RSS Feed

Category Archives: Houseware Crafts

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 Sign Coat Rack Version 2.0

DIY Vintage Sign by Cheltenham RoadI hope everyone had a fun, safe 4th of July.

The ball is rolling on Plaid Ambassador projects but in the meantime a few other ideas are coming down the pike.

However, I do apologize.

You may experience a bit of deja vu as we go along.  For instance this is yet another:

  1. vintagy sign
  2.  coat hanger
  3.  project involving slats
  4. project involving diy knobs
  5. Lenk tool graphic transfer

OK, here’s the deal.

I need some new products -both for my own sanity (possibly too late) and to keep the shops that sell my wares interested.

New products are kinda tricky to develop because whatever they are they need to be: unique,  easy to replicate, in keeping with what I already make, affordable (both for me, the shops and the final customer) and….not a nightmare to put together.

Oh, and people have to love it.

Easy!

So, over the next few weeks I want to zero in on some options, refine the ideas and figure out better techniques.

Won’t you join me?!

Thanks!

Up first is Coat Rack 2.0.

Folks responded well to that Santa Monica sign I madeDIY Vintage Sign by Cheltenham Road but I need a version that is a bit more affordable.

So I’ve played around with this smaller version to see what I could do.

The actual sign-making process was the same as the Santa Monica sign (click HERE for the full tutorial and image transfer instructions).

The size is a bit smaller (14×12)

The new(ish) thing here are the knobs so I thought I’d share how I did them this time around.

I found these little spools at Michaels and thought they had possibilities.DIY Wood Hangers

I added a piece of of 1/4 dowel in the bottom of each one.DIY Knobs by Cheltenham Road

I then glued a wood disc to the front (I made the disc by using my chop saw to cut slices off a dowel I had but they also sell just plain wood discs)Inexpensive DIY Knobs by Cheltenham RoadI pained them out with white craft paint and sanded/distressed the edges.

I used the  Lenk tool to transfer the graphics (I was going for the signs on a pool that tell you depth of the water).

And they are sealed with polycrylic for durability.Handmade Knobs by Cheltenham Road

To assemble it I pre-drilled holes for both the shelf and the knobsVintage Sign Coat Rack Cheltenham Road Tutorial

And then simply drilled the shelf into place from the back

And glued the knobs in place.Image Transfer Vintage Sign

I’m happy with the design and ease of assembly.  The knobs are easy to make and looking pretty good.Handmade Knobs by Cheltenham RoadThere are some minor tweeks to make (the knobs need to be a bit lower, I need to stain the MDF slats before I paint them.Coat Rack by Cheltenham Road

My brain is already whirring on different design ideas.

Maybe a typewriter graphic with typewriter key knobs?

Or a dairy (sorry) graphic with milk label (sorry) knobs?

Baseball with baseball knobs?

Soda with soda pop knobs

etc etc.

More to come.  And thanks for bearing with me during this.  I assure you I will  mix in new stuff with the reruns!

 

Craft Ambassador

I got an interesting email and a fun opportunity the other day.

Plaid Enterprises – the makers of Mod Podge and a billion other products –  asked me if I would like to participate in their “Brand Ambassadors” program which allows bloggers like me to try out new Plaid products and, of course, blog about them.

I said yes immediately because I like the idea of  being an Ambassador.

I’m assuming the job comes with a little flag for my car, special license plates and, of course, diplomatic immunity.

I look forward to my next run in with the police:

“Officer I cannot be bothered with your silly, local traffic laws. I am a CRAFT AMBASSADOR!!!!! and I’m on my way to negotiate a truce at a scrapbook party that’s devolved into chaos!”

Anyway, the folks at Plaid said “great,” assured me that my flags were on the way and promised to send me some product samples to get the ball rolling.

A few days later there was a very loud thud on my porch accompanied by a visibly exhausted UPS employee and two enormous boxes.

It was Plaid.  They sent me….

