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UWUG Project #5 Vintage Milk Bottle Label Wall Art with Free Printables

Vintage Dairy Label Wall Art Tutorial Cheltenham RoadFor UWYG Project 5 I wanted to make use of some vintage dairy label graphics that I went crazy for a few years ago but never quite figured out how to use effectively.

I get these random ideas about projects. I’m at the gym or grocery shopping and think “wouldn’t it be totally cool if I…….”

Often times that’s as far as it goes. Sometimes I make it and realize that it was not, in fact, cool at all and sometimes I put it together and think “yup. cool!” and then….. I’m not quite sure what to do with it.  Is it just for me? A product? A tutorial?

I’m tagging this as a tutorial but it’s not so much a tutorial as an “I did this. If you are not obsessed with using scrap wood you could do this too!… but more easily.”

I started off with one of drawer fronts from that old dresserTrash To Treasure Dresser Project Cheltenham Road

and cut it into three 8″ squares that I then painted white and roughed up and didn’t take pictures of (write that down.  “Not taking pictures” is a key step in this project).

With yet more scrap 1/4 ” plywood and using my scroll saw I cut three, six inch circles and printed out my favorite Dairy Labels. The circles were painted white on the edges and the dairy labels were Mod Podged into place.Trash To Treasure DIY Wall Art Cheltenham Road

I had some leftover wood lattice (1 3/4″ wide) and after painting them different colors to match the lables I made mitered frames around the squares* to create shadow boxes.Vintage Style Decor.  Dairy Label Wall Art. Cheltenham Road

*Mitered corners are not my friend. I should stick with butt joints. I was contemplating calling this post “I Like Butt Joints and I Cannot Lie” but thought that might attract an iffy crowd.

More scrap wood spacers were glued into place and then the dairy label disk was pin-nailed onto that.

A little hanger in the back and look at that.Vintage Dairy Label Wall Art Cheltenham Road

Dairy label shadow box wall art.  Maybe for a kitchen.Cheltenham Road TutorialOr perhaps just sitting around on a table that randomly has flowers on it.  You know, whatever works for youVintage Dairy Cap Label Shadow boxes.  Cheltenham RoadSo, how you can do it better and more easily?

Here are some of my favorite dairy labels for you to download.  vintage milk bottle cap printable cheltenham road

Vintage Milk Bottle Dairy Label Free Printable

Right click on the link for the high res download.

Some other great vintage milk bottle labels can be found via the super generous and crazily creative Angie at Knick of Time Interiors.

You can pick up small shadow boxes at Michaels or perhaps at one of Aaron brothers penny sales. Pop out the hardwood/cardboard backer and paint it or cover it with scrap book paper. Paint the frame (spray paint is easiest and comes in huge range of colors now).

Michaels also sells bass wood disks of varying size and you can Mod Podge your label to that and BAM! you too can have random milk bottle wall art!

Comic Book Superhero Coaster Tutorial

DIY Comic Book Coaster SetIt’s not quite Thursday but it’s time for a flash-back.

A project I did a loooong time ago for Mod Podge Rocks has been getting some attention and I wanted to do a little updating.

As you know my Etsy shop is all about coasters.  I also love comic book graphics but can’t make comic book coasters (pesky copyright law) and I thought it would be fun to share a way to make a set of that’s easy and doesn’t break the bank.

In the electrical/lighting section of Home Depot, I came across these metal blanks that are made to cover up unused outlets ($1.40 each).DIY Comic Coasters Cheltenham RoadYou can, of course,  buy round chip-board blanks for coasters and they are fine but a bit too light weight maybe.   A lot of people use ceramic tiles which are great (and could certainly be used here) but seem a bit large and heavy to me.  So I liked these outlet covers – sturdy, thin, moderately heavy and inexpensive!

For this project I usedSupplies for DIY Superhero Coaster Set

  1. The blanks – they come with a rubber gasket that will come in handy
  2. Outdoor Mod Podge (update! Mod Podge now comes in a dishwasher safe version which would be great!)
  3. Foam Brush
  4. Copies of comic book pages made with a laser printer
  5. Glue (not pictured – I used E6000)
  6. Spray paint (optional)
  7. 220 grit Sand paper

Step 1 Painting.

