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Library Card Book Ends

It has been a great couple of weeks for commerce – tons of Etsy orders, custom jobs and new stores carrying my work.

I’ve been plugging away in factory-mode but a little bit short on the “new ideas!” side of things.

Happily,  The Muse (Geralyn) has her head in the game and came up with a really fun idea for some very easy-to-make, inexpensive bookends.

And I came up with a good way to mess it up! (more on that later).

Here is what I used:

 

  • Metal Bookends (from Staples $7)
  • 2 pieces of 1/2″ MDF cut to 4.75″ by 7″
  • 2 library card prints done on a toner based printer
  • Waverly Super Premium black acrylic paint
  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Foam Brush
  • Lock-Tite glue
  • Painters tape (not pictured)
  • Craft knife (not pictured)

I started off by marking where the metal bookends would connect with the MDF panels.

After painting the back and sides with the Waverly Paint I set them aside to dry.

After they’ dried I used Matte Mod Podge to attach the vintage library card graphics to the MDF smoothing out any wrinkles or bumps with my fingers.

Once that dried I trimmed away any excess paper using a sharp craft knife.

So far so good!  Everything was going swimmingly and I could sense the wave of praise that would come my way when it was all done.

All I had to do was glue the wood part to the metal part.

Child’s play!

……..I think we know where this is going don’t we……

Now, I’m sure your thinking, “David it’s just some industrial strength glue that allows almost no-margin-for-error.  What could go wrong?”

To which I say: “you must be a new here.  Welcome to Cheltenham Road!”

OK, so I applied the glue to both the metal bookend and the unpainted back of the MDF and then stuck them together.

I used some painter’s tape to hold them in place tightly as they dried

Can you spot the minor problem?

Yeah – they’re backwards.

I glued them together backwards.

The long sticky-out part of the bookend supposed to go UNDER the books…..

Upside?I did’t glue myself to anything and I can testify now that that glue works really well!  They are super attached!

Downside: they are super attached backwards.

Ah well.

But they still work and you still get the idea.

And, of course, Geralyn’s concept could be adapted to suit any interest:

You could use copies of actual book covers, tickets, photographs, favorite quotes, copies of children’s drawings – the sky is the limit!

But, if you wanted to make these exact ones then here are my library card designs Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Bookend Print Sheet

Just, um…. glue them together the right way and you will be golden!

 

Farmhouse Style Shelf Idea

Thanks so much for all the kind words about my new focus (and for not virtually patting me on the head).  I truly appreciated it.

But I want to assure you that the blog isn’t going to turn into a place where all I talk about and make are gifts.  As my wise brother-in-law Rich pointed out gifts come in many forms and one can always gift themselves so we have a lot of room here.  In short, don’t worry.  I won’t be saying “gift” every other sentence.  I promise.

Gift!

(sorry, couldn’t resist)

OK, onward!

When my sisters vistited we browsed a large retail store that sells things that help you stay organized and I saw this clever shelving unit.

 

Cool!  Right?!

Simple, versatile.

But it’s a two foot long, three sided, Medium Density Fiberboard box with holes on the bottom edge.

And it costs $100!!!

So!

………..Welcome to SPITE CRAFTING: SPRING EDITION!……….

(I had no idea this was going to be an ongoing series)

OK I guess $100 isn’t crazy expensive but the idea seemed so do-able-for-less that I had to give it a shot.  So maybe not Spite Crafting so much as Idea Stealing.

Here is what I used for my version

From my scrap pile I pulled some 3/4″ plywood and cut it down to size.

  • The front is 24″ long by 3.75″ high
  • The sides are 3″ long by 3.75″ high
  • And the internal shelf is 22.5″ long by 3″ deep

On the back side I marked  a center line and indicated where I would drill the holes.

Live-and-Learn: in retrospect I realize it would have been easier to mark and drill on the front side of the board….next time! 

And then got to work with my drill press at Forstner bit.

I was drilling from the back and I wanted to minimize any tear out on the front side so I placed a piece of scrap wood under by board and didn’t drill all the way through with the Forstner bit – just enough for the point to poke through the other side.

Once all the initial holes were drilled I flipped it over to complete the drilling  for a nice clean look.

I then assembled the whole thing using wood glue and my nailer

And then it was time to get creative.

The folks at Plaid had provided me with Waverly Chalk Paint and brushes and I thought I’d give them a try.

I used their Ivory color for the base.  The special Waverly Chalk Brush isn’t required but it sure made applying the paint easy as it holds a lot and spreads really smoothly.  I think I’ll be glad I have it especially on larger projects.

I’m a new and enthusiastic convert to the chalk paint thing (I know I’m very behind on this curve).  It’s easy to apply, dries fast and comes in great colors – what’s not to like?

Once the paint dried I moved on to other newish thing  – stencils.

For this project I used the Folk Art Farmers Market Stencil Set and a small Folk Art Stencil Brush

I used a light pencil line to keep everything straight

And then stenciled away using both the Waverly “Crimson” and “Ink” colors

Stenciling is pretty easy once you get the idea of using very little paint on the brush.  But I think my inexperience showed as my only complaint about this set is that it was tricky, even with a small brush not to accidentally catch the edge of the stencil I wasn’t intending to use.  Probably a rookie mistake.  Next time I’ll use some painters tape to tape off the “unwanted” stencils.

Once everything dried I gave the edges a bit of a sanding and then a light rubbing with Waverly Antiquing wax.

I used a couple of d-ring hangers on the back and my shelf was ready for its close-up.

(I’m not crazy about my choice to stencil he “No” on the ednd there.  The stencil is fine but it would have been better if I’d had space for a number as well so, as it is, it just kinda looks….I don’t know…unnecessarily negative?)

The antiquing wax did a nice job of bringing out the texture in the wood and making the whole thing look just a bit more vintage.  It’s hard to see in the pics as I went pretty light on this first-time-out attempt but next time I think I will be a bit more daring as I really like the extra texture.

I had envisioned this as a kitchen thing but it occurred to me it could work in any room – like perhaps for crafts?Tons of possibilities!

Further Thoughts:

  • *I always hesitate to use my “I invested in some serious tools” tools on these projects for fear of turning people off.  But all of these things can be accomplished using more standard methods (a regular drill with a forstner bit, nails or screws rather than a pnumatic nailer) it just takes a bit longer.
  • I made my shelf out of scraps of plywood but the original is MDF.  MDF is a great choice for easy to work with, smooth surface finishes and I think, if I make more of these I’ll switch over to it.

Disclaimer:  The good folks at Plaid provided me with the materials for this project.  All opinions are strictly my own and I received no other financial compensation for this post.  Links provided are not affiliate links – just trying to be helpful.

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

 

 

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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