EVERYTHING!

I’m not kidding.New Products from Plaid Enterprises

This isn’t even all of it.  This is just what fit on the table.

I have hundreds of stencils (there are 30-50 in each pack)Stencil Sets by Plaid Enterprises

I have  something like 25 different colors of milk paintFolk Art Milk Paint

I have a rainbow of craft paintFolk Art Paints by PlaidI don’t even know what Ultra Dye is for yet.  But I have a lot of it so I’d better figure it out.Ultra Dye by PlaidI’m very VERY curious about “painted barnwood effect.”  And apparently I can do it in 12 colors.Folk Art Painted Finishes by Plaid

I’m excited to try everything!

(I’m a bit less excited about  figuring  out where I’m going to put all of it)

So, since I’ve been using Plaid products right along and have faith in the company this seemed like a good fit but I realize this borders on a kind of “salesy” thing which I’m not totally comfortable with.

But here is the deal I’ll make with you.

It’s not a Body Snatchers situation – I haven’t been taken over by Plaid to do their bidding.  I’m free to use products by other companies and I will.  They only ask that I not mix non-Plaid and Plaid products in a single post or project.  Seems straightforward.

I don’t get kickbacks or anything if you purchase an item so there is no tangible financial incentive.

I’m also not under any obligation to LOVE everything they send me.  (Or to use it all I assume.  I mean, I’m eager to try new things but I can’t imagine a scenario that has me stenciling strawberries onto something.)

So I’ll be honest.

If I try it out and it works great I’ll let you know.

On the other hand, if it goes south, I’ll let you know my experience in that way too.

I’m hoping that this will be an opportunity for me to keep trying new things and stay creative (it’s easy to get very caught up in Factory-mode for me) and I hope it will be of help to you as well.

And if it doesn’t work out at least I now have enough product to open my own craft store!Davids Arts and Craft Store

Snow Day! And DIY Candle Holders

It’s been a trifle, um warm here of late.  Like, 112.  Ugh.

My friend Mary referred to this as LA’s version of a “snow day.”

That made me feel better.  Who doesn’t love a snow day?!

When I was little my mom always managed to have some fun craft project for you to work on during  a snow day.  I’d do paint by numbers or she and I would experiment with Shrinky Dinks or some such thing.  I have some very fond memories of those times.

(Honesty Alert #1: I don’t want to get to fake sweet nostalga-ish  – She also made me clean my room and stuff so it wasn’t all joyful crafts and warm chocolate chip cookies)

So, in honor of my my mom and her creative use of down time I spent most of last week holed up in my house launching on bunch of different projects and, honestly, really enjoying myself

(Honesty alert #2: I also ate a lot of ice cream which greatly added to the “I’m having fun” feeling.  I highly recommend it)

I’d recently stumbled across this awesome post by Jen at House of Wood.

She’d taken a bunch of scrap plywood and turned them into super cool candle holders.

Jen totally inspired me and I was eager to try my own hand at it.

I gathered my scraps  cut them all to the same size and glued them together.Plywood Candle Holder by Cheltenham Road

(Honesty Alert #3: this part required me to go outside and work in the garage which was….not fun…..I ate more ice cream to compensate and was back on track.)

After letting them dry I sanded them smooth, drilled out the holes for the tealights with my drill press and stained the wood.

But being me I had to add text or graphics or something so I did a quick search on the Graphics Fairy site and turned up vintage bicycle ad.  bicycle advertisement

Seriously, pretty much anything you ever needed in life can be found at the Graphics Fairy.

I grabbed just the text on the bottom, reversed it, printed it and applied it to the plywood.DIY rustick wooden tea light holder by Cheltenham Road

I know you’re thinking.

“Oh great he’s about to get out that stupid Lenk thing that I don’t own and therefore can’t use”…. but I’m not!!!!

I found another way to do transfers!  It’s even easier AND it greatly reduces my chances of burning the house down (win/win!).

