Custom art work, and some random pictures…

Well, so much for my resolution of posting more in October than I did in September. I believe each month had a whopping 2 posts each. I think the change of seasons just had me in a slump and I didn’t have much energy for doing any projects. However, Christmas is upon us in less than 2 months so I KNOW I’ll have lots of projects and decorating to share. PLUS, I’m going wedding dress shopping in 3 weeks!!!! so I plan on doing a post about that experience and I will hopefully have some helpful hints for any other brides-to-be out there who have yet to “say yes to the dress” :)

I do have a little something to share today, as well as a bit of randomness at the end in the form of a few pictures.

My mom recently redecorated the living room at my parent’s house and she had a print that no longer went with their decor. It was a Mediterranean seascape in a large frame under glass. It wasn’t anything expensive or fancy, it still had a sticker on the back that said Walmart with a price tag of  $49.95. They got it about 10 years ago and at the time it fit with the colour and style of the living room, but a couple of months ago she told me she was getting rid of it. Being the hoarder crafty person that I am, I asked her to donate it to me instead of Goodwill because I knew I could make it over into something fantastic. And if I can toot my own horn a bit, it turned out pretty fantastically :)

This is what it looked like when it came to me:

(Sorry about the glare from the window.)

It was definitely not my style, so I had the perfect idea in mind to make it something I would proudly hang on the wall. I’ve seen a few tutorials out there for taking an old colourful print, adding stickers or vinyl letters to it then painting over the whole thing and peeling off the letters to reveal words that are the colour of the print underneath. I knew this picture would be perfect for that since there are so many colours in it.

I chose a very short quote so that I could use larger letters to make it easier to see and read. I had a hard time finding letter stickers that were the right size and font that I wanted so the print sat in my craft room for a couple of months. I finally found what I was looking for, but still ended up having some trouble (more on that in a bit).

First, I had to take the whole thing apart. It had brown paper covering everything in the back, so I ripped that off first. Underneath that, a piece of cardboard was stapled down to hold in the print and the glass.

It was fairly easy to just pull the cardboard up, I just used a screwdriver to (carefully) pry it off.

This left most of the staples still attached to the frame since the cardboard just kind of ripped away from them. I started to pull them out, but it was much easier to just bend them back out of the way so that I could pull out the print. Here is what I had after I did that.

Unfortunately, I had a major fail and didn’t take any pictures of the rest of the process but it was all fairly simple.

I got 2 packages of letter stickers for $5 each from Walmart. They were an assortment of upper case and lower case letters as well as numbers, so I just sorted through and pulled out all of the upper case letters I needed to spell out my quote. I bought 2 packages to make sure I had enough of each letter since letters like E and A tend to repeat quite a bit in most words. Then I played around with where I wanted the words to go on the print and how I wanted them spaced out. When I was happy with the layout, I just used a pencil and ruler to lightly mark lines so that I could get my letters as straight and even as possible. Then i just peeled off the backing and carefully lined up all of my letters. Next, I used some leftover white semi-gloss latex paint I had from my dresser redo and painted over the entire print and stickers. I just used a cheapo foam brush I had, which ended up leaving streaks but I was ok with that since it kind of added some texture. If you wanted a smoother finish, a foam roller would be the way to go. I did 3 coats to get the coverage I wanted.

Now, removing the stickers is where I ran into problems. I didn’t think about the fact that the stickers were basically made out of paper and I was using a water based paint. My plan was to peel the stickers off before the paint completely dried so I wouldn’t be pulling off extra paint with the letters. However, the paint had soaked into the stickers making them soggy and the paper front was just pulling away from the sticky backing. AAAHHHH! So frustrating. So I left it to dry overnight and decided to just deal with it the next day.

I ended up having to lightly cut around each letter with an exacto knife and then carefully peel off the sticker and then scrape away any leftover sticker residue with my fingernail. Very time consuming and tedious. My tip: if you’re planning on doing something like this, make sure your letters have a durable coating or better yet are made of vinyl so that they will easily peel away and won’t become all soggy from the paint. I had to work at it off and on for most of the day, but I love how it turned out so it was worth it.

