Archive for ‘DIY Expert’

July 24, 2011

Bright Idea | DIY Expert: Super sized Runner (Found on the Internets)

I so need a long runner for my entry hallway.
By long, I think 21 feet should do it.
Considering most off the shelf runners come 7 ft long
And cost about $60 – $130 each.
I definitely needed to research a DIY option.

This woman is genius.  [blog post link]
She knocked off the above rug.
With a piece of canvas, some rug non-skid and some fabric.
Well…and some adhesive spray and a sewing machine.

Only because there are lots of parts and patience and a sewing machine involved is this expert.
If you’re handy with a sewing machine or don’t think hand stitching is eye gougingly slow…
then this is probably maybe just advanced for you (budget to buy all that other stuff)

But if you buy your fabric from here [link]
and you buy canvas at Jo’s with a coupon
and you find a rug stop skid somewhere…

This could totally hit the medium. 
Especially if you are NOT making a 21 foot runner.
Just saying.
That’s a LOT of straight stitching to make happen.

Anyhow, here are some of the awesome fabric patterns I’m considering:


And since most are about $6.50 a yard (or so), I can knock out a runner for probably about the price of one…ir not less than.

We’ll let you know.  Since this is still just a bright idea because, well, I have no sewing machine (yet)
And I want to use coupons to get supplies to make it as cheap as possible.
I know.

Awesome thought that counts.
Which fabric do you think I should go with?
I’ll choose one commenter as the winner of a gift certificate [fabric store GC? or Jo’s] for $50.
That’s a lot of fabric.
Get your comment on!

August 14, 2010

Subway Art the Super Hard Way

So in this post, I revealed how little I value my time
versus how much I value not having to whip out my credit card.

In an effort to create my take on subway art,
we built and stretched our own canvas.

Framed and stretched canvas
Photo (c) b3home designs
The frame was built in probably about an hour by Mr. Handy Guy
Took me about 3 hours to stretch the canvas on both frames
with the staple gun, brad nailer and canvas stretcher pliers.
and a hammer
Took me about another hour
including “drying time”
to prime the canvas.
In some ways, I think now I would have been okay with natural canvas
but the primer was good for making sure all the texture mediums
stuck to the canvas.
After primed, they were placed in the office.
Where they sat.
For 4 months.
Finally, giving into the fear that I would be imperfect
and not be able to do a faux encaustic
I just went to town with texturizing and playing.
And yellow (smile)
Because yellow makes me happy
Almost as happy as yellow and gray together.
After about a week of off and on playing on various nights
This is what the canvas looked like
Textured and washed canvas
Photo (c) b3home designs

To get all that yummy texture,
I threw every trick in the book at it

I used some acrylic gel mediums

some pumice stone
some drywall tape (my fave texture of all)
some GAC40
some retarding agent
some spackle

some caulk

Like I said, I threw it all on there
over the course of a week
to allow for drying times

Generally, I used an artist knife to throw stuff on
and a sponge or dry brush to splash on water tinted with acrylics
or ragged on some thicker blotches of thickened paint

Once that was all done,
I took out my Making Memories Simply Fab foam stamps
and I went to town stamping out funny quotes | sayings | heard abouts.
I especially loved many of the quotes from
YeeHaw’s shop on Etsy.
I mean really.
“What homewrecker are you mixed up with now”.
Classic Storetry.

These prints are totally on my Christmas wish list.
My faves are No. 140 Lumpy Gravy, No. 017 Blue Plate Special, No. 103 Booty Call, and No. 203 Amateur Hour
But I digress. 
For a little longer.
At Cornell,
In the Big Red Band
We had t-shirts made up
off of quotes I collected one season.
They were hillarious
I wish I still had my t shirt
or the quotes
man I miss being in the Big Red Band.
I miss college
Oh yes…the project.
So when I stamped all those sayings
from the t shirt
and from my general life
and from the web
all individually by hand
(yes, each little letter)
I realized that my perfectionist tendencies
were going to be the death of me.
I couldn’t just use some white paint and call it a day.
I had to use a dab of white paint
a dab of gesso
and a dab of off white paint
And sometimes,
those dabs,
had texturizers mixed in
Because, clearly, I didn’t want to make this easy.
But it sure was purty.
[editor’s note – right about now I hate blogger]

