Tag Archive - Tutorial

Paint By Number – The Everyday Rembrandt

 

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I would be interested to know how many of you would have known instantly what the above paintings were if you had not read the title of this post – just curious on what the age range is on knowledge of this type of “Everyday Rembrandt”.  

Have you seen “Paint By Number” paintings before?  If you frequent thrift stores, resale shops, flea markets, or estate sales, chances are good you have come into contact with this type of craft.  Or maybe your Mom was a PBN connoisseur?  Or your grandmother?  Hugely popular in the 1950′s and 1960′s, the first Paint By Number kit was revealed at the New York Toy Show in 1951.  Though sales were slow in the beginning, by 1954, over twelve million kits had been sold.

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I find them fascinating for a few reasons.  First of all, it was time consuming to paint all of those little sections.  You can almost tell how “into it” some people felt – if they patiently colored each section or breezed through just to get it done.  My favorite is when you find ones that are signed like original pieces of art.  I love it!  I would probably sign them too after painting in all of those tiny number sections.

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Though you can still find a ton of these paintings using this search on Ebay and this search on Etsy, they are getting harder to find and more expensive as time goes on, and they become more collectible.  Since I have gallery walls on the brain, I like the look of people using the vintage paint by numbers with that goal in mind.

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Country Living

Country Living

happydogsplay.com

happydogsplay.com

The Rug Company

The Rug Company

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Amy & Joe Keller

Amy & Joe Keller

Shannon Berrey Design

Shannon Berrey Design

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Country Living

Country Living

Country Living

Country Living

Of course, someone has to take it to the next level by painting entire wall murals based on their favorite Paint By Number pattern.

Tutorial for this project here.

Design Sponge

Design Sponge

 

Tutorial for this project here.

Easter Kiwi

Easter Kiwi

 

Tutorial for this project here. - LOVE this one!  The artist even left her son some “empty numbers” to paint as he would like.

Katie's Pencil Box

Katie’s Pencil Box

Yes, they look great as a gallery wall, terrific as a wall mural, but even if you just have one, they bring a pleasant feel to a shelf.

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I have one on my mantle!

Image by Kat Phillips, TheGrayAttic.com

Image by Kat Phillips, TheGrayAttic.com

And actually, I just bought this little beauty on Ebay for the gallery wall in my girls room.

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In fact, there is such an interest and (dare I say, a cult-like following?) in collecting these pieces, there is now an online Paint By Number Museum.  (air quotes around “museum”)  If you have one of these, you can find out if it is a valuable one or not by entering the information on the site.  Truth be told, there are a bajillion of these out there (you can get them anywhere from $5-$40 from what I have seen) so there are not many that are worth much.  But who knows?  You may have one of the really early models!

Of course, if this is simply too kitsch for you, maybe you could do a Paint By Number sweater?

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters

What do you think of vintage Paint By Number art?  Do you have any in your home?  In your family?

Written by Grace

DIY Tutorial: Christmas Moss Letters

These moss letters have a natural feel and evoke Christmas festivity with the addition of your favorite Christmas ribbon.  Best of all, they are easy to do and not overly time consuming.

What You Need:

1.  Cardboard letters – I found mine at Joann’s, though I’m sure you can find them at your local craft store.  They come in various sizes and fonts (mine are about two fee tall).  Note:  I think if you purchased the small letters and followed this DIY, these would make darling holiday teacher gifts!  

2.  Hot glue gun

3.  A large bag of hot glue sticks – you will need them!

4.  Moss Mats – also available at your local craft store in the floral department.  (I can get two letters out of one package.)

5.  Scissors

6.  Pretty Ribbon (I chose a beautiful 5 inch wide red satin ribbon – also from Joann’s.)

Step 1: Choose your letters.

Of course, you can choose different Christmas words – Merry, Joy, Noel, Ho-Ho-Ho, etc.  You could also just do the initial of your last name, and hang it on your front door.

Step 2: Open and roll out your moss mat.

Make sure you have the moss to the floor, and the backside of the moss mat facing you.

Step 3: Trace your letter.

Using a Sharpie or other thick tip marker, trace your letter.  Note:  It doesn’t matter for all letters, but to be on the safe side, trace all of your letters backwards.

This is what it will look like after you have traced your letter.

Step 4: Cut out your letter.

Cut out your letter making sure you are cutting right at the outside edge of your line.  You want a little bit of room for seams.  Make sure you keep your scraps, you will cut them into strips and use them for the edges of your letters.

Step 5: Glue the moss to the face of the letter.

Take your hot glue gun and slowly paste the moss to your letter one section at a time.  Following the outline of your letter, apply hot glue and press to ensure adhesion.

Then you will have this!

Step 6: Cut strips to do the outside edge of the letters – you want it to be pretty from all angles!  Note: If I were giving this as a gift, I would put pretty paper on the back, too.  

