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Category Archives: Plaid Ambassador

Make Over-Sized, Vintage, Game Pieces

A brief detour on the way to Halloween.

I’ve come up with another (potential) Use-Up-That-Scrap-Wood project!

Of course, you may be thinking that the first step in reducing scrap wood might be, perhaps, to create less scrap wood to begin with?

Reasonable.

But that would involve the dreaded accurate measuring and the even more terrifying planning ahead!

Actually , you’ll be proud to know I did that recently.  For the last round of coaster-blank cutting I measured!  I optimized!  I planned!

And I’m happy to report that after jumping through all the hoops I ended up almost zero scrap!  Genius!  Perfect!

And after I did the third most dreaded thing: Math I discovered that I had saved exactly .005 cents per piece.

#motivating!  #planthatParisvacation

Anyway….

As you know I kinda have a thing for letters.

I’ve been making letters of various sizes and styles since I started Cheltenham Road.

Distressed letters

Distressed Wood Letters Tutorial

HOME signs (click pic for link to Etsy)Los Angeles Wooden Letter HOME sign

Letters with vintage wallpaper

Giant Santa Monica Signs (each letter is 16″ tall)Vintage Santa Monica Sign

Big New York letters11 inch high wood letters vintage New York City collage by Cheltenham Road

I could go on……

As you may not know The Borrowers was one of my favorite books as a child and I think it messed up my sense of scale.  I always seem to think “wouldn’t it be cool if I made a giant version of X?”

Recently I saw a magazine that used old game tiles to spell out the titles of each article.   You know, scrabble tiles, anagram tiles…stuff like that.

And I thought “wouldn’t it be cool to make an oversized game piece letter alphabet?”

To make them all different this became an “every tool you got” project: stencils, image transfer, mod podge – you get the idea

I started with:

  • Scrap wood cut to varied sizes: 4.5 squares, rectangles, a few circles
  • Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Paints – various colors
  • Folk Art Stencils and poncing brushes
  • Polycrylic (not pictured)
  • Small Wood letters (on sale at Michaels)
  • Matte Mod Podge (not pictured)
  • A scanned print of a Scrabble tile
  • Sanpaper (not pictured)
  • E6000 glue (not pictured)

I painted all the wood blank tiles different colors using Folk Art’s Home Decor Chalk Paint.  They come in a great range of colors, go on beautifully and dry quickly (key for Mr. Crafting-in-a-Hurry).  When everything was dry I sanded them for a distressed look.For some of the letters I used Folk Art Stencils for letters and numbers.Folk Art Stencils

For others I used my polycrylic image transfer technique (details here)

I made one to look like a children’s block using a bit more scrap wood, cut, painted and distressed and a small wood letter from Michaels.  I used the E6000 glue to attach all the elements.

For the scrabble tile I simply scanned a tile and blew it up to 6×6 (my wood blank is 4.5×4.5)*

* I used Matte Mod Podge for this but only had a bottle of Gloss Lustre when I went to take photos – either will work.

To make the “image” wrap around the blank I marked where each corner would be

Then cut away the corner

After covering the front and sides with Mod Podge I just attached the print and folded the sides down and let it dry

I like them!  They’re fun!  Easy to make and you could do a lot of variations and spell pretty much anything you want.DIY Wood Letter Tiles

But…..

I discovered as I did my research that there aren’t many super-identifiable vintage game pieces.  Once you get past Scrabble tiles they are pretty much just, well….. letters.

Image courtesy of SplendidSundries on Etsy – click on picture to be taken to Etsy

So my question is – would you know they are game pieces?  Does it matter?

My thinking was to make all the letters in the alphabet and have a nice display box where people could pick out what they wanted.  They would be fun and easy to make. They would use up all those leftover supplies and bits and parts etc.

But do you think it would appeal? (not rhetorical – I’m honestly asking for your opinion).

OK, back to Halloween planning…..

