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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

Super Simple Craft Show Display Stand

Simple Craft Show DisplayI know some of you long-time readers saw the title of this post and said to yourselves “OK,  nutjob, that’s it.  It’s time to stage an intervention.”

And while it’s true that I’m sort of addicted to making craft show displays I can totally justify this one (and I can stop anytime I want to!).

See, here’s the deal.

I’ve tried a bunch of different ways to display my candle blocks:Candle Block DisplayHalloween Candle Blocks by Cheltenham RoadDIY Product Display Towers for Cheltenham Road Unique LA Craft BoothEach has worked out just fine at the shows and I’ve used and re-used them.

However each has also posed a transport and storage problem.

As you know due to the size of my car (Honda Fit) all my stuff needs to be as compact as possible.  My goal is to have everything fit neatly into boxes so that loading/unloading the car is simple.   I needed (see! it was a NEED!!!) a new display that was compact to transport, sturdy, versatile and easy to set up.

I’ve seen great, beautifully made, collapsible display  stands on Etsy but I just couldn’t afford them.

I was getting ready for the Jackalope Show when I had a brainstorm for a simple, compact, pack-able option.

It came together very quickly, it’s sort of embarrassingly simple (I hesitated to post about it because it’s so…..basic) but I think it will serve me well and variations of it would serve others well too.

I used:

  • 4×4 pine post lumber
  • 1×4 pine strips
  • Tite Bond Wood Glue (and clamps)
  • White paint
  • Teacher’s Tape

I cut my 4×4  lumber down into two  4×4 blocks and two 4×8 blocks.Easy DIY Craft Show DisplayTo make the base gs sturdy I just glued the blocks together (using clamps to hold them in place as the glue dried) and then I painted them white (not very well I’ll admit – I was in a hurry and “rustic” was kind of what I was going for).DIY Craft Show Display StandAnd with two more more 1x4s cut to length and then paintedSuper Easy Craft Show Display Stand

I was, essentially, done.Easy to make DIY Display for Craft Shows by Cheltenham Road

I wanted it to be easy to set up and take down but I also wanted to make sure it didn’t come apart if a customer jostled it or something.

Have you heard of Teacher’s Tape?  0012670_removable-teachers-tape-roll-of-2000It’s my big craft-show lifesaver – I never do a show without a big supply on hand.  It’s inexpensive and super strong but also easily removable.  It’s great for sticking up signs or, as as I did here, just adding that little extra grip that will prevent the stand from coming apart until I’m ready to pack it up.  To pieces on the bottom of each end of the the shelves and that sucker isn’t going anywhere.Simple Display Stand for Craft Shows by Cheltenham Road

The display worked out greatEasy to make, portable, Craft Show Display Stand tutorial by Cheltenham RoadIt only takes seconds to set it up and it’s sturdy.   Easy, Portable, Versatile Craft Show Display Project by Cheltenham Road

It’s versatile enough that if I need it to be longer someday I can just cut some longer.

And, best of all, the whole thing breaks down and fits neatly in a box for transport and storage.

I’m looking forward to using it again at the upcoming Patchwork Show in Long BeachPatchwork Long Beach Craft Show

If you’re local please do come out and see me (and see my display in action!).

Custom Wedding Coasters, Family…..and PIE!!!!

Just back from a quick trip back home to Ohio to celebrate my nephew’s wedding.  It was a beautiful event.  The “new” couple are both truly terrific people and  they planned and executed a top-notch wedding weekend for everyone.

It was also that oh-so-rare and wondeful occasion when I and all my sisters are all in the same place at the same time.  Stories were shared, books recommended and, of course, crafty type ideas were proposed (more on that later).

The newlyweds had asked me to make a few things for the nuptials and I was pleased to say yes.

The wedding was in Granville Ohio (bride’s hometown) but they live in Columbus and wanted to give everyone wedding favors that both reflected the place and included the date so we came up with these coasters.Custom Wedding Coaster by Cheltenham Road

For the Columbus coaster I just (sorta) matched the font and color of the other text and added in the wedding date.

For the Granville coaster we took an old pic of the downtown and added a custom postage stamp.custom wedding coaster by cheltenham road

To create the custom stamp I just followed the steps outlined in a great tutorial at Fuzzimo (which is also a terrific resource for a lot of Photoshop tutorials and free downloads).

They also had me create one (two actually) of my custom signs for their folks celebrating everyone’s weddings!Custom Wedding Sign by Cheltenham Road

I was, as I am every time I visit, re-impressed with Columbus.  So much going on! Art, culture, architecture and……Dough Mama Restaurant Columbus OhioSaying I have a weakness for pie is an understatement and if you follow me on instagram you know that last time I was there I discovered:Just Pies Columbus Ohio

I know some of you may be thinking “ok David, that’s fine but what do they sell?  What is the product that this business promotes?”

I’m happy to report the name is true!  Pies!  Just Pies!  Really good pies!!!!!

Awesome!

But this time around I was introduced to: Dough Mama restaurant Columbus Ohio

How could you not love a place named Dough Mama!?

Savory pies!  Sweet pies!  I was in pie heaven!

If you are ever in Columbus I encourage a full out pie-tour (my newly married nephew will lead you – he’s like the PIEd Piper)

But now I’m back in LA…..home of…….smog, traffic, drought DONUTS!!!!! Seriously, there is a donut shop on every corner in this town (my diet may not work out as well as I’d hoped).

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!

It’s a Sign! It’s A DIY, Vintage, Beach Sign

Image tranfer vintage sign tutorial

UPDATE:  I’ve done a slighly more detailed tutorial on how I created this sign.  You can find it here

 

I learned something new!  Or, rather, I tried a different way to do something and it worked better!

OK, the backstory.

I’m not particularly good at planning.  I tend to get excited about an idea, launch into it with a  sorta half-formed concept in my head and then hope inspiration strikes.

It usually does……eventually……..

So, for instance, I wanted to find a use for the MDF scraps that result from coaster making and I wanted to see if I could make them look authentically aged and distressed.

So I stained their edges, did my wax-and-paint trick and nailed them to a piece of scrap plywood.distressed wood techniqueCool! It looked exactly like what I had in mind.

And?

And…..that was it.

It seemed beachy.  I knew I wanted text or an image or something but couldn’t figure out what that would be.

So it sat there all stripey and distressed for, oh, about 6 months.

And then, just the other day, while in the midst of doing something else entirely I suddenly knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I grabbed a graphic I like, wrote out some text and got to work with my Lenk tool (go here for a full Lenk tutorial – but then come back cause there’s an update).DIY vintage sign tutorialMy usual method for using the Lenk is to rub back and forth slowly,Lenk Tool for Image Tranfer on Wood Projects then gently peel back the paper to check my progress and then, if needed, rub a little more.Image transfer onto woodIt works well, and, although I liked the distress, I just wasn’t getting the depth of color I wanted and I was spending a LOOOONG time on each element.

But sometimes the paper doesn’t peel away and you have to rub it off with a damp cloth,image transfer using Lenk tooland I found that if, instead of lifting the paper up to check, I just let it sit there till it cooled and then, using the damp cloth method rubbed it away – I got much richer colors along with the distress.

So here is how the sign looked on the first round:DIY Vintage Sign Tutorial by Cheltenham RoadAnd here it is after I went back in and used the “leave the paper there and then rub it off” technique:Vintage Sign Tutorial by Cheltenham RoadBingo!

There is still plenty of distress but the colors are much more vibrant.

I did find I had to go back in a couple of times with the damp cloth and gently rub away a film of white, leftover paper.

When I was happy with the look I sealed it with some spray on polycrylic.

After that I added a shelf (just a piece of plywood glued on and screwed in from the back) and some hangers and had myself a fun little vintage beach sign coat hangerDIY Vintage Sign by Cheltenham RoadI’m excited about this improved technique.  It’s pretty fast, the colors are rich and the distress is exactly what I likemake a vintage sign tutorial by Cheltenham Road and the sky is the limit as far as what design to use.

Trays.  Coat Hangers.  Signs.  Pretty much anything!DIY Vintage Beach SignOK, now I have to get back to what I was actually doing before I suddenly knew what I wanted to do.

