It’s time for another installment of Tips with Gail Owens! Today I have a piece of home decor to share with you:
This 8” tall letter O has been in my stash for 10 years. How do I know this? Besides the fact that it was made by Making Memories (which has been gone for a few years now), the barcode sticker had a manufacturing date on it of 2006. And I bought it the first day it was in the store. That’s how excited I was to use it! Unfortunately, I hoarded it instead of creating with it. And eventually it was stuck between other things and lost from my line of sight and forgotten.
Until we moved last month. I found it and knew immediately what I wanted to do with it! As I found other “lost” items (like the burlap pieces, the canvas petals and the cork sheets) during the packing and unpacking process, my vision evolved. I added my Kiwi Lane templates and am in love with the result! It was super easy – read on to see how you can Play to Create and make one of your own.
You will need the following:
A large chipboard letter
Frame (TIP: Check thrift stores and yard sales for your frames before you head to the store to buy one. I found the lovely pink number pictured below for $1 at a local thrift store and it was the perfect size.)
Sandpaper and/or sanding block
Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
Kiwi Lane Designer Templates
Here’s what my pile looked like when I started:
I did add some things to my collection of supplies as I went, but this is the gist of it.
Here’s what you do:
First up, remove the glass and backing, then sand and paint your frame. Sanding will roughen up the surface so the paint will stick. I used a fine grit (220) sandpaper for this step.
TIP: Wipe your frame with a damp rag after sanding to get the dust off. This keeps the dust out of your paint and gives you a smooth finish.
Now paint! I chose a dark brown because I wanted something darker than anything used in my frame, but I wanted to stay in the brown/neutral family. Let your paint dry and distress using a sanding block, if desired.
TIP: Remember that the number on sandpaper is smaller for a rough sand and larger for a fine sand. There are inconsistencies in the explanation of where those numbers come from, so I’ll just leave it at that.
Now that you have your frame ready, it’s time to cover the backing of the frame. This will become the background for your monogram. If your frame came with a backing (the board that goes behind whatever will go in the frame), go ahead and cover that. If not, you’ll need to find a piece of chipboard, cardboard, posterboard or foam core to use.
Tip: If you can’t find backing, use old packaging like cereal boxes or the back of a pad of paper.
My 90’s flashback was actually custom framed and had a nice piece of foam core. I used a sheet of adhesive backed cork from a stack by DCWV, which took about 30 seconds to trim and attach to the backing. Put the board back in the frame (without glass, obviously) and you’re ready to move on to the monogram.
If you don’t have a large chipboard monogram, make one using a large printout of your letter of choice and some chipboard. I’m sure there are good videos out there with a how-to, but here’s the overview: print the letter, cut it out, trace letter onto chipboard, cut letter out of chipboard using a craft knife.
Now cover your letter with the twine of your choice. I used a basic cotton twine that I found at the hardware store. You could also use baker’s twine, jute twine, embroidery floss or yarn if that’s what you have. Start with a glob of hot glue to secure the end of the twine and then start tightly wrapping the twine around the letter, adding another small line of hot glue as you go.
It’s going to take you a few minutes to get your letter completely wrapped, but it’ll look fantastic when you’re done, so keep going!
Once you have it all wrapped, you get to grab your Kiwi Lane templates and Play to Create! I just started playing with locations and combinations until I found one I liked. Here are a few photos I took while I was playing:
Once you have a combination you like, start cutting your layers.
TIP: Be aware of textures and colors as you layer.
This is a little tricky when you’re using all neutrals, so I added some yellow paper (made by brushing watered down paint onto watercolor paper) to help bring out the yellow of the dots on the cork and to help break up the neutrals. I also added some small rolled flowers. I’ve done a video tutorial on this before, but here’s the rundown:
Cut a circle, cut a spiral in the circle (as shown below), start rolling the spiral starting from the outside into the center (as shown below), put adhesive (hot glue) on the tab that’s left at the end of the spiral and glue to the bottom of your newly spiraled flower.
*TIP: These little spiraled flowers work great to fill in small spots next to larger flowers.
Now all you have to do is glue the monogram to the center of your background and add your layers. And you now have a beautiful piece of personalized home decor.
Thanks for joining me today. I hope you take an afternoon and create your own framed monogram using your Kiwi Lane Designer templates and some of the things that you have hanging around your stash! And don’t forget to share your thoughts or an image of your finished product with us! Leave a comment with a link or share with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Can’t wait to see what you create!