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.
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:
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
(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.)