Tag Archives: Tutorial

DIY Bear Silhouette Art

I’m helping a friend design her nursery, so when her baby shower rolled around I jumped at the chance to DIY the bear print I used in her design. It also gave me an excuse to further indulge my newest fixation on tomato red.

Emily May

Materials:

  • Transparency film
  • Projector
  • X-acto knife
  • 18″ x 24″ tomato red construction paper (acid-free)
  • 18″ x 24″ white construction paper (acid-free)
  • 1/8″ thick adhesive dots (acid-free)
  • 18″ x 24″ white frame (I like the white ones at Hobby Lobby!)
  • Cutting mat (optional)

Bears not your thing? You can pick nearly any animal you want for this! I wanted the bear, so I googled “vector silhouette bear” and found this image. Want a fox, for example? Here you go.

I pulled the image up on my screen and used some transparency film to trace the outline of the bear.

Emily May

Funny story? On my first try I tried to use my iPad to trace the image on screen to transparency film. I quickly discovered trying to trace directly on a touch screen was the biggest ding dong move I’ve tried to pull in awhile. ;) Anyways, tracing left me with a lovely bear outline. When tracing, I tried to pay special attention to the fur details and tried to capture the jagged outline as accurately as possible.

Emily May

Next came the projector. I got mine off of Craigslist for $15 from a local school a few years back, and they’re on Craigslist and eBay all of the time. I use this sucker often for different projects!

Emily May

I projected it directly on the tomato red construction paper I taped to the wall with painters’ tape. Once I was sure it was the size I wanted (I wanted the bear to reach very close to the edge, similar to the inspiration pic), I started tracing. IMPORTANT: Be sure to trace on the OPPOSITE side you want your bear to face to hide your pencil marks!

Emily May

Next came the cutting. I used a scissor on the long, round edges and an X-acto knife on the fur detail.

Emily May

Once I was done with all of my cuts, I did go back through and clean up any scraggly edges or tears.

Emily May

Once I was done cutting, it was time to put this bad boy on paper. I wanted the red bear to float above the paper, like this…

Emily May

So I used 1/8″ high adhesive dots to get that floating look. And to make sure none of the areas buckled (due to some spots with dots versus those with no dots), I put dots ALLLLL over the back of the bear. Also, it’s important that the adhesive dots are acid-free so that over time the glue doesn’t burn into the paper, leaving dark greasy circles everywhere. That would be no bueno.

Emily May

The next step is as easy as slipping it into its frame and it’s ready to go!

Emily May

Emily May

Emily May

At the party, everyone thought it was an Etsy purchase so I consider that a success. I want to make more!

xo,

emily

The good kind of stain.

We feel like we’re gaining real momentum on the office and we are so excited. Last week I shared the newly painted closet doors and this week is all about the super-long desk.

Emily May

The desk is a Frankenstein’d desk, made up of numerous IKEA parts. I go into all of those details on this post. Anyways, the top is raw pine. We liked it as-is, but once the walls and closet doors went dark, the light table top seemed to make less sense. It also was pretty hard to wipe down (sort of rough) and showed stains pretty easily.

Thankfully, there is a super easy fix for that, as we all know. In about two hours, I had this:

Emily May

Emily May

Stain saved the day! The shade of stain came out so pretty and overall, it looks like a wee bit more expensive piece of furniture. My favorite part? It now matches with the oak floors in the surrounding rooms.

I used the trifecta of staining products to achieve this look: pre-stain conditioner (to ensure the pine soaks the stain evenly for an even finish), oil-based stain and polycrylic protective finish.

Emily May

The best part about staining is that it’s shorter dry times than paint. My general process was this:

  • Apply pre-stain conditioner and wait 15 minutes to soak in.
  • Apply stain and wait 30 minutes to completely dry. (I used a very thin coat of stain… any more would add to my wait time).
  • Apply protective finish (I used a water-based finish instead of oil-based because at this point my poor brain was done with all the fumes from the stain) and wait 24 hours to use.

Easy!

