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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!

 

How To Repair Damaged Furniture

Fix Damaged Furniture with BondoThis is the promised follow-up post about poor, patient Geralyn’s little sewing cabinet thingy.

As you may recall – it was in pretty bad shapeSewing Cabinet Makeover Tutorial

Iffy finish and a big chunk taken out of the wood on one corner.
Damaged furniture fix-up tutorial

As you also may recall, several years ago I did a post about repairing damaged furniture with Bondo.Fix damaged furniture with Bondo

It is actually my most popular post!  Which is awesome because nothing says “I’m totally killing it with this blogging thing” like having your most popular post be five years old.

Anyway, I knew I would use Bondo again but I doubted Bondo alone would be a sturdy enough repair to allow the little door to hinge open as it was supposed to do.Bondo Can

So, using an old furniture-fixer trick, I just glued a tooth-pick in the the hollow cavity where the old screw went.Fixing damaged corners on furniture

The toothpick will fill the void and give the new screw something to dig into.  And the wood glue provides a bond that is actually stronger than the the real wood.

After the glue had dried thoroughly, I mixed up the Bondo and applied a pretty generous amount to the damaged corner.  Bondo for fixing furniture

The great thing about Bondo is that, once it dries you can sand and shape it to match pretty much any contour (which I did but nelected to photograph) and then paint over it for a pretty seamless fix.Furniture Fix up with Bondo

After that it was just a matter of drilling a pilot hole for the screw and I was done!fixing up damaged furniture

Folk Art Milk Paint Furniture Makeover by Cheltenham RoadAnd then I got busy (on the other side) with the image transfer and the edge sanding (you can see the details of that effort HERE)Image transfer for vintage sewing cabinet by cheltenham road

OK, to be honest, while I’m satisfied with how the repair looks and functions (and I think Geralyn will be too), I’m still a little anxious about the long-term durability of this fix.

The Bondo trick works great on corners or damaged legs but the fact that this little piece has to “hinge” open is a different kettle of fish.

So I’m going to urge Geralyn to make the part with the new graphic on it her main point of access – just to be on the safe side.

Up next time.  Some new Halloween projects!

Sewing Cabinet Makeover with Milk Paint and Mod Podge Transfer

My name is David and I am your Plaid Craft Ambassador.

I promise to keep things civil, try to hear all sides of the argument and I hope we can come to some consensus on the issue to prevent an outright craft war.

OK, actually, I want to reiterate that Plaid provided me with craft supplies for this project but all the opinions and experiences are my own.  Other than receiving the craft materials I was not compensated for this project and any  links I provide are purely to be helpful – I don’t receive an affiliate kick-back or anything.

All the products I used are new(ish) and are now available in most craft stores or via the Plaid Enterprises site.

With that out of the way lets get on to the project.

Geralyn asked me if I could fix up this woebegone little sewing cabinet thingy. Sewing Cabinet Makeover Tutorial

I happily said yes, put it in the garage and then pretended not to see it for….. several years.

As you can see it was damaged on that front corner and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it.

So I kept hoping inspiration would strike (or that Geralyn would forget about it).

Happily it struck!  (and I don’t know if Geralyn forgot although if she didn’t she did display great patience)

But that repair is the subject of different post.

So, just bear with me as I fast-forward.  I fixed the problem and now it’s time to spruce the little guy up a bit.

I used the following productsSewing Box Makeover Tutorial by Cheltenham Road

  • Folk Art Milk Paint – Petticoat
  • Folk Art Milk Paint Bonding Primer and Sealer
  • Mod Podge Transfer Medium
  • Folk Art Milk Paint brushes
  • A reverse printed image from the Graphics Fairy
  • Glass cleaner
  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • damp towel (for the image transfer part)

After cleaning the whole piece with glass cleaner (new idea for me but recommended by the Folk Art directions and it worked quite nicely) I primed it with the Folk Art Bonding Primer and Sealer.

The Primer goes on with and looks slightly milky but dries clear.  Actually, it almost made me not want to paint the thing because it made the finish look much better….but where’s the fun in that?

Up next, my first experience with milk paint.

Like all of you I’d heard about it for a long time but hadn’t tried it.  Plaid has come up with a version that comes pre-mixed and ready to go.

I brushed on an initial coat using the designed for the purpose.

A minimum of two coats is required for this paint and, as you can see, the first coast went on a bit streaky.
1st coat

But, it’s ready for it’s re-coat in 30 minutes  and the second coat gave a beautiful finish.Folk Art Milk Paint Furniture Makeover by Cheltenham Road

Up next was the image transfer.

