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Library Card Book Ends

It has been a great couple of weeks for commerce – tons of Etsy orders, custom jobs and new stores carrying my work.

I’ve been plugging away in factory-mode but a little bit short on the “new ideas!” side of things.

Happily,  The Muse (Geralyn) has her head in the game and came up with a really fun idea for some very easy-to-make, inexpensive bookends.

And I came up with a good way to mess it up! (more on that later).

Here is what I used:

 

  • Metal Bookends (from Staples $7)
  • 2 pieces of 1/2″ MDF cut to 4.75″ by 7″
  • 2 library card prints done on a toner based printer
  • Waverly Super Premium black acrylic paint
  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Foam Brush
  • Lock-Tite glue
  • Painters tape (not pictured)
  • Craft knife (not pictured)

I started off by marking where the metal bookends would connect with the MDF panels.

After painting the back and sides with the Waverly Paint I set them aside to dry.

After they’ dried I used Matte Mod Podge to attach the vintage library card graphics to the MDF smoothing out any wrinkles or bumps with my fingers.

Once that dried I trimmed away any excess paper using a sharp craft knife.

So far so good!  Everything was going swimmingly and I could sense the wave of praise that would come my way when it was all done.

All I had to do was glue the wood part to the metal part.

Child’s play!

……..I think we know where this is going don’t we……

Now, I’m sure your thinking, “David it’s just some industrial strength glue that allows almost no-margin-for-error.  What could go wrong?”

To which I say: “you must be a new here.  Welcome to Cheltenham Road!”

OK, so I applied the glue to both the metal bookend and the unpainted back of the MDF and then stuck them together.

I used some painter’s tape to hold them in place tightly as they dried

Can you spot the minor problem?

Yeah – they’re backwards.

I glued them together backwards.

The long sticky-out part of the bookend supposed to go UNDER the books…..

Upside?I did’t glue myself to anything and I can testify now that that glue works really well!  They are super attached!

Downside: they are super attached backwards.

Ah well.

But they still work and you still get the idea.

And, of course, Geralyn’s concept could be adapted to suit any interest:

You could use copies of actual book covers, tickets, photographs, favorite quotes, copies of children’s drawings – the sky is the limit!

But, if you wanted to make these exact ones then here are my library card designs Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Bookend Print Sheet

Just, um…. glue them together the right way and you will be golden!

 

Ikea Lazy Susan Becomes a Versatile Chalkboard Serving Tray and I Eat a lot of Cheese!

Penmanship is not my forte.

At all.

I was once told by a friend that I had “the handwriting of a serial killer.”

It could make a guy self-conscious.

I include a handwritten notes with every Etsy order I send and I always picture the customer opening the package and exclaiming: “oh look honey!  Jeffrey Dahlmer sent us some coasters.  How thoughtful!

So, while I have admired all the cool chalkboard art and lettering that you see all over the place it seemed pretty thoroughly out of reach for someone with my, um, limitations.

But the folks at Folk Art have come to my rescue!

As part of my Plaid Ambassadorship they sent me Chalkboard Paint, their new, smudge-proof, erasable, liquid chalk as well as line of stencils that let you create that cool, handwritten text. 

I was eager to try them out but not sure what to make.

A while back, on a whim, I’d picked up a $10 lazy susan from Ikea and I thought it would be cool to make a versatile, chalkboard, lazy susan for parties and such.

The chalkboard paint was easy to apply – two coasts with a light sanding in-between and then a 24 hour cure time.

I liked this product (I’ve used chalkboard spray paint in the past).  It went on smoothly and dried quickly.

Once cured, as directed,  I tempered the surface by rubbing some actual chalk over it and then wiping it away.

Now it was stencil time! …….. And learning curve time!

The stencil set is by Lily and Val and it’s actually a two-parter. 

To create the hand-lettered effect you lay down the first stencil and apply the liquid chalk. 

After a few minutes of drying time you lay the other stencil over it and complete the letter.

It took me a few tries to get the results I wanted (more on that in a sec) but I’m happy with the final look.  And  I like that the set also includes versatile shapes  – like the banner around the “enjoy” text.