 

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Plaid Ambassador program.  Most of the materials used in this project were provided to me by Plaid – makers of Mod Podge, Folk Art Paints, brushes and stencils.  Other than the supplies I receive no other compensation.  Links are provided just for convenience and the opinions expressed are totally my own.

 

Slow Progress and and Update!

I interrupt this update for a quick PSA:

The folks at Plaid are having an awesome sale on all Mod Podge branded products on their site (so, Mod Podge, tools, brushes, melts etc – lots of stuff)! 

Photo courtesy of Plaid Enterprises.

It’s 40% off your order and free shipping if you spend $60 or more.  So, if you need to, now is the time to stock up.  I bought 6 gallons (#holysmoke) of Mod Podge and saved a ton of money.

BUT!!! It ends tonight.

Just go to their site and use the code MPDAY18

We now return you to your regular programming:

I’m baaaack….sort of

OK, so my To Do List for the last three weeks has looked like this:

As you can see my priorities are solid!

But I finally did #1 today.

It took 30 seconds.

May I present my card:

Actually, there is a lot more to do (full-fledged site redesign, shopping widget etc) but I do at least have the space now to do a post.

And you’d think, “David, with all that free time, what with not accomplishing your goals, you must have done lots of stuff!

And you would be wrong….and possibly new here?

Actually, that’s not true. I did a lot.  Just not necessarily in an organized, well thought-out, photographed sort of way.

I had my first in-person show of the season in Pasadena and finally FINALLY! Put together a booth set up that I liked!

I had a nice, corner spot and this arrangement gave me plenty of space for display and for everyone (including me) to move around!

It looks a bit dark in the photos but I actually thought it was welcoming and cheery in real life.

I worked out some new ideas too.

Sticking with my “use your scrap wood theme” I came up with these vintage sign photo holder boards.  Which combine my love of vintage graphics and a certain amount of practicality.

I made a few more for the show:

Pi also finally pulled his weight by looking really cute and luring unsuspecting future customers into the booth:

A long-time “I have an idea but I haven’t gotten around to it yet” project came to fruition with some coaster holders to sell along with the actual coasters.

First up- little Library Drawers to go with my Vintage Library Card Drink Coasters (again, made from scrap wood)

They got a lot of attention at the show:

and I kept working on those scrap wood flower holder crates which are fun to make.

So I guess I was busy, just not particularly focused.

I have my next big show this coming Sunday in downtown Santa Ana and will report back with details, designs and new ideas shortly.

Thanks for bearing with me!

 

Simple Farmhouse Style Tray Tutorial

Got a bit distracted over the past few weeks but I’m……”back on track?” …. well, that kind of implies there was a track to begin with which might be overstating things….. let’s just go with “I’m continuing to continue.”

So the next couple of weeks will be all about preparations for the upcoming, April 28-29th Jackalope Pasadena Art Fair.

It’s a great show.  I’m excited about it  and determined to

  1. come up with some new coaster designs,
  2. have enough coasters on hand, and
  3. really make use of all that scrap wood for some one-of-a-kind projects.

I have a million ideas – I just need to do the “hard” work of turning them from ideas into actual, physical things.

Oh, and I also need a new booth set up.

Bottom line – it’s going to be a super relaxing couple of weeks filled with bon-bon consumption and channel surfing……

Up first is a tray for the proud citizens of South Pasadena.

It’s pretty easy to do but I thought I’d outline the steps in case anyone out there might like to give it a go.

Here is what I used

  • Tray
  • Wood stain
  • Some thin strips of scrap wood cut to size
  • Wood stain/antiquing glaze
  • Paint (Folk Art Milk Paint in my case)
  • E6000 glue
  • Polycrylic
  • Roller
  • Rag

After staining the tray I cut my scrap wood to size (2.5″ by 16″) and went to my Plaid supply box and pulled out Folk Art Milk Paint (Petticoat color) and Folk Art Antique Wax. After painting the slats with Petticoat I went back in and “aged” the edges with the antiquing wax.

