Gifts or Bust

Get it??? Bust??? That’s what this post is about after all. When we were brainstorming about what to give our parents for Christmas, we thought and thought and thought. Then one day, I spotted these at Walmart….

IMG_2828

Burlap canvases for around five bucks a piece. And I asked myself… what do you get the grandparents who have everything??? Why, more pictures of Lucas, of course!!! I thought the burlap canvases would be the perfect backdrops for black silhouette busts of Lucas’s sweet profile.

In preparation for this project, I took advantage of a rare moment of stillness and snapped this shot of Lucas way back in September…

IMG_2829

Then, I procrastinated for three months. I tell ya, I always have good intentions. Every year, I try to plan presents early. It’s the execution part that I seem to have a problem with.  So anyways, when I finally motivated myself to get on it, I pulled the pic up on our computer screen and stared at it for a while as I decided how to proceed. Then, I held the burlap canvas right up to the screen and realized that thanks to our newly upgraded monitor, the pic was the perfect size for the canvas as is. Right there on the monitor. So, I held a piece of computer paper up to the screen and simply traced the outline of Lucas’s head with a pencil.

IMG_2830

Which left this….

IMG_2831

Worked like a charm.  I’ll bet you could do this on just about any monitor, too (as long as it’s big enough).  Just zoom in until you reach your desired size and use the screen as a lightbox of sorts.   I cut out my baby boy’s profile….

IMG_2833

And placed my paper template on my canvas. I used a fine-tipped black sharpie to CAREFULLY trace the outline of Lucas’s head onto the burlap. To be honest, I was sweating bullets during this part. When I lifted my paper after I’d completed my outline, I was pleasantly surprised…..

IMG_2836

YESSSSSSSS!!!! It looked like him and everything!!!! Then I used this multipurpose paint (which specifies that it can be used on fabric)….

IMG_2838

…to fill in the lines. I used a thin painters brush to do the outline. I filled right up to my sharpie line. NOT over it.

IMG_2839

Then, I used a larger brush to fill in the inside. This is when I realized that although burlap seems low maintenance, it’s really quite greedy. With paint anyways. It soaked up a surprising amount. Then, wanted MORE. Burlap, you little diva, you.  Anyhow, here’s how it looked after one coat of paint….

IMG_2840

I let that dry, then applied another. And here’s the finished product….

IMG_2877

After I was done, I waited a few days to be sure I was fresh, and repeated the process again so that both sets of grandparents would have a cute little Lucas profile.   

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with how quick this project was. I fully expected it to take longer. I used the same Lucas template for both canvases, which helped save some time. The longest part was simply filling in the lines with paint, which wasn’t bad at all. And in the end, both sets of grandparents seemed to really like them, so I’m calling this project a success!

So anyways, I hope everyone had a very Merry and safe Christmas (or Hanukkah or Festivus or whatever holiday you celebrate)! So, tell me, how’d Santa treat you guys?? Any fun DIY gifts in you’re parts?

“I feel prettyyyy!” – Our Front Door

So, I mentioned in this post that I wanted to DIY a wreath for our front door. And this weekend it actually happened (insert pat on back with fist pump).  During the brainstorming stage, I decided that my wreath of choice must fulfill three criteria:

1. It must be versatile so we can utilize it for multiple holidays
2. It must be cheap
3. It must be easy

I also wanted something a little different than a traditional wreath. I’d seen different types of frame wreaths on Pinterest and was intrigued by this prospect. So, throughout my various thrifting trips I kept an eye out for chunky frames with a somewhat streamlined design.

This weekend, we did a few thrift store drive-bys in search of a dresser. Literally, drive-bys. Joey pulled the truck up to multiple thrift stores, I jumped out, ran in with the promise of texting him to join me if I found The One, took a quick gander for dressers, and hopped back in the car if it was a no-go.  All within a period of two minutes. So, you should’ve seen his face when I climbed back into the truck after a quick peek at Thrift Town and broke the news that we’d become the proud new owners of this beaut…

IMG_1982

He was $3.99 and worth every penny. The frame style and size immediately grabbed my attention as I walked past. It was chunky, streamlined and cheap. Bingo.

For the actual wreath making process, I didn’t follow a tutorial per se. I just mainly used things I already had and figured it out as I went.  First, I de-wildlifed the frame by removing the staples on back with a pair of needle-nosed pliers…

IMG_1984 IMG_1985

I thoroughly cleaned the grime off the frame with a water/vinegar spray. And believe me, this guy was grimey. Then, I used this spray paint in Ivy Leaf which is a nice sagey green color to spray-paint the frame….

IMG_2029

I allowed the frame to dry overnight, then the next morning I assembled my materials….

IMG_2032

Some twine and burlap ribbon. I purchased the burlap ribbon a while back for a different project at Walmart for around five bucks if I’m remembering correctly.   The twine, (I kid you not) I’ve had since college. Almost 10 years ago. And I didn’t even buy it. It was given to me by my roommate.  And I’ve kept it all these years.  Crazytown.

So anyways, I wanted to create that puffy, loopy burlap look around one corner of the frame only. I started by looping the burlap under at my desired starting point and wrapping the twine around the frame and burlap tightly to secure it .  Then, I knotted it….

IMG_2038 IMG_2037

I continued to form loops of burlap and secured them by wrapping the twine around the cinched part of the burlap. The twine went around both the frame and burlap.  It’s hard to tell from the pic, but I literally just spiraled the twine around and around the frame.  It’s all just one long piece.

IMG_2040

I worked my way down and around the corner until I reached my desired stopping point on the bottom of the frame. I formed one last loop of burlap and tucked it under.  Then, I wrapped the twine around the cinched part tightly and knotted it behind the frame (just like I did at the beginning).  I trimmed the excess and played with the loops a bit until they laid how I wanted them to.  Then, I called it done. Super easy. This part seriously took 10 minutes once I figured out how to do it.

I added these felt pads to the back of the frame so it wouldn’t scratch our door…..

IMG_2041

Now, for hanging. I saw this tip on Pinterest once and thought it was an awesome idea. I don’t even think I pinned it, actually. It was one of those, “Oh what a great idea!” and then I got distracted moments. So, to whoever came up with this idea, kudos!

Anyways, I used this command hook…

IMG_2098

And mounted it upside-down on the back of our front door. I waited the recommended hour for the Command hook to set, then I grabbed Joey because this part was a two-man job. I looped some thick cream-colored ribbon that I had on hand around the top of the frame. Joey, held both ends of the ribbon flush, looped it over the top of our door and held the ends of the ribbon while standing inside the house (I’m sorry, I don’t have pics of this part, but it’ll be more clear once I show the final pics) . I stood outside and had him lower and/or raise it until it looked good. Then, once the placement was right, I grabbed the ribbon from him and tied it around the command hook. It looked like this when it was done and trimmed….

IMG_2153  IMG_2154

IMG_2177

And the final product….

IMG_2162

IMG_2161

IMG_2171

I couldn’t be more happy with this wreath. It’s simple and versatile. And I know exactly how I’m gonna jazz it up for Christmas, too. Gosh, I love Christmas. Anyways, this wreath ended up costing me around $17. Four bucks for the frame, four bucks for the spray paint and around $9 for the Command hook (although, I have half a can of spray paint left and can reuse the hook). I splurged on the nicer hook because it matched our door but I’m sure you could get a cheaper one if desired. I already had the burlap ribbon, twine, cream ribbon and felt pads, but my guess is you could probably add another $15 if you had to purchase those things, less if you struck with a 50% off coupon at Michaels or Joann.

And one more pic, just for fun…

IMG_2175

🙂