Please allow me to preface this post with telling you guys up front that I am NOT a crafty person. I’ll never be one of those girls who actually makes all the DIY projects she pins on Pinterest.
Example number one: A couple months ago, I was trying to help Adam set up his new apartment and thought that I would surprise him by hanging up a few of his prints (Adam is an amazing artist!) to help him get settled. Long story short, I actually hammered a SCREW in the wall instead of a nail. I didn’t know it until Adam got home from work and I said, “ta-dah!”, anxious to show off my hard work and score some girlfriend brownie points. I don’t know if I have ever heard Adam laugh louder. When he told me what I did, I started laughing hard, too, and soon both of us were doubled over with tears in our eyes.
Example number two: Last week I had the urge to make a little map craft with the three dollar vintage print I picked up at the ferry building the other week. My friend Morgan (who is very crafty) instructed me to go to the craft store and get some glue and varnish so I could adhere the print to a canvas and make it look all glossy and nice. It sounded like a plan to me so I headed over to Michael’s and as soon as I walked in I asked the sales girl “what aisle the hodge podge was on”. She just stared at me for a moment before asking, “the MOD podge you mean?” Yes…I do mean that. Thank you very much.
You might chalk this all up to dumb blonde moments, but I just wasn’t blessed with the gene for arts & crafts. I can bake you bread, take pretty food photos and write a book but I can’t make a simple craft.
However, I really have the desire to learn to be craftier!! I’d love to learn how to sew a pillow for the couch, make a pallet coffee table or craft my own kitchen chalkboard. I get a subscription to Martha Stewart with the hope that if I read enough about crafts, one day I’ll be good at them.
So, all that being said, allow me to give you the low-down on my most recent craft endeavor. To do this you’ll need an inexpensive print (vintage wrapping paper is fun!), a piece of canvas roughly the same size as the print, a bottle of gloss varnish, some spray glue, a brush, thumbtacks and a hammer. Like I said, I found this piece of vintage map wrapping paper for only three dollars the other week!
The girl at Michael’s (the same one that gave me the funny look and politely corrected my hodge/mod podge error) recommended I use this “spray mount” glue after I told her what exactly I wanted to do. Honestly, I don’t know if it was the best choice. You guys probably know better than I do what kind of glue it takes to adhere a piece of wrapping paper to canvas, but this glue didn’t work so well and left me with lots of air bubble….which I’ll get to later.
Anyway, after you adhere your paper to the canvas, fold over the sides like you are wrapping a present and stick the tacks in to hold it in place. I found it helpful to actually hammer those suckers in.
Now, paint your gloss varnish all over the print. This, friends, is when my trouble started. As soon as I touched the varnish to the print, all these air bubbles popped up! So very frustrating. I’m blaming the glue.
Regardless of the air bubbles (since I am OCD, I actually ended up removing the tacks with a butter knife after the varnish dried then smoothing out the print and re-tacking it so less bubbles existed), I really liked this gloss varnish stuff! It gave my print an almost laminated look and feel.
What else can I varnish?!?! I’m on a roll and there’s no stopping now!
Below you see the final craft product drying in the sun on the side of my house. Honestly, I got incredibly frustrated mid-way through and almost quit (again…the air bubbles), but then I thought about how I spent thirty dollars on all my materials and I wasn’t going to let that go to waste. I wanted to write the perfect “DIY blog post” like some other bloggers do that I admire. However, I realized that I am not perfect….and maybe the air bubbles on my print just make it look all the more rustic? Seriously though, projects like this humble me.
And I am totally forcing Adam to hang this canvas art in his new apartment whether he likes it or not.