I glued the strips in place using the trusty E6000 glue and left it to dry overnight.

After working out the South Pasadena design I reversed it and printed it on my laser printer using plain old, Staples brand, legal paper

I used my Polycrylic transfer technique (you can see details here) and, after letting it dry overnight, rubbed away the paper with a wet rag (you can be pretty aggressive).

*I have found one refinement for this process.

The technique works perfectly but you do sometimes end up being able to see a slight demarcation where edge of the paper was.  I found that if I spread the poly carefully so as to avoid sealing down the very edges it minimizes this effect.

I seal all my trays with Envirotex Lite.

It’s easy to use (as long as you follow the directions to the letter) but you do have to prep the surface.  I seal everything with a coat or two of Matte Mod Podge taking particular care to run a bead of MP around the inside of the tray to seal up any gaps. 

What could happen if one skips this step?

Hypothetically …… One might return to check on one’s project and think “Gee, it seems like there is a lot less Envirotex in that tray than before.”

One then might find the missing Envirotex all over the kitchen table and dripping onto floor.

One might then panic and instinctively touch the insanely sticky, spilled Envorotex WITH BOTH HANDS.

One then (finally using one’s brain) might go to get paper towels and discover one is out of paper towels.

One might then try to open the pantry door with insanely sticky hands and then attempt to tear open the plastic wrapper with one’s insanely sticky hands and then return to the now even bigger mess on the kitchen table with one’s hands covered in plastic and paper towel bits.

Hypothetically……

Once it was all dry the tray was ready to go.

One down!  So many more ideas to work on!

Quick and Easy Desk Organizer Makeover

I seem to have accumulated (through no fault of my own I assure you) a lot of….stuff.  Bits and pieces – parts of grandiose plans that somehow, before they were fully grandios-ed, got supplanted by a different, even better, grandiose plan.

For instance,  a while ago, I got all excited and purchased a bunch of inexpensive desk/organizers that I thought would make great display pieces.

They didn’t.

I’ve just been shuffling them around and thinking “I need to do something with those….someday…….”

And that day has come!

Well…their day came because this was my thought process on Saturday:

(My inner-monologue can be a bit dramatic.)

Anyway, while I was overjoyed to realize I’d already painted one the fact that it was painted flat black threw me until I remembered this dresser that I’d seen a while ago:

I thought that was such a cool effect.

So I grabbed my Waverly Gloss Black paint and a Folk Art Stencil and got to work:


I still have some kind of a weird block about using stencils.  I never want to do it which makes no sense because it’s pretty simple to do and always seems to work just fine.  This was particularly easy and super-quick.  I just taped the stencil in place and tapped away.

(No, I Totally meant to leave the bottom bright yellow and only half-assed paint that front edge.  Why do you ask?)

Sigh.

The stencil worked perfectly and, I am quite sincere when I tell you the whole thing took about 10 minutes.

And now I have this super-cool desk organizer.

……With a totally intentional bright yellow bottom.

And while I probably should have cleaned up the room a bit more before I snapped the photo.  Other aspects of the picture are pretty good!

And, better yet, my friend Karla came over last night, saw the organizer and said “you could totally give that to me and it would be nice.” So I am!

 

OK, now what to do with the other ones?

Eh, I have a week.  I’ll wait till next Saturday to figure it out.

Disclaimer: The good folks at Plaid provided me with the stencils and paint used on this project but all opinions are my own and was not compensated in any other way.  The links provided are to the Plaid site and are for informational purposes (ie, I don’t get any money if click on them).

Experimenting with Martha Stewart Milk Glass Paint

Committed to keeping my vow to never be as behind as I was this last Holiday Season I spent the week cranking out coasters to build up my in-stock inventory.  They are everywhere!

But I needed a little break yesterday and I wanted an activity that would help to re-energize my creative side.

