Key Holder Tutorial.

I know, I am not a crafter. But maybe I am? I made this hey holder this weekend after Joel came home with a piece of wood and some hooks and said we needed somewhere to keep our keys. His plan was to take the plain unfinished wood and add the hooks and just screw the whole thing directly into the wall. No thank you. As awesome as that would have been, my plan was slightly different, hence this tutorial.

Materials needed:
Block of unfinished wood, whatever size and shape you prefer (mine was a 5×7 from Michael’s)
Screw-in hooks
Sandpaper – light to medium weight
Adhesive – I used Mod Podge Puzzle Saver, it just needs to work on wood and paper
One sheet of scrapbook paper
Small bottle of acrylic paint to match scrapbook paper
Sponge paintbrush
Clear acrylic sealer (aerosol)
Saw-tooth picture-hangers (2)
*These items can all be purchased at Michael’s or your local craft supply store.
Screw gun
Directions:
1. Using your sandpaper (try the finest grit first so you don’t scratch your wood), smooth out any rough edges on your unfinished block of wood. Paint the edges or sides of your wood block, rest on a disposable cup to let dry, and paint a second coat to ensure complete coverage.

2. Using your wood block as a stencil, trace and cut out a piece of your paper, leaving an eighth of an inch extra on all sides. Take your adhesive and apply a thin layer to the wood block with your sponge brush. Place the paper over the adhesive and go over it with a credit card edge to ensure there are no wrinkles or bubbles. Allow to dry completely.
3. When adhesive is dry, remove excess paper using an Exacto-knife or razor blade, ensuring the paper and wood edges are flush with each other.

4. For this step it is important to go outdoors where it is well-ventilated! Using your clear acrylic sealer, spray a thin coat over the entire wood block, covering the paper and paint. Let dry completely on your disposable cup again, and repeat. I recommended doing several coats of the sealer (I probably did more like 5 or 6 cause it was fun).

5. Measure and mark with pencil where you would like your hooks to be placed. Pre-drill small screw holes into your marks and screw the hooks into the holes (no, I don’t have man-hands, Joel was helping me).

6. Using a hammer and nails, attach your picture hangers to the back of the block of wood. Although the picture only shows one, two will help it to balance better on the wall when only one side has keys on it.

7. Voila! You are done and can hang it on the wall (and hopefully I can stop losing my keys).

Fabric Wall Hanging Tutorial

Yay! I’m so excited to finally put a project on my blog! I’ve been wanting to but I’ve been so busy with my little stinker (and my big stinker too if you count Joel) that I have had to wait. The only problem is that it is not a sewing project. Awkward. But it is a fabric project (I say “project” instead of “craft” because I can’t do crafts due to my lack of artistic ability and I can’t stand when things are not symmetrical). There may be a touch of OCD involved.

I found this fabric above online one day by Amy Butler. I often find fabrics I like but I never end up buying them because I never have a specific purpose for them and don’t want to be one of those ladies with yards and yards of fabric in their basement that is never used (you know who you are). So when I saw this fabric, I for once loved it enough to buy it without a plan. It’s such a big damask print that I wanted to display it somehow, because it makes me happy just to look at it! To me, that’s what art should do.

On with the project… I decided to make a wall hanging with the fabric.

Here’s how to do it:

You need two pairs of wooden stretcher bars. That’s their real name for any other non-artists, and I found them at Michael’s in the canvas isle. I bought two 20″ and two 30″, because that fit my print the best. I’m gonna be doing another one that’s 36″ x 48″ soon. I just found out that Ikea sells fabric in large prints that would be perfect. You can check them out at Ikea.com. You also need a saw tooth picture hanger and your fabric, of course! My fabric was 100% cotton, but something like a lightweight canvas would work great too.


Assembling the stretcher bars into a frame is easy. They just interlock at the corners.


You can secure the bars with a couple finishing nails in each corner or use a heavy-duty staple gun in each corner.

Next, cut your fabric about two inches wider than the frame to give room to wrap it around the back of the frame. A little extra is better than a little bit small because you can always trim the excess later.
Position your frame over the wrong side of the fabric, and begin to staple the fabric to the backside of the frame with a medium or heavy duty staple gun. It works best to staple one spot on one side and then staple the exact opposite side, and then continuing that way around the frame so it all stretches equally. Make sure to stretch your fabric tightly as you staple it or it will not hang nicely.


When get to the corners, which should be the last to be stapled, fold them like you would with wrapping paper. If you do it so the that folded part is on the top and bottom of the frame rather than the sides, it will be less likely to show when it is on the wall.
Trim the excess fabric on the back if you need to, and finish it off with a saw tooth picture hanger which can be attached using small finishing nails. Voila! That’s it! I think for my next one I’ll serge the edges of the fabric first but I wasn’t quite sure how much fabric I would need to wrap around the back of the frame so I ended up applying fray-check to the edges, although it’s probably not necessary.