November 24, 2013

More Playroom Ink Transfer Art

After I made the 'You Are My Sunshine' pieces for the playroom, I came across this and decided to use my new ink transfer to wood skills and attempt to make one. There are a ton of examples on Pinterest and Etsy, so I scoured a bunch to get my favorite wording and then went to work laying the text out in Photoshop (you could just as easily use Word, PowerPoint, or another word processing program). This one is sized at about 12" x 22". I used the same process of printing a mirror image and taping it to the board, then painting over it with water and burnishing the ink onto the board.

Handmade playroom rules ink transfer art | A Crafty Wife

In my first attempt at this, I painted the board a light blue-gray (the same color as our kitchen - we had the paint already), but I didn't think the ink was dark enough after I transferred it. I forgot to snap a pic of this for comparison, but let's just say you'd have to be within 3 feet to read it clearly. I even attempted to carefully paint over the ink with watered down black acrylic paint to give it a watercolor effect, but I didn't like how it looked.

So...it was back out to the garage to see what other paint colors we had on hand. I ended up going with white (I think I actually used trim paint) since that would be the clearest to read and just painted over the entire board (2 coats to cover it all up). For a little contrast, I painted the edges black.

Handmade playroom rules printer ink transfer art | A Crafty Wife

Not counting my do over time or paint drying time, I would guess this entire project was about 3 hours of actual work spread over several days. The longest chunk for me was the Photoshop portion - getting the fonts, sizing, and overall layout how I wanted it. In the end, I'm happy with how it turned out, even if it does look a little less polished than the cute ones on Etsy. Total cost = $0 since I used materials we already had. Next time I may try painting over vinyl lettering and then peeling them off. Has anybody tried that technique with success?

November 14, 2013

I've Got Butterflies

After we got all of the furniture for our baby girl's nursery, we were left with a lot of blank wall space. She has the biggest bedroom in the house so there is a lot of wall. I didn't want to tackle anything too big like stenciling or even painting a mural. I liked the way those look, but honestly it seemed like a daunting task for a super pregnant lady--one slip up with the paintbrush could ruin the entire thing. Plus, I wanted to do this on the cheap. Enter the paint chip & punch project. 

Make colorful nursery or playroom art with paint chips and a butterfly punch | A Crafty Wife

I bought this butterfly layering punch from Michaels with a 40% off coupon so it was under $10 (PS - if you have a smartphone they have an app that always has a 40% off coupon so you never have to worry about saving those receipt pieces). Then I unearthed the million paint chip samples I collected several years back when we bought our house and I wanted to paint every. single. room. a different color. They've been sitting in a box in a closet for 5 years. Time to put them to use. 

The punch has 3 'layers', which basically means increasing levels of detail in the butterfly itself. I found the first 2 layers occasionally left a jagged edge on the paint chip as it tried to punch through (see the gray butterfly in the pic below? The punch didn't even cut all the way through the paint chip. No bueno.) The 3rd layer, also the most detailed, was great. I punched away to my heart's content on a variety of colors and shades. I knew I wanted the finished art to be colorful and happy feeling.

Use old paint chips and a butterfly punch to create colorful artwork | A Crafty Wife

After punching a bunch, I arranged the butterflies in a random grid, spreading the colors out across 4 groupings of 9 butterflies each. I bought 4 5 x 7 white frames from Target and used white textured resume paper I had on hand (it's thicker than printer paper but not as thick as cardstock, and I liked the subtle texture it had) to attach the butterflies to with Mod Podge. 
  After drying, into the frames they went! Hubs helped me mark the wall over the crib and then we attached them using 3M's Command Picture Hanging Strips. If you haven't used these yet, they are FANTASTIC! Basically Velcro that attaches to the wall and to your frame. No more having to hang things on studs or patch holes left by nails.

