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.

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