It does, however, take a while to lay out a word (no Gorgonzola at this party!).  To speed things along I ended up mixing an matching with some other Folk Art stencils I had on hand.  And, of course, it’s just paint – you don’t have to use a stencil at all if,unlike me, your free-hand skills are solid.

I am not a very practiced stenclier and while the bottle of liquid chalk comes with a spouncer attached I could never, for the life of me, get it to work satisfactorily so I switched over to a standard stencil brush.

The main  learning curve for me was the amount of paint needed.  Even after I thought I’d removed a lot of paint from the brush I still ended up with paint bleeding under the stencil (Bright side!  it was easy to wash away the paint and try again).  Once I took almost all the paint off the results were much better.

And then came the test!

The claim is that the paint won’t smudge or fade but that you can easily wipe it off and do a new design.

My idea was that this would be a versatile piece.  It could be a cheese tray at one party and then a dessert tray, or condiment tray at another.  This, of course, wouldn’t work if the paint “ghosted” when you tried to remove it.

So, I let everything dry (sitting in a sunny window actually) for a couple of days.

I couldn’t rub the paint away with my fingers no matter how hard I tried.

But, a quick wipe with a damp towel and it was gone.  No ghosting.

The chalkboard doesn’t look used and grey – just back to good-as-new.  Perfect!

So, I have a multi-use serving tray AND I got to eat a lot of cheese!  BEST. PROJECT. EVER!!!!!

NOTE:  The Chalkboard paint is dishwasher safe and non-toxic.  It is not, however, labeled at “food safe” hence all the cheese is on wax paper and the crackers in containers.

The liquid chalk paint and stencils are available at JoAnn and A.C. Moore stores (Michaels carries the stencils but not the liquid chalk for some reason)

Disclaimer:  The folk at Plaid have provided me with the chalkboard paint, stencils and liquid chalk for this project as part of my Plaid Ambassadorship.  There was no other financial remuneration.  The idea for the project and the opinions expressed are 100% my own.

DIY Father’s Day Ideas and an All Ice Cream Diet

Well, for a while there I was rocking that Every-Sunday-Blog-Post thing.  It felt good!  I felt like a responsible grown up blogger…. and then….I hit the creativity wall.  Has that ever happened to you?  I just drew a blank.

Now, the standard good advice about times like this is that you should go outside, talk to friends, peruse Pinterest , re-energize and get inspired!

I chose to sit quietly, talk to no one and focus on how many different things I could find in my pantry to put on top of ice cream (my current favorite is pretzels, caramel sauce and chocolate chunks).

Sooooo…..not  much new to share at the moment.  And I thought if I presented another tray or “vintage” sign you all might rise up in (understandable) craft-mutiny.

However, the fog seems to have cleared  because I’m excited about a new project and I hope to post about it on Wednesday (I’m out of pretzels  I have to do something!)

Sneak peek – it involves an Ikea lazy Susan, chalkboard paint and a new product from the folks at Folk Art.

In the meantime Father’s Day upon us!

During my…. let’s call it a sugar-coma lull…. I did keep busy with custom projects.  I worked with a customer on a fun variation on my baseball field Subway Coasters for her dad who is a big LA Dodger fan.  So, Dodger Blue rather than black and his favorite players.  I hope he likes them!

And I realized I’ve done several Fathers Day themed projects over the years so I thought I’d do a quick review in case anyone is stuck for ideas.

I did this project for Mod Podge Rocks last year and I’ve made a few more since.  They are fun, pretty straighforward and inexpensive – click the picture for the link to the full Mod Podge Rocks tutorial.


Father's Day Gift Idea

This little pen holder is  easily customized and simple to create with inexpensive odds and ends.Simple Father's Day Project Tutorial Cheltenham Road

And finally, this photo display is made from affordable metal switch plates and plumbing fittings for a kind of industrial/rustic vibe.

OK, back on Wednesday….unless I make it to the grocery store…..

The Best One Year Anniversary Gift Idea

I’ve talked a lot about my family’s creativity.  Dad, mom, sisters – all do terrific work.

