Sunday, August 31, 2014

a one of a kind wedding gift.

Long ago, while trolling around pinterest, I came across a mini little canvas art thingie and loved the quote.  It looked something like this: You + Me = Oui!
And I decided right then and there that I'd incorporate that into my home somewhere, somehow.  It's just so darn sweet.

So even though this project isn't exactly for me, and even though I don't speak French, I was excited to create some wall art using aforementioned adorable quote.  

This was created as a wedding gift, but could easily be used for an anniversary present or even for Valentine's Day (how fitting, considering the roundup we just had??  And the awesome part about it was that it cost me exactly $0 to make, since I used things I already had.  Don't tell the happy couple, ok?  It did cost me considerable time, effort and muttered fake curse words.  So, I've got a tutorial for you!

And though I was actually muttering and sputtering under my breath through parts of this, it's actually quite easy to make.  I just make things a lot more difficult than they need to be nearly 100% of the time.  Fortunately I've cut those portions out of the step by step.

Here's what you'll need.

Palm Sander
Drill (with both a drill bit and a screwdriver bit)
Circular Saw (or other wood cutting type tool of your choice)
Also, you will likely need a hammer.  It's not pictured, but I'm pretty sure I can trust you to envision that.

reclaimed wood of some sort
a bit of plywood or other thin, sturdy, mediumish-largish rectangular reclaimed wood
1 firring strip
two small nails
white paint
paint brush
white Christmas lights

Do not be intimidated by the length of this list.  Trust me.  The good thing about this project is that you can pretty much do whatever the heck you want as long as you use the same general basic steps.

A note about reclaimed wood:
I used the top of a fence panel.  We put up a fence about 3 or 4 years ago and kept the two extra panels we didn't use.  I had my husband cut one of the panels down for this reclaimed wood family tree I carved.  So I had the top portion laying around.  I used it to create the backdrop for the golden birthday party I threw for my BFF a few years ago.  Once all the paper was stripped off, I had this ugly half fence panel with bits of paper and lots of hot glue stuck all over it.  Which means any normal person would throw it away.
But thank goodness I didn't.
A note about Christmas lights:
I used the ones on a white cord because I wanted the cord to blend into a light, neutral wall color.  Lots of walls are white, right?  Anyway, you can go with the normal string of lights if you want to.  I used one I had on hand already.

So.  Let's get started, eh?
1. Start with your partial fence panel.  Clean it up a bit by getting rid of the hot glue clumps and stuck on paper.
2. Pull each fence slat off of the panel.
3. Hammer all the nails out.
4. Give it a very quick sanding with the palm sander.  (you want it to look rustic, but you also don't want anyone to loose a hand due to giant slivers.)  Then, and this may seem silly since you just sanded it, but you might want to add some small holes with nails or a drill and hammer and gauge some spots, or sand more heavily in certain areas.  You know, rough it up.
5. Take the back support board and remove any nails.
6. Cut the support board in half with the circular saw.
7. Decide how you want to lay your panels laid out.  I decided to lay all of mine so the curved edge was like a scallop down the side, but I alternated whether the back or front of the board was showing.
8. Lay your boards face down in the right position, touching edge to edge.  Place your two pieces of support board on the right and left edges.

9. Lay your plywood piece on top of this and mark the edges so you know how big to cut it.  It doesn't need to cover the entire back, but it should come up at least half way and overhang the two support boards just a smidge.
10. Cut the board to the right size using the circular saw.
11. Lay the plywood on top of the support boards.
12. Screw the plywood and the support boards down into the separate slats using long screws, but not so long they poke out the front.  Make sure you screw into each board (I actually used two screws per board - top and bottom).
13. Cut the piece of firring so it fits between the two support boards.
14. See how there's that space there between the slats and the back piece?
15. Push that firring strip into the space - you're making a "bottom".
16. Use the nails to nail the firring strip into the support boards.

17. Use a pencil to lightly write out your quote and figure out the spacing and such.
18. Paint over the pencil lines with white craft paint.
19.  You may need a second or even third coat.
20. Add details to the lettering so they're different "fonts".

Also, it may be important for you to know that if you use craft paint, as long as it is still wet it's fairly easy to rub off with a wet paper towel or clorox wipe.  You know, in case you accidentally misspell the most common word in your native tongue.
Sonofa... yeah.  That happened.

 But I fixed it!

Now, the fun part.  
21. Take your drill and make holes all along your word "oui".  I didn't measure and mark for exact spacing, I just went at it.
22. Drill a large hole in the bottom center.
23. You can see that the drilling left some jagged, slivery holes.  Yikes.
24. Use a piece of sandpaper to hand sand down the holes you drilled.  Smoooooth...
(You probably also want to sand down the whole thing again, just to make sure you don't cause serious pain with your "rustic" reclaimed wood)  Then, do some paint touch ups where needed.
25. Stuff the Christmas lights down in between the plywood and the front slats.  You may need either a. a super skinny arm or b. a long, thin stick.
26. Pull the plug out through the hole in the bottom.

DONE!!  Yeah!!

Plug 'er in!

 Ooooh, ahhhh!  Cute, right?  When on display, pair it with a cute photo of the happy couple.
(back when they were young, wrinkle free and thin.)  If we could do it all over, we'd say oui again!

And there you have it!  A piece of rustic, sweet and lovely, reclaimed wood wall art for some special someones.  Something they can use to dress up their new home and life together.

And I used power tools.  And overcame my fear of the circular saw.  Huzzah!

gift it. 2014 button photo 0ffd9711-0261-4e13-9866-83ff36f6739d_zps43748e9a.jpg

*Be sure to check below for all the fun parties I link to!*


Jillian @ Hi! It's Jilly said...

That is so awesome! It took me a minute to "get" it, and I even took French in high school! Doh!

Unknown said...

Hi Kimberly, wood wall art is very romantic, I love it :)

Unknown said...

wow this is a very romantic wedding gift, thank you this article really helped me, I never thought of wood wall art would be like this. This really cool ...

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