August 2, 2012

How To Inspire A Teen: Part Two …


Today I’m going to share a quick tutorial about how we made the art work for Big C’s bedroom. I knew four things going into the project:

  • I wanted it to be BIG.
  • I wanted it to be BOLD.
  • I wanted it to be EASY.
  • I wanted it to be CHEAP.

The first thing I did once we had the quote was shop the house for materials.  I’d priced out a piece of stain grade plywood at the Home Depot for about $23.  I didn’t want to pay that much. My sweetie found a piece of plywood in our scrap stash in the garage that was 3X4 feet.  It didn’t have as nice a finish as the Home Depot piece, but it was FREE!

Big C sanded it and gave it a few coats of Nantucket White (Ralph Lauren) paint using a small sponge roller for smooth surfaces.  Why Nantucket White? Because that is what I had in the basement and it was FREE!  Remember this picture form a few weeks ago?


For the next step, I used the generosity of my friend Ronalin who owns a Silhouette cutting machine.  I purchased vinyl at JoAnn’s for 20% off. It was the ONLY cost for this project, but I had to get two packages at $8.  Ronalin and I did math in our heads {always iffy for me} and figured that my letters could be about 7 inches tall.

I tried using a level and ruler to mark out all my lines, but in the end I found it easier to eyeball the lettering.  I did follow a line on the left side because I wanted the quote to be left justified.


After I had all my lettering on the board, I went over it with three coats of black paint leftover from one of Ronalin’s furniture projects.  Thanks Ronalin for keeping my costs down!


After the paint had dried I very carefully peeled off the  vinyl to reveal the white paint beneath.  Now, you may be asking yourself why I just wasted $20 worth of vinyl instead of using the vinyl as my lettering on the board.  It’s because I really wanted the piece to look like an old sign with hand painted lettering.  I knew if I used the vinyl as my final lettering, I wouldn’t get the same effect.  The lines of the white paint against the black are so crisp and lovely! I was willing to eat the cost of the vinyl to get the desired effect.


After it was all done I ran over the entire piece with a little bit of walnut stain and some polyurethane to give it an aged look.  Then I attached some hanging brackets and slapped it up on Big C’s wall.

So, that is how I made a massive piece of bold and inspiring art for $20 to motivate a teenage boy.  It was fun to work with my son on this project. I think he even thought it was cool.

Tomorrow {does anyone even read blogs on Friday?} I’ll tell you why he picked this quote. Sorry I didn’t fit it in today . . . TOO LONG!


The Queen Vee said...

Well executed at a bargain price. Pays not to throw some things out because you never know when you will need them.

You are inspiring.

Meaja said...

So cool and sharp looking! I LOVE that quote, it was my mission's motto. We had it on the back of our doors in every apartment. I have to confess, when I do projects I tend to feel like I have to get new supplies than using what I have, clever and inspiring project!

Also so glad your head scan was positive news Sam.

Apis Melliflora said...

I love all the elements that came together in this project: your own resourcefulness, your helpful friend, your visual acumen, your son's inspiration.

Truly, it's a perfect example how wonderful cherished items can have humble beginnings.

AllisonK said...

I want one, for me!
A seriously awesome project! You are amazing.