I have a tough time living in the present. Instead of enjoying the blessings of today, I find that I’m constantly looking forward to what tomorrow may bring. I’m anxious about the future. Whether it’s me getting excited for the upcoming weekend, or me looking forward to the day I can move home to Chicago to be closer to my family. I’m always daydreaming about what is to come.
Instead of living in the moment, soaking up every minute of right now…I’m fretting about the unknown that tomorrow brings.
The thing is I know this about myself. I’m actively, consciously trying to be better at it. But I need a daily reminder to help me remember to enjoy all of the wonderfulness that my life has right here, right now.
Today’s DIY project is exactly the reminder I need.
I’ve seen this project before in the blogosphere and I always thought it was pretty darn neat. But, I never really had a great quote that I wanted to use. Until now…
Finn & I have had many long chats about “living in the moment” and he struggles with it just like I do. He is actually the one that came up with this little quote. (who knew I was marrying such a poet!? His list of skills just keeps growing…) “LIVE NOT IN FEAR OF THE FUTURE, OR IN REGRET OF THE PAST. BUT EMBRACE THE MOMENT, AND MAKE IT LAST.”
Once I had the right quote, I had to find the perfect canvas to display it on. I knew I wanted the canvas to be big enough to make an impact in our home, but I didn’t want to spend big bucks on a new large canvas.
That’s when New Uses came into play. The perimeter of the store is lined with so.much.art. Canvases, picture frames, artwork…there are literally hundreds of pieces to choose from.
After perusing the store, I scooped up this bad boy. It was exactly what I was looking for with the bulky frame, light muted paint colors, and large size. I couldn’t wait to bring it home and get to work.
My first step was to paint the frame. The muted green wasn’t bad at all, but I wanted my colored letters to pop, so I decided to go with an all white frame.
I popped out the canvas and got to work whitening the border up.
All I needed was gloves, a mask, spray primer, and white spray paint.
I prepped the surface of the frame (wipe clean of any dirt & dust) and then did a light coat of the white primer. The next day I did a light coat of the semi-gloss white spray paint.
While the frame dried, I got to work on the canvas.
For this portion of the project, all you really need is sticky letters. I found mine in the scrapbooking section of Jo-ann fabric for $1.50 a sheet. I ended up having to go back to the store for more letters, simply because I kept running out of the letter “E”. (There are 12 “E”‘s in my quote!)
I used a ruler and a pencil to make sure everything was spaced out evenly.
Next I peeled off the letters and stuck them to the canvas. At this point, Finn caught a sneak peek of the project. He said it looked like a kidnapper’s ransom note with the different fonts and colors. #thanksbuddy
The last step was to simply give it a few light coats of white spray paint.
Tip: Make sure your letters are sticking well onto the canvas. You don’t want any little areas to pop up and get paint underneath them.
Carefully peel the letters off when your paint is fully dry.
I am totally in L-O-V-E with this piece. It is currently sitting on our dresser in our master bedroom. It serves as a great reminder to us every single morning to appreciate all that today offers.
It’s clearly no secret that I love nautical. If you look in my closet, I have an unhealthy obsession with stripes. If you look around my house, you will definitely see hints of coastal cottage in every room. It’s just something that makes me feel like I’m tucked away in a cozy cottage along the beaches of Cape Cod that gets me every time. When I saw this Longitude and Latitude art on Pinterest, I just couldn’t resist.
Longitude & Latitude Framed Art
Skill Level: < T-ball Skill level
Time: approx. 15 minutes (and that’s being generous)
Cost: $8 total (less if you have an old frame laying around)
Materials Bought: Frame & Mat, both from Michael’s
I bought the frame and the mat at Michael’s Craft Store for approximately $8 total.
I was surprised to find out that the mat was two different layers. I ended up using both layers of mat, but I could have saved one for another project and saved some cash.
I had a 5×7″ opening to work with. That is where my latitude and longitude art would go.
