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Category Archives: Free Printables

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!

 

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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.

Vintage Halloween Candle Holder Image Transfer Tutorial

 

Vintage Halloween Candle Holder Tutorial with Image Transfer by Cheltenham RoadAs I mentioned in my previous post my Halloween Candle Holder project went waaaay south the first time (graphic transfer was pretty spotty, I put one of the images on upside down etc etc) BUT attempt #2 seems better so I thought I’d do a little step-by-step to detail my learning curve.

I started out with my basic, scrap wood candle holder.  To make it:

  • I cut three strips of plywood to 12×2″ size
  • Glued them together using wood glue and clamps
  • Sanded it smooth with my handheld circular sander
  • Drilled 3 holes in the top using a 2 1/8 Forstner bit
  • Plywood Candle Holder by Cheltenham RoadAnd, finally, painted it with some orange craft paint allowing the wood grain to show through a bit
  • NOTE:  It really is orange!  The color keeps changing in the photos but I swear it’s orange!Classic Halloween Wooden Candle Holder by Cheltenham Road

After the paint dried I sanded it again, by hand, using a 220 grit sandpaper.

  • This 2nd sanding is key – and I think skipping it was big part of my previous fail.  A super-smooth surface lends itself to a good transfer.

After that it was on to image transfer.DIY Halloween Centerpiece Candle Holder by Cheltenham Road

For this step I had my minwax Polycrylic (Satin), my images, printed in reverse on plain old legal paper, a brush, some paper towels and (not pictured, sorry!) a brayer/roller.

My “images” are just a combination of text and some clip art – (mostly from The Graphics Fairy)Vintage Halloween Design Print Sheet by Cheltenham Road

I don’t know if anyone would want to do this exact project but if you do here is the reversed print sheet in a high resolution download: Vintage Halloween Graphic Reverse Print Sheet by Cheltenham Road

After applying a good layer of  polycrylic – (good coverage ensures a good transfer)Vintage Halloween Image Transfer Tutorial

I placed my image, face-down, on top and, using the brayer/roller thingy pressed it into place, smoothing out wrinkles and squeezing out excess polycrilicHalloween Candle HOlder Tutorial

(and this is where you’ll want to have the paper towels on hand to clean up any drips)

This is another key step.  You want to press down hard and make sure there is really good contact between the paper and the wood.  Roll  in all directions to make sure you get good contact everywhere.

Drying Time:  I live in hot, dry Southern California so I just leave my stuff in the sun for a few hours.  If you’r in a cooler or damper climate you might want to let it dry overnight.

Then, using a pretty wet cloth just gently rub away the paper to reveal the image.Image Transfer Halloween Candle Tutorial

Now here is the part about image transfer that doesn’t seem to get mentioned a lot.  Yes, the graphic transfers but there is also always a super thin layer of paper left behind.  When you first rub it with the damp cloth everything will look great and then, when it dries you’ll get this:Halloween Candle Block

You can do another round or two of rubbing with the damp cloth to remove more paper but you’ll never totally get rid of all of it.

But, not to worry, once you seal it the white paper fades again.

So, on you last pass with the damp clothImage Transfer Halloween Candle Holder

use a dry cloth to get rid of any excess moister and immediately seal it with poly (or Mod Podge or any other sealer) and you’ll be good to go!

Vintage Halloween Graphic Candle Holder by Cheltenham RoadSo, the first time I tried this I ended up with a bit of a mess of poorly transferred graphics.Classic Halloween Candle Holder by Cheltenham Road

My fixes solved that problem but, this time around, they transferred so well that I had to go back in and “distress” some of them with sandpaper to get the  look I wantedImage Transfer Tutorial for Halloween Candle Holder by Cheltenham Road

I do promise to get off the plywood candle holder kick soon but, even if you have no intention of doing it I hope these projects at least spark some ideas.

And if you DO make one -please send pics!

 

Yardstick Tray and an Easy Image Transfer Tutorial

Easy Image Transfer on WoodOK, I realize, this project sorta falls under the  “yes you CAN do that but..why?” category.

And I wouldn’t argue too much with that.

BUT!

I have my reasons.

OK, to start at the beginning.

My sister who was either trying to inspire me or make me insane pinned  this terrific project from Betsy at My Salvaged Treasures  to our shared Pinterest board.tray tutorial from My Salvaged TrasuresLike all of her stuff it’s super cool and very creative.  And, of course, I immediately HAD to make one.

Stumbling block?  Not enough yardsticks.

And unfortunately, I live in an area where anything remotely inexpensive, cool and popular instantly goes from affordable to crazy.  So old, beat up yardsticks in LA cost $12 each which sorta takes the fun out of it.

BUT!

I had just learned a new image transfer technique via The Oracle at Delphi The Graphics Fairy.  It’s quick, easy, pretty affordable and GREATLY lessens the chance of me burning down my house!