Use the width of the letter as a guide to cut your strips.

Step 7: Glue the strips to the edge of your letter.

The great thing about working with moss is the seams disappear because of its texture.  It is very simple to make these letters look like a smooth sheet of moss covering them by using this tactic.

Place a generous amount of hot glue right at the edge of the seam.

Using your fingers, press the edges of both moss pieces together.

See!  No seam here!

Note:  If you have a little extra moss hanging off the back of your letter, it is easy to trim with a pair of scissors.

Step 8: Admire your pretty letter.

Repeat with remaining letters as desired, and you have a beautiful project!

As I stated before, I chose wide red satin ribbon to hang my letters.  Since only the “O” and the “E” could have ribbon looped around the top, I had to come up with other ideas for the “N” and the “L”.  For the “N”, I hot glued the ribbon to the back at a slight angle, so the ribbon would not be pulled funny when I hung it.  (i.e. don’t glue the ribbon completely vertical)

For the “L”, I simply glued a drapery weight to the bottom left corner to keep it from being tilted.  Worked like a charm!  (sorry, no picture – drapery weights are readily available at your local craft store or Walmart)

These letters are lovely inside or outside, but I placed mine on an expanse of brick wall between two windows on my front porch.  More to come on my Christmas porch decorations.  I may or may not still have pumpkins on my porch.  (wink, wink), but it’s beginning to look like Christmas around here!

What do you think?  How can you use this idea in your home?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas – sound off in the comments!

DIY Tutorial: How To Design & Place Plate Collections On A Wall

So sorry for my absence yesterday, dear readers!  Back in the swing of things…

Whether you have a plate collection or any sort of collection to place on the wall, today will give you the step-by-step instructions.  It takes a little time, but it is probably easier than you think to get the look you want, especially if you were inspired by all of the varied designs in this post.

First, you need to layout your plates to find a pleasing arrangement to you.  When I do something like this, I usually eyeball it to see if I like it, then I take a picture.  It may seem silly to take a picture of it, but it is always good to look at design through photography.  There is just something different about seeing it through a lens that allows you to pick up on something that seems off.

Once you find the positioning you like, get out your tracing paper.

Reader, meet Tracing Paper.  Tracing Paper, meet Reader.  Tracing Paper is your friend and can be found at most office or craft/hobby stores.  You should get some to have on-hand because it is SO great for a variety of projects, including this one.

Lay out sheets of tracing paper over the top of your design.

After you have the shape that covers your design, put the sheets on the floor, and use strips of tape to secure them in that configurement.

Then put your tracing paper over the top of your collection, grab a marker that moves easily with light pressure, and trace over your design.

The lines do not have to be perfect, they will just be a general guideline.

Cut around your outline, and you have your pattern!

Tape it up on your wall, only placing tape strips at the top of your pattern.  You want to be able to slip under the pattern to place your plates.

I received a few emails about how to affix plates to the wall, and I cannot say enough good things about these Command Picture Strips.  They can hold up to twelve pounds (the more strips you use, the stronger the hold), and are overall easy to use.  This is the exact pack I used (it actually took me two packs) – the set of six medium strips.

Now I will tell you, though I am not condoning this, I didn’t exactly follow the directions for the strips in this project.  Basically, there are two strips that snap together like super strong velcro.  You are supposed to attach one strip to the wall and one strip to your object.  Then you push them together, and they are affixed.

You can do it this way, especially with your pattern because you could center your strip in the tracing paper circle, center the other strip on your plate, and push them together.  That just made me nervous because I wanted to make sure everything lined up perfectly.  Therefore, I put both strips together, took one sticker backing off, pressed it for 30 seconds (as the directions state) onto the plate, took the other sticker backing off, put the plate into position, and pressed it to the wall for 30 seconds.  Many other users of this product did it this way when I looked online, and I did not see any issues.

The Command strips are damage free so you don’t have to worry about them damaging your wall or your plate!  When you want to change your design, just pull the tab at the bottom of the strip, and it comes right off.

In no time, I could see my design coming together.

My plates vary in age – from the early 1900′s to the 1950′s – and I love their history, variance, and hand-painted quality.  Ta-da!

As you can see, I added a couple more pieces after I finished my proposed pattern.  I simply wanted to fill it in a little and give it more interest.  I’d like to add to my collection as I find plates that are pretty and intrigue me.  Now when I see one, I will have a place to put it!

Do you have a collection to put up on your wall?

 

Kids Choice

Today I am having Kids Choice Day at my house, a day where the kids pick where we go, what we eat, activities to do, etc.  So far, we have had roll-up eggs, milk with “stripey straws” and strawberries.  Oh the excitement, ha.  It has been a really busy few weeks around here, and my little crew has been making many a trip to fabric and home stores.  I am looking forward to enjoying them and what they like best.  See you back here tomorrow!

Melted crayon art tutorial found here.

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