Monday, January 14, 2013

My very first-ever crafty post!

I love crafty stuff. I pin crafty stuff. I purchase crafty stuff...or get my daughter to craft things for me.
But I decided today to just go for it. Attempt to craft something. The challenge: I planned to use only things I had in the house (which included some 8x10 prints of the family photos Justin Bufkin did for our Christmas cards). So here's how it happened...
(prepare yourself for the longest first-ever crafty post ever!)

First, I've been to three different "painting parties" - a "Corks and Canvas" fundraiser, one at our church and one at a friend's house. All three were very fun experiences with skillful artists and good friends, wonderful snacks and, well, painting. But each time I came home with a 16 x 20 canvas of a painting that I would really never consider hanging anywhere in my home...

Lovely, right?
So, anyways, these canvases were laying around in a closet and then I saw this:

over at the handmade home (my absolute new favorite home decor blog!) and this:

over at The Lettered Cottage (a longtime favorite) and an idea was born! I think both of these bloggers created the striped...what would you call it? It's not a frame, not a mat...a background? Anyway, I think they painted MDF to make theirs, but I had canvases, so I thought I might adapt the idea.
So, over Christmas, I got some Gesso, which is used like a primer for canvases. And Jess helped with the Gesso part...

It took a couple of coats and it was, uh, textured, due to the heavy, globby art beneath, but I embrace imperfection when it comes to craftiness...and home decor...and, well, pretty much everything. The Gesso'ed canvases just laid around for a few weeks as we wrapped up Christmas activities. Then, in the midst of the recent cold, freezy, rainy spell, I pulled them out, grabbed some brushes, some leftover wall paint, a few things of acrylic paint in the art bin (I think left over from when the kids had art in high school) and some painter's tape. I gave the canvases a base coat of the wall color in our living room (it's called polished silver, I think). Then I decided to measure four-inch stripes and do two horizontal and one vertical. (I actually dummied this out on a piece of paper to help me decide what to paint/tape where). Then, I poured some of the wall paint into a bowl and squirted a little blue and black acrylic paint in and swirled it around until I liked the contrast with the base color, and I painted the stripes. Once it dried and I peeled off the tape,  I decided I wanted the whole thing to look a little muddier, so I squirted just a little brown paint into a bowl with a good bit of water and brushed it on and wiped it off with a paper towel.

Then it got a little tricky. I had some black paper -- just paper, not cardstock or anything. I trimmed a 1/2-inch off the bottom so it would be 8 1/2 by 10 1/2 to make a mat for the photos. I decided to Mod Podge the black mat onto the canvas, then just use double-sided tape for the pictures, thinking I could change/update the pictures over time. I'm not a big Mod Podge user, and my first attempt was a pretty big mess:

I almost ripped it off and then decided to embrace the imperfection -- and only the outer 1/4 inch was going to show once I put the picture on! I googled some tips on how to use Mod Podge (duh!) and the next two looked much better:

After they dried, I placed the pictures on using double-sided tape around the edges (Jesse doesn't think it will stick -- I'll have to update later!) and then hung them up! 

I LOVE them! This was practically free 
(I only purchased the Gesso and Mod Podge) and really easy! 
And being surrounded by my family makes me very happy.
(And if you made it all the way to the end of this post, 
you are a nice person! 
Thanks for indulging a wannabe crafter!)


Shannon Warren said...

I'm impressed!! Looks great:)

franisin said...

Fun to read about your adventure in crafting and your pictures look great!!!

Elizabeth Ann @ Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box said...

Love the verse you chose for Beth Moore's Scripture team! :-)

ashley @ the handmade home said...

Awesome Leslie! I adore your creations! Thanks so much for your sweet words. Both of those frames are actually by us... so that's funny that you spotted them at TLC. ;} Love that you were inspired, and I love what you created! ;}

I'm Jess said...

Great job!!

I love these and might commission you to make some for my house!!

Also I thought it was funny that you put, "and if you made it to the end of this post you are a nice person" Haha!

We made little Valentine crafts at girls night last night and Britney had Hannah send her a picture because she said her Granny didn't believe her when she said she made something! Ha.

love you!

Elizabeth McNeel said...

Very cute.. I am going to do the same thing in my upstairs hallway. We have lived in this house for five years and we have nothing on that wall.