Tag Archives: DIY

How to Transfer Weird Animal Pictures onto Wood Blocks

15 Apr

I’m finally here to tell you about one of my DIY projects that I did a couple weekends ago!

I got this idea from Pinterest, and didn’t really think about it for a while… until Todd and I bought a new kitchen hutch and had to cut off some excess wood to get it to fit between the fridge and the wall. And then we had about 12 random pieces of nice, light wood that would be great for photo transfers! Each one was about 6”x3” and worked perfect for the pictures that I found.

wood

wood

Which were of kind of creepy Victorian people with animal heads. One friend took a look at the finished project (already hung in the bedroom) and said, “I’m glad those are in your bedroom and not mine, because I wouldn’t be able to sleep.” And that seems to be the general consensus, but Todd and I like that kind of weird stuff, so we’re okay with it in the bedroom.

creepy animals, anyone?

creepy animals, anyone?

So, how’d we do it?

First, it started with a trip to Staples. The directions I found online, which I link in this post, say to use pictures from a laser printer (say that like Dr. Evil, by the way). And we have an ink jet at home, so I went to Staples. Either the guy working thought I was cute or he really hated his job, because he gave me the prints for free for having to wait a few minutes. It cost Staples roughly $0.10 to make them so it wasn’t a huge loss. I graciously thanked him, of course, and then we proceeded to spend over $160 on other things. Of course.

(Note: if there are any words or things that will not turn out right if you don’t print them backwards, make sure to use a photo editing tool to turn your pictures around. Mine didn’t need this step to look normal.)

The next step was to go to Michael’s and get the two items listed in those instructions. What I didn’t know is that combined, they would come out to close to $25 (not including brushes, just the mediums). No, thank you. Fortunately a lovely Michael’s employee told me about Mod Podge’s photo transfer medium. Yes! Exactly what I needed!

Mod Podge!

Mod Podge!

The directions on the back are for transferring photos onto fabric, but it will work on most surfaces that are somewhat porous.

Next, we went home and Todd cut off pieces of the already small wood chunks to make them closer to the photo size. Four of them were 3”x3”, one was about 3.5”x3” and two others were about 4”x3”.

I made sure to follow the directions on the back of the packaging as closely as I could. I had pretty much abandoned the directions I found online at this point.

I put enough of the medium over the picture and then moved it around with the sponge brush (which the Mod Podge came with!) so that I could barely see the picture through it.

always put something down so you don't get Mod Podge all over your boyfriend's work table! er...

always put something down so you don’t get Mod Podge all over your boyfriend’s work table! er…

Next, I laid the picture down onto the wood (goopy side down). There was enough wiggle room that I could position it better if it wasn’t right the first time. Then I used the edge of the cardboard packaging (a bone stick or credit card would work too, anything with a hard, long edge), smoothed out the picture and removed any excess that squooshed out the edges. Yes, squooshed. (When you’re done, make sure to clean out your sponge brush thoroughly! Or buy a new one. I don’t care what you do. But you’ll need it later.)

they look so blank, but hang on for a day or two!

they look so blank, but hang on for a day or two!

Once I did all of them, I let them sit. The instructions say to wait 24 hours. I’m not sure if less would be fine, so you should probably follow the instructions like a good little doobie, like I did. I think I waited about 36 hours though since I went out of town with Todd.

When I came back, they looked pretty much the same. I got a bowl of water (just room temp, not hot) and my handy dandy sponge brush. I moistened the side of the wood piece with the picture on it. Some things I noted: too much water made some of the picture come off. I wanted this to happen, because I wanted the pieces to look old. You might not want that to happen, so I would suggest tipping the wood piece back over the water bowl so the excess drains off.

wet vs. dry

wet vs. dry

Next, I used my nail to rub the edge off a little bit. I found this to be an easy way to get it started, but it was a lot of work to do each piece, the whole piece, like that. I ended up using a piece of a paper towel to rub off the rest of the paper. This worked really well and gave a good shine to the picture. It managed to get almost all of the paper gunk off in just a few good scrubs.

rub away that paper!

rub away that paper!

Instead of wetting them all at once, I did one at a time. I found if they sat for about 30 seconds to a minute, they were fine. But if they soaked too long or too little, I had issues. If you’re doing a large piece, I would recommend wetting it in stages.

paper towel method.

paper towel method.

Because my pictures looked aged, I decided to let some of the picture itself come up off the wood. In some cases, I used my nail to pick off the edges a little bit. It doesn’t come off that easily, but the edges might peel up a little if you’re not careful. Of course, I wanted it to look this way, so I made an effort to peel it up.

