“If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.” -Napoleon Bonaparte
I needed something for a wall in our kitchen eating nook, but wasn't sure what to put in that spot. So, after some looking for just the right thing, I decided on this...
...and for only $329 it could be mine...all mine. One problem, I really don't have $329 to spend on this type of art piece for my home. So, I decided to DIY my own, with a twist (and with some inspiration from one of my favorite blogs: Susie Harris).
This by far has been my longest, most time consuming project, but once I got the hang of it, the process didn't take that long. Here is how I did it...
1. I bought a piece of birch 1/2 inch plywood in 4x4 foot sheet. This cost about $20 from Lowe's. I had them cut the piece to a 3x3 foot square. I had them cut some other sizes out of my piece of birch plywood for other projects I have planned.
2. Measure six 5 inch squares going across the board. I drew lines with my yard stick. Then I did the same going down the board.
3. Then I traced a cup in each square to make circles. Just try to use a cup that fills the square nicely.
4. Paint the circles black. I used regular craft paint, stuff I already had. It has a flat finish, which is good for the next step. Make sure you use a good brush for this so you can get sharp lines around your circle. I like white or yellow synthetic angle brushes for this task. Also, don't worry if it isn't perfect...nothing is EVER perfect, right?
5. On my computer, using "Century Schoolbook" font in 180 size and in outline, I typed the ABC's with numbers and symbols. The symbols will need to be in smaller font because they are sharing a circle (I used 72 font).
6. Using a yellow or white crayon, I scribbled the back of the printed out letters. Just like this post on making signs without a fancy letter machine.
7. Center the letters on the black circles and trace. Hopefully, some of the yellow or white crayon will transfer to the black.
8. Now, you just paint the letters with white craft paint. This felt like it took forever, but I tried to do a row at a time, and before I knew it the project was finished. So, just hang in there and again, NOTHING IS PERFECT, so just keep on keepin' on, even when you think it looks terrible.
9. Once, the letters were dry, I dipped a cup into white paint that I had poured onto a paper plate. I then placed the painted cup onto each circle, trying not to make it look perfect, and trying not to make complete circles at each press. This step makes the circles look like vintage typewriter keys.
10. Once the paint dried, we created a wood frame out of 1X2 inch "firring strips" and nailed it in place. Firring strips can be bought at Lowe's for about $1. They are in the back of the lumber area, and are usually sold in packages of 8ft. six packs. I only needed one for this project.
11. Then I stained with Minwax's English Chestnut stain (my favorite stain) and then sealed with a coat of poly.
Once it dries, you will be ready to hang!
Materials Needed (that we didn't already have):
- Birch plywood piece (about $23)
- 1X2 Firring strip ($1)
- TOTAL: $24
That's a savings of $305! I'm gonna pat myself on the back for that one! I just saved my family some money and added a great piece of art for our kitchen nook by DIYing this Pottery Barn art myself!
Just so you know...these are the materials needed that we already had, but you will need:
- nail gun with nails
- stain of your choice
- black and white craft paint
- various paint brushes
- various sized cups or glasses