5/26/14

Piece of Art Bulletin Board DIY

Piece of Art Bulletin Board DIY ProjectDIY Piece of Art Bulletin Board

   From school classrooms to workplaces, to kitchens, and even living room spaces bulletin boards are an organizational staple. While shopping for a bulletin board to hang above my home office desk, I was shocked to discover how much this office essential can fetch from retailers. And if you happen to find one with embellishments or a frame? Forget it! Therefore, when I came across these 100% natural self-stick cork panels, I was more than thrilled! At $14 per pack of four 12"x12" panels, I simply could do no wrong!

Since my bulletin board was going to take center stage on my office wall, I knew I didn't want it to be bland and boring. Therefore, why not make it into a piece of art? Surely, a Fleur De Lis accent would pull my office decor up a notch and make it a striking focal point.

DIY Project: Piece of Art Bulletin Board

Supplies:
 •  Quartet Cork Panels, Self-heal, 12''x12'', 4 per Pack, Natural
 •  Basic StencilPro Starter Kit
 •  StencilPro Standard 8.5"x11" Sheets 2 Pack
 •  Jacquard or any other brand screen printing ink in color of your choice
 •  Painter's tape

My artwork for this project can be downloaded from StencilItPretty Freebies section.

1.  I started out by printing my design on 4 sheets of transparency (one segment of Fleur De Lis printed on transparency per cork panel). Transparency is included with StencilPro Starter Kit or you can purchase it separately: InkJet transparecy or LaserJet; alternatively transparency can be purchased from your local office supply store.

2.  Following the manufacturer's instructions, I have made the StencilPro stencils by exposing each piece of artwork printed on transparency and sheet of StencilPro film to light, then washing the stencil using tap water and air drying.

Fleur De Lis Transparency and StencilPro Stencils are Ready for PrintingFleur De Lis Transparency and StencilPro Stencils are Ready for Printing

3.  To help visualize the completed project, I laid out all four cork panels on the table and matched each segment of the Fleur De Lis stencil with each panel.

Fleur De Lis StencilPro Stencils and Cork Panels Laid Out on TableStencilPro Stencils and Cork Panels Laid Out on Table for Visualization

4.  Then using painters tape, I taped all four sides of the StencilPro stencil. Tape made the stencil edges more rigid; it was also helpful in keeping the stencil firmly attached to the surface of the cork panel for printing.

Painters Tape on All Four Sides of StencilProPainters Tape Taped to All Four Sides of StencilPro Stencil

5.  Using a plastic palette knife, I put a generous bead of Jacquard paint onto the stencil (avoiding open parts of the design on the stencil), then spread it across the top of the stencil in a thin line.

Print