This is a picture of the Microsoft Word Document that I created to fit into that 5×7″ opening. I chose to use the coordinates of our new hometown, which I found by googling the name of our town. Now all you sailors out there can figure out how to navigate your way into our neck of the woods. #yikes
Press print and lay your document under the mat to identify how much paper you will need to trim.
Trace the excess paper.
Cut along these traced lines. The best part about using a mat is that your cuts do not have to be anywhere near perfect, as they will be completely hidden by the mat.
I taped my document in place just to be sure it would stand the test of time. But if you’re an all-star with the scissors, you can cut your document to fit perfectly into the frame and you won’t have to bother with tape.
My favorite part…. enjoying my hard work. (If you can even call that work)
I am absolutely love, love, loving this nautical ode to our new hometown! Every time I glance at it, I get that feeling of breezing along the coast of Connecticut on a gorgeous sailboat, and instantly, my love for all things nautical grows a little deeper.
With Valentine’s Day only a few days away, I thought I might do something a bit romantic in our little love nest.
Our master bedroom has a nook with nothing on the wall, and I figured it would be the perfect spot to display some sentimental and personal “art.”
Here’s what I’m affectionately calling our “Wall of Love.”
Let’s first take a look at the white special dates frame.
Those 4 dates are very special to Finn and I. They represent when we first started dating, when we moved in together, when he proposed, and our future wedding date!
I just created them in a word document on my computer, and printed it out on card stock.
I then got out my colored pencils, and drew some hearts after each number. I tried to do a bit of an ombre color scheme..with the green hearts subtly getting darker from top to bottom.
We all know I have a certain love for geography (like the vintage globe in this post). So, I thought the map would add some flair to the simple white frame mat.
I had a $4 wall map left over from a DIY project gone wrong (it happens…often!) With this project, I was finally able to put my map purchase to good use! I just took out the frame map, traced it, cut out the map, and glued it onto the frame. #DIYdoesntgeteasierthanthis
Moving onto the other sections of the “Wall of Love.”
This love quote from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 was a gift for our engagement. #sosweet
How about this adorable chicken wire frame? My mom found it at the Kane County Flea Market (If you live in the Chicagoland area…go! You will love it)
Clothes pins hold some sentimental items from our engagement night.
Here is the key card from the hotel where we stayed the night we got engaged.
This is Finn’s hospital bracelet.
Funny story…my man was in the hospital for 3 days and got out just in time to keep the Christmas plans with our families. (More on that day here) We kept his bracelet to remember that love can conquer all!
Here is a card from the restaurant where he popped the question.
Rounding out the “Wall of Love” is this large canvas photograph.
Finn’s mom bought us a Groupon for a canvas print from Canvas on Demand (Thanks Kathy!) We decided to use a picture from our engagement night of our large group of family and friends. It is very special to have such a nice picture where we’re surrounded by everyone we love.
I heart this new little area of our bedroom.
So what about you…do you have an area in your love nest to display ooey-gooey sentimental stuff?
If you’re like us, then you’ve seen some pretty cool string art all over Pinterest.
Unfortunately, not many of those beautiful string art pics come with detailed tutorials, and if you’re anything like us you need step by step instructions so your DIY doesn’t turn into a big FAIL.
So, we’re here to give you the deets on making some sweet designs with string.
Side note: Doesn’t Instagram just make everything look so damn cool? We want an Instagram filter on our lives everyday, so we always look uber fantastic!
Now before you get started, we’re gonna tell it to ya straight. This project is time consuming. Not like #clearanentireweekendtimeconsuming. More like #havewineandyourbestieonhandtomakethetimepass.
Being the totally cool, raging, twenty something gals that we are, we opted to do this project on a Saturday night in my mom’s kitchen. Yeah…I know you’re jealous of our rockin’ social life.
Piece of wood (We got ours from Jo Ann Fabric)
Wood Stain or Paint (not pictured, but just paint or stain your wood to fit your design look)
Ice Pick (small pointed end!)
