Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lovely Math 2+3=5

Once I saw this at Thistles and Twigs blog I knew I wanted to make one of my very own. I immediately pinned it on Pinterest and started hunting for the perfect beat-up frame every time I stopped at Goodwill.

Isn't it just grand! And don't you love, love, love her chippy mustard yellow beadboard wall?
Sigh. It reminds me of a chewed-on no. 2 pencil. 

After months of keeping my eye peeled for that just right frame at the just right price.... I found it.

I paid $3.38 at Goodwill for this worn-out piece of art.
I mostly followed her instructions-- my frame measured approximately 20"x10". I downloaded the free font she used because I liked the look of it and didn't want to troll through all my fonts on the computer looking for "that perfect one". Harmony used Mouse Deco- free download here. To make my numbers, I just used Word and sized the numbers to 500; the plus sign is sized at 375 and I created a rectangle 3/4 inch wide and 7 1/3 inches long for the line. 

I then cut out my numbers and arranged them just so on the paper (which is actually that birdhouse print above flipped over to its backside- that's me, being ever so frugally-minded- ha! Reality- I didn't want to make a trip to the store to purchase poster-board, I figured if it didn't work, I'd only be out a bit of black paint and some time). I slipped the paper behind the frame (that I spray painted sunny yellow!) to make sure everything fit just so.

[Side note on painted frame: The only prep I did to the frame for painting was to clean it. 
No sanding. Because I'm impatient like that. I think I sprayed at least four coats of yellow
on the frame over the course of a couple of days and I'll be the first to tell you it isn't a perfect job- 
there are places where the paint is thinner and a couple of spots where it cracked.
I like to think it adds the the character of the piece. Plus I didn't want to sand it all down and start over!
[Impatient crafter! ]

Then I taped each piece down with one itty bitty piece of tape per piece (I didn't want it pulling the paper up when I took it off). After the taping is where I really veered from Harmony's tutorial- instead of cutting and tracing the outline of the numbers like she did, I used graphite paper. Let me just say- graphite paper is a wonderful thing. Truly. [go here for some of your own. You won't be sorry.]

I slipped my piece of graphite paper (you can pick it up at craft stores like Hobby Lobby too) under my taped number and traced the outline with a pencil, which transferred the outline to the paper perfectly. [Speaking of graphite paper, don't throw it away after you trace something- it's reusable-- again and again and again and again.... Holy Frugality, Batman!]

Here's what it looks like all traced out and the taped numbers removed...

Next, I dug out the black craft paint and an old paint brush and began filling in my numbers.

This wasn't an exact science... I kept reminding myself of The Nester's motto, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." A couple drops of black paint landed where I didn't want them to and my ability to paint within the lines was severely tested as kiddos trooped through the kitchen to see what I was up to...

Here we have it all painted- with an arrow pointing out the smudge where I tried to lift the wayward paint splotch-

I left it alone for a couple of hours to completely dry and then took a bit of White-Out to the paint splotch. Again the reminder, "It doesn't have to be perfect to beautiful." I noticed some spots on the numbers where the paint was thinner- so I filled those in with a black Sharpie.

After that it was just a matter of cleaning the glass and putting the whole thing back together again- which pretty much involved duct taping the cardboard backing to the backside of the frame. I used a lot of duct tape to ensure it stayed put. Don't you just love the versatility of duct tape? I do. Oh and lest I forget, his jumping in & helping- Mr. Steady moved the hanger on the back of the frame from the long side to the short side & Voila! Done!

Dontcha just LOVE it??!! I most sincerely do!

2 Parents
3 kiddos
= Our little Family of 5


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