I wanted a white coaster so after lightly sanding the blank with some 220 Grit sandpaper (just to rough up the surface and give the paint something to stick to) I just popped them on top of some plastic cups and used Heirloom White spray paint.Geek Gifts Comic Book Coaster Tutorial Cheltenham RoadStep 2 Images

For my images I used cut-outs from a book about comics (I found it on a remainder table) but you can scan any comic books that you like and just print them (or have them printed out) on a laser printer/copier.  Do not destroy actual comic books!  It makes the nerds very angry.

Sometimes I find it hard to visualize what a section will look like when it’s cut out so I used my Fiskars Circle guide to get a sense of where on the page I wanted to cut. You could do the same by just cutting an appropriate sized hole in a piece of paper.Comic Book Coaster Set Cheltenham Road Tutorial

There are two screw holes in the blank and your paper will need to cover them. I chose to leave a little edge showing but it would also work to cover the entire surface with paper. If you go that route cut a circle a little larger than the blank and after applying it and allowing it to dry cut away the excess paper with a craft knife

STEP 3 MOD PODGING

After checking to make sure that my images were the right size and would cover the screw holes it was time to Mod Podge.

I like to dampen my images before attaching them as it reduces the bubbles and wrinkles that plagued me in my early Mod Podge attempts.

I fill a container with water and drop the image in to soak while I spread the Mod Podge on the outlet covers.

Super Hero Comic Book Coaster DIY Tutorial Cheltenham RoadWhen I pull the image out of the bath I run my fingers along either side of it to remove any excess water. After that I lay it on the surface and gently smooth it out pushing out any air that gets trapped or any excess Mod Podge (having a paper towel handy is helpful) and allow it to dry.

STEP 4 TOP COAT

After about 20 minutes I top coated the coasters with a layer of Mod Podge and allowed it to dry. I like to use a fairly thick coat as it minimized the brush marks – but, be warned, that method is a little messy.DIY Coasters with Vintage Comic Books a Cheltenham Road Tutorial

After that top coat had dried I  gave it a light sanding and applied another coat of Mod Podge.

STEP 5: GLUE ON THE BACK

I glued the foam rubber gaskets that come with the blanks onto the back using E-6000 glue. The gaskets are just a tiny, tiny bit bigger than the blanks so if you don’t like that look just use cork, some felt or some self-adhesive furniture pads.

And that’s all there is to it.

Vintage Comic Book Graphic Coasters Cheltenham Road Tutorial Just make sure you give the coasters plenty of time to cure before using them – several days to a week is best especially if you live in a humid climate.

If you use the diswasher safe Mod Podge they will be even sturdier – just don’t, you know, put them in the dishwasher.Superhero Coasters a DIY Tutorial Cheltenham RoadIf you wanted a truly hard surface on the coaster that would be more heat resistant you could use  Envirotex Lite – you can find it at Michaels.  It’s easy to work with just be sure to follow the package directions precisely.

I hope you found this useful and if you do make some coasters please make sure let me know

 

 

