Have you ever wanted to create something for a gift and thought it was going to be easy, only to find it didn’t work out quite the way you envisioned? Today is the last day of school for kids in our district, and I thought I’d create a special gift for my grandson’s teacher. It all started with something I saw online. I wish I had an idea of whose work was my inspiration, because her items were gorgeous! She had used an electronic cutting machine and cut word art from vinyl and placed it on wood she had painted black. This description just isn’t going to do her work justice, so I’ll just stop now!
Everyone raved about how personal and appreciative a teacher would be with a gift of this nature. I decided I would make do with things I had on hand. So my plan was:
- Paint a 12×12″ canvas black
- Cut a word art file to use as a stencil
- Paint the word art in white
Simple, right? That was the idea.
After I had envisioned how great this would be, I went down and grabbed out a 12×12 canvas, and was thinking how great it was that I had everything I needed right in my craft room. I reach for one of my new tubes of heavy body acrylic paint so that I can quickly get a good coat of paint on my background. There is no black! Seriously? I looked around to find another black, and decide it’s worth a 2 mile trip to go get the paint I want. I got to the craft store and found the paint I wanted was sale! Score! I walked out with one tube of paint and a package of sawtooth picture hangers to use on the project.
Back at home, I quickly covered the canvas with the paint. It went on like a dream, covering easily. At that point I decided it was too hot in my craft room and had to move the fan, because I needed the outlet to plug in my Cameo electronic cutter. While looking for a plug on the other side of the room, I leaned over the table, supporting myself with my hand on top of….. wait for it…. my freshly painted canvas! (Now if I would have thought fast enough, I could have made a handprint on something to use later.) Baby wipes are standard issue in my craft area, and I cleaned up nicely and hurried to fix my canvas. Whew, crisis averted.
I started my cut file and cut out of a 12×12″ sheet of card stock. Thank goodness for scrapbooking and having plenty of card stock! Oh it was beautiful when it was cut! I carefully worked and worked to remove the letters so that I would end up with a stencil. As I began looking at it, I realized that letters like A, R, P, 0, etc. needed to have little parts added back in so that the whole letter wasn’t just a solid blob of white when it was painted. Great, now how was I going to get those to just lay there and be able to stencil? Aha, I decided to use a glue pen that if I let dry first, it would make them removable, like a sticky note! I glued tiny parts of those letters and let them dry.
Finally, I was ready to start painting the stencil using heavy body acrylic to keep oozing at bay. I put it on top of the canvas, and then painstakingly inserted the little sections of the insides of the letters. I began gently dabbing in the white paint so that it wouldn’t ooze under the stencil. Some of the insides of the letters came up with pouncing my brush. Okay, I could use black paint and go back in and create the middles of letters. As I continued, I was very careful about keeping those little critters down.
The moment of truth came as I gently pulled up the stencil. Oh no! It was a mess. With all the care I had given to gently tapping in my color, it still was a mess around almost every letter. I just looked at it in disappointment. On the bright side, the white paint over the black looked like I wanted it, not took opaque. That way it had a bit of the current “chalkboard” look to the lettering. Not to be deterred from this great plan for a gift, I persevered.
Next I took out a tiny little brush and I went around every stinkin’ letter with black paint to clean up the edges! Project saved.
Even though things didn’t work out like I had anticipated, I didn’t give up! I’m glad I didn’t, because in the end, it is a perfectly imperfect piece!
I bet you have a great “How I Saved My Project” story or two, and good for you! If you are the kind of person whose projects go off without any problems, hats off to you! Otherwise feel free to share a story with us! I’m sure I’m not alone with my clumsy crafting!