Showing posts with label Letter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Letter. Show all posts

March 14, 2012

DIY Cardboard Letters [Paper Mache Tutorial]

So this is like a Pinterest challenge, times 2! I have been in love with this whole pic for the longest time. Not just for the ombre dresser, but also the giant B- this blog ain't called from Gardners 2 Bergers for nothin' yo!
Then I saw this pin about making your own cardboard letters with cereal boxes and paper mache! Say what!!  The "B" I was envisioning was bigger than a cereal box- I stuck the idea in my brain for later and that was that. Until, dun, dun, dun (that's supposed to be climatic music) I was in the gift wrapping isle and saw the answer- 24 inch gift boxes! Word! 
Now, here's how I made my own paper mache letter.
You can use any sturdy cardboard to make the letter. I think a thin cardboard would work better, like a quality gift box or a cereal box. I don't know for certain, but I'm guessing that a regular cardboard box wouldn't work that well. It seems more porous and I think the coats or wet paper (paper mache) would warp it- but if you try it and let me know what happens!
I drew my letters using a tupperware lid and ruler as a guide. 
Then I cut it out with an Exacto Knife. 
Using the cut out letter as a stencil I traced it on the bottom half of the box and then cut that baby out.
For the sides of the B I used the sides of the original box. I used scotch tape to attach the sides to the bottom. Then created the insides of the B the same way. Next you was to add the top of your letter and tape it on the same way. I probably used a whole roll of tape to make this secure. I wasn't sure how well it should be adhered and figured, better safe than sorry.

Next step- paper mache! I used this step by step for the paper mache. Here's what I did.

flour, water, paper (preferably newspaper), and your letter

You want to make the paper mache paste- it's equal part flour and water. I used about 1c flour and 1c water to paper mache the entire letter one time. {Are you thinking to yourself now that maybe I did it more than once? Yup- 3 times!}
Whisk the mixture until the lumps are gone. You have the consistency of pancake batter, it's OK to add a little flour or water, which ever you need, to get the right consistency. The paste will still work even if it's a little thick or thin- if it's a little thin it may saturate the cardboard too much, if it's a little thick it may take longer to dry. See the thick/thinness in this BH&G pancake batter pic? That's about how my paste looked.

I used our old phone book for the paper {recycling?} That's the type of paper that works best. You want the paper in strips from 1-2 inches. Don't cut them, instead tear them to the right size- torn edges adhere best. 
Really liked the mixture of sizes for different parts of the B. Curved portions did best with thinner strips where the flat surfaces would go faster with larger ones.

Wet the strips in the mixture, remove the excess then apply to your form. Make sure your apply the strips in a criss-crossed manner. There was no way I could apply the paper mache and take pics- and since I do all my crafty stuff at like midnight or later no one was around to play photographer!

After the whole box is covered you're done for the day- or the night like in my case. You should wait 24 hours in between paper mache coats. If you add additional layers when the bottom isn't dry then you can get mold. Eek!

So, I did 3 coats of paper mache, over the course of 3 days. It's pretty much hard as a rock at this point. If you had an easier letter, like I or J, then I'm pretty sure 2 layers would've worked fine.
I painted it with some 59 cent spray paint- it's the same stuff I used on my Z Gallerie lamp copy and the mantel clock makeover. That can has gone the distance- seriously!
I used some gray and some brown glaze- the faux glazing stuff you tint yourself {Behr Premuim Plus Faux Glaze, from Lowe's}- and kept layering until it looked like something I found instead of something I made the other day!
You can see from the side shot that the B is really sturdy and is probably 4 inches thick. I initially imagined it on the wall- but it can pretty much go anywhere since it's so thick. So now I have a 2 foot tall- giant- B!

I found these awesome book ends thrifting- they're bronze and amazing and I painted the lampshade myself awhile back. 
Have you paper mached lately? I have another project planned for paper mache clay-I can't wait to start, it'll be A-May-Zing!! Thanks for reading!