Picture that took forever to format and load
all so that you can’t REALLY see the letter stamping.
Trust me. It is awesome.
photo (c) b3 home designs
Once I threw this bad girl up on the dining room table
after a massive fail on her twin
I had to work quick.
Because I’m the last scrapbooker in the world that doesn’t own a Cricuit 
and I can’t seem to win one for the life on me on any of the 128 blogs I stalk
and I can’t afford to buy one because well, puppy needs to eat…
I proceeded to do this
handcutting subway art letters
photo (c) b3 home designs
And I thought my husband was going to have me committed.
two days later
subway art handcuttings
photo (c) b3 home designs
I “finished” cutting them out.
I use “finished” loosely
because I had to reprint about half of them
I used three font sizes (huge, huger and bolded huge)
and three colors (black, gray and grayer)
My original “huge” was too small
and I was going to poke my eye out with scissors
before giving myself permission to kill another tree
and just print them bigger already.
Because I did it in word and wasted lots of space,
I ended up printing about 150 pages of letters.
Once they were sliced out, it was easy going from there.
I started by gathering all of my supplies
subway art project supplies
photo (c) b3 home designs
My subway art didn’t use street names. 
Instead, I used names of cities we had both visited before
Super bold names were cities we had been to together
Medium font cities are cities we’ve both been to,
but not with each other.
Smallest font cities are cities that either he or I have been to
The colors of the cities have nothing to do with anything
because I didn’t have the patience to come up with a theme.
I laid out my letters on my canvas
travel themed subway art in progress
photo (c) b3 home designs
And then I went to town with my fave deluxe retractable exacto knife
best scrapbooking and now home deco tool I EVER bought
I removed the centers of letters
and kept words stable as I slapped Mod Podge
(holly heck!  of course Mod Podge has a blog and Facebook page)
to the back of my letters.
travel themed subway art in progress
photo (c) b3 home designs
After three days
two of which involved trips out of the house
and moments of panic realizing the puppy mutt
would be home alone and probably scatter
my carefully laid out cities to the wind
I finished up with this
travel themed subway art
photo (c) b3 home designs
I LOVE how these turned out.
Didn’t so much love what came next.
You’ll definitely have to tune in to see the drama
with this mama
trying to hang these bad girls.
DIY Expert just because you can do it on the cheap (SCORE!)
but it might be enough to drive you crazy with all that
handcutting and individual stamping and individual gluing
and patience required for drying time
Totally TOTALLY worth it though
Especially if you need a super big piece of art.
I’ll tally out the cost of this project soon.
*** This was a featured post ***


***Edited to add the link up fun***

Shabby Nest has tons of link up DIY fun
Princess Crafts A Lot is having a crafty link party. 
Lucky Star Lane has tons of link fun up

August 13, 2010

Subway Art Gone Wild

So when I say subway art, I don’t mean graffiti.
I mean that I’ve been on the Internets and seen lots of awesome font/subway sign inspired pieces.

When we moved into this place
I instantly fell in love with the art cut outs in our entryway
Photo (C) B3 Home Designs
That was, of course, before I realized just how expensive
not one, but TWO gigantor pieces of art would be.
Never fear
Being the cheap-o that I am
From the start, I knew I was going to “create something” for those spaces
I love Planet Janet Art and actually have done open studio with her
I knew I could never afford one of her pieces for the space
(though I have a scheme to get some of her smaller pieces for the space in between
But I love her open spirit of open studio inspiration
So I started thinking I would use the encaustic/collage technique to liven this space up
Thought half a second about how intoxicating/annoying beeswax would start to smell
in large quantities, on my wall, like that, for a long time to come
researched how much encaustics cost
(WOW!! Holy for the love of sanity!)
Realized we needed to go to plan B
In the meantime, Mr. Handy looked up stretching canvas online.
Because, really, even with my super Mike’s coupons,
they just didn’t have a big enough canvas.
Never fear.  That coupon went to good use on a pair of stretcher pliers.
Why yes.  Yes we did.  We built our own canvases.
One of the best tutorials is here by Ray Schloss.
Building the canvas frame was his realm.
We went to Land of Crappy Non-Straight Wood
(aka, Home Depot, Issaquah)
and bought a yitload of 2x2s and a couple 2x4s
the latter of which was a PLEASURE to split with a circular saw
free hand
because we don’t have a table saw
Mr. Handy was super concerned about positve reinforcement
So these suckers are heavy
But not “I can’t pick those up heavy”
and really braced through the corners like you would not believe
That was the easy part.
Then I craweled around on all fours to actually, you know,
stretch the canvas.
I bought two 6×9 drop cloths
at the Land of Everything but Wood is Great to Buy Here
(aka, Home Depot, Issaquah)
And it took me, the non-math girl, about 17 minutes to convert 9 x 12 feet
to 108 x 144 inches
as I tried to figure out if I should buy one 9×12 or two 6×9 cloths
and I gave up trying to figure out
hence why I bought two 6×9 drop cloths
at $10 each.
vs 19.97 for the one and the extra work of having to try to cut a straight line.
The Expert DIY label is generally for the whole project
Any project that needs to be blogged in a billion parts is expert to me
but also, if you suck at math,
don’t play with power tools
and have no patience for power staplers and scratching up your hardwoods
Then the patience level alone will bump this to expert. 
And when you procrastinate with a little organizing project around this photo below:
Photo (c) b3 Home Designs
It really becomes expert.
Not the organizing project.
The art project.
You’ll see.