Small frame from Target and 3M command strip to attach butterfly punch art to nursery wall | A Crafty Wife

And voila! Instant colorful art. You could easily do this with any other punch. It would look nice with a patterned scrapbook paper as the backing and all the same color butterflies in one frame too. Or make the butterflies out of patterned scrapbook paper. Endless possibilities... 

Hang a row of butterfly paint chip punch art above a crib or changing table for baby to look at | A Crafty Wife

November 10, 2013

Ink Transfer Wooden Wall Art

As the hubs and I were brainstorming on what we wanted our daughter's playroom to be, I came across this on Pinterest and immediately fell in love. I sing that song to our PeeWee every time I put her down for a nap/bedtime, so it has special meaning for me. I've seen hand-painted signs like that at craft shows sell for $50, and I knew I could make one myself with the scrap wood hubs has just lying around in the garage.

First, I cut two boards to roughly 12" x 12". I wasn't very precise because I liked the imperfect, weathered look from the inspiration photo. I roughly sanded the edges, corners and front so there would be no sharp pointy things anywhere.

2 boards cut to 12x12 for ink transfer wall art | A Crafty Wife

To give it a rough weathered look, i hit the boards with a hammer a few times in random places to give it some dings. Next, I made a bag of screws and rolled that over the wood randomly as well. You can't tell from this picture, but there are a few marks in the otherwise nice finish.

Use hammer and bag of nails or screws to add a distressed finish | A Crafty Wife

Prime & paint time! I used Kilz water base primer that we already had and did 2 coats over the entire board. For paint, I liked the bright, cheery yellow from the inspiration photo and thought that would be appropriate for the song lyrics too. A small tub of latex test paint from Home Depot is about $3. Done and done.

Prime boards with Kilz latex primer | A Crafty Wife

Test paint pots are cheap and great for small art projects | A Crafty Wife

Here's the fun part! After reading this demo and this demo about how to transfer lettering onto wood, I decided the ink transfer would give me the look I wanted the best (and easiest). I played around with the lettering and layout in Photoshop (Word or PowerPoint would also work for this). Once I was happy, I printed it as a mirror image (Print > Print Settings > Mirror Image ON for my computer) so the text would be backwards.

Print image in reverse on computer, tape to board, paint with water and burnish to board | A Crafty Wife

A little tape to hold it in place, then I used a small paintbrush dipped in water to "paint" over the letters one by one - it took about 2 coats with the water. I didn't get it soaking wet (otherwise the paper would start to tear). Then, using the opposite end of the paintbrush, I burnished the letters onto the wood by rubbing the butt end of the brush over the ink in every direction to make sure it all transferred onto the wood. 

After I finished the entire sign, I took the paper off so it could dry (it took about 10 minutes to do the entire board, and I took the paper off immediately so the ink wouldn't start to bleed. It probably would be fine if you left the paper on a little longer, but I didn't try this). One coat of polyurethane once the ink was dry to seal it all in and it's done!

You Are my Sunshine / You Make Me Happy ink transfer wall art for playroom or nursery | A Crafty Wife

I ended up making two to hang on either side of the window in the playroom. Still need to hang them on the wall, but I love them already! Not bad for a total of $3 and a little time.

November 8, 2013

Here Goes Nothing...

The hubs told me I should start a blog awhile ago. Now that I'm a full time stay-at-home mom I have 2 (brief) nap times during the day that I use to get things done. With Christmas rapidly approaching, recently my time has been spent scouring Pinterest for gift ideas. 

As a result of now being a full time stay-at-home mom, our previous DINK status is now SIK (?!), so this year I'm getting crafty for Christmas so we can save some cash but still give meaningful, heartfelt gifts. We'll see how this turns out.

Due to my previously-mentioned Pinterest addiction, I have a lot of ideas spinning in my brain. In an effort to give a little love and inspiration back, I will (hope to? plan to?) share the crafty ideas as I go. I'm no expert in any of this, I just like a little creativity and fun to brighten my day. Hope you enjoy!