"vintage"

“vintage”

Couth Cat

After I finished all of them, I let them dry. Then I applied about 5 very thin, even coats of clear spray paint in a glossy finish to give them a nice shine and to seal them.

glossy

glossy

Then they sat in the garage… for a while. So I didn’t put them up for more than a week. I had good reasoning though! I had nothing to put them up with! I went to Tar-jhay and got some simple sticky squares that were safe to use on painted walls and easily removable.

I took them inside next and laid them on the floor in different arrangements to see how I liked them. Once I settled on a pattern, I put a sticky piece on each back and stuck it up on the wall.

And here you have the final product! I realized once they were up how small they looked on the wall. I might move them in the future, or add more, but at the moment I think they look good since we have zero artwork up in our room besides these.

on the wall (ignore the hideous yellow that's going on, our walls are NOT yellow)

on the wall (ignore the hideous yellow that’s going on, our walls are NOT yellow)

up close (again, ignore the weird color, I tried to fix it)

And here are some better pictures of the transfers:

Couth Cat

Couth Cat

The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man

Lady Antelope

Lady Antelope

Miss Kitten and Kitten Twins

Miss Kitten and Kitten Twins

I am the Walrus

I am the Walrus and  a Foxy Lady

So that was my first foray into the world of photo transferring! I want to do something much bigger next time, like a map of something cool. California, or maybe the road to Mordor 🙂 What are your big DIY plans?

A Fixed Neklace

2 Apr

Hello, friends! Good news… the DIY fairy sent me all kinds of motivation this weekend. I not only did both of the projects I told you about, but a third one, too! Unfortunately, the spool is not quite finished yet, and the photo transfers that I did on the wood blocks are not hung.

But I know you all were waiting with bated breath for a post all about my weekend DIY adventures, so I’m going to share my other DIY ish with you! It’s a small one, but it still makes me happy.

There are three things you should know about me: 1. I like necklaces. I might not wear them very often, but I have a lot. 2. Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite poet. And 3. I like things in multiples of three. So now you know I’m weird.

But back to the necklaces. For my most recent birthday (yes, 7 months ago), a friend of mine, Kat, was super stealthy and deduced what my favorite Poe-m (ha, get it?) is. She then had a friend of hers make me a necklace of a miniature book with “The Raven” inscribed on the inside. The pendant, of sorts, also had a little tiny black bird dangling from beneath.

When she gave it to me she apologized and said she thought the chain was going to be longer, and for some reason, I waited until more than 6 months later to do something about it.

So, here’s what I started with:

the "ingredients"

the “ingredients”

– the original necklace
– a longer chain
– some pliers (not pictured)
– super glue (also not pictured, because I’m on top of things)

And here’s what I did:

 

handy dandy pliers

handy dandy pliers

 

It was a pretty simple process. I took the new chain and put it around my neck to figure out how long I wanted it to be. Then, I used the pliers to remove the book from the old chain, as well as the clasp. And then I put it all back together on the new chain! Also, not pictured, I had to glue the pages back into the book. They had somehow come unstuck so I … restuck them together, if you will.

And, voila! The finished (fixed) product:

a fixed necklace

a fixed necklace

Isn’t it pretty? I’m wearing it today with an adorable sleeveless shirt with lacy collars.

Sometime in the coming days, I’m going to hang up my new picture blocks, and Todd is going to add casters to my spool, and I’m going to bring it inside and add some books and funky knick-knacks to it. I can’t wait to show you all!

A goal without a plan is just a wish

29 Mar

Maybe that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry quote will give me the kick in the butt that I need this weekend to get some crafting done!

Because I have some big plans for this weekend. That spool that I posted about? I’m finally going to paint it. Todd is going to craft a middle shelf and add some dowels to make separate areas so it looks more like a bookshelf. I decided to just paint it black and add tons of colorful accessories, like a round cushion and colorful books. I’ve already started compiling some books that I plan to stash there, like the super cool, really old Nancy Drew books with the yellow spine. I found those beauties at a used book store for $0.50 a pop! Steal!

I also plan to try to do some picture transfers onto wood! I found a tutorial that looks pretty easy to follow (not to mention how snarky it is and I love snark) and I’m going to hunt down some pictures tonight. I found these really cool platters that had weirdo Victorian pictures on them of animals dressed in formal attire and I love them with my entire being. If anyone knows where I can find pictures like that to print, LET ME KNOW, because I want that in my house. Forever.

I’m hoping to at least get these two projects done, since we have Monday off from work.

