Friday, November 16, 2012

DIY Dining Room Art

We have a lot of wall space in this new house, which may sound like a good thing at first, but when you are trying to fill it up and make it all "homey" it can get pricey.  Trying my luck at making my own art was an easy decision.  That being said, some of us are gifted in drawing and painting and some of us are just...not.  God gave me a brain for science and not for the arts.  I've tried some abstract paintings in the past and they did not turn out well.  I may try again some day, but for now I'm sticking to typography and other "crafty" art projects.  

First, let me entice you with a picture of the finished art wall.

The object on the left side that got cut off is a lamp.  I wanted to give you a close look so it's other half was sacrificed for this pic.  I'll take you through the pieces one by one.

(Ahhh...there's the lamp)

  1. These are cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby that I spray painted with metallic silver paint.  Many people have done this all in the name of trying to "steal" the look of the famous Anthropologie zinc ones.  Yes, these are roughly a foot tall and Anthro's are twice that but mine were $2.49 each (plus some spray paint) and Anthro's are $98 each.  Yeah, I'll take the small cardboard version thankyouverymuch.  I went back and forth about what to spell out...yum?  eat? drink?  dine?  So many options.  I eventually settled on pork.  For those of you that know Seth and I personally, no explanation is needed.  For those of you that stumbled across this blog and are wondering why pork, I'll just say for now that we have ties to the pork industry.  
  2. This is actually not a DIY project.  I purchased this print awhile back from  Their motto is "art for everyone" with 8x10 prints starting at just $24.  I definitely recommend checking them out.
  3. Again, this is not a DIY project.  It is the "Wire Guy" from CB2.  I had been admiring him for awhile and just before we moved, he went on sale so I snatched him up.  He just looks so content with what I imagine is a belly full of delicious food.  Perfect for a dining room, right?
  4. This piece is some pear string art that I whipped up.  I was inspired by this.  I'm thinking that a letter or number (or ampersand like my inspiration) definitely has a bit more impact.  The pear kind of looks like a blob.  Oh, well.  I'm leaving it alone for now.  (Tutorial below)
  5. I am in LOVE with this project.  Those are spray painted, mounted plastic animal heads.  Yaaaah!  I'm giddy over it.  Mandy over at The Haps is a genius.  You may think I'm weird but as you can see I'm not alone.  Jessie at Cape 27 also made one for her daughter Zoey's room and Jessie claims to love it more than Zoey.  (Tutorial and close ups below)

Now for the tutorials.  The pear string art is pretty straight forward.  You'll need:
  • a picture frame
  • a thin piece of wood cut to fit your frame
  • some embroidery floss, string, whatever you'd like
  • some small nails
  • a hammer
  • a silhouette/outline of your choice

I spray painted my piece of wood white after it was cut down to size and sanded lightly.  I googled pear silhouette and saved one that I liked.  I enlarged it in word and printed it out.  After cutting it out carefully, I used some tape to secure it to the wood trying my best to center it.  Then I started hammering in tiny nails around the silhouette.  I used quite a few nails, probably one every centimeter or so because my shape was curvy and I didn't want the curves getting "cut off" when I started stringing and becoming huge angles.  A pear is supposed to be curvy after all.

Once all of the nails were in place (I had a couple that kept wanting to pop back out), I used my string to outline the shape first.  Then I started filling in by randomly stringing across the image.  I just stopped  and knotted off the string when I decided it was done.  

I used some jute twine that I had on hand for the stem (after I untwisted and separated to get a thin strand).  And that's all there is to it.

And now for the animal heads....

For this art project you'll need:
  • a picture frame
  • cardstock
  • super glue
  • some plastic animals
  • spray paint
  • a knife
  • a cutting board
  • a pot with boiling water (optional)

After a lot of searching (Wal-Mart, Target, The Dollar Tree, Kroger, Joann's) I finally found a pack of plastic animals at Hobby Lobby.  They actually came in a fun tube that had a globe on top that you could spin around.  I am easily entertained.  And they have millions of these tubes with all sorts of different creatures inside of them.  I believe it was around $8 for the tube with the twelve jungle animals in it.  I also used my weekly 40% off coupon so it was probably just over $5 with tax.  Not too bad for a dozen safari animals.  After reading Mandy's tutorial and her comment section, I decided to try boiling the animals in water for a bit to soften them up before attempting to cut them in half.  

This worked really well.  I think I boiled them for about 5 minutes and the knife sliced through them like buttah (well, almost).

Is anyone a bit disturbed by this?  If so, I apologize.  I would never do this to a real animal. I promise.  And besides...a real jungle animal wouldn't let me close enough to try anyway. I jest.  I am not about to go roaring through the jungle wielding a large knife looking for victims.  Don't worry.

I cut nine of the twelve animals for this project and plan to save the other three for something else.  I then moved the heads outside to begin spray painting.

The lion's mane was weighing him down a bit so I used a couple of push pins to support him.  

Seth actually suggested picking out one animal to spray paint a different color and I chose the tiger.  War Eagle!  :)

I gave them multiple thin coats until they were fully colored.  I let them dry overnight and then mounted them to a piece of cardstock with super glue.  

They rested laying down flat for another 24 hours before I got the courage to put them in the frame and hang it.  I still have a fear that one of them is going to take a nose dive one day.  Super glue don't fail me now.  Seth has a fear the someone is going to brush up against them and knock one off.  I guess we'll see which (if either) happens first.  

Some of you out there might be wondering what I did with the animal butts.  I saved them, of course.  Multiple readers on Mandy's blog asked her what she was doing with hers and many even gave suggestions from making animal butt magnets to repeating the same art project with the butts and hanging it in the bathroom.  One reader even suggested including a reference to wiping.  I am not sure what I'll do yet, but I definitely laughed out loud and LOVED the cheekiness of the animal butts/don't forget to wipe your butt thing in the bathroom.  

I'm quite pleased with the way the projects turned out.  They were fairly inexpensive, they are filling up some wall space, and they are personal since I made most of them.  Check, check, and check.  Now on to filling up the walls in all the other parts of the house.

Has anyone else attempted their own art project?  How did it turn out?  Any other suggestions on what to do with the animal butts?

1 comment:

  1. very neat art projects, I like the animal heads, would have never thought of something like this. I think using the butts in the bathroom is a funny idea, maybe frame them to hang something on? I know you already made a jewelry hanger, maybe something to hang bracelets on? I am sure you will find some cool way to use them.


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