Ahhhh, what a great weekend! I love Thanksgiving! The food is great, but being in the company of family all weekend is the best! As part of the weekend's fun, my cousin and his wife and brand new baby came up to visit my aunt and uncle who live next door to my parents. We went over and visited and I got lots of new baby holding time. It was great! Here's the gift I made for them, that I think turned out really cute.
Here's my thrifty tip for you - I found the wood at my local thrift store. Cost me a whole 75 cents! As I was walking through the store one day, I was laughing at all the plaques and signs that had been really cute decor in someone's house at some time. I thought of how many signs had come and gone in my house and I had sent here to die, also. I picked one up, reminiscing at how I had once had something similar when I started really looking at the size and shape, the nicely routered edges, and how easy it would be to just sand a little or slap some new paint on it and it would be a fresh canvas. Now I had a whole new set of eyes as I looked around, not at what it was, but at what it could be. I know, I know, some of you are experts at this and easily see the possibilities of someone else's trash, but this was a whole new experience for me. I grabbed a piece of wood, a little sanding, some wood filler (of the nice wood burning/etching) and it will be perfect for a wedding present I need to make. I found a totally plain piece of wood, just need to sand the super high gloss finish off of it and another wedding present for this weekend.
Then I stumbled across this piece above. I don't know what it originally was, there was nothing on it, just wood slats. It needed a little glue to hold one of the slats that was starting to fall off, but a very easy fix. At the moment, I thought a Halloween or fall decoration, "trick or treat" or some other 3 word phrase. So I grabbed it, took it home, and it sat waiting for inspiration to strike again. Halloween came too quickly, and thankfully it never got painted. Fast forward a month, and I wanted to make a present for this cute new baby boy, who's nursery is NOT babyish I was told. I remembered this wood slat piece. My sister Leslie was visiting, so she helped me come up with this cute design all while playing a little "Dance Central 2". :) Using my cricut (and my new gypsy!) and the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge, I cut the "L" at 11" height, and the name at 1 1/2" height. Here's my second thrifty tip for you - when making stencils for painting, etching, or anything like that, use contact paper. A lot of the tutorials I've read use vinyl, but why use your good, expensive stuff when you can get a giant roll of contact paper for a few dollars. It cuts like vinyl - I use all the same settings, but it's stickier so seals better with paint or etching cream, meaning cleaner lines. Oh, another thrifty tip - instead of using transfer paper, I use blue painters tape for transferring vinyl (or contact paper.) It picks it up easily, can be reused several times, and is much cheaper. The only downside is you can't see through it. Anyway, I laid out all the templates and painted them with ivory craft paint. I just used a sponge brush and "pounced" (real technical term) all over it. Later, I pulled off all the stencils and started sanding. I wanted an "old, distressed" look to it. I sanded through the paint, and then started on the actual wood and I really liked the look it gave. When I was all done, I gave it a good wipe down with a damp rag to clean it all up.
The final verdict, I think she really liked it and said my cousin would love it! Yeah!! And baby Luke is just adorable, I just wish he lived closer so I could snuggle him more often.