The last thing I did was to paint the matting around the print a bright yellow, and I painted the thin inside strip of the matting a charcoal grey. I just used regular old craft paint and did a couple of coats to get good coverage. I also painted out the ugly reddish toned frame, giving it a light sanding so that the paint had something to grip to since it was a very shiny and laminate like finish. I wiped it down with a damp paper towel after I sanded it to remove all of the red dust that came off of the finish, then did 3 coats of paint and lightly distressed it. I also took out the glass to make it easier to paint the frame and clean both sides of the glass. Be warned, cheap prints like this have very thin glass so go slowly when removing it and putting it back into the frame. The last thing you need is shards of glass everywhere! I simply put everything back in the way it came out and then just tapped a few finishing nails sideways into the frame on the back to hold everything in.

So, if you’re still with me after that long description with no pictures (boring I know, sorry!) this is what the final product looks like!!

I looooooove it!! It’s going to go on the accent wall in the kitchen where my DIY love bird art is currently hanging, and it pops perfectly off of the teal colour of that wall! I haven’t hung it yet since I’ll need to drill holes for drywall plugs and screws since it’s fairly heavy.

Here’s a close-up of the lettering, you can see the bits and pieces of the print underneath.

You can also see that I had a few boo-boos when painting the matting, but it wasn’t terrible enough for me to want to tediously paint over those little mistakes.

And here’s a close-up of the distressing I gave to the frame.

I just used a very fine grit sandpaper and hand sanded the raised areas of the frame. I really love how this one turned out, and I love that we now have a colourful, custom piece of art with a great saying that can be hung pretty much anywhere in any future homes.

Now, onto my bit of randomness. I have really been loving the owl trend in home decor but hadn’t gotten one of my own yet. I found one at Walmart the other day for $5, so I scooped him up and put him on the side table in the living room with the thrift store brass kitty.

Isn’t he sweet? I love that his wings are covering his beak like he’s trying to keep a secret haha

I’m also getting very excited for all things Christmas now that Halloween is behind us. The Mr. has a strict policy of no decorations before December 1. His birthday is November 30, so I think it’s partly because he doesn’t want Christmas to upstage his birthday lol but I don’t like putting stuff up any sooner than December anyway because I don’t take it all down until after New Year’s, so a month of holiday decor is plenty for me. Anyway, just because the decorations won’t be up until December doesn’t mean I can’t start planning things out! When I was grocery shopping (Real Canadian Superstore) I wandered by the home furnishings section and they had SO much cute stuff! I’ll definitely be adding to my Christmas decor throughout November. The prices were really reasonable as well. Luckily I was there earlier in the morning so there weren’t many people walking by to wonder who the crazy chick was, taking pictures of stuff with her phone haha

I thought that this cappuccino gift set was beyond adorable with the little mini grater. It came with cinnamon sticks to grate on top of your drink. Can you stand the cuteness of this??

I loved these ceramic log vases! You could leave it as is as part of a mantel display or table top vignette, or add some glittered branches to it for some fun holiday sparkle.

I loved these bark covered candles as well. It’s hard to tell in the picture, but the bark is actually glittery. A fun rustic glam decor piece!

I also thought this stackable penguin cream and sugar set was adorable. And in the bottom corner you can see some hammered metal serving bowls that I also loved.

These silver pinecone salt and pepper shakers also caught my eye. I would totally just use them as decor and not salt and pepper shakers!

There were a lot more things that caught my eye, but I had to pull myself away or I would have been there forever with melting groceries in my cart haha if you’re Canadian and have a Superstore near you, definitely check out their holiday stuff! Sorry for the rambling randomness of this post, hopefully someone found at least some part of it useful :)

*Linking to Serenity Now*

Our Fifth House

3 Responses to “Custom art work, and some random pictures…”
  1. I love how this came out! Such a great idea. I definitely have some old painting lying around that could use this. Thanks for the tip about which stickers to use. I never would have thought about that.

    • nwbnstr says:

      Thanks! I was really happy with how it turned out. And yes, definitely keep in mind what kind of stickers you’re using! It was kind of a giant pain in the butt lol

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  1. […] bird painting used to hang in our dining room, but it got the boot a while ago when I made some new art to go on that wall (check out the house tour to see what it looks like actually hanging on the […]

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