Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Repurposed Window = Rustic Burlap Photo Collage Tutorial

Getting my family to "sit" for family pictures takes lots of nagging, even more bribing and a pinch of guilt thrown in just to seal the deal.  So when it did actually happen I had to find a way to prominently display the pictures, because lets be honest I'm not sure when it will happen again! 

Thankfully, I had this old window stashed away in my ever growing pile of treasures and I decided now would be a good time to use it.  The window already had great character with lots of white chipping paint from its former life, so I used little cup hooks and picture hanging wire on the back about 1/3 of the way down from the top so I could hang the finished product and then flipped it over.  

Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of the painting but here's what I did.  After wiping down the front and getting rid of the dust and dirt, I lightly sanded the wood to chip off any loose paint then just quickly brushed on a coat of dark brown paint, then a little turquoise and finally some white.  

This is meant to look rustic and aged so haphazardly painting it is perfect, I just kept painting and sanding a little in spots until I got the look I wanted.  Be creative, there are so many great color combos to try! For this I just used little bottles of craft paint for 59 cents, so it's a cheap, fun way to tie in some new colors without the commitment of buying a gallon of paint!

After the paint was dry and distressed, I cleaned both sides of the glass with windex and then used these inexpensive little photo corners to stick the photos to the window, which you can pick up from the scrap booking section of most stores.

 The photo corners are meant to slide on the photo with the sticky side to the back, but for this I flipped the stickers around backwards so the sticky faced the front and then pressed them from the back of the window to the glass.

To finish it off I used a piece of scrap burlap and some thumbtacks to attach it to the back of the window.  I was afraid of breaking the glass while hammering or stapling the fabric and the thumb tacks worked great!

The photos look great behind the glass, obviously I am a little biased I sort of love those mugs!!! 

Because the photos, which I just printed at Walmart, are attached directly to the glass instead of to the fabric behind, I've had no issues with them falling or slipping out of place.

The window is on my "intial wall" in the living room. It's still a work in progress, but it's getting there.  The metal letters and door knobs are from Hobby Lobby.  The metal stars I have had for years, I just decided to paint some turquoise on the white ones to tie in the color.

This "W" is a cheap wood letter that I painted with left over paint from the window, added a few antique color upholstery tacks and the stapled on some burlap ribbon to the back, tied it in a bow and hung it on one of the knobs.

It's been a really inexpensive way to fill a big wall in our living room with some personal "art".

We really love how it turned out, I hope you do too! Go grab a window, some paint and a few pictures and make one too ;)


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Kids Art Gallery Wall

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  I know I'm a little late, but hey better late than never right??? I hope this finds you happy and healthy and enjoying 2014.  The holidays were wild and crazy for us, just the way we like it, still somehow time got away from me, hence the lack of posts.  But, it's a new year, and with that comes a new dedication to blogging and finally getting caught up on posting all the projects I've been working on. So here goes nothing ;)

When I painted my piano (tutorial here), which was a fabulous messy blast I might add, I needed something to go above it and a kids art gallery seemed like the perfect fit.  It was an inexpensive way to fill a large space, it got the "treasures" off of my fridge and the kids are so proud... win, win, win! So here is the quick run down on how I did it.

For the sign I just grabbed a piece of old barn wood from my stash that fit the space, so I settled on this piece which was about 3 ft. long. I was lazy and didn't want to have to cut anything.  Working with the stencils I had on hand I used 4 inch letters for the top line, tracing the outline with a pencil and then used slightly smaller 3 inch stick on letters on the bottom. 

Then I traced along the edge of the bottom letters as well, removed them and then using a small paint brush and white paint filled in all the letters.  I like that the top line is a little bigger and a different font, but you can use whatever stencils you have.  Then I lightly sanded the letters to rough them up a bit and then rubbed a dark walnut stain on the entire board, even covering the letters and the outside edges of the wood. The stain works fast so just cover the area and rub it off with a rag, if you want it darker do it a second time but once should be enough.  I love how it aged the letter, giving the sign a quick rustic look.  I also added a little Annie Sloan dark wax, but that step is totally optional.  I use it on almost everything.

The frames I had picked up at a church yard sale for 50 cents a piece over the summer and stashed away in my garage.  I grabbed anything with an interesting detail, because once it's painted the frames look amazing.  So for this I grabbed a few in different shapes and sizes, took out the glass and backing and painted them.  To hang the "art" I just hot glued twine, which you can find in any hardware section or even the dollar store, to the back on most and used a metal clip glued to another to mix it up.

Now you need clothes pins to attach the papers to the twine.  I grabbed some of the miniature ones from the office section, which I love to use, but I didn't like how "new" they looked.  A great way to fix that is vinegar and steel wool.  I've had this old jar of the mix for months and have used it on all kinds of different wood, it's a great thing to keep on hand.  To make just fill a jar 3/4 full of vinegar and then throw in a hand full of steel wool, let it sit overnight so it can do its thing and then use it forever.  I just give it a good shake and then paint it on the wood. 

But, since these are so small I just dropped them in the jar, put the lid back on gave it a few shakes and then fished them back out to dry on a paper towel. It's doesn't take long to give them a great aged look.

Then just hang them up in a pattern that you like and you are done.

Having them over a yellow piano, never hurts either ;)

This was such an easy, inexpensive project and I really am thrilled with how it turned out.

I loved the detail in this small frame and wanted to use it, but I knew it would be too small for "art" so I found this great quote chalkboard image on Google and used it.  Messy is always more fun!

Even without my little ones masterpieces I love how the empty frames look.

Twine and clothes pins, in my world you can never go wrong with those two..

no matter which way you string them!

And here it is after the "artists" took creative control of their space!

They are so proud to show off their work to anyone and everyone who walks through the door.

Changing out their work is quick and easy so the "exhibit" never gets old!

Grab some old frames and make one today! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!