Monday, March 10, 2014

Chicken Wire Frame & DIY Vintage Clothespins

I have been wanting to try making one of these chicken wire frame display boards for ages. The push that finally got me to complete the project was wanting to use it for displaying photos at my son's first birthday party. After acquiring all of the materials, it was actually fairly easy to put together.

I started with this large open frame I picked up cheaply at a local art supply store. Originally I was looking for a used frame at thrift shops, but when I saw this it was perfect! It was the right size (23" x 27"), I loved the rustic wood finish it already had, and it was no more expensive than ones I had seen at the thrift shops. Hurray!

The chicken wire is from Home Depot, found in the gardening section. It is a standard 1" hex, galvanized chicken wire, that comes in a large roll. I laid my frame on the floor, right side down, and unrolled the chicken wire across the back. I then used wire snips to trim the wire to the same width as the back of my frame. Using my new staple gun (thanks, sis!) I began securing the edges down while holding the wire taut. I sort of worked my way around, and when it was fairly secure, snipped the final edge to fit. Any staples that didn't sink all the way in, I went back over with a hammer so they sat flush.

Here is a close up of the finished frame. I love it so much! I can envisage all sorts of uses for it, from displaying photos or Christmas cards, to using it as a memo board or card display if I do another craft show.

I also wanted to talk about these clothespins, because they make me happy. These are what I used to clip on photos at the birthday party. See that lovely patina on the wood? It looks like it could be an old, vintage clothespin.

Only it's brand new. I bought a pack of regular wooden clothespins at Target and doctored them up. I thought they looked too new and lacking in character. :)

So I stained them! I used a foam brush and Minwax wood finish in Special Walnut to give them a gloriously aged look.

When they aren't in use on my new chicken wire frame, they have a home in a wire basket. I love how they look all grouped together.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Burlap Banners

If you follow my blog, you know my son just had his first birthday last month and that we celebrated with a farm themed birthday party. For the occasion I made several banners out of burlap for some rustic and festive decorations.

They were fairly easy and straightforward to make. Here is how I did it!

I cut my burlap into 5"w x 6"h triangles. I used a rotary cutter quilter's ruler, but scissors would work fine, too. After all of my triangles were cut out, I went around the edges with Fray Check so they wouldn't, well, fray. With burlap's open weave, the threads were very prone to pulling out. I wanted these banners to last for future parties, so sealing the edges gave them added durability.

I found this set of plastic stencils at Michael's. They weren't intended for use with paint per se, but they certainly did the job. I laid the stencil over the triangle I was ready to paint, the used painter's tape to secure it down and make sure the paint didn't spill over onto the neighboring letters. Then I simply used a stipple brush and acrylic paint to stencil the letters on. I put scrap cardboard under the burlap to catch any paint that bled through. 

Once all of my triangles were painted and dry, I used jute twine and a tapestry needle to string them together. This was so simple because of the loose weave of the burlap. I made sure to leave the tails long enough to tie them in the places I wanted them to hang. Again, because burlap has such a loose weave to it, the triangles easily slide along the twine, making adjustments in placement very easy. When I was ready to hang the finished banners, I tied up the two ends, then slid the triangles along to get them centered after it was hung. No need to get them centered beforehand!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Farm Animal 1st Birthday Card

Happy Monday!

This is the card I made for my son's first birthday. I pulled a lot of elements from the invitation to his birthday party, but changed it into a birthday card. 

The sky and grass elements are images from Papertrey Ink's set On the Farm. The 1 is die cut with my set of By the Numbers dies. I love how the sun rays appear to be radiating from the 1!

The sentiment, also from On the Farm, is stamped on a Doubled Ended Banner die. The red checks are from the same set, and the horse is die cut from the coordinating dies. The red mat layer is impressed with the Chicken Wire impression plate.

Thanks so much for taking a look! You can see more details from my son's farm animal birthday party here.

Stamps: On the Farm (PTI)
Paper: Kraft (PTI), Real Red, Basic Black (SU!), white
Ink: Real Red, Basic Black, Summer Sunrise, Old Olive (SU!)
Tools: Double Ended Banner die, On the Farm die, By the Numbers die, Chicken Wire impression plate (PTI), corner rounder punch