Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My First DIY (for the wedding)

I am a pretty crafty person, which is quite handy since I am a teacher (still trying to find a job). In one of the bazillions of wedding magazines I have in my possession (but are going to a better place tomorrow-the dump!!), I found a really cute idea. There was a square vase that had been etched with the last initial of the bride and groom. And, rather than spend an unfortunate amount of money, I had the idea to do it myself.
Photo: Beaucoup

So, I decided that today would be the day to take on such a project. I've been going stir crazy in the house. I haven't been able to get a job yet (and I've been looking since MARCH) and being in this house alone is really, really, really boring.

I shall now share with you my journey to obtain the necessary material, and then I will tell you all about what I did and how to do it better!!

1. I went to JoAnn's. It is right by house (over at Providence in MJ) and didn't require too much effort. I went...and they didn't have anything that I felt I needed for this project. Most of the things they had I could get at another craft store. So, I left.
2. Well, as you may or may not know, Providence has a NY&Company. I'm thoroughly addicted to NY&C, and it didn't help that they are having a sale right now. 70% off for clearance items (drool worthy) and Buy One, Get One FREE on all Jeans and Pants (fainting spell worthy). I couldn't help myself. I went over to investigate. (I talked to R yesterday about it, and we agreed that I could get some jeans. I haven't bought a pair in two years. Scandal, I know!!) Well, I bought a hot, new pair of jeans that I love, love, love. And, I also bought two sweaters - dark lime/chartreuse/lawn green and coral. They will look awesome with my new, free black pants. (I love to pop one color.)
3. After spending money...oh, money, how you cause such problems, I headed over to Hobby Lobby in Hermitage. I walked back to the craft section with etching on my mind but no idea where to start. Lucky me though! A cute sales associate came up and asked if I needed help. Rather than turn her down and scour the entire store, I asked her if they had any etching supplies. Did they? YES!!! They had just what I wanted and needed. This is what I got: Armour Etch (3 oz.), stencil brushes, a craft knife (in pink!!), blank stencil sheets, and a cutting board. I was on such a high from being able to get all that, I headed over to the floral section for the vase, flower, and accent stones. But...sadly, they let me down there. The square vase they had was completely too, too big. The yellow flower was not attractive. I didn't even bother looking for the stones at that point.
4. Hobby Lobby trip behind me, I headed back over to JoAnn's in Providence. There, I got my square vase (despite the price - $9.99), my flower, and marble accent stones. Success!! Now, I had everything needed...plus, some super cute clothes.

NOW - on to the crafty project.

1. I printed out my letters on photo paper so that it would be thicker than regular paper. The letters were picked by R from a group that I sent him yesterday in an e-mail. He has some pretty good taste.
2. I cut them apart so that they were no longer on one sheet of paper. I did each letter one at a time and taped it to the underside of the stencil sheet (which was clear).
3. One letter at a time, I used my craft knife and cut them out. I have very little experience with craft knifes and found cut them out to be quite difficult. But, once I got the hang of it, it got easier. It just took time and patience - things that I'm working on! :) I was (and still am) impressed with how they turned out.
4. After they were all cut out, I set them aside and cleaned one side of the square vase I bought to prep it. Then, I picked one of my handmade stencils, and taped it down to the side of the vase. Using my stencil brush, I put the Armour Etch on to the vase in the form of the stencil. I did not do each letter at the same time. I did one at a time. It only takes 5 minutes for the etching cream to set before you have to wash it off anyway. (As you can tell, the first one didn't turn out that well. I barely put any of the cream on. I figured out, as you can tell from the others, that you have to glob the stuff on and let it set for 6 minutes instead of the recommended 5.)
I'm sorry that it's kind of hard to see the etching. I wish I had a black piece of paper to put behind it so that you could see. The project turned out fairly well. The only thing I would do differently next time is use contact paper so that it stuck to the vase. I noticed that when you glob the etch cream on, it tends to get under the stencil. So, if you plan to do this - use contact paper.

Also, be sure to take the stencil or contact paper off AFTER you have rinsed off the cream. It will look like you have just washed away all your hard work until you remove the paper or stencil. Then, you get a happy surprise!! :)

Here's the finished project. My plan is to have a blue light glowing from within the stones. Or, do you think I should use blue stones with the blue light so that you can see the monogram??
Let me know what you think!!
I had lots of fun doing this project. :)
Hope this is helpful to someone.


1 comment:

  1. You did a great job they would look wonderful. I would just use a blue light and not the blue stones, but they might look different after you try it so I could be wrong. I'm glad you said to use contact paper that helps a lot if I want to do something like this for my day.