Friday, June 4, 2010
I’m finally getting around to posting the last of the Mother’s Day presents I made. This one was for my mom IL. I let mr flounder around for a while, trying to think of something I could make her... I gave him a few ideas and showed him what I made my mom - he wasn’t too impressed, I don’t think he got it. So I scrapped that plan... after DAYS of deliberation - and I’m not kidding, we’re talking DAYS - (he isn’t super decisive, my hubby) I took matters into my own hands and went to town. I decided to try an original art idea.
If you want to do this, you’ll need:
A wood plaque roughly 8.5x11... no wait. A pre-prepared canvas... no, wood... well, you decide...
A 5x7 photo of your choice on glossy photo paper
The same photo in 8x10 on normal printer paper (or, what would be really cool is to print it out on tissue paper, if your printer will do that. I didn’t try that this time, but I just realized that might be a better affect)
glossy mod podge
1. The very first thing you’ll need to do is find a photo you like.
(I put mr in charge of this, after all, it’s his mom, and I thought he’d know her best... we sifted through a pile of old photos, and honestly (although he was indecisive about this too) I think it was the best part of the project. Boy, was that guy a cutie pants!)
2. Get it loaded into the photo-editing software of your choice. And by get it loaded I mean, a) scan it in if it’s an old-school, pre-digital, stone-aged photo or b) just upload it.
(I had to scan mine).
3. Now play around until you get the affect you like.
(I used Piknic. If you are familiar with piknic: first, I made it black and white and faded that affect so you could see peaks of color. Then I adjusted the exposure to my liking. I used the “Holga” affect and then added “cinema” for a bit of grain and toned it down a little. Done!)
4. Print out your pictures in the two different sizes and types of paper.
5. Trim to fit the way you’d like them to. For instance, trim so the larger picture is centered on the plaque.
6. Paint your wooden plaque the color of your choice. Such as black. (classic).
7. Let it dry. This is important. Do you know what happens when you mod podge over paint that is still tacky? No? Well I do. It isn’t pretty.
8. NOW that it’s dry, slather the front with mod podge. Don’t be stingy.
9. Stick the 8x10 down and flatten it. Squish it on there. Don’t be shy. Really press. Start at one side and work your way down. You don’t want any air bubbles. (a little brayer would be helpful if you have one. I do not, and really wished I did for this project).
10. Now, mod podge over the photo.
11. Continue to mod podge over the whole plaque, so it’s all shiny and glossy, even the wooden edges.
12. Cut out some chipboard rectangles, just smaller than your 5x7 trimmed photo.
(The number of chipboard rectangles you will use depends on how high you want your 5x7 to “pop” off the page. Or on how much chipboard you have in stock, because I ran out...)
13. Figure out the placement of your 5x7. Move it around your plaque a few times before you make a commitment and glue it down. Once you decide, move it around again. Finally, finally, get it just right so you can still see something of the photo behind it, but the photo on the front is really the focus.
14. Mark lightly with a pencil.
15. Since you marked so lightly, you probably can’t see it now that you’ve lifted the photo off. Eyeball it from here.
16. One at a time, mod podge the chipboard rectangles down on top of each other where the 5x7 will go.
17. Spread mod podge over the top of the last chipboard rectangle, and place your 5x7 photo on it, pressing firmly but carefully.
18. Do NOT mod podge OVER the photo on the photo paper. You learned this lesson the hard way last Christmas. (Or maybe that was just me).
19. Let it dry.
20. In the meantime, find a quote you like.
21. When it’s completely dry (or so you think) take your trusty sharpie, and begin to write your quote - in your very best curly cue handwriting - wherever it best fits and looks aesthetically pleasing.
22. At this point, realize that the mod podge is, in fact, NOT completely dry.
23. Make sure to get SUPER frustrated, which then will cause you to spell words wrong. Of course, manage to overlook this point until you think you’re finished and, feeling a deep sense of satisfaction, sit back to admire your work.
24. Now notice. There it is, right there:
25. Try to fix it.
26. Make it worse.
27. Go back to square one. Hunt around for another plaque of some sort and come up empty. Decide on an 8x11 pre-prepared canvas instead.
28. Paint it black.
29. Let it dry.
30. Cut a strip of scrapbook paper about 2.5 inches wide and mod podge it down on the left edge of the canvas - just for a bit of depth and pop of color.
31. Print out your 5x7. (again)
32. Now, add this quote to your picture directly in the photo editing software of your choice:
“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a moment, but their hearts forever.” -author unknown
(ok, it doesn’t HAVE to be this quote, obviously. Find one you like.)
33. In your photo editor, add the quote over the picture where you want it. Adjust the color, font, size and opacity to your liking.
(When I was completely done, I wished that it was a LITTLE more visible. I’d been going for subtle, not completely incomprehensible. Ah, well.)
34. Print out your 8x10.
(Use regular printer paper. Nothing shiny, nothing heavy. You’ll be mod podging this and it doesn’t work as well on photo paper or heavy paper.)
35. Trim your photos so they are just exactly how you want them to look.
36. Since you’ve been working on this, your canvas is probably dry now. Smear mod podge all over the front.
37. Lay your 8x10 photo down and smooth it out.
38. Mod podge over the top.
39. Instead of cutting out chipboard rectangles that cover the back of the 5x7, just use small pieces in the corners. Think you are very clever to have discovered a way to conserve chipboard.
40. Mod podge them down one at a time and mod podge the top of the “towers” of chipboard pieces. Stick your 5x7 to the top and press gently.
41. Realize this looks nowhere NEAR as good as the previous way of attachment and curse yourself for trying to be frugal with the chipboard. I mean, what does that stuff cost, anyway? A few bucks for 5 sheets?
42. Well, there’s no way you’re going to start over again, so it’ll just have to do. Wait for it to dry, then show hubby what you made his mom.
43. When he acts slightly less enthusiastic than you wanted him to, just shrug it off. What were you expecting, a parade? He rarely gets excited.
44. Wrap it up and send it off!
A special note: You can, of course, skip steps 22 - 27 and also 41. The cool thing is that you can make the project either way you want to - with the plaque OR the canvas - and you can write the words or add them with the photo software. So many options! Just don’t misspell anything, or you really will end up doing the project over.