I’ll share the technique in an upcoming post after I’ve done some more experimenting but I’m really excited about it.

Anyway, I think the the candle holder came out looking pretty cool.Tea Light Holder by Cheltenham Road

And now my brain is spinning with other ideas and shapesRustic Industrial Wooden Tealight Holder by Cheltenham Road (although I’ll feel dumb if I actually have to go out and buy wood to make my scrapwood candle holders…..)

Here is the other side.  I was playing around with text size and placement…..
Industrial Wood Tea Light Holder by Cheltenham Road

Thanks  Jen!  Really you should check out her site.  Full of great ideas, tutorials and downloads.

Oh, and on a final note, I wanted to say thanks for the comments about my dad’s Father’s day presentUsing a vintage Mustang dashboard as a picutre frame for Fathers Day by Cheltenham Road

A couple of folks asked if he liked it.  My sister Paula was there at the unveiling and reported that he loved it.  And when I called later he seemed enthusiastic (he’s not really given to gushing outbursts of enthusiasm but, in his own way, he seemed pleased).

And although I really do believe him, the Eyore side of my personality can’t help imagining his thought process upon opening it going more like:

What the?…..

Well, that seals it.  It wasn’t a phase. That kid just  isn’t gonna get any less weird.gets beat up

At least the girls seem well adjusted……

I guess I just have to buy my own books and ties. 

Typical……

Have a good week everybody!

 

 

Tray Chic. DIY Vintage Style Trays

I’ve been on a tray kick of late.

Trays are the closest thing to working on furniture that I can do right now.

I get to find a beat up old tray at a thrift store, patch and paint it and change it up into something (hopefully) cooler.

Since I had a back log of un-spruced up trays (because as we all know it’s way more fun to find/hoard the thing than it is to actually buckle down and do the makeover) heading into the Patchwork show this last weekend I got busy.

Oh, did I mention I’m also on a slat kick?  Long time readers may feel this is more of an addiction than a kick….but I digress.

It’s just that  I have tons of random bits of scrap wood and I’m always looking for ways to use it up.  I’ve discovered that I can do fun things by turning them into slats for signs and such so I thought – why not combine my kicks (I’m the Rockettes of DIY)

I had a little, beat up black tray that I thought had potential so after cutting the slats to length and painting them white I flipped them over and taped them together on the backside. DIY vintage style tray by Cheltenham Road

Then, on the painted side – using my bathing beauty friends

Panorama Vintage Bathing Beauties and some text – got to work with my Wall Lenk tool. (for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about you can find a full tutorial about how to do image transfer with a Wall Lenk tool HERE and you can see how I do my trays HERE)Image transfer using the Lenk tool by Cheltenham Road

Once I was satisfied with the design I just glued the slats to the bottom of the tray, sealed the image and poured the Envirotex.Vintage Bathing Beauty Tray by Cheltenham Road

Up next I changed gears and made a collage with my wealth of dairy label graphics (along with some help from Angie at  Knick of Time and her generous  free downloads.  While you’re perusing her site be sure to check out her awesome stencils too – great designs).Vintage Dairy Label Tray Original Designs by Cheltenham Road

Vintage Milk Bottle Label Collage Tray by Cheltenham RoadAnd then it was back to slats and a slightly altered Cabins for Rent coat hanger graphic combined with a bit of a forest graphic from an old postcard.Rustic Serving Tray by Cheltenham Road

(Yes, in retrospect it occurs to me that maybe, just maybe I should have taken a little more time with design and, I don’t know……found a graphic of a CABIN!!!! perhaps?  Details, details……)

Anyway, the Lenk tool did a great job,  almost too great  actually as I was hoping for a bit more distress (the text is a bit too crisp) but it still looks pretty good and took very little time.Image transfer to wooden tray by Cheltenham Road

Everything looked good at the show and I had an terrific corner spot.  I made a couple more of my giant vintage baseball tickets and I was ready for business.Cheltenham Road Booth for Spring 2016 Patchwork

Unfortunately the customers weren’t quite as ready.  I did an extremely solid business in compliments……nooooooot so much in sales.  Sold a little bit of everything but not a lot of anything – you know what I mean?  It was fine, profit was made and possible future customers acquired.  It’s just more fun to be crazy-busy all day, sell out and have nothing left to pack up at the end.  Ah well.

