Thursday, November 22, 2012

It's the start of the HOLIDAY Season!


Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. friends! I hope it was a wonderful one for you and that you were able to spend it with those you love. We had a spectacular 60+ degree day and spent a great deal of time sitting outside chatting with family. It was perfect. I truly adore Thanksgiving - it's one of my favorite holidays because it focuses on gratitude, family, friends...and food! It doesn't get much better than that....unless you count the kicking off the HOLIDAY SHOPPING season! ;)

Anyhow, in the spirit of the gift-giving, I wanted to share with you what could be a really fun and "not too difficult" project for you to tackle that I'm sure anyone would love. Recently I spent a couple of days over at the Scrapbook & Cards Today blog talking about Pinterest and how I spend way too much time pinning all the eye candy and not nearly enough time "doing." So I decided to fix that. I challenged myself to make at least one item from my many pins that I've been meaning to make for a while. 
This is what I came up with:
After searching in my  “one day when I have time” pin folder I came across these gorgeous stretched burlap letters.  I had hoped that it would be a tutorial, but when I checked further, it turns out that those lovely letters are by a talented Etsy seller by the name of The Virginia House. So I did a little research on her blog and found out a bit of info to help me make some of my own.
Here is what I found I needed:  

Burlap (I went to our local feed store and bought an actual burlap bag for 1.99. I think I’m going back to buy more to turn into pillows using the cool print you can find on them!)
Wooden frames
Reynolds Freezer paper (WHY hadn’t I known about this stuff before?)
Black paint
Sponge brush
Staple gun
Craft knife

Before I get going any further, I just have to talk about this freezer paper. I had NO idea it existed but check it out – right on the packaging it mentions its specific uses in the crafty area! How cool right? It’s basically got a paper coating on one side and a waxy coating on the other. It makes perfect stenciling templates as I’m about to show you!

First, I printed the monogram I wanted onto a sheet of paper. I checked the size to make sure that’s what I wanted, then I laid the freezer paper over it (paper side up) and traced it.

After tracing, I carefully cut out the letter using a craft knife.

After the monogram is cut out, lay the freezer paper (paper side up) onto the burlap cut large enough to wrap around the wooden frame (Trust me, this is important as with my first attempt I cut a piece way too small!) then iron it on. Do not use steam and make sure to really hit the areas that have the fine cuts so that they are extra secure.

Using a sponge brush, paint the letter with paint color of choice. I think a thicker paint would work better so that it doesn’t get the chance to run. However once I did that, I came back with a slightly thinner coat to really make sure the letter was covered. Take caution at the finer areas so that they don’t get over-saturated. Let dry completely. I used a hairdryer to help speed this up a bit as I’m not very patient!

Remove freezer paper template once the paint is completely dry then stretch the burlap onto the wooden frame and secure with the staple gun.

Then display your piece of artwork with pride! (This is a shelf in my scrap room, of course!)

What I learned in the process:
1. Most of this went beautifully, but I didn’t cut the canvas large enough the first time and therefore it was extremely hard to stretch. Give yourself plenty of working space.
2. It can be a little tricky to center your monogram onto your frame once it’s been painted. Practice patience!
3. Gallery wrap the at the sides of the canvas rather than at the top and bottom so that if you want it to sit on a shelf, it sits a little flatter.

I hope this has inspired you to get your creative mojo going and I can’t wait to see what you’ve created! Happy Thanksgiving!



Michelle said...

It's a beautiful project, Kelly! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!! <3

MNJackson said...

That looks like a fun project. It turned out extremely nice.

Kerryn said...

This is such a cool idea! I have pinned many things but only ever used about two of them.LOL. I will have to have another look at them now :).