UWUG Project 4 Knife Holder and a Learning Curve

Vintage Sign Knife Holder tutorialMy parents are Life-Long-Learners. In their 90s they are taking classes at the local college – history, literature etc. Always learning. Very admirable. I, on the other hand, am not a learning fan.  Or, more specifically, not a fan of the learning curve. I want to know exactly how to do everything right out of the box. I don’t want to look at the map I want to know where I am!  I want to come up with an idea for a project and execute it flawlessly. Weirdly, it juuuust doesn’t seem to work that way (I get lost a lot too). For UWUG Project #4 I thought it would be cool to make a knife holder that was a vintag-y sign. Simple!  Totes know how to do that! And then the dreaded learning curve kicked in. OK, supplies: Another piece of that old  dresser (another of the drawer sides like I’d used for the scrap wood trays) painted and distressed.Trash To Treasure Dresser Project Cheltenham Road Some magnets I had lying around for…..no apparent reason (where do these things come from? Who buys them and why do they keep leaving them at my house?) and a few strips of scrap wood.Magnets for DIY Knife Holder Cheltenham RoadI laid out my knife collection on the board and drew around them just to get a rough placement.How to make a vintage sign and knife holder Cheltenham Roadthen came up with a simple graphic – just textVintage Sign Knife Holder Tutorial Cheltenham Road I printed it out in reverse and, using the Lenk tool, transferred it to my painted wood base. I used scrap wood strips to make a little red frame around the sign just to give it some pop. Just strips of wood painted red and glued around the edges – butt joints again – nothing fancy. I marked where I wanted my magnets to goHow to make a vintage sign and knife holder Cheltenham Road drilled shallow holes with a forstner bit Scrap Wood Sign and Knife Holderand glued them in place using trusty E6000. Done! Nope! It turns out that the wood surface is a bit uneven so my carefully drilled holes weren’t all the same depth. That wasn’t a problem for the knifes that only had one magnet to hold them in place but for the bigger knives I’d used two magnets which were now at different levels and….no worky. So I drilled them out and did it again.  All nice and level. Done! Nope! All the knives gave a solid, reassuring click when placed on the magnets and then, when I tilted the sign up like you would on a wall, all the knives just gently slid down and crashed to the floor (no I did not stab myself in the foot…..I came close to stabbing myself in the foot which is VERY DIFFERENT!….Nicki…..) Awesome. Why hello drawing board. I have returned!  Did you miss me? I had some more magnets (still no clue why) – smaller, more intense. More holes were drilled. Small magnets were glued.knife holder tutorial Cheltenham Road Done! Nope! These magnets were so magnetty that when I put the big knife on it it defeated the glue and yanked the magnet out of the wood. More glue and more drying time solved the problem. Done! For reals! I had learned. I had curved. And next time will be super easy.Vintage Sign Knife Holder Cheltenham RoadNo, the knife on the end didn’t fall off.  I had created a tableau – cause I’m artsy like that.  I picked flowers!  I baked banana bread!   But then realized I couldn’t quite get the tableau in the picture. Better. Make a vintage sign and use it as a knife holder  Cheltenham Road tutorialOK.  Learning Curve Summary.  Notes for next time.

  • Small, super strong magnets are better.
  • Two magnets per knife
  • Drill all magnet holes to the same depth
  • I sealed it with wax which is great…..just do it perhaps, I don’t know,  before you glue the magnets in place (I got ahead of myself)
  • Give E6000 lots of drying time
  • wear shoes.  just in case.

YTTSMain5hostsHome Stories tutorials-tips-button

There is Always A Day Job And Proper Blog Usage

The Use What You’ve Got scrap wood project has really got my mind exploding with ideas.  I’m having a great time coming up with things but I’m having trouble getting to them because I have orders to fill.  And it is kind of slowly dawning on me that “Oh!  coasters and signs are my day job.  I guess there is always going to be a day job.”

What is kind of awesome is that, for the first time in my life, I really enjoy my day job.

And what is making it even more enjoyable of late is a run of customers coming to me with ideas that make me think outside the David box.

Lindsay wanted a HOME sign but asked if I could find some vintage cherry labels and do a collage that would go with the style of her kitchen.Wood Letters HOME sign with Vintage Cherry Label collage Cheltenham Road

Vintage Kitchen HOME SignIt was such a fun idea and I wouldn’t have thought of it on my own I’m pretty sure.

Next Susan wanted a Subway Sign but with some rules for her family.  Not a new idea really but I’ve never done one before and I like her rules a lot.Custom Family Rules Subway Sign by Cheltenham Road

Custom Family Rules Subway Graphic Sign by Cheltenham RoadAnd finally, Kevin got on a baseball kick after buying some Cardinals Coasters from me and, between us, we came up with these baseball themed coasters as gifts for his friends.  We made a few using the classic subway graphics that I’m so fond ofClass Baseball Field Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

Subway Graphic Baseball Field Coaster Set by Cheltenham RoadAnd a few using vintage postcard graphics from classic ball fields.Vintage Baseball Stadium Coaster Set Cheltenham RoadEbbets Field.  Classic Baseball Stadium Coaster Set Cheltenham RoadI do feel very, very lucky to have a business where, not only do I get to stretch my imagination on my own but the customers pitch in!

And now a little business to take care of before we part.