And now?

Well, to be honest, it’s on to Halloween!?!  Weird I know but my next two shows in July (back to back- this should be interesting) are both Halloween themed so I must turn my thoughts to pumpkins and ghosts.

Easy Father’s Day Wall Art Tutorial

My dad is the best.

However he’s a bit hard to shop for for Father’s Day and I always get sorta stuck for unique gift ideas (the man needs another book like I need to bump my head on something)

But this year,  I had two  ideas!  TWO!!!!!

The only problem was that I had to make them both and being me (oh-so-very-me) I left it until just a bit late to get going.

Happily, my first idea came together so fast, so easily and so inexpensively that  I thought it might be useful for others and so I made it into my latest Mod Podge Rocks tutorial.   Father's Day Gift Idea

A simple scan of an old baseball ticket

An oversize Engineering print from StaplesEasy DIY Father's Day Wall Art Tutorial

And BOOM! A super-fast, totally customize-able piece of potential Father’s Day Wall Art!DIY Fathers Day Wall Art

I think it’s……..JUST THE TICKET!!!!!

(sorry)

(there’s actually a worse one of those puns on the MPR post)

If you’re keen to make your own head on over to Mod Podge Rocks for all the details.

Oh! and if you’re local don’t forget to visit me at this weekend’s Long Beach Patchwork show (click on the pic for all the details)!Patchwork Long Beach Craft Show

It’s a Sign! Take 2 – A More Detailed Tutorial

Image Transfer TutorialI feel that I owe you an apology.

I was so happy with that Santa Monica Beach Sign that I rushed a bit getting the post up and created, I think, a pretty un-useful “tutorial.

So please allow me to revisit it with a slightly more detailed approach.

This will also give me a chance to provide a more in-depth explanation of the Lenk tool and how (and why) I use it.

Warning: This is gonna be a pretty lengthy and detailed post/tutorial so if you never plan to do a transfer using a Lenk tool you might want to sit this one out.

Here is what I used for this project:

Lumber:

  • 1/2 Inch Plywood measuring 18×18 inches for the backer
  • Five (5) strips of MDF wood 18″ x 2.75″
  • 1/2 inch plywood 18″ x 4″ for the shelf

Paint:

  • White, flat-finish, latex paint
  • Blue, flat-finish, latex paint
  • White spray paint
  • wood stain
  • Spray-on Polycrylic

Tools and Sundries:

  • wax (just an old candle)
  • Lenk tool
  • 3 coat hooks
  • wood glue
  • wood screws
  • sandpaper/sander
  • jig-saw (for rounding the corners of the shelf)
  • hangers

Painting and Aging (the title of my yet-to-be-released, scandalous autobiography)How to Distress Wood

To age the scrap MDF here is what I did:

1) stained the edges with gel stain.

2) After the stain dried I rubbed a chunk of wax along the edges

3) painted the slat with flat, white latex paint  and let it dry.

4) went back in and sanded the edges.  The paint won’t stick to the wax so you end up with a nice, distressed, edge.

I repeated this process with the remaining strips painting them alternating blue and white.distressed wood techniqueFor the plywood shelf I used a jigsaw to round off the corners, sanded the whole thing and used the same wax/paint/sand process on the edges for an authentic, worn look.

I also painted the backer board blue and sanded it’s edges.

When everything was dry I glued all the strips into place (I didn’t attach the shelf till the very, very end).

