Historically I have not, as they say, rocked Valentines Day.
As is my nature I would either have the PERFECT idea or no idea at all. Boom and Bust.
As a crafter I’ve also kind of skipped Valentines figuring that nothing I made really fit the theme (Valentines coasters? Seems sorta too specific).
But it dawned on me this year that the best Valentines gifts are the truly personal ones and that I could fit in if the emphasis was on the personalization aspect.
So, I figured my custom Subway Art Signs would make great, unique and memorable Valentines gifts:
I also wanted to come up with an adaptable blog project that could fulfill that “I made it just for you” angle.
And so a baseball shelf was born!
OK, bear with me – the baseball thing is just the tip of the iceberg (if I follow that idiom is my love life the Titanic?….lets not dwell shall we?) and the project is super-adaptable.
This is one of those projects that you could do a million different ways. To keep things simple I’m going to present how I did it and then, at the end, suggest alternatives and work-arounds.
- 1/2 inch plywood board
- Thin, hardwood cut into 3″ wide by 8″ long “slats”
- A print out of scans of vintage baseball tickets – I found mine poking around Pinterest
- Apple Barrel White paint
- Folk Art Antique Wax
Not Pictured (partly because I forgot and partly because, like all my projects, new ideas come to me as I go along…..)
- Wood glue
- Hooks (for keys etc)
- Wood Screws
- Matte Mod Podge
- Foam Brush
- Craft knife
Tools I Used:
- Electric Drill – makes life easier but you could just use glue
- Table Saw – for cutting the plywood.
I also sanded the edges of the backer and shelf to get on the road to a distressed look (more on that in a sec)
I then glued the shelf in place and screwed it in from the back through the pre-drilled holes.
I used Folk Art Antique Wax applied with a poncing brush to vintage everything up a bit.
I always have trouble with the antiquing thing as there is a fine line between “charmingly rustic” and “that’s filthy!” I tend to err toward the latter in initial attempts and I like this wax because it’s water soluble so if I go a little too far I can clean it up a bit before it dries (also makes brush cleaning more pleasant).
I got hung up on the hooks.
I wanted to find something cool.
I thought about making little baseballs or bats or something but that was just too cutesy (although it might work if this was a kids sports-themed room).
Regular hooks seemed boring and I was stuck until a random visit to Ikea produced these “Plutt” hooks.
At .99 for a set of three I was very, very sold!
Learning Curve: It took one try before I realized I needed to sand the metal to get the Mod Podge to stick to it but after that annoying journey of discovery I was good to go!
So, basically, this is just two pieces of plywood stuck together. The graphics on top could be anything!
- Want to stick with tickets? Favorite concerts, plays, events.
- Is your significant other a reader – make the slats narrower and scan the spines of his/her favorite books.
- How about a series of family photos? Kids photos? Or dating/wedding pics?
- Star Wars nut? scan some posters
- Comic book fanatic? scan covers
- You could skip the slats and the graphics and just put a favorite quote/poem/marriage vows across the back
- Or you could keep the slats, paint them and then transfer the text or graphic on top (here is how I do transfers)
See what I mean?
Alternates and Work Arounds:
- If you don’t want to deal with electric drills and pilot holes brackets could hold the shelf up – anything from small decorative ones to straightforward L-Brackets would work
- Home centers will cut wood to size for the backer. For the shelf you can find “craft wood” strips in the lumber section of Lowes and Home Depot that would work just fine.
- The tickets could just be printed out as one sheet rather than cut and glued onto individual backer slats.
- The slats could be heavy duty cardstock
As always, let me know if you have any questions or if anything was unclear.
This Week’s Artist Date:
I’ve decided that if I have to report my Artist Date each week it will help me stick with the program.
Although movies aren’t really the ideal activity I’m going to count this one as it was both sobering and, on the technical side amazing and inspiring. I saw the documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old.“
Warning – it’s about war and it’s sorta harrowing but worth it.
Disclaimer: The materials used in this project were provided to me by the good folks at Plaid as part of their Plaid Ambassador Program. How I used them and my opinions about them are totally my own and, other than receiving the materials for free I have been given no other compensation.