Happy Mothers Day Donuts!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mom types out there!

And particularly to my mom!momMom is doing great and, I was informed, will be spending her morning with my nephew Jordan teaching him how to make her famous donuts! (smart kind knows what traditions to make sure carry on)mom and jordan donut making

(note her mixer: I believe that’s the same one she got as a wedding gift!)

My mom’s donuts were one of my favorite things she made when I was a kid.  When I moved out on my own I requested the recipe and even found a “vintage” donut maker just like hers.donut maker

I’ve actually used the recipe card for her donuts in projects.Vintage Kitchen Tools Shadow Box

Vintage Kitchen Rolling Pin BookendsSo, in honor of my mom I decided to make the ultimate sacrifice and make myself a batch of donuts.

I know!  I am a very good son.

So, while, sadly, I can’t be near my mom on this day there is a giant upside.

Unlike my nephew, I don’t have to pretend that sharing donuts with my dad sounds like a good idea!

I Win!mom's best donuts

Happy Mother’s day Mom (and all the other moms!)

Post-Jackalope and a Mini Tray Makeover Tutorial

The Jackalope show was awesome!   Beautiful weather, great crowds and lots of sales – you couldn’t ask for better.  And thank you all for your good wishes and positive thoughts – they totally paid off.

Jenni requested a closer look at the ashtrays (seriously people?!) terra-cotta coasters I had in the booth.  I snapped a quick  pic Sunday morning and I was glad I did because by Sunday evening they were gone.Ceramic Coasters by Cheltenham RoadI’m really digging these.  They open up a whole new world of possibilities.  For this round I supplemented the soda pop ones I shared previously some of my much loved vintage dairy labels and, going for the man-cave crowd, vintage oil can graphics (question: can man caves have coasters?  Seems kind of antithetical).

In my crazy lead-up-to-Jackalope week I also had a major thrift store score.  Rummaging around I found, in their manufacturer’s package, these nesting traysDIY Wood Tray Makeover by Cheltenham RoadThe cost?  $4.50!

I had been toying around with a tray idea for a few weeks and this seemed perfect.  I had planned to do a full-on tutorial but, um, I sold it before I could get the beauty shot.  So, herewith is a mini version.

I first, sanded, primed and painted one of the smaller trays.

I cut some thin wood (pressboard really) down into slats that were wide enough to fill the bottom of the tray but just leave little space between each strip.  I also printed out an enlarged version of one of my favorite vintage Los Angeles postcards and cut it into strips.wooden tray tutorial by Cheltenham RoadI attached the graphics to the pressboard using mod podge and painted the bottom of the tray black.thrift store tray makeoverAfter gluing the strips in place and sealing them with another coat of Mod Podge I poured in a good layer of Envirotex Lite.Thirft store tray makeover by Cheltenham RoadI used a couple of the other trays in the group as well – using my other vintage postcard collage but I have a couple left and I think I want to make more like this.

Also, during my crazy week, I finished up my latest Mod Podge Rocks project.  It’s a very easy to make coat rack that uses plaques from Michaels, Mod Podge Transfer Medium  and some of my favorite vintage luggage tag graphics.Easy Coat Rack Tutorial by Cheltenham Road(side note: if you want to see a super cool, totally charming coat rack visit my friend Julie’s blog Follow Your Heart Woodworking and check out her latest work.  I think they are awesome!)

In slightly more unsettling news….whatever critter that had died in the Blair Witch room is, um, gone.  On Monday when I steeled myself to open the garage door there was nothing, no smell, nuthin’.  I feel like I’m in a Hitchcock film.  “I SWEAR the body was here a second ago!” * I’ve now pulled everything out and haven’t found a thing.  And while I guess that’s good it’s also a bit creepy.

So, Jackalope went well!  Dead Animal Disappeared!  Garage is now clean and organized (almost)!  What is there to complain about?  Well, I’m afraid I have to reset the board:0 DAYS

stupid, low, door frame……

 

*does this scenario make me Cary Grant?! I’m totally down with that then!

 

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