Wall Lenk Tool Process:Lenk Craft ToolOK, as you know, I’m loving the Wall Lenk Tool.  But it does come with pros and cons

Pros:

  • I think it produces results very much on par with the various transfer mediums I’ve tried.
  • It’s quicker (you don’t have to let it dry overnight or anything).
  • It gives a very authentic “aged” appearance.
  • Because only the graphic is transferred you don’t have to cut out the image right along it’s edges nor do you end up with any lingering edges or visible outlines where the paper ended.
  • It’s pretty inexpensive (I got mine from Amazon) and, of course, if you do a lot of transferring, you’ll only have to buy it once.

Cons:

  • It takes some trial and error to get the hang of it.
  • The results are a bit unpredictable but really no more so than using any other method (and I’ve found that it’s easy, as I did on this sign, to go back in and re-transfer if needed).
  • It has no heat-control mechanism so I will inevitably set something on fire one of these days.

Tips:

I’ve found it’s very important, if you your using the Lenk with a painted surface,  to let the paint cure as much as possible.  If I can, I let it dry for 48 hours – even longer is better (although for this project I think I over-did it waiting 6 months).

Flat paint works better than satin or semi-gloss and if I want a shiny finished product then I just use a glossy sealer at the end.

I also like to give the painted surface a light sanding with a 220 grit sandpaper before I begin.

OK, the Actual Image Transfer Process

(I’m mixing and matching new and old photos here so don’t be thrown by the lettering changing colors)

For this sign I gathered my graphics (the woman is just an image isolated from an old matchbook) and printed them, in reverse using plain, legal size copy paper on my laser printer (I don’t know if ink jet prints will work) Reversed Graphics

I let the tool heat up for 8 minutes as the manufacturer instructs.

It actually gets a bit too hot initially and if pressed into the paper right then it will just burn it.Wall Lenk Tool TutorialSo, I  “burn off” some of the heat by pressing it to a wood block.  There is no set time or amount of heat or any way to check the temperature so I just do it until the wood quits smoking.

I then rub the lenk over the graphic.  Image Transfer TutorialAgain there is no “set” amount of time for this.  The more you rub the more image will transfer so it depends on how “aged” you want it to look. I went over this line of text for about 4 minutes and then paused to let the Lenk heat up again a bit (it loses heat as you go) and then rubbed for another 4 minutes.

I just go back and forth sort of slowly, keeping the tool in motion.  If you stay in one spot too long you risk either burning the paper or getting paint so heated up that it bubbles and melts (not good).

This is the real “learning-curve” part.  There is no way to tell how well the transfer has worked at this stage.  I’ve taken to peeling away just a little bit of the corner of the paper just to get a sense of how it’s going and to determine if I should go over it a few more times or not.

Once I’m satisfied I let the paper cool thoroughly and then go back in with a fairly damp cloth and rub away.Image Transfer using Wall Lenk ToolThe paper comes off fairly easily under light-to-moderate rubbing.

I find that I have to do this process a few times.  I’ll do it once, it will look awesome but then it dries and there is a light, white, film of left-over paper visible, so I just go back in with the damp cloth and give it another round.

I’ve also found that it’s pretty easy, if I decide the transfer wasn’t good enough, to go back in and do it again.  I wasn’t thrilled with my first go on this sign so I just reprinted and tried again.  Here is the “A” in Santa Monica image transfer technique(I’ve got to be honest, I’m a bit stunned that it’s possible to successfully line the images to re-do them but I’ve done it with graphics large and small and had no problem.)

Once I’m satisfied with the results I seal it with a spray on polycrylic

Finishing Steps:

After marking where the shelf was to go I drilled pilot holes and then glued the shelf in place and screwed it in from the back.Attach Shelf

I had spray painted the coat hangers and screwed them into place as well and added hangers to the back of the board.DIY Vintage Beach Sign

I hope this helps with any questions about the tool or how to use it.  But feel free to fire away if I’ve left out some step or been vague about some process.

Happy image-transferring!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,508 other followers

%d bloggers like this: