For the record, I haven’t forgotten about you. I always told myself I wouldn’t be overly self-guilting when it came to slacking off on posts, but my pace has slowed to a snail’s crawl. And for that, I apologize. My days are weirdly simple and unscheduled, but still feel incredibly busy. The cardboard boxes are almost in the recycling bin, but the house-settling-in projects continue to collect.
Anywho. On to something more interesting!
Y’all, I did a thing! A crafty, Pinterest-y thing! And, for the first time ever in the world of all things crafty and Pinterest-y, I actually saved money doing it!
A few weekends ago, I began scouring Greenville’s consignment furniture shops for odds and ends to fill our new home. I didn’t find what I was looking for, but I did find this wacky canvas:
At first, I thought, “That’d look cute in the kids’ playroom!” Then I decided I liked it too much to tuck away behind the Peppa Pig play kitchen and board books. It needed a grander viewing location.
I also knew it’d look better with a frame. Since I don’t own a saw, am afraid of splinters (true story), and have never done anything vaguely woodwork-ish, I started Googling. I needed a 32-inch-by-32-inch frame, so this thing wasn’t going to be petite. And neither was the price. The cheapest I found was about $80 plus shipping. Yikes. That was more than I paid for the canvas!
So, I did what every good millennial woman does and looked to the arts-and-crafts Mecca: Pinterest. Jackpot. I read a few different posts, took a few suggestions, loaded up the kiddos, and headed to Lowe’s.
Now, I’m the stereotypically bewildered woman when it comes to the aisles of Lowe’s. My brain does not organize in the same way as the product-placement people of Lowe’s (or any hardware store, as I’m not directly bullying the big, blue box store). Thankfully, Lowe’s stores tend to train their employees to recognize that manic, terrified gleam in my eye, especially as I wrangle my kids to stay away from all things sharp and/or splintery.
A very nice man came to my rescue.
Here’s the deal.
The canvas was 32-inches by 32-inches. I needed two pieces of wood measuring 32-inches, but I needed the other two pieces of wood to measure 32-inches plus the width of the other wood. Does that make any sense? It took a few tries with the nice Lowe’s man too.
Let’s try again. I’m an English major, y’all, so just roll with my math-e-matical abilities.
I made the top and bottom sides of the frame 32-inches each. The left and right, however, needed to be longer to cover the canvas and the width of the top and bottom pieces of wood. So, the left and right pieces of wood were 33.5-inches, as each piece of wood was 3/4-inch wide. Eh? Maybe the pictures will help?
Make sure you find the straightest, flattest boards possible. When they’re cut this thinly, some of the boards are obviously bowed. Lay them on the ground to see if they’re flat. (Thanks for the tip, helpful Lowe’s employee!)
That was the day I learned that Lowe’s has a big saw in the back of the lumber section! And it comes complete with compassionate, good-natured young men who have a clue!
After grabbing glossy black paint and a brush, I paid around $12 total (in comparison to the $80-plus online) and triumphantly cruised my swagger wagon back to my house.
I already own a Black & Decker Mouse Detail sander (see? I’m full of surprises!), so I used it to smooth out my boards. You can also use sandpaper and muscle, but I’m going to recommend an electric sander unless you enjoy blisters and pain.
Next, I wipe them down with a wet paper towel, turned on some Next Food Network Star, and started painting on some glossy black. It took a few coats, as the wood seemed thirsty.
Lastly, I went the easy route. I broke out the hot glue gun. Some DIY articles suggested hammers, nails, and little shiny joint thingys, but then I saw one that said I could use hot glue. Hurray! Something I’m familiar with!
When everything was dry, I worked side by side and loaded up each piece with hot glue. Make sure you hurry, because, obviously, hot glue dries very quickly. I pressed and held the boards to the canvas. I then flipped the canvas over and filled in any gaps on the back between the canvas and the boards. I didn’t want glue seeping through the front, but I wanted to make sure the boards wouldn’t fall off.
OK, I see you being judgy. Yes, it’s not perfect. But, good gravy, isn’t slight imperfection worth $70? It looks pretty cool hanging in my dining room. If or when you come over for dinner, it’ll be the first thing you notice. And then you’ll have one cool cat watching over your dinner.
Let me know if you have any questions! I hope this helps give you courage to try and finish all of your DIY projects.
With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander – I haven’t read a Civil-War-era novel in awhile, as WWII seems much more trendy. The first third has been a bit heavy, what with the men murdering each other with bayonets and cannonballs, but I find myself thinking about and yearning to read this book whenever we’re apart.