What are you doing this weekend? Any big projects, or Easter plans? I can’t wait to get my craft on!

My Adventures in Bath Scrubs: A Conclusion

27 Feb

I’ve come to a final verdict about the bath scrub that I made. I will not be using olive oil again. At least for bath scrubs. It’s delicious with veggies 🙂

I used it again this morning and tried a different method. I used the scrub before using body wash, hoping that it would rinse away some of the oily feeling, but it did not. And the oil overtook the delicious scent of peppermint oil so that I felt like I had never even put any in. Despite all of this though, my legs did feel a bit smoother.

I think it was a good starting place for getting into DIY bath scrubs. I’ve decided that next time I’m going to use coconut oil. Or maybe I’ll even go crazy and use unscented lotion instead, like Aveeno, for extra healing power.

Making that scrub the other night though really got me in the mood to DIY all of the things. But the canvas board that I had needed to be primed, so I couldn’t paint those. I perused pinterest and found this site for two free mandala print-outs.

mandala

I printed one and spent about an hour painting it. I still had some pearlizing medium so I used that in some of the blue as well to liven it up a bit. I plan to frame it and include it as part of my gallery wall, whenever I get around to doing that.

After making bath scrub and then painting this (with primed canvas boards drying in the garage), my creative itch was scratched. Do you ever feel like you just need to be creative or you might explode?

DIY Body Scrub: Half of a Verdict

26 Feb

Good day, all. Yesterday I talked about DIY body scrub and how it’s all the rage now (is that saying still all the rage too? I can never keep up). So I decided to whip up a batch for myself.

Ingredients:

– oil (from what I read, most kinds will work: baby, olive, veggie, coconut; I used olive)
– granulated sugar or salt (I used sugar since I have sensitive skin; if you’re skin is extra sensitive, try brown sugar)
– essential oil (optional; I used peppermint!)

Directions:

Mix one part oil to two parts salt or sugar. Add a few drops of whichever oil you prefer. Because I used olive oil in mine, it looks yellowy green, like olive oil… mixed in sugar … ah, yeah. I know, obvious. But it smells like peppermint! Which is divine, and soothing. I like soothing.

This morning, after my usual shower routine, I scrubbed some of the concoction on my legs and ankles, where I’m usually the driest, then rinsed. Ladies, make sure you do this either before shaving your legs, or at least 24 hours after, since the mixture is meant to be slightly abrasive (hence the term scrub). If you don’t mind being a little grizzly (I don’t, it’s wintertime! My gams are hidden under tall socks and stockings!), go for the no-shave option.

After I stepped out of the shower, I patted my legs dry… and felt oily. I hear you, you’re saying, “duh?” I know. I rub oil on my legs, I should expect to feel oily. And since I hadn’t shaved my legs, I felt oily and stubbly. My legs felt softer though, and I think after a few more days of using the scrub, I’ll see better results. And next time I think I might use baby oil or coconut oil instead, so I don’t feel like I’m getting ready to turn myself into a stew.

Scrub Your Cares Away

25 Feb

Apparently, DIY body scrub is the new cool thing. Two different friends (in different time zones, even) posted about DIY body scrub. I’ve never purchased body scrub, and I’ve only used it once before (stole some from my then-roommate who was a total b-word [oh, and stealing is wrong, kids, she actually told me I could use it]). Maybe I haven’t used it because it’s expensive, or something? But my itchy, dry winter skin needs some reviving! I already have all of the ingredients, so why not? I’ll do this tonight and report back later this week!

In the meantime, check out Janelle’s blog for her FTM Friday (now you know I neglect checking my Google Reader on weekends…) where she talks about all of the awesome, regular-use items that you can make for SUPER CHEAP! And while you’re at it, check out Stephanie’s blog where she gives some easy-to-follow instructions on how to make your own DIY body scrub! Happy scrubbing, friends!

After Spool Project

9 Jan

Hi all. Just wanted to share a picture of something I plan to refurbish:

spool

Can you believe I found this on the side of the road!? You can bet your bottom dollar I made Todd jump out and steal it 🙂

I love the look of rustic-items-turned-furniture. I’m still playing with ideas on how to treat the wood but I know I want some kind of cushion on top. I might also add a middle shelf so that it’s easier to put smaller books and tchotchkes on it. I’ll have at least four dowels as support as well.

Unfortunately I need to wait for it to be fixed first since, as you can see, the top two pieces of wood are separating. There are also some dangerous-looking staples sticking out in random places.

Now should I paint, stain or do something totally different with it? The possibilities are endless! What are your thoughts?