Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vintage calendar turned artwork

Before finishing my bookshelf, I started another project. Call me crazy but I'm trying to cram everything in before school starts...which is tomorrow.

A few weeks ago at Borders I bought a vintage calendar (not an old calendar but a new 2012 calendar full of vintage prints). I bought it for the sole purpose of making artwork. After thinking about it for two more weeks, I finally had a plan.

Before I give you the step-by-step process, here is the final result...

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After looking for frames at multiple stores, I came up empty handed. Nothing was the right size or had the 'old' look to match the vintage prints. So, I decided to make my own.

They turned out better than what I envisioned, but it was a long 8 hours of sanding, gluing, drilling, painting, more standing, cutting, gluing, and taping. Then I repeated the entire process again and again (I made a total of three frames).

Other than being time consuming, they were actually pretty simple to make. Here's how.

Before I started, I headed to Home Depot and bought a piece of long, cheap wood (and had it cut to size in the store), L brackets (3 sets of 4), black spray paint, and picture hooks. I already had primer and sandpaper (80 and 150 grit).

Step 1-Sanding
Sand the wood. First with a rougher paper, then a finer one.
Step 2-Assemble 
Pre-drill L bracket holes

Reinforce with wood glue
Attach L brackets on all 4 corners
Step 3- Painting & De-stressing
Prime wood with white primer (sorry no picture)
Spray paint wood (I used three very thin coats to avoid drips) allowing 20ish minutes in between coats. The coats were thin and outside in the heat so they dried quickly.

After the paint was dry, I went back with sandpaper to de-stress the frame. I sanded along the edges and corners where it would most likely age naturally.

Step 4 Attaching foam board and picture
I was so eager to finish, I forgot to take photos of the final steps (oops)

I cut a black piece of foam board (from Michaels) into rectangles that were larger than the opening. Using hot glue, I glued the foam board to the back of the frame. After it was dry (10 minutes), I used double-sided permanent tape to tape the picture to the front of the foam board.

Now they are hanging proudly in the kitchen. To get a sense of where they are, when you walk into the kitchen it looks like this...

The oven is on the right and the pictures are right across from the island on the left.

I love the end product and the vibe it adds to the kitchen.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bookshelf: Part 1

Now that I have a pretty desk, I'm eager to get our 2nd bedroom/office/video game room in order. Yea, now sure how it's going to be all three, but I'm hoping we'll figure it out soon. Right now it's full of unpacked boxes and other random stuff that doesn't have a place yet.

According to the gamer in the house, our spending is on halt. I've been busy with a few projects this summer and he has gently reminded me to slow down on the purchases/DIY projects.  Slow down being the keys words there.

So, I've been forced to work with what we have. Which leads me to this ugly, brown, cheap bookshelf that I bought my freshmen year of college. It has served me well but  doesn't coincide with my new pretty white desk.

I wasn't even sure if laminate could be painted but after some research and sheer determination, I found out it could.

Laminate is very shiny, fake wood and must be covered with an oil-based primer especially made for this type of wood material before being painted. 

Through multiple internet recommendations, I went with the Zinsser brand oil-based primer. Today at Home Depot, it was described to me as 'doubled-sided tape' for paint. Good analogy.

I went with oil-based primer over water-based primer because it a) dries in 1 hour and b) adheres to laminate. I was feeling lazy and opted for the spray paint version verses the actual paint primer. I figured it's just primer and will be covered anyway. 

I learned my lesson and took this baby outside and fired away.

Remember- primer is different than paint and will not cover the object evenly. It's okay to end up with a spotted, leopard-like appearance. For now anyway.

Stay tuned for the final look!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I made a desk

I made a piece of real furniture. It's funny to actually say type that. But it's true, with my expert handy man dad on deck we hammered, glued, drilled, painted (and glazed) our way through Anna White's parsons desk tutorial to end up with this beauty...

Have you heard of Anna White? She's awesome. Instead of paying a fortune for furniture from stores like Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn she makes them herself and provides step-by-step instructions for people like me.  The desk I made is similar to the parsons desk from West Elm [found here].

It all started with a stack of wood...

We did all the construction in Pennsylvania which took about 4 hours and the final assembly and painting in Maryland.

And just because I love a good before and after photo...
The cost for all the wood was $120.00 compared to the $299.00 price tag of the original West Elm desk.

I love the end result. All the hard work and paint stains on the carpet was worth it. Nothing  like lifting the drop cloth at 11 pm to find that some of the paint bled through. What did I do you ask? Freak out, panic, utter lots of apologies, scrub the floor for hours, cut the carpet, consult professionals Tell myself it's okay and live and learn. DIY is just that. Do. It. Yourself. which leaves much more room for error.

Anyway, I made a desk and for that I'm proud.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

beach trip

I'm back with more pictures from our most recent vacation to South Carolina. We went with my college roommates and their husbands.

Yes, the city is gorgeous and the beach was awesome, but the best part was spending time with our friends.

We crammed a lot into our 7 days: we went to the beach, ate in, ate out, played frisbee golf, played card games (every night), went to Magnolia plantation, took a slave tour, had minor car problems (y'all running hot?), enjoyed the sunsets, got eaten alive by mosquitoes, toured Charleston, strolled through the famous slave market, went out for ice-cream (twice), stayed up late, slept in, went swimming, marveled at the ever-changing tidal waters, and i'm sure there is more. Enjoy the pictures.

Magnolia Plantation

Monday, August 8, 2011

almost done.

For the 84% of you [that number came from my survey. did you take it yet? If not, take it here] that like DIY projects...get ready because I'm almost done with my biggest project to date.

Any guesses?

Full reveal later this week.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

catching up

If you have not taken my five second quiz [found here] please do.

Anyway....we just got back from spending 7 glorious days in the South Carolina sun with our friends. The trip was amazing. More on that later this week.

I've got two weeks of summer left and a lot to accomplish. Why does summer always fly by? slow. down. please.

Stay tuned, I have a few posts planned for this week. In the meantime I'll be unpacking and doing laundry.