Happily, the gene doesn’t skip generations.

You may recall, a few years ago, my niece, Maggie did a guest blog post here detailing her makeover of her office.  It was wonderful!

Well, it was wonderful until she got more comments on her post than any post I had ever done and then Maggie was, of course,  DEAD TO ME.

So, while that was unfortunate and we all miss Maggie I’m happy to report that my sisters were thoughtful enough to produce several other offspring and up to bat today is the wild-card.  The only nephew.  Jordan!

Jordan is sort of the quiet one who comes up with unexpectedly great suggestions that immediately make me think “that’s brilliant!  I will totally pretend it was my idea!!!”

However, this time there is photographic proof.  And a wife. So…….

Welcome Jordan!

Jordan got married last year to the truly wonderful Kate and they have spent the year living, at least according to Instagram, the life I want to live – great meals, travel, theatre, movies, sports and extremely on-point (finger)nail art (Kate not Jordan on that last one but if he wanted to I’m sure he’d be able to pull it off).

They hit the one year mark recently and since that is traditionally the Paper anniversary Jordan had a pretty terrific idea.

He collected all the paper memorabilia from their first year together – tickets, playbills etc

He picked up a frame from Michaels.  And a matte that had a fairly small opening and a lot of surface space.

Using the paper that came with the frame as a template he laid out collage design and used a sharp craft knife to cut out the details around the matte opening.

After adhering all the pieces using double sided mounting squares (again from Michaels)

He let the the cardboard backing and the glass sort of smoosh them together into a smooth layer.

And voila!  A pretty awesome one-year Paper Anniversary gift!

Cotton is Year 2 traditionally and I’m keen to see what he comes up with (the bar is pretty high here Jordan – you might want to purchase the sheep now just to get a jump start.  Oh wait, that’s wool…..ok, I’m out of ideas – you’re on your own dude).

 

Make a Magnetic Bulletin Board

Thanks so much for the all the flattering answers to the “how did you hear about this blog” question on the Mod Podge Anniversary (giveaway) post.  I was trying to do a little market research not fishing for compliments but boy-oh-boy what a super pleasant side benefit!  Thank you!  You totally made my weekend.

And, just a quick reminder, there is still time to enter the Mod Podge Gift Basket Giveaway raffle.  You can check out what’s being given away and how to enter on this post.

Now, onto this week’s project.DIY Magnetic Bulletin Board Tutorial

Disclaimer: I used my trusty Lenk tool for this and while I love it and it’s inexpensive I do realize it’s not for everyone so I have ideas at the end of the post for easy alternates.  Bottom line, this is more an “inspiration” tutorial than a “do what I do or perish!!!!” tutorial.

 

On my recent trip home to Ohio, while poking around in stores with my sisters and neice (it’s how we roll) I saw some cool magnetic bulletin boards and I’ve been itching to try to make my own version.

Here is what  I used:

  • A picture frame
  • Muslin fabric
  • Lenk Woodworking Tool*
  • Metal flashing (found in the roofing section of Home Depot)
  • Tin snips
  • Elmer’s Spray Adhesive
  • Invisible Painters Tape!  Look for it everywhere! (or perhaps I just forgot to take a picture of it)
  • Vintage graphic(s)

*I’ve used the Lenk in numerous other projects, it’s inexpensive, useful and you can find it here (not an affiliate link).

Using the backer that came with the frame as a guide I cut out a piece of the metal flashing and set it aside.

I then cut a piece of the muslin a bit larger than the backer

taped it in place making sure it was stretched smoothly and popped it back into the frame.

I printed my graphic (in reverse) on my laser printer just using plain old,cheap, legal sized paper.  I had to print it out in two sections to accommodate the size.

I then got to work with my trusty Lenk Woodworking Tool (I have a tutorial on the details of using the Lenk here) I’ll be honest, the Lenk is great and works beautifully but doing a graphic this, well, graphicy, took a lot of patient back and forthing.

Fortunately, as always, my faithful new (porn-star-in-the-making), dog Pi was on hand to keep me company and help out.

