Monday, April 1, 2013

A Fireplace Makeover and some DIY Art

Shortly after we moved in, my fireplace looked like this:

I am fully aware that the art on the mantel isn't to scale. While it is much too small for this space, the framed art is a favorite of mine, a watercolor print of a bay in Cinque Terre. It's almost exactly the view that we had from our balcony in Vernazza, which was one of our many stops on our three week honeymoon in Italy. It recently found a home on top of our piano, but for our first few months in this house, it lived here.  However, first things first. I hate brass. So, it didn't take me long to find some black spray paint to take care of that fireplace screen. Of course it had to be high heat spray paint, to avoid problems when we have a fire. I believe I used this kind from Rustoleum. Anyway, that was a nice quick update and I like how this looked much better.

My most recent project was to create a huge piece of DIY art for above the mantel that would fit the space much better. A while back I found this awesome ornate gold frame at a consignment shop near my house. The shop is a little gem called Legacies Limited that I stumbled upon about 12 years ago, shortly after I moved to Milwaukee. Many of the wood pieces in my home are treasures I found at Legacies over the years.  And now that I live less than a mile away, I love grabbing a Saturday morning coffee and making a swoop through the shop to see what other vintage treasures I might find. Right now I am in the market for a cool twin bed that I can paint white to pair with the other beauty in the girls' room.

Anyway...Back to my art. So about a year ago I scooped up this frame for about $40. It actually had an oil painting of a ship inside it and when I first bought it, I popped off the frame and put the painting in my garage. For many months it hung empty over the mantel and at Christmas time I dangled some glittery red letters which spelled JOY inside it. 

For a long time I've had this idea for some DIY art and I knew I wanted it to include the Lyric, "All you need is Love..." one of my favorites for so many reasons, partly because its such a great mantra and partly because it reminds me of my childhood since my dad loves the Beatles and played their music often. My original idea included something organic with some strips of barnwood fastened together and painted with this quote... but the logistics of cutting the wood the right size and fastening it together made me procrastinate even getting started on the when it ocurred to me that I still had the original painting from the frame, which was exactly the size I needed, my original plan evolved into something else that resulted in this...

Here were all of my supplies just before I got started.

First I loosely planned out the placement of the words, using some sticky letters and wooden letters that I bought at Micheal's.

 Next I began to Modge Podge the newspaper and scrapbook paper to the old painting.

When that was complete, I let it dry for several hours. Next I traced the large wooden letters onto some plain white paper and cut them out. Using some "repositionable" ( Is that a real word?? The stuff is actually called that!) scrapbook tape, I stuck the letters to the decoupaged canvas.


 Then using some leftover paint, I covered the entire canvas.

When I removed the letters, I had this masterpiece... Well, not so much a masterpiece, but it is a pretty nice "place-holder" until we can afford some real art.

What do you think?

Have you made any DIY art lately?


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