Wednesday, April 20, 2011

wall art tutorial

in our last episode our heroine, Super Googiemomma, had joined forces with Madam Plexiglas to defeat the nefarious ways of the evil Dr. Brokenglas.

they were triumphant…but there was still work to be done. so SG retired to her Bedroom of Solitude to ponder her next steps, which she now brings to you in tutorial form.

so, here’s where we started:

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after taking it all apart, i started with the frame. it got a few coats of white primer and then white semi gloss spray paint to cover the wood grain.

then i took my silver spray paint and just randomly sprayed all over—leaving it quite blotchy. finally i watered down some basic brown acrylic paint and wiped it over the whole thing.

(you’re going to notice a distinct lack of photos in this so-called “tutorial”. i tend to get wrapped up in the artistic process…and thusly, forget picture taking. sorry. deal.)

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it has a really pretty almost silver-leaf look—that’s unfortunately very hard to capture in pictures. just take my word for it.

next up, the picture:

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i had collected some different scrapbook papers when they were on sale (usually 5 for $1 at Joanne’s or Michaels). i went through them and picked out 5 different ones that i thought worked well together—patterns to make it interesting, but neutral enough to stay in the background (which is why i didn’t end up using the houndstooth paper pictured above—even though i LOVE it, it just didn’t work)

i piled them up and cut them in fourths. (remember people—as we all know, measuring is for SISSIES)

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then just played around until i got a layout i liked…

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and attached them directly onto the existing picture with spray glue.

the mat i simply painted with 4 light coats of burnt umber acrylic craft paint.

now the letters…

my initial plan was to put clear contact paper on the glass to cut the letters out of. but because i ended up buying new plexiglass it already had a contact-paper-like film on it, which worked just as well. i think it’s safe to say this would work with the contact paper too.

i worked out the spacing and layout in photoshop elements—it’s easy to change the page size to match the overall size of the area i wanted to cover with my wording.

it’s not so easy to print out that way from elements though. so i imported it to good old “paint”, reversed it so the letters were backwards and printed it out.

i then taped all my pages together into one big sheet and taped it to the FRONT of the glass.

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(if you’re font-curious, the bulk of the quote is in “euphorigenic”, and the words ‘admire’ and ‘love’ are  “blackadder”. both can be found at dafont)

then came the cutting. i’m not gonna lie—it was quite tedious. it took me a good solid 3 hours to cut out all the letters. i found myself wishing i had chosen a shorter quote.

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but i got some good bonding time with my x-acto knife. plus, what else am i gonna do with my big non-moving 8 month pregnant self?

after all my letters were cut, i sprayed a light coat of silver spray paint on the back. let that dry, and do one more light coat…

and the big reveal…

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yay! it worked!

except…wait a minute

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shoot.

yup. missed a letter. ONE STINKIN’ LETTER.

so i laid the glass back down on my paper pattern and freehanded the ‘a’ in with some silver acrylic craft paint. it’s not exactly the same, but it’s indistinguishable enough. and now you know how to correct errors. (yup, i did it for you)

also, i took my x-acto knife and cleaned up all those little spaces that shouldn’t have been painted (like the top loop of the ‘s’ in ‘must’). just scraped the paint off gently.

once it was completely dry it was reassembly time--

new plexiglass in the frame, then the painted mat board, then my new scrapbook “picture”, the cardboard backing, restapled (carefully) into the frame to keep it all together, and hung it up in my living room…

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i am IN LOVE with it. seriously, i spent about 2 days just sitting on the couch staring at it like it was my new baby or something.

and while it was a little tedious (particularly the cutting part…but we just won’t get into how much easier it may have been with one of those electric personal cutter thingys. ptooey.) it wasn’t difficult by any stretch.

supply wise—i used some white spray paint (which I had), mirror spray paint ($3.50), brown craft paint (had), and 5 sheets of scrapbook paper ($1). if i didn’t break the original glass…and the replacement glass…i could have done this entire project for about $13.

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