I especially like how the white window trims feels better as it’s no longer competing with the also-light pine wood.

Emily May

Next up is selecting the posters Aaron wants up on the walls. We have a few here we’d like to hang already, and we want to do 6-9 in total. Many of these posters are Aaron’s own creations (part of his daily job!) so he has total control in what goes up.

Emily May

Ok, here’s where we are with the to-do list:

  • Paint walls (That post here.)
  • Install carpet (More details here.)
  • Buy/DIY super long desk (Details here.)
  • Consider painting closet doors and trim the same color as the walls (Post here.)
  • DIY roman shades for the windows
  • Re-upholster the office chairs
  • Install brass finger pulls on the closet doors
  • Maybe a rug (??)
  • Hang poster art above the desk (I’m thinking of using a frameless approach with acrylic to make them appear like they’re floating on the wall)
  • Remove sofa and replace with pretty daybed
  • Consider staining the table top a few shades darker to match oak floors
  • Re-locate string art to a wall somewhere
  • Style the desk / find desk accessories

Happy Monday everyone! As I’m writing this, it’s Sunday night and raining very hard here in northern Kentucky. I’m trying to be productive but a blanket and old episodes of Arrested Development sound sooo appealing. :)

xo,

emily

Painting panel doors.

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I made the decision to paint the office doors (and trim!) the same color as the walls to make them disappear into the wall a bit. (The color is Farrow & Ball’s Downpipe, color matched to Behr paint at Home Depot.) I bought a new gallon of the same color in a semi-gloss, because there is some unspoken rule about ALWAYS using a semi-gloss finish on doors, trim and cabinets that I typically follow for fear my entire house will fall down.

Emily May

Painting panel doors for the closet to match the color of the office walls.

I think part of my indecisiveness on what to do with the doors (Let’s paint! No, let’s just hang a curtain! No, let’s just paint it up!) is due to the certain fact painting (especially doors and trim!) can be a total pain in the arse. Of course, I was done in 2 hours and it was no big deal. It’s sort of like deciding to go to the gym. Making the decision is the hardest part, and then when you’re actually there, it’s like “Oh duh, this is so manageable. What took me so long to get here?”

Ahh, life.

Anyways, panel doors are a pain in the astronaut to paint because of all the grooves (a drippy paint job just waiting to happen) plus getting that super-smooth surface.

Here is my process for non-drippy, super-smooth panel doors.

First up is getting the panels of the doors painted, with a paint brush. I used my favorite paint brush… the trim brush with the short blue-rubber handle. Oh, and I skipped primer on these doors. The current paint job wasn’t very slick, so I wasn’t worried about the new paint gripping to the surface.

Emily May

I put two thin coats on the panels, checking for any drips along the way, then I moved on to the larger surfaces with a 4″ foam roller (made for cabinets) to get that super-smooth surface.

Emily May

These doors have recessed finger pulls so I used the same method with painters’ tape that I used with this mirror project, which is basically:

I covered up the entire area with tape….

Emily May

And then used my X-acto to trim around the pull…

Emily May

Which left me with a little circle of tape to keep the brass safe while painting…

Emily May

The doors are curing for the next few days, while I work on getting the closet trim painted. I’ve opened up quite a can of worms here, because the rest of the room’s trim (and the other two doors in the room!) will need the same treatment!

Emily May

I’ll keep the tiny brass circle pulls for now (they look so good against the new dark color!) but eventually I’d like to replace them with a budget-friendly version of this:

Emily May

source: White Chapel, Ltd.

I’m rushing to get everything painted like TOMORROW so I’ll have something to show here, but I’m trying to remember that I have a full-time job (and then some) and a HUSBAND and some semblance of a social life that doesn’t involve a paint brush. Sigh. I also went to work the other day with paint on me. Noticed it in a meeting. So bear with me as I get this done…

Oh, and Jenny at MFAMB used a similar color on her walls AND trim in her bathroom. I think the look is so modern and newfangled, and especially useful when you don’t have the visual capacity for a bunch of whites and darks.

Two cheers for some decision-making!

xo,

emily

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