I’ve become aware that some of you may be reading this blog with the wrong intentions. Approaching it, perhaps, as others might view the Indy 500. Sure, you say you’re there for the fun of the race but really, in your heart, you’re hoping for a crash.

I became aware of this fact when my friend Nicki told me that she thought of me when she burned her hand on a glue gun and was reminded of my experience with the heat gun.

My friend Nicki then told me that around her house a bozo, injury causing move was referred to as “pulling a David.”

Well, we laughed and laughed and then I said to my former friend Nicki: “former friend Nicki I don’t think you are taking the correct message from this blog” and I asked her to please return her Cheltenham Road membership card and decoder ring.

Admittedly I was perhaps feeling a bit sensitive having just (I’m not kidding) smacked my head into the underside of the giant hinge that holds my garage door open.

Again.

No stitches. But hats will be a major player in my Spring wardrobe.

Anyway. I just wanted to bring to your attention that this blog is not intended to be the America’s Funniest Home Videos of the cyber world.

Thank you.

UWYG Project 4 – Make Rustic Wood Trays from Scrap Wood

Make a tray out of scrap wood tutorial by Cheltenham RoadI have a billion projects going on at once.  It’s great and I thought “oh perfect I’ll be able to post regularly and a often!”  My goal was to do posts on Mon, Wed and Friday.

Happy Friday everyone…….and welcome to my second post of the week -because I think hat having goals is awesome but meeting them is totally over rated.

So you may recall my whole Use What You’ve Got Challenge started when I decided that, rather than trashing this old dresser, I’d see what I could make out of it.  Trash To Treasure Dresser Project Cheltenham Road The first thing I made out of it was a big pile of crap.scrapwood pileSo many possibilities! (including tetanus – man there were a lot of old rusty nails)

I thought the (former) sides of the drawers  might make good trays so I grabbed them and a few lengths of  1/2″ x 1.5″ lattice strips that were leftover from a previous project.Scrap Wood Tray by Cheltenham RoadI sanded and painted the scrap a basic white.*Image Transfer Tray Tutorial by Chelteham Road I decided to make them speak French and after perusing the ever-valuable Graphics Fairy website I had a couple of fun designs and one of my own creation.

Once the paint had thoroughly dried I printed out my reversed graphic and taped it in placeImage Transfer to Wood Tutorial Cheltenham RoadI’ve become a fan of my semi-dangerous Lenk tool – it’s easy to use once you get the hang of it (you can my more detailed Lenk tutorial here) Lenk Tool for Image Transfer  Tray Tutorial by Cheltenham RoadAfter the transfer was done I sanded away around the edges of the piece and sealed the whole thing with a coat of Matt Mod Podge.  French Flower Market Graphic Image transfer to wood tutorial by Cheltenham RoadI’d previously cut and painted the lattice pieces for the edges so now I just  glued and nailed them into place.  I opted for simple butt joints rather than miters.

My intention was to pour a coat of Envirotex Lite on the trays so I needed to really make sure the seal between the base and the sides was solid.  Envirotex is awesome but it will find any tiny gap and pour through it with alarming and messy speed.  I just ran a bead of Mod Podge along the inside edge filling in any voids or gaps.  The Mod Podge will dry totally clear so, once the Envirotex is poured you’ll never see it.Seal the edge with Mod PodgeAlso, because I recently found out that Envirotex won’t stick to basic, transparent tape I ran some along the edges on the bottom just in case I’d missed any gaps with the Mod Podge.Tray Tutorial Cheltenham Road After all the Mod Podge sealing was dry I poured the Envirotex.  Envirotex is easy to work with but only if you follow the manufacturers directions to the letter.

For efficiency I actually made three at once in different colorsFrench Ephemera Scrap Wood Trays TutorialFrench Flower Market Scrap Wood Tray by Cheltenham RoadAnd I used the leftover drawer handles from the dressers for the tray handles.DIY Tray Project from Salvaged Wood by Cheltenham RoadSo that’s Use What You’ve Got project number 3!Image Transfer to DIY Salvaged Wood Trays by Cheltenham Road

*Other thoughts and a Learning Curve:

1) The Lenk tool is great but it does work via heat.   For my first attempt I had under-painted the tray base.  I did a coat of green paint then white paint then sanded away the white so some of the green showed through.  It looked great but the heat from the Lenk tool melted the paint a bit and caused discoloration and a tackiness so I had to sand everything off and start again.