Happily I had a new box of goodies from the folks at Plaid (I’m a member of their Plaid Ambassador Program)

First out of the box was some Martha Stewart Milk Glass Paint

I was intrigued!

I didn’t have any immediate need for anything milk-glassy but I did have some of those inexpensive little milk bottles they sell at Michaels.  

So grabbed those and got to work.

The instructions give you a few options for application: Soft bristle brush, foam pouncer or you can just kinda pour it on the glass (gravity!).

I didn’t have a pouncer and the gravity thing caused all my “Wasteful! Messy!!!!” alarms to go off (why I’m concerned about being wasteful with a product I got for free is one of the ongoing quirks of my “deep-pockets-short-arms personality disorder).

So I went with the brush.

The paint is easy to work with but it was pretty clear that it was going to take a couple of coats to get good coverage or  a rich color.

It was bluer than it looks in this photo and it darkened a bit as it dried but a second coat was clearly needed.

After repeating the application using the pink and white paints it occurred to me that my little milk bottles would look good in a little holder so I grabbed some scrap  MDF  (1/4 inch) from the shop, cut it down

(that’s a 2.5″ x 9″ base piece, two 1.25×9″ sides and two 1.25×3″ end pieces)

and assembled it using wood glue and my pin nailer

Now you may want to sit down for the shock that is about to come.

After painting my little box I thought: “this little box will need some graphics!!!!”

I know!  You never saw that coming did you………..

Anyway…… while perusing Pinterest I’d seen some fun, old vintage flower and seed boxes so I put together a graphic to add to the side.

Because I was, as always, in a hurry I used my Lenk tool for the transfer. (If you’re new to these parts you can see a tutorial for it here)

And then it was time for the second coat of the Milk Glass paint and I decided to experiment a bit.

For the blue bottle I used the brush again and while the color got richer the brush marks were pretty evident.  The instructions had told me that this was what would happenbut it also wasn’t quite the look I was hoping for.

So, with no pouncer I had to get over my fears/cheapness and give gravity a shot.

I poured the paint on the inside of the pink bottle and swirled it around.  It was impossible to photograph (sorry) but worked quite well.   However, although the paint, once dry, can be hand-washed it can’t be left submerged or sitting in water so pouring paint on the inside kind of limits the usefulness of the bottle.

So I poured the white paint on the outside of the white bottle.  I wasn’t quite as messy as I’d feared but it also clumped a bit as it dried (and was also impossible to photograph)

But, the results are pretty if not quite what I’d imagined.

The colors are great and I think the technique holds promise (and to be fair, switching application styles in the middle is my fault not the paints’).

Bottom line – I liked it but  I’ll have to play around with it some more and report back.

I was, however, very happy with my box!

Back to the factory!

Disclaimer: I’m a Plaid Ambassador and the good folks at Plaid have provided me with the paint I used in this project.  All opinions expressed are my own (clearly) and I received no other compensation and receive no compensation if you click on any links.

I Have Triumphed! (Also Happy Valentines Day)

Vintage Valentines Day GarlandSo everyone says the key to a successful blogging relationship is consistency.

Blog regularly. Post on a set schedule.  Always post on the same day.

……Happy Friday everyone!

OK, when last we met I was experiencing some….let’s call them minor hiccups on my road to sliding-drawer kitchen organization nirvana.

I had this.

I wanted this.

But I was thwarted by measuring (not an unusual thwarting for me), math (also not an unusual thwarting vehicle) and, of course, that old cliche – Evil Drawer Slide Manufacturers!

I kept working but somewhere around the middle of last week the drawer and I decided it would be best to see other people for a while and I focused on some other projects.

I put together some new, Classic Hollywood coaster sets for the good folks at Sweet!

I love these vintage Homes of the Stars graphics and I thought they might be fun for all those TCM lovers (they are also available on Etsy and Amazon)Homes of the Stars Vintage Hollywood Drink Coaster SetOld Hollywood Drink Coaster Set

I also got sidetracked by a random Valentine’s Day project (more on that in a sec)

But, I’m happy to say that the drawer and I worked out our differences and the aforementioned Nirvana is now mine!