January 26, 2012

✥ Matthew Heller Art Knock Off ✥

I saw the pic below ages ago, probably last Spring right when I began blogging. I adore the silvery letters, the classic look of the typography. 
From the moment I saw it I knew it was meant to sit over my couch, like from before I had even bought our new sectional. I also knew I just had to put "our song" on it, "Bubble Toes" by Jack Johnson. That was before I knew the name of the art- it's "Homage to Music" check it out m-kay, Matthew Heller and I are on the same wavelength for this one. Oh- and in case you were wondering, Molly Sim's has Heaven by Bryan Adams.
And here's a pic of the same piece from the artist's {Matthew Heller} website.
I like the pic from Molly Sim's home a lot more- the words look much softer and purpley- probably from photo editing or maybe the lighting in the room- but whatever the case I dig it.

This project was a real pain the buttocks. Like serious. I don't think I would ever do it again, well, maybe I would BUT NOT the way I did the first time.
Here's how it went down.
1] I scored a super large "piece of art" many moons ago at the close of a yard sale. Yes, sometimes being the last stragglers into a yard sale can score ya a massive piece of original Santa Fe art {and the before pic seems to be MIA, since I took it a million years ago last summer!}

2] Have it sit in your spare bedroom/office/"trash pit for projects" for months while you decide what color the frame will be. Prime the frame and the whole painting to cover the Santa Fe-ness. Wait an inordinate amount of time, decide on oil-rubbed bronze and finally spray paint the sucker during a wind storm off your third floor balcony.
{3rd floor balcony and wind storm optional, in fact- avoid them if at all possible.}
3] Because I was repurposing this canvas I had to level out some of the crazy shrubs painted at the bottom. The artist had built up the paint and it stuck up off the frame at least 2mm. First, I sanded down the most prominent areas.
Then, I mixed paint and Blended Fibers Texture Gel to create a thicker paint, looking more like putty, to level out the texture a bit. I painted on layers of this mixture until I was left with a texture I thought would work for my new piece.
Then I used plain old white paint for the entire background.

4] Format the text to your song on Microsoft Word, I used Publisher. I measured my frame, then set up a text box in the same length width ratio. For example, if you frame is 24 in. by 36 in. then you would want the text box to be in a 2:3 ratio, so you could make the box 2" by 3" or more realistically 6" by 9".

5] Copy the text you've picked into your box and change the "Alignment and Spacing" so the text fills the line.

6] Print'er up- You all know I use Staples to print cuz they're cheap yo! This print cost me $3.40.
7] I use spray adhesive to attach the print up to contact paper- you know the shelf liner that comes on a roll. I bought the cheapest kind- it was like 3-4 bucks. If you spray the back of your paper, then spray the front of the plastic, then wait for a minute or two, they will be stuck together permanently!

8] Now you need to make a stencil- this is the part that super sucked. I used my Exacto knife and several refills blades to cut the letters out.
To be honest, I thought about buying a Cricket or Silhouette for this project. I thought if there were ever a project to make the buy worth it, this would've been it. But then my crazy type A personality kicked in and I was all, hey if I cut the letters out I wont' have to worry about spacing of the letters or letters not being perfectly straight. And then I thought- I can do this, who needs a fancy schmancy machine? Answer. I do, or I did.

9] The good news is- once the letters were cut out I was able peel off the backing to the shelf liner and attach my stencil to the canvas. Use a credit card or something like it to rub all over the stencil, making sure it adheres well. I had good adhesion everywhere except where there was still lot of texture.

10] I mixed versions of silver paint and painted the letters the darkest at the bottom and lightest at the top. I added a few drops of purple paint, cause remember, I was looking for a result more like Molly Sim's room.
Here's the stencil coming off-
Then the after shot-

I decided I'm not really good with random. If I copied my inspiration piece and used darker paint randomly in places my mind would constantly be looking for a pattern in the dark and light paint. So  a ombre color pallet makes a lot more sense for me.

So there you have it.
If I was to do it again, I would def use vinyl lettering cut by a machine or if not that, then plain old stencils. This project was craaazy long- but, it's good to know you can make your own stencils using contact paper, right?- Even stencils that are as complicated as this one.

Molly Sims' art piece, Heaven, measured 48” by 80”. My homemade art is 40" by 50". I would've liked it to be a little wider- but no worries, I  think it fills the space.

So that's how you do it- if you're crazy type-A and decide you want your very own copy of a super duper famous and expensive art piece.
What have you made lately?