As you know I’ve experimented with a lot of different image transfer techniques.  What I’m discovering is that each one has it’s advantages and disadvantages and I like having kind of an arsenal of options at my disposal.  I’ve had very satisfactory results with Mod Podge Image Transfer in the past – it’s easy to work with and produces the perfect, slightly distressed, vintage look I wanted.

I printed my image in reverse on my laser printer.

To do the transfer I lay a good thick coat of the transfer medium over the printed side of the paper*sewing case makeover with Mod Podge Transfer by Cheltenham Roadand then place it, Mod Podge Side, down on the surface of the furniture and smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles.

You also want to have a damp towel on hand to clean up any excess MP Transfer that squeezes out because it’s much harder to clean it up when it dries.

I applied it to the cabinet and let it dry overnight (the long drying time is the only disadvantage of this technique – I’m just seldom that patient).

(*spreading the transfer goo on the paper can be a bit messy.  Mod Podge makes a really great silicone mat that you can buy – you can kinda see it in my picture- that works great and is easy to clean up.  If you don’t have that (I bought mine a few years ago) though, lay down a piece of plastic wrap or something to protect whatever surface you’re working on)

The next day I dampened the image with a cloth and then, using the same damp cloth gently rubbed away the paper to reveal the image underneath.Image Transfer with Mod Podge Transfer Medium by Cheltenham Road

With all of these transfer techniques keep in mind that you’re not transferring just the image but also a super thin, pretty-much transparent layer of the paper that the image is attached too as well.  If you rub too hard you’ll just rub off that thin layer of paper along with your image (I did that in one spot you’ll see in a sec) so “gently” is the key word here.

Once I was satisfied with the look of the transfer I sanded the edges of the whole piece using 120 grit sandpaper and then gave the whole thing a protective sealing coat of the Folk Art Bonding Primer and Sealer.

Image transfer for vintage sewing cabinet by cheltenham road

You can see, in this pic, where I got a bit to agressive with the rubbing right there in that black circle at the end of the word “Barbour.”  I think it just adds to the distressed, vintagy look but it is a goof.
vintage sewing case makeover by cheltenham road

I think Geralyn will be pleased with the look.

So, I’m happy to report that my first experience with Milk Paint was pretty great.  It went on smoothly, clean up was easy and I really like the look.  This is particularly good because, as you know, I have A LOT of it!Folk Art Milk PaintSo I’m looking forward to more projects (and to mixing my own colors which is, apparently, an option).

I will share a post about how I fixed that banged up corner soon.

David

 

 

A Sudden Vacation

As my Instagram followers know I actually left the house recently!

Friends somewhat randomly scored a suite in Las Vegas and it was an invitation I couldn’t refuse.

I did almost refuse it though because, well, here’s the deal.

I don’t like Vegas.

I’ve been there three times and pretty much hated it each time.

It’s not really a mystery why Vegas and I don’t get along.  I’m insanely cheap pretty frugal.

When a friend asked me if I planned to gamble I had to be honest and say:

“I don’t even like to spend money when I’m guaranteed to receive an actual product at the end of the transaction. “

So it’s not really Vegas’ fault.

But this time I did Vegas on my terms!  And I had a blast.

What are my terms you may ask?

Let’s just say my favorite part was the Neon Museum.

They’ve gathered all the old, discarded neon signs from all the casino’s and resorts. Las Vegas Neon Museum They’ve restored some and plan to restore moreNeon Museum Boneyard Las VegasYou can take a tour of the “Bone Yard” which, as you can see, is a giant, vintagey, chippy paint, letter lovers PARADISE!!!The Neon Museum Las Vegas Nevada

(I highly recommend the tour  – just don’t do it in the summer.  It was 114 degrees that day…..)

Also, in a town full of fake (fake New York, fake Paris, fake Rome, fake Egypt) I found an authentic, from the 50s, greasy spoon diner with a terrific staff and great(ish) – it IS a greasy spoon after all -food.  Vicki’s Diner is a hot pink, retro throwback.Vickis Diner Las Vegas

And I discovered an unexpectedly huge antique mall that was full to overflowing with cool stuff.  (I didn’t really peg flashy Vegas as a resource for vintage but I was wrong).charleston-antique-mall

And I couldn’t pass up the Mob Museum!Mob Museum Las Vegas

Housed in the old Post Office it also offered huge banks of these awesome old PO boxes.Las Vegas Mob Museum  I want a wall of these in my house.  You know, for storage….

So, I managed to go to Vegas and neither gamble nor drink.

Because that’s the kind of crazy hedonist I am!

But now I’m back home and working on Halloween!Vintage Halloween Decor by Cheltenham Road

Getting ready for the first of two big shows.

Up first Midsummer Scream in Long Beach!  It’s a huge show and the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday July 30 and 31st.MidsummerScream Long Beach

And up next?  My first Craft Ambassador project.

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

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