June 5, 2014

What a Showoff!

If you're not a proud parent, you know a proud parent, and this crafty goodness would make a fantastic gift (Mother's Day? Father's Day? Grandparent's Day?) for anyone who likes to show off their kids' art projects. Not to mention all those people (our house included) that have a non-magnetic stainless steel refrigerator and have to find other solutions for displaying oh-so-beautiful art creations.

Inspired by something similar I saw at a friend's house, I made my own brag board for hanging in our playroom. Here it is, complete with 16-month old scribbles!

Make your own 'Look What I Did!' brag board for kids' art | A Crafty Wife

I started by raiding my washi tape collection. The playroom has a lot of green accents, so I knew green would be the main color of the board. This tape played nicely with that. Then I found 3 small binder clips in the junk drawer (you could use any size).

Choose colorful washi tape and binder clips to hold art | A Crafty Wife

I carefully wrapped each clip with the washi tape, using a mechanical pencil to help fold the tape over the sides. I wrapped each one twice, just because I liked the colors and wanted to hide the clip as much as possible.

Wrap binder clips in washi tape | A Crafty Wife

Then I gave each clip a light coating of Mod Podge to seal everything in. I put a pea sized amount into each end to really hold everything down in there and prevent it from peeling off.

Seal clips with Mod Podge | A Crafty Wife

While those dried, I prepped the board, which is from an old cabinet panel hubs gave me to use for this project. It measures 8" x 24" with a routed edge to round it off. A quick hit with a palm sander took off enough of the old cabinet finish that it would hold paint. It's pretty knotty, but once I primed and painted it you can't even tell.

Cut, rout, and sand board prior to priming and painting | A Crafty Wife

I painted 2 coats of Kilz latex primer to give it a good base coat and then then I used Apple Barrel craft acrylic in Palm Leaf, painted with a foam brush. Then I broke out the stencils (the same Nueva 2" plastic stencils I used for my stenciled pots). I used chalk to mark a straight line, then roughly outlined where each letter would go so I could get the spacing right.
Nueva 2" stencils on painted board | A Crafty Wife

I used a makeup sponge to dab black acrylic paint over each letter. It helped that I had marked each letter beforehand so that I could paint the letters out of order and not have to wait for each one to dry before going on to the next one.

Stencil letters for brag board | A Crafty Wife

I used tape to hold the stencil onto the wood, and in hindsight I should have splurged and bought a can of spray adhesive. I didn't get the crisp lines I was hoping for from the paint. Sidenote: you can see in the photo above the 'h' is already traced with a paint marker. I did this hoping it would give me clean lines that I could then paint in, but even that ink bled a little. Yay for the humid South.

So, discouraged by the rough looking letters, I very carefully traced the outsides with a paint marker. This definitely helped, but the color was not quite the same shade as the paint.

Use a paint pen to trace edges of stenciled letters | A Crafty Wife

It almost looks silver from this angle. Trust me, it's not.

After the paint dried, I went through hubs' stash of loose screws (please tell me someone else has one of these too?!) and found 3 matching ones. I marked where I wanted them on the board and then just tightened them in with some ol' elbow grease.

Use a screwdriver to attach 1/2" screws | A Crafty Wife

I hooked the binder clips over each screw and for good measure added a dab of hot glue to the back of each one just to make sure they're not going anywhere.

Attach binder clips to brag board | A Crafty Wife

Here it is on the playroom wall, proudly displaying some crayon art and a little watercolor!

Make your own 'Look What I Did!' brag board for kids' art | A Crafty Wife

Make your own 'Look What I Did!' brag board for kids' art | A Crafty Wife

Does anyone else have fun ways to display scribbles or other kid-created art?