11/16″ Linoleum Nails (We used shiny gold ones, buy lots!)
Your Design (We just designed ours in Microsoft word, printed, and cut them out)
Painter’s Tape (to hold your design in place)
I’m guessing you will have most of this stuff on hand. Make sure you buy plenty of nails, because you will go through plenty!
So once your wood is stained/painted and dry. Place your design where you want it on the wood.
You will then want to outline your entire design with small holes. This is a very important step. Just take the ice pick, and hit it a few times with the hammer. You want to make the hole deep enough that you could put the nail in, and it won’t fall over. This will be a big help when you go to pound the nails into place.
Don’t put your holes too close together. We suggest maybe about every half inch or so.
Once you’ve outlined the entire design with holes, you can take your design off.
Now, it’s nailing time! Get a nail into every single hole. You’ll want to pound it in far enough so that it is very secure. No wobbly nails allowed.
Don’t worry too much about making sure they’re all even. Some will be lower, some will be higher, but I’m guessing no one will really notice. Just get those suckers in there best you can.
Once your nails are all in, it’s time to break out the string. Do not cut off a really long piece of string. Instead just start and keep it connected to the source. Trust us on this one.
Choose a starting point and triple knot it. Then we suggest outlining the outside of your entire design…looping between each nail.
Once you’re back to your starting point, just begin stringing like crazy. There really isn’t much technique to this. Just do your best to fill in the design, and always be on the lookout for gaps.
You may notice that some of your nails are a little loose once you start wrapping them with string. Just hammer them into place a bit more, and you should be good to go.
Once you’re happy with the way it looks, cut the string. Then just loop it between 2 nails, back and forth like a figure eight, until you get to the end.
We just ended up tucking the little string right into the design. Just make it as secure as possible, and you should be good to go.
Our backs were incredibly sore after this little project. All that bending, hammering, and looping the string around makes for one sore back. So take breaks, and stretch stretch stretch!
I hope this tutorial helps you with your next string art project. Reach out if you have any questions at all.
Where do you think we should display our new personalized art? Any readers create their own fabulous string art they would like to share?
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to the holidays I want to check everything off my list without breaking the bank. And if I can get a gift for someone special on the cheap…and personalize it…it’s a win/win!
So last Christmas, my siblings and I wanted to do something extra special for our mom.
She is one amazing woman and we wanted to show her how much we LOVE her! She also has a new house with plenty of wall space. So I thought some personalized art might be right up her alley.
I bought some poster board. Cut it into 5 even panels and traced letters onto the posters. I then filled in the letters and heart with black paint. It didn’t take me long at all!
Now I’ve gotta say…the tricky part about this project was actually getting everyone together to take the pictures. We live all over the country (St. Louis, Denver, & Chicago) and the only time we were all going to be together was for Thanksgiving.
As my mom prepared dinner, we each took turns running outside into the cold, snapping a few pics, and coming back inside. My mom did get a little suspicious as to where we kept going…but luckily we were able to keep it a secret from her!
I think this would be a wonderful idea for any family..young or old. But, I must say that even when the kids are in their 20’s and 30’s (like us), it can be a pain making sure everyone likes their photo! (Man, those brothers of mine really wanted to look good!) It was also a big fight over who got to hold each letter. Some things never change, even as the “kids” grow up…
In the end, it turned out beautifully and my mom absolutely LOVED it. It was a personal and inexpensive gift that she will cherish forever.
My mom displays it in the kitchen for all to see, and everyone who comes to her home just gushes over it!
Happy Holiday Shopping & Crafting!
Leave a Comment
We love to share our ideas and photographs with you. Feel free to use an image from our site, as long as it is accompanied by a link back to DIY Playbook. Failure to link back and credit DIY Playbook as a source constitutes a copyright violation. For full disclosure of all blog policies regarding comments, advertising, copyright, and other matters please look here.