I’d tried it on my new, stained, candle holders and it worked greatTea Light Holder by Cheltenham Roadand I wanted to try it out on a painted surface so why not make my own yardsticks?

Here is what I used

  • 5″ Poplar craft wood from Lowes 2 pieces 16″ long and two pices 11.5″ long
  • 1/4″ MDF for the base A piece of 1/4″ MDF cut to 16×11
  • a section of metal roof flashing (also from Lowes)
  • E6000 Glue
  • Red craft paint
  • Wood stain
  • A scan of a yardstick
  • Polycrylic
  • Wood glue
  • Metal shears
  • Pin Nailer (not absolutely necessary)

I painted the craft wood with some slightly watered down red craft paint and then, when it dried, I went over it lightly with a bit of wood stain just to give it an aged look.  Here is the before and after.Painted Slats for DIY Ruler Tray

A light sanding blended the two even better.

I then cut my roof flashing to size and, using the E6000 glued it to my MDF base.Image Transfer and a Rustic Ruler Tray by Cheltenham Road

I scanned the yardstick that I had and, using Photoshop removed everything but the numbers.  Then, for fun, I added my own text.  RULER NO BACKGROUND 4TH STREET MASTER

Here is the blank version if you’re keen on doing something similar.  Just right-click to download the high res version

ruler no background appliances

I reversed it and printed it out on legal sized paper using my laser printer

Now the new transfer technique.

It’s the same as all the other ones except you use PolycrylicPolycrylic

You simply brush on the PolycrylicImage Transfer Technique Using Polycrylic by Cheltenham Road

Lay your image downEasy image transfer to wood technique by Cheltenham Road

Use a roller or an old credit card or whatever to smooth out and get a good seal between the paper and the wood, and set it aside to dry.

It’s sunny and hot here so I just left it outside for 3 hours.

Then you just use a damp towel and rub away the paper to reveal the image (I forgot to take a picture of that part.  Trust me.  It’s just like all the other wet paper rubbing I’ve done.  Like this)Image Transfer using Wall Lenk Tool

After that  I just glued and pin-nailed my sides into place around the base and gave the “yardstick” a sealing coat of Polycrylic and I was done.DIY Yardstick Tray by Cheltenham Road

So, I know what you’re thinking.

“You just went through all that to make….a yarrstick?  I mean, it looks exactly like a yardstick.  You just made something you can buy.  Your sister has succeeded.  You’re insane”Image Transfer Yardstick Tutorial by Cheltenham Road

And you are correct.

BUT!

This told me that the transfer technique works great on painted surfaces.

AND I am no longer subject to the tyranny of the Yardstick Pickers of Los Angeles.  HA!!! I can make my own yardsticks and I can make them say whatever I want them to say and I  can make them whatever color suits me!Image Transfer Technique Tutorial by Cheltenham Road

See?  Victory!

Actually, I just like that I have another easy  technique in my arsenal for image transfer.   Polycrylic is readily available and pretty affordable (you don’t use much) and it really allows the wood to show through.  This could be used for any kind of graphic transfer and, trust me, I have a lot more ideas coming down the line with this technique.

 

Vintage Dairy Label Coasters Tutorial

Vintage Dairy Label Coaster Set Tutorial  by Cheltenham RoadI make coasters (it’s possible you already know this).

What I don’t make is round coasters. I’ve tried in the past but never quite got it worked out to where the effort matched the reward.

While poking around the Dollar Store for my Halloween Candle Project I stumbled across a ton of plain, round, plastic coaster blanks.

It seemed like they had possibilities!

I was excited and full of ideas!

I snapped up a set and rushed home!

……And put them in a box and didn’t think about them for months.

It’s how I roll.

But I finally came up with a plan and, because Wylie E Coyote is my spirit animalwylie e coyote business card

I thought “why not show everyone how to make coasters so they don’t have to go to the hassle of buying them from me!”

So, you can check out the full tutorial over on Mod Podge Rocks (and then buy coasters from me. It’s just the right thing to do).

They proved to be pleasantly simple to make using stuff I (mostly) had on hand.DIY Dairy Label Coasters from the Dollar Store TutorialAnd I love that they came out looking sorta like over sized milk bottle caps Easy DIY coasters from the Dollar Store

 

DIY Yardstick Tray with Printables

Tutorial and Free PrintablesSometimes I’m clever.

Sometimes I’m cheap (OK, a lot of the time).

Sometimes those two qualities come together and such was the case with Use What You’ve Got Project #….? (I can’t remember where I am in this series).

So, like many of us, I have, for several years, been digging all the cool stuff people are making using old, vintage yardsticks.

Also, perhaps like many of us, I have been unpleasantly surprised by the current cost of vintage yardsticks.

I mean, I get it, market demand and such but, no, dear antique-mall shop owner, I do not want to pay $10 for a HOME Depot branded yardstick. Or any yardstick really.

