Esther 4:14b

"...and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Valentine’s Decor

Our mantle has been bare ever since I took the Christmas stuff down the beginning of January. I was waiting for inspiration to strike and strike it did this weekend.

Not having a lot of money, I came up with the idea to use wedding photos from my hubby’s side of the family – us, his parents, his siblings and his grandparents – as well as a custom art piece and candles. I wanted some sort of red item to make things “pop” so I was so excited when I found these red berry plants on Christmas clearance for 90% off! I paid a whopping .40 cents for each of them! A coat of white paint on their pots was all the needed to blend in with my idea.

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You can see the beginning stages of the art I made behind the freshly painted pot.

I wanted to make a piece that I could use at times of the year besides Valentine’s Day. The quote I decided to use is by Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave but not our hearts.” I thought it was perfect to accompany family photos.

First I made a file in Publisher that was the size of my board and arranged the fonts just how I wanted them. Then I printed it out and taped the pages together and taped them on my board.

Next I traced over each of the letters while pushing hard to transfer their outlines to the wood. Then I filled in each letter with the corresponding paint. In hindsight, I should have left it at this stage:

Unfortunately, I decided to try and antique it a little. First, I used my sanding block on the edges and gently across the face of it. I loved this and wish I had a photo at that stage. But, I took it a step further and used some Ralph Lauren glaze I picked up at Home Depot hoping to antique the white letters even more. The result?

I HATE it! The glaze went on so blotchy and no matter what I tried it just made it worse. Now I’m tempted to make my own glaze by watering down some black paint and hoping it will darken it up a little bit again. Any advice?

Which version do you like better:

Before “antiquing”



After “antiquing”?

One thing I do know…I will be making art like this again because it is great impact for very little money. The final cost for this 18” x 21.5” art and mantle makeover?

Wood: Free from work scraps
Frames & Photos: Free from shopping the house
Berries & Vases: $1.20 for three
Jar Lantern Tea light holders: $3.38 for two
Paint & Brush: $3 because I was out of black and wanted a larger foam brush

TOTAL: $7.58

(Note: I also paid $15 for the stupid glaze that I didn’t consider in this cost because I used a gift card hoping I’d be able to use it on many house projects to come. After this, I’m not so sure it was a good buy.)

I’m linking this up to Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before & After Party today and to Kimba’s DIY Day on Tuesday.


  1. aw, so discouraging to take it one step past what you loved! I do like the unglazed version better, but the glazed art is not bad!

  2. I like the looks of both. Why don't you try re-painting the letters so that they pop more against the glaze? This might make all the difference in the world.

  3. OH, what a great idea!! Love it! I like both versions but maybe try what Treasia said and see if that works for you.

    Thanks for the idea!

  4. I love the quote and the fact that you figured out how to make it for you! Good job. Don't beat yourself up over it, but celebrate your creativity and what you learned in the process!

  5. Love the name of your blog! and even though it didn't come out like your origional idea, I still think it looks lovely :)

    ~ Emily N. from "too Blessed to Stress"

  6. I think it looks pretty both ways. I know what you mean though. Don't you wish crafting came with a rewind button?? I love the name of your blog. Esther is one of my heroes!


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