2) My graphics are printed with a laser printer.  I don’t believe the Lenk transfer process will work with an ink-jet.

Knick of Time Inspiration PartyHome Stories tutorials-tips-button

The Third Wine’s the Charm

Book Club Wine Charm Set Cheltenham RoadSo I thought, “wine charms! piece of cake! Easy! I’ll whip these bad boys out just as soon I finish this pie and fall off this log!”

******************************2 weeks later ***************************

“Stupid wine charms! Whose dumb idea was this?!………….. Taking forever…………”

*****************************4 weeks later ******************************

1 sets down! 10 more to go!!!!!!!!

I have to confess I often start off this way. The idea seems so straight-forward. So within my grasp. What could go wrong?!

And then reality hits.

You’ve gotta actually design the things because although Jane Eyre is in the public domain the actual book covers are…..not so much.Jane Eyre Wine Charm Book Club Wine Charm Collection by Cheltenham Road on Etsy

Then you have to figure out how. exactly to create them.Book Club Wine Charm Set by Cheltenham Road

Then you’ve got to round up (affordable!) resources so you can (hopefully) make them again and again.

(and I did thanks to my awesome sister and her husband who can make pretty much anything and run a little company called  PRPromotions)

And then, just when you think “done!” you are reminded that you’re a one-man-show and the packaging isn’t going to design itself!Wine Charms made from Classic Books by Cheltenham Road on EtsyBut then, happy and feeling like you’ve figured it all out you move on to design idea number two  and are confronted with the cold truth:  You don’t remember your High School French as well as you’d hoped.French Language Wine Charm SetAnd you can’t think of what to put on the “F” which will be for the designated driver:Designated Driver Wine Charm French ABCsAnd then you buy an new camera and become……focus challenged. Not that you can’t focus on what you’re doing but rather you can’t focus the camera on what you’ve done!what the

And you took 5 bazillion pictures that way…….

And then you think “clearly it’s time for a drink…….wait!, where’s my glass?……………Dammit!!!!!!!.  Oh the irony!”

PS: the Book Club set is up and ready on Etsy.

PPS: so much for my protestations of how my blog posts should always be helpful or educational….unless you count this as a cautionary tale I guess.

UWYG Scrap Wood Project #2

Los Angeles Wood Letters Vintage Postcard Collage by Cheltenham RoadI have never taken a selfie.

I can never think of anything to post on Facebook.

I don’t throw birthday parties for myself.

In truth, I’m just not comfortable being the center of attention or calling attention to myself (you may be thinking to yourself “acting is an odd career choice for such a person” and you’d be right).

Anyway, blogging is kind of a challenge for me as well because it never feels right to just make a post that essentially shouts “hey, look at me!!! Look what i did!”

I mean, obviously, I get over that but my intention is always to share useful ideas.

My plan with the Use What You’ve Got Project was to present the stuff as tutorials or at least semi-tutorials.

But I was under a slightly self-imposed deadline to get new things to the CoOp 28 store.

So, welcome to a second LOOK AT ME!!! post.

Sorry!

The Mindful Nest store requested one of my super large Beach SignsWood Letter Beach sign by Cheltenham Road

which left me with some oddly shaped scraps.

I thought “why not stick with what you know for the first project:” Letter cutting and gluing stuff to wood.

I’d previously made that smaller (meaning 12″ tall) version of my LA collage sign.

And I had all these postcards for my Etsy HOME signs.

So I expanded to Chicago:Vintage Chicago Wood Letter Collage by Cheltenham Road

Vintage Chicago postcard collageSan FranciscoHand-cut wood letters by Cheltenham Road.  San Francisco vintage postcard collage

and finally New York.11 inch high wood letters vintage New York City collage by Cheltenham Road

Each letter is 11″ tall and the bases are made of scrap as well. The letters are attached with (leftover) dowels so they can be left on their base or removed and hung on the wall.

Now that particular wood pile is pretty depleted. Perhaps I should make smaller letters for smaller towns?

I promise that further entries in this series will be more useful.

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