEEEEEEEEP BREATHS) round-ups.

Project 1: Find a way to display the vintage embroidered bib my mom saved from my (her?) childhood

framed vintage bib DIY

I *think* it’s a cow surrounded by flowers. Or maybe a vase. Or maybe I’m still high on spray adheisive.

Since the bib is sort of pastel and the room is mostly bright, I wanted a bright frame to put it in.

framed vintage bib DIY

Green frame from Target: $6.99, tiny fabric squares: free from my swag bag at The Creative Connection, but I’ve seen them at Joann’s for a few bucks a pack

Then I used the spray adhesive to stick the little squares to a piece of off-white cardstock.

framed vintage bib DIY

I KNOW YOU ARE SO AMAZED RIGHT NOW.

Then I put the bib on the fabric/paper and popped the whole thing in the frame.

framed vintage bib DIY

And now I have a lovely, girly, almost-free piece of art for the new nursery

Project 2: DIY Ribbon Mobile

I did not come up with this idea, not by a long shot. A Google image search for “ribbon mobile” brings up tons and tons of slightly different versions and it’s not like you NEED instructions. But I learned a few things in my attempt so I’m going to post a tiny how-to.

DIY Ribbon Mobile

I only ended up using the larger embroidery hoop and even though I did spray paint it yellow I didn’t really need to. You don’t see enough of the hoop for it to matter.

DIY Ribbon Mobile

Figure out how long you want the mobile to be and cut ribbon to approximately twice that length. DON’T go out of your way to make it perfect, since the uneven lengths is what makes it sort of whimsical

I discovered that the thinner the ribbon, the easier it was to work with. I actually gave up on the wide orange kind because it kept coming unlooped. The grosgrain mid-sized ribbon also worked very well once I figured out how to tie it. I originally bought a bunch of ribbon at the fabric store but found MUCH cheaper options at Michael’s – 50 cents a spool with tons left over.

DIY Ribbon Mobile

You would think randomly choosing the color order would make life easier, but instead I spent far too long worrying there was too my orange or pink in any one section

In theory, all you have to do to secure the ribbon to the hoop is hold it double, wrap the end where the ribbon is folded around the hoop, then pull the ends through until it’s tight. But with anything thicker than 1/8th inch ribbon, it’s hard to pull it tight enough to make it stay – and I was NOT looking forward to gluing each one individually. So what works is after you pull the ribbon through the loop end, take the free end and pull it through the loop again on the right side. It makes sort of a little knot without changing the way it looks too much.

DIY Ribbon Mobile

Ta-da! Beautiful, one of a kind ribbon mobile for the nursery

Project 3: Chalkboard tray as door sign

I used to collect vintage trays and display them as wall art in my living room, so when I saw a chalkboard tray in the Pottery Barn catalog I thought it was a super cute idea. And one that is obviously so ridiculously easy there is no way anyone should bother to buy the one from PB for $200 (sadly, I can’t find the tray online to link to, but it was in the Thanksgiving issue.)

diy chalkboard tray

Supplies: totally NON-vintage tray I bought for 10 cents at church rumage sale, chalkboard spray paint, ribbon, Tacky Glue

Yeah, you don’t need a step-by-step for this.

diy chalkboard tray

One day, we’ll pick a %^&# name, and I’ll write that on the sign

I’m going to hang it on the door.

Now I’m going to go spray paint some more stuff in my dining room. Because I’m sure that is AWESOME for the baby.

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