Balsa wood canvas frame – Monthly DIY Challenge

Whatup, yall!   It’s time again for our DIY Monthly Challenge!  (Applause!!!)

This is a challenge where my bloggy friends and I are assigned an item and must simply make something with it!

This month, our item of choice was craft wood.

And I chose balsa simply for ease of use.  For those who don’t know, balsa wood is very soft, so you can cut it with an X-acto knife or scissors.   Totally my type of material.

I have to say that this month’s theme couldn’t have come at a better time.  See, I recently found this canvas art at a thrift store for $6.  And was completely enamored….

I loved the colors and the contrast.  It immediately caught my eye (as did the price tag), so I adopted it and we held hands as we walked off into the sunset I took that badboy home.

The only downside was that it was an unfinished canvas with staples on the sides.  I wanted to make it appear more finished, thus, I decided to use balsa wood to create a frame.   This was SUPER easy to do, but I wanna caution… because balsa wood is so soft, you mainly wanna use it on lightweight items or items that you know wont be bumped around much as it can dent and become misshapen easily (at least mine did).   I learned this pretty quickly as I constructed my frame.  My canvas was borderline too heavy so I had to be careful that I didn’t set it down on our unevenly textured slate floors too firmly.

Anyways, I chose to use four pieces of 1″ x 1/4″ x 36″ balsa wood, which I purchased from Joanne’s.  Then, I simply measured my canvas and cut my balsa wood to size using the straight edge of my ruler as a guide.   I made multiple passes of the knife until I cut entirely through the wood…

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Next, I spray painted my balsa with my new fave, Valspar’s metallic spray paint in gold.  Once it was dry,  I simply hot glued it to the canvas…

That’s all it took!   And here’s what I was left with…

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Purdy, no?  I just love this art.   Seriously.  I think it was just a homemade piece that somebody created then donated, but it’s genius.

I decided to hang it in the hangout room for now…

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I’m not sure if this will be it’s permanent home, as I’d like to add shelving or a picture ledge to this wall eventually, but for now I’m sort of loving it…

Here’s the view from the doorway…

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I’d like to change out the grey patterned pillow cover because I feel like it’s a competing a bit with the curtains, but all in all I’m happy with the direction this room is going.  So anyways, this was a really simple and quick project that really packed an impact!   I really couldn’t be happier with how my frame turned out!

Now, check out what my bloggy friends came up with for their awesome projects… 

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Our foyer is such a diva

She takes forever to get ready.

Like, for real.

Remember when the foyer looked like this??

Well, she looks very different now.  And it all started with five dollars.  Are you noting a theme here?? I find a cheapo thrift store find, and before I know it, I no longer recognize the space.   It’s totally a thing.  A sickness. An addiction.   Totally.

See, I found this mirror for $5…

It needed a little love, but I was a huge fan of the shape (and the insane price).  Once I got it home, I simply used wood filler to fill the dents, dings, and seams.  Waited for it to dry, then sanded to a smooth finish (although this was taken pre-sanding)…

Then, I gave it several coats of Valspar’s metallic spray paint in gold (which is becoming a new favorite of mine)…

After a day or so, I hung it above our lawyer’s cabinet in the foyer…

…but it was looking a little… lonely.  So, after a few attempts at photographing it, I just couldn’t do it.  It needed SOMETHING. Something more.   So, I dug though my stash, and came across this lovely print (sorry for the reflection on it)…

After hanging it up to see what I thought, I LOVED IT.  And suddenly I had this vision of an asymmetrical gallery wall with grays and blues and a touch of red to tie in with the rest of the house.

In no time flat, my foyer looked like this…

And I thoroughly gave up on doing anything else productive that day.  Laundry be damned.

My technique to create this gallery wall was pretty involved.  Haha.  Not really.  Have you met me??   I simply punched a bunch of holes in the wall…

Not kidding.   It looks like Swiss cheese behind those pictures.   I just started hammering.   There was a LOT of hammering.  I played for DAYS and swiftly learned that once Lucas is asleep hammering will not wake him. #momoftheyear

Do I recommend you do the same should you attempt a gallery wall? Probably not.  Planning is not overrated.  I’ve planned gallery walls before, as I outlined in detail in this post.  But somehow this worked for me this go-around.  I just patched and painted any visible holes when I was done.

At one point, my wall looked like this…

But it was WAY too busy.   It annoyed me every time I walked past.  Just too many THINGS.  I felt claustrophobic when I looked at it.  So, I scaled it back and ended up here…

Much better.   The arrangement can breathe now.   And I have to say that this wall completes me totally compliments the lawyer’s cabinet and just feels “right”…

I’m seriously tired of apologizing for and/or explaining the presence of the boob light and the fact that I hate it and did NOT choose it.   Seriously, I’ve gotta take action on that.   Aside from that anatomically-correct replica hanging above our heads, I’m enamored of our foyer.  Like, big time.

Here’s a bit of a closer look at what we’ve got on there…

From the top, we have a pic of Lucas when he was almost 2 years old, a watercolor that he did at school when he was three, a pic of Joey and I in Paris in front of a cool metal sculpture, and a photostrip that we took when Lucas was deep into his ninja turtle phase.

The other side holds a pic of the cake topper from our wedding cake (made by my Joey’s parents), a print from New Orleans that reminds me of college, that blue print, and a shot from Lucas’s newborn pics (taken by my talented friend Susie).   All in all, it contains a good smattering of stuff, and totally represents us, but I feel like it’s not too in your face with family pics either.  I like my subtle nuances when it comes to art.  Fun candid shots along with others that hold meaning.

On the opposite side of the foyer, I hung my new best friends…

I found these chrome beauties at TJ Maxx for about $10 a piece.   And they turned out to be my new favorite medium from which to hang my brother, Alex’s, dog tags.

They’re perfect for this spot as they add dimension, but they don’t stick out far enough to impede traffic..

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And here’s that side of the foyer now..

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It’s coming together!!!   We still have a big blank wall to address across from the front door, but I’m not sure what to do with that yet.  I have an idea, but we’ll see how it plays out.  In any case, walking through the foyer is now a much more pleasant experience.

So, have you ever attempted a gallery wall?  What’s your favorite technique?  Are you a planner or a “just do it” sort of person when it comes to projects like that?

TDC Before and After