Seriously – that’s how he sleeps!  He trots into the room, plops down on his bed in the corner, rolls over, falls asleep instantly and begins to snore so alarmingly I’ve googled “tiny sleep apnea machines for dogs” several times)

OK, I’ll let sleeping dogs lie snore and get back to the project at hand.

The Lenk is pretty forgiving when you’re doing transfer.  I’ve found I don’t have to tape the graphic down and I can check the transfer as I go along by peeling up the corner.  If I’m dissatisfied I can just lay it back down and keep rubbing.

When it’s all good, just peel away slowly and – boom!  Image transferred.

Next up was to add the flashing.

I removed the tape from the backer board but before I took the board away I marked the edges were with a pencil.

I used the spray adhesive on the metal flashing

And ,using my pencil marks as a guide, laid the flashing, sticky side down, onto the back of the muslin.

I laid the backer board on top of the flashing, taped the muslin in place and popped the hole thing back in the frame.

I had so much fun with these I had to make a couple more. I mean, who wouldn’t want a giant Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice magnet board?!  You could leave pithy, exceedingly correct notes to your family!!!!

Or maybe a vintage postcard.  There is  even a spot “for correspondence.”

If you’re keen to make your own versions there are lots of great graphics out there.

I have to do some more research on the telephone graphic but you can find the postcard graphic care of the terrific resource Fuzzimo.

And I just made up the Library Card and you can download a high res PDF of  it if you’d like by clicking this link: Library Card Master

OK – other options for you non-Lenkers.

I had never done image transfer to fabric and found that  there are tons of good tutorials linked on Pinterest.

I used the Lenk because I  had it on-hand.  It worked great but I think, for most folks, image transfer paper would probably be a very do-able, affordable option and it’s what I’m going to try next.   I’ll report back if I discover any tips or superior brands to use (or if you know of some please do weigh in in the comments).

OK, I’m gonna wake up the dog and take him for a walk.

Mod Podge Anniversary Party!

As you know I use Mod Podge and Plaid products in pretty much every aspect of my life except food preparation (and I may get there – it’s non-toxic after all).

And today, May 19th, happens to be National Mod Podge Day in honor of its 50th Anniversary!

And I know you’re asking yourself, “David (not sure why you’re calling yourself David but it’s cool) how can I celebrate this milestone in gluing history!?!?”

Well, David, I’m glad you asked and there are lots of ways!

As you can see above, Plaid is running an all day celebration on their Facebook page with tutorials, contests and giveaways.

And the good folks at Plaid have provided me with a plentiful Mod Podge Gift Basket to provide to one lucky winner.

Here is what you get!

-8 OZ. M/P GLOSS
-8 OZ. M/P Matte
-8 Oz. Dishwasher Safe Gloss
-Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium 2 Oz. Carded
-Mod Podge Silicone Craft Mat
-Mod Podge 7 Piece Tool Kit
-M/P 4pc Spouncer Set
-M/P 4pc Foam Brush Set

I use and have used all of these products in numerous projects on this blog and I assure you I will use them in numerous projects to come.  Just think how ahead-of-the-curve you’ll be!

To participate in the giveaway just:

Leave a comment telling me how you first heard about Cheltenham Road.

And visit the Rafflecopter site by clicking here and enter your email address (just so I can tell whoever wins that they won – you’re not going to end up on mailing list or anything).

The raffle runs through Monday, the winner will be chosen at random and announced here on the blog.

So Happy Anniversary Mod Podge – in all honesty I’d be pretty lost without you!

Happy Mother’s Day!

l just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a very, very Happy Mother’s Day!

I’m spending mine in Ohio visiting with some pretty amazing moms.

My mom – who, at 95, has racked up A LOT of years of motherhood and Mother’s Days (the woman knows what she’s doing!).

All three of my sisters (all in one place at the same time which is super rare) – who are all pretty awesome mom’s in their own right.

And my niece – now a mom of three – who introduced us to her latest addition, Piper (about a month old).

That’s a lot of terrific moms all in one spot!

Here is a quick pick of the multiple generations 

I hope all of you moms out there are being appropriately celebrated, flowered and breakfast-in-beded!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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