So what is cheapo me supposed to do?

Well, I do have a couple of rulers, scrap-wood, a scanner, rudimentary Photoshop skills, Envirotex and a deep desire to (yard) stick it to the man!

Welcome to my faux yardstick tray tutorial!

I started out by scanning two yardsticks and  a ruler I have on hand.   I used Photoshop to change the colors, add and subtract text etc until I had a good number of  “vintage” yardsticks.

So, with print outs of my rulers, a thrift store tray, some scrap MDF and Mod Podge I was off and running.DIY Yardstick Tray Tutorial Cheltenham RoadOf course -because this is the ONLY way the universe works – my tray is 14 inches long and I can only print 13.5 pieces of paper. But I was not to be deterred!

I cut the MDF into 1.5″ wide by 14″ long strips and and sliced and diced the ruler prints so they covered the entire length of each strip.

I left tiny, little gaps between each ruler and darkened that gap with a black sharpie – so it would look like two rulers butted up against each other rather than just one continuous print out.make your own vintage yardsticksAfter they dried I trimmed away the excess and fit them into the tray. It was a pretty snug fit (I actually measured correctly the first time! This is a rare event, similar to seeing a unicorn or discovering that your appliance broke down while still under warranty so let’s take a moment to celebrate) and I just used a little glue on the bottom of the tray for security.  Also the Envirotex is very strong and will hold them in place as well.

Envirotex starts out as a liquid and like any liquid it will find any tiny crack to pour through.  So using a squeeze bottle I squoze (?) a good line of Mod Podge around the edges of the trayYardstick Tray Tutorial by Cheltenham Roadand then sealed the rest.

I did two sealing coats of Mod Podge – if you miss a spot the Envirotex will discolor the paper.Mod Podge Home Decor Ruler Tray Tutorial Cheltenharm RoadAfter giving the Mod Podge overnight to fully dry all that was needed was to pour the Envirotex and let it cure.DIY Yarstick Tray tutorial

I love Envirotex and find it easy  to work with – but you do have to follow their directions very closely.

And there you go.  A “vintage” yardstick tray that doesn’t break the bank.

If you’d like to use my yardsticks you can click on the links below to save 300 dpi versions for yourself.

Free Printables – Colorful Yardsticks by Cheltenham Road

Yardstick Graphic Print Sheet by Cheltenham Road

Enjoy

Fall Projects, Great Inventors and the Beauty of Ohio

As those of you who are following me on Instagram know I spent the last couple of weeks in Ohio visiting family and enjoying PERFECT fall weather. Fall in OhioI was totally nostalgic for my Ohio roots….. until I volunteered to help rake leaves and then I was, almost immediately, nostalgic for never-fall Los Angeles (and my gardener).

I had a great time and, as always, after hanging around with my family, my creative mind felt totally recharged (possibly overcharged?) and I came back eager to get going on new stuff.

First up I, the king of “really? now? already?…. crap!” put together a super quick last-minute Halloween Decor project for fellow sufferers. It’s my latest tutorial for Mod Podge Rocks.Easy DIY Halloween Centerpiece with free Printables Tutorial

(you may feel they bear a certain resemblance to other, not-so-last-minute candle holders I might have done in the past but these are TOTALLY DIFFERENT!)

Quick and easy with some free printables included.

I’m also trying to get new coaster designs rolling along for the holidays (my goal is one new set a week. Stop laughing) and up first is my tribute to the great inventors.  Ready to go on Etsy.Great Inventors Coasters Set by Cheltenham Road

My brother-in-law, Rich actually suggested this a while ago. I thought it was a great idea and immediately…. waited several months to make it happen…….

All the inventors here – TeslaInventor Coaster Set Nicola Tesla Patent Art by Cheltenham Road Edison, Wright, Bell –Patent Art Coaster Set Great Inventors Edison by Cheltenham Road

And I capped off a busy week by visiting with my good, creative friend Nicki at the Topanga Canyon Vintage Market.

Nicki had some truly terrific, one-of-a-kind things she made.Nicki Huard Creations Rustic Country Christmas TreesI really love these and wanted to steal buy them all!(it took her, honestly, all year to collect enough funnels to make all her rustic Christmas trees)

I mean, they are kind of amazing, all are totally unique and would look so cool as a collection.

Her creativity (and willingness to work her butt off every day) astounds me.Nicki Huard Creations Rustic Decor(If you thought I was a Luddite then Nicki is our queen. She has pretty much zero online presence. If you are desperate – as you should be – to get your hands on some of her stuff drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with her.)

While there I snapped up stuff for about a dozen different new project myself that I’m itching to get to.Flea Market Finds and big ideas

Finally, in advance, please allow me, The Great Pumpkin, to wish you all a very Happy Halloween!The Great Pumpkin!

 

 

 

 

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