Posts Tagged ‘wood’

Elia’s Nursery

August 25, 2013

My dear friend, Tricia, asked for my help with decorating her daughter’s nursery and I was so honored/excited to help! She didn’t want the nursery to be pink and overly “girly” but more simple, neutral and modern.

I started out by making her this reclaimed wood wall art with the verse Psalm 139:13; it stands out beautifully against their soft cream paint color.

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My next, larger project was inspired by this image that Tricia found on Houzz.com of a large tree wall decal:

The actual decal could have been purchased online but it was pretty expensive and I knew that I could create something similar using wallpaper…my plan was to order one roll for the trunk and branches and also order a bunch of samples online for the many green patterns of the leaves. I tried ordering the roll for the trunk through Lowe’s but it kept getting back-ordered {3 months, what??} so I ended up finding a similar pattern online that worked perfectly. The samples I ordered from three different wallpaper sites, they were on average between $1-5 per 8.5×11″ sample and one site had the option to order over-sized 20×20″ samples too. I made a cardboard template and used it to trace the leaf shape onto the samples; it took me a few hours of tracing/cutting/TV-watching to get them all cut out {there ended up being about 100 total}.

As a dry run before committing to actually cutting my wallpaper I made a template for the tree trunk out of white paper. Here it is on the floor with a few leaves placed around…

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Once I was sure the shape of the limbs would work well with the room I traced the template onto the roll of wallpaper and cut everything out. Then it was time to hang some wallpaper! I have to admit that I was a little afraid because I’d never messed with wallpaper before but it was actually pretty simple since I made sure to buy pre-pasted wallpaper. Most websites recommend completely submersing your pre-pasted wallpaper in a tray of water to activate the paste and then booking the paper before hanging BUT thanks to a small test piece I discovered that I could get away with simply using a spray bottle to wet the back of the wallpaper and after 30 seconds the paste was activated and gooey enough to hang.

With a drop cloth on the ground I laid out each piece of the limbs, one by one, sprayed the back with water, allowed it to sit for a minute, then lined it up on the wall with the trunk and smoothed it out a bit with my fingers. Then with a rubber wallpaper roller I smoothed it out even more, making sure to push out any bubbles and seal the edges. Here’s the trunk and limbs up on the wall…

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After a few days of drying time I came back to apply the leaves. Now with the full roll that I ordered I could ensure that it was pre-pasted but with all the samples I had no idea if they would be or not…turns out the samples were not pre-pasted so I had to actually apply paste to them. I bought the smallest bottle of paste that I could find and it came with a tiny roller attached to it making application super easy {Lowe’s actually has a wallpaper section with all the tools you’d need, HD didn’t have anything in store}.

With all of my leaves laid out on the floor making it easy to grab whichever pattern I wanted, I got into a rhythm of applying paste to 4-5 leaves and then finding a place for them on the tree. I tried my best to keep the layout looking random, making sure to keep like patterns and colors separated.

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And here’s the finished product! I love the many shades and patterns of yellows and greens, they all work together so well! I think the best part is that this is something that can grow with little Elia for many years to come, it’s not just limited to the baby years.

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Reclaimed Projects

August 24, 2013

Remember my first reclaimed wood project using boards from an old pallet? Well since then I’ve made a few more and I’ve managed to streamline one step in the process…weathered board acquisition. Literally prying dry, brittle boards off of pallets didn’t make much sense because not only would at least 50% of the boards split but the patina and color aren’t consistent from pallet to pallet. So I did some searching on Craigslist and found a fencing company nearby that sells the old, weathered fence boards that they remove before building a new fence.

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It’s a nearly endless supply and their prices are great, not to mention I can sift through piles of boards to find the exact ones that I want.

This one was made from two wide fence boards for a friend’s nursery {separate post coming soon!}.

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And this was just a small, quick project for a friend back home. I’ve always loved this quote :)

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The next step in making this process faster will be to buy a Silhouette cutting machine, it’s basically like a printer that cuts designs out of paper. With a $300 price tag I’ll be saving my pennies for a while but I’m definitely considering it because I could use it for a million other things too!

Trash to Treasure

February 26, 2013

Every day when I leave our complex I drive past the dumpster and a few weeks ago I noticed an old pallet waiting to be thrown out. I thought to myself, I could make something with that. But for weeks and weeks there it sat, leaning against the dumpster, because I never made the time to haul it home. I kept expecting it to be taken away with the trash but week after week it remained until I finally had a free weekend to get creative! So Mark loaded it into the back of the Jeep, drove it over to our building and carried it up two flights of stairs to our balcony {thanks, love}.

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I put on some gloves, grabbed a hammer and a crow bar and got to work; and boy was it hard work getting those planks off. Half of the boards were split or broken to begin with so I had to be careful not to ruin the others while prying the nails out.

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I ended up with four unbroken boards which I then arranged together…

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…and using a few smaller pieces and some wood screws on the back I secured them all together. The great thing about this project is that I didn’t have to worry about the boards being square or perfect in any way since the idea is for it to look as rustic as possible.

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Next was the hard part, deciding what to put on it and how. My inspiration came from some pallet art ideas like this one that I had seen on Pinterest and for sale on Etsy. I experimented on scrap wood with different types of paint, stencils and oil stains to see what looked the best on the brown and grey weathered wood. In the end I went with plain white craft paint simply because I already had some in my stash which meant I didn’t have to go out and buy anything :)

As for what to write on the boards, I wanted to display one of my favorite bible verses, Proverbs 3:5. This was my confirmation verse in middle school and it continues to be one of my favorites. I created a paper stencil from my computer, cutting the letters out with an X-acto, taped the stencils onto the boards and then lightly applied the craft paint with a cheap brush, dabbing most of the paint off of the brush first so as not to flood the stencil.

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And here’s the finished product! The wall above our desk has been empty since we moved in so it was the perfect place for my pallet art. I am so in love with how it turned out and the best part is that this project was 100% FREE!

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