Oddly sized spacers were glued and screwed together

20 inch sidemount drawer slides were installed and now……DIY Kitchen Organization Drawer

Pretty!Maximize Kitchen Storage

Who can get to his pasta pot in a heartbeat?

This guy!

Who should probably eat less pasta?

This guy!  (OK, my plan may have a flaw….)Kitchen Storage Solution

(As an extra side-bonus, upon viewing my last blog post my friend and dutiful blog reader Suzanne informed me that my pans were dirty and she was coming over to show me how to clean them.   Which she did!  You’d best believe I Tom Sawyered the crap out of that situation!)

So, in the midst of drawer-wars I realized it was almost Valentines Day and got one of those goofy-but-its-fun-to-do-something-different ideas that I just feel compelled to make for no real justifiable reason.

Why not make some hearts out of scrap wood?

I have all this beadboard that I bought a while ago – before I realized it was too heavy for what I wanted to do with it because, as we know, “advance planning” the Cheltenham Road byword.

So cut out some heart shapes using my scroll saw and painted them in shades of red and pink using Folk Art Milk Paint that Plaid provided me as part of their Ambassador Program.

I liked them but thought they needed a little text so I flipped one over and painted the smooth backside

And after a bit of sanding (for that “distressed heart” look….which, now that I type it sounds like an unfortunate medical condition) I used my Folk Art Stencils  to create a “Be Mine” message.Vintage Valentines Day

To be honest, I wasn’t totally sure what to do with them once I finished (a giant charm bracelet?) so I drilled some holes and strung them together.Vintage Valentines Day Banner

I like how, on the bead board side, the paint stayed in the grooves but sanded off the front leaving some great texture on the face.

So, as I said, a bit of a goofy idea but I had fun making it.Scrap Wood Valentines Day Banner

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some extremely convenient pasta to make!

Haunted Halloween Lamp

I know, I know.  Halloween is OVER and we’re all supposed to have moved on to Christmas.

But, as I’ve shown on several other occasions, I am nothing if not seasonally out of synch.

And I had this idea for a quickie Halloween decoration idea and just didn’t want to wait another year.

It came together fast (it had to, the sun was setting and I had about an hour to get it made, staged and photographed).

So, apparently, Halloween, to means “things that light up” and, more specifically Victorian people with glowing eyes (Cheltenham Road – We have one idea and we’re sticking with it!!!!)

For this I used:

  • Thrift Store Lamp
  • Pictures printed on my laser printer
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam Brush
  • Flat black spray paint
  • Craft knife

I’d picked up this lamp from a thrift store for $6

I removed the shade and did a quickly spray paint job on the base (flat black)

I had all my gloomy Victorians from my Glowing Eyes Candle Jar project so I put together a couple of quick collages and printed them out on my laser printer (you can find links to get some of the pictures in the Glowing Eye Candle Jar tutorial)

I use Photoshop for this sort of thing just to be able to move quickly but the same could be done with individual print outs of the pictures

The shade was 10” high so I just worked in sections and printed out on legal sized paper.

After cutting out their eyes (it’s what I do!),

I spread Mod Podge on the shade and smoothed the paper into place – continuing around until the shade was covered.

It happened to be 102 degrees in LA so everything dried alarmingly quickly.  If you live in a part of the country with non hell-like temperatures in October your drying times may vary.

I added a little bit of ribbon trim around the top and bottom of the shade to finish it up.*

After putting it all back together (and crossing my fingers that the thrift store lamp actually worked….something I had neglected to check)  I was done.

Glowing eyes 2017!

OK!  On to Flag Day!  I have some awesome ideas for glowing flags…..

*just to be honest, the ribbon is just taped in place.  A glue gun would be perfect for this task but I may or may not have thrown mine away after one too many unfortunate encounters with really hot glue.

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