I thought I'd share with you what that white block sitting behind the roses in the last post is. For this past Christmas I made these as gifts for everyone. Well...my female family members, anyway. I was searching around on Pinterest and came across this post from Shanty-2-Chic. There were several great ideas for quick and easy, not to mention very affordable, gift ideas. You can see for yourself right here.
I altered mine just a little bit, you'll see how, but not by much. These were so easy! So, here's the secret. I went to Lowe's with Noah (of course) where we bought an 8 foot by 12" board. I don't remember how much it was...but it was pretty cheap, considering how many gifts I got out of it. I asked the associate to cut it into 12" lengths. (...psst! they do this for free...FREE!) Anyway, I got 7 blocks out of that one board. Plus 2 "end" pieces that I will use for another project. Easy peasy. And so much better than hauling an 8 foot board home, right?
So, when we got home, Noah took them down into the basement and spray painted them white for me. *Be sure to paint in a well ventilated area. Spray paint dries very quickly, especially on a porous wood like pine. Just be sure to paint in a well ventilated area. He paints A LOT so he has a ventilation system set up. Two light coats, fronts and sides only. When they were dry, it was my turn.
Here are the materials I used:
* the painted wood block * hot glue gun/hot glue and epoxy (I use Gorilla Glue)
* twine * photo clips (found at Hobby Lobby/scrapbook supply)
* buttons or brads of your choice * fabric flowers (I'll show you how below)
First, after the paint is good and dry, use a light to medium grit sandpaper to lightly sand the edges and all four corners. This gives you a shabby chic worn look. There is always the option of "dry brushing" some grey paint or even using some of your scrapbooking chalk or distressing inks on the edges and corners after sanding. I didn't because I liked the clean white look.
Next, you are going to wrap your twine around the block to hang your photos on. I took my roll of twine and held the piece in the corner and just sort of did a dry run and wrapped it around where I wanted it to go, so I would know where to cut. It's easier to use the one piece rather than the roll. You have to be able to control the twine so it stays in place while you wrap and then you have to glue it end to end. It's just easier to have it already cut than to struggle with that at the end. You don't want the twine to loosen on you. Sound complicated? Don't give up...it's absolutely not.
Here's how to get it placed:
After you measure the length you want, put a good dot of hot glue in the upper left corner of your block, or the right...it's up to you. Just know that your flowers will need to cover this, so keep that in mind when you decide how high or centered you put your end pieces.
Then wrap your twine around your block. Play with it a little until you get it where you want it. Just make sure you end back at the beginning. This is sort of non-negotiable. The ends must match up so you can cover them with your decoration.
Once you get the end up there with it's buddy, put another spot of glue, and glue that end down. PLEASE be careful! I burned the dickens out of my finger (on another project) and, my Good Gracious...well, it hurt. Bad.
Another thing to remember, don't use a ton of glue here if you can help it. You will be gluing flowers up there. You don't want it to be too bulky.
Ok, final twine step. I turned my block around and made sure all the twine was sitting tightly where I wanted it, then I put little dabs of hot glue just at the top ridges of the long pieces and right onto the pieces that wrapped around the back corners, for reinforcement. The pictures and clips aren't too heavy, but you don't want your twine to sag.
(Note in the picture on Shanty2Chic, she has a lot more twine than me. I don't know why I did it this way. I have more flowers though, so I think it evens out ;)
Once the glue on the back is dry, you can lay your block down and start to play around with your flower arrangement. When you get them where you want them, lift them one at a time (so you don't forget where you put them ;) and put a little swirl of hot glue on the back and carefully put your flower back down. Be careful not to touch the back of the flower to the front of the other ones! Hot glue is not very forgiving once it smears onto fabric...
Finish gluing your flowers on, press them down carefully, especially where they sit on the twine, to get a good, flat bond. Set your block back up and admire it!
These are my handmade roses and rosettes. I used a fabric called Osnaburg that I use for a lot of my projects. It is an unbleached, natural cotton fabric used in many Primitive styles of décor and reproductive dress. You can use felt, also one of my very favorites, or anything you like.
To learn how to make these, and a variety of fabric flowers, I just did a YouTube search. Below you will find two of my favorites, and how I learned to make these particular flowers.
Next, you'll need something to hold your photos onto the twine. You could use mini clothespins painted or decorated in a myriad of ways, but these are so glam! I picked up two packs of these photo clips at Hobby Lobby in the scrapbook section, (watch for sales, or download the free app to your phone, you'll automatically get a 40% off coupon each month) then I went to the fabric section and picked up a few packs of these little gem-like plastic buttons. All very cheap and you'll have a ton left over for other projects.
This is where the epoxy comes in. It sound harrowing...it did to me, anyway. I didn't want to "mess" with epoxy. But it was truly easy. I picked the buttons I wanted to use, cut the plastic shank off the back with a small craft wire cutters, though a sharp scissors will probably do, and had them ready to go before I mixed the epoxy. It only lasts so long, you have to be ready. I use Gorilla glue, only because it comes highly recommended on any craft sight I find a tutorial on. Just follow the instructions on the package. I did all of these projects and still have a ton left.
Glue your buttons onto the photo clips and set them up where they will be level so the buttons don't slide off while they dry. Now is a good time to think about your photos...
I picked photos for everyone, too. I wanted them to have the full effect of the gift. I wanted all black and white, like at the original tutorial. Now, there are several options you have. This is what I did. I have the Walgreens app on my iPhone. It's free and I HIGHLY recommend it. You can have prints made directly from your phone, in different sizes, with different filters, ready in an hour. For my Aunt, I went on my cousins Facebook, saved a picture of her new baby girl to my phone, and had it printed from the Walgreens app. I wanted 4x4 photos, though, and the app doesn't offer those, I don't think, so I took the rest of my pictures to the local store and just scanned them on the kiosk. Made them all black and white, and 4x4 square. I could have done wallet size, or anything I wanted, but I loved the 4x4 pics. They all fit so well.
When I got home, I quickly matted them with white textured cardstock and they were ready to hang. How do you mat a photo? Oh, it's easy. I just take a piece of cardstock and lay my picture on it close to one corner only allowing enough of the paper to show that I like. Then I just 'eyeball' the other two corners and take a pencil and make a little dash where it looks like the same amount of paper to me. Then I just put it on my paper cutter and cut along the two hash marks. There! You've got a (pretty) perfect square just slightly bigger than your picture. I use Aleen's Tacky glue. It's photo safe and just a dab will do ya. It holds much better than some double sided tapes. I just dab a dot in all four corners and in a big "X" pattern on the back and a few dots along each side. Don't go too heavy, though. You'll have lumps under your picture. And be sure to only put it on the picture, you may get it on the paper where you don't want to see it. Sure, it dries clear, but...you'll still see it. It oozes. You'll wipe it. It'll get dirty, or on your picture. You'll get frustrated. You'll throw the thing across the room. It'll get ugly.
I know from personal experience.
Uh...anyway, he he...
I let my clips dry 24 hours, and the next day I put them together, packed them up and shipped them off (where the real cost came in) or put them under the tree. Instant winner!
Here's mine. I've got a picture of my mother and I when I was 8 months old in England, my husband and his family at the Transportation Museum in Missouri when he was young, my mother and her best friend when they were young girls, and my Great Grandmother Ella. What special photos to me. And the best part? They are interchangeable. You can change them up for holidays or birthdays or occasions. Whatever you like. Very versatile!
I hope you enjoyed this post, and decide to make a photo block of your own. Let me know how it goes!
Btw...maybe you're thinking, "Hey! What's going on up there on that wall!?" Came back Friday to find out...
Thanks for reading and spending some time with me,
* All opinions are my own. I receive no endorsements from any sponsors mentioned in the above post: Hobby Lobby, Aleen's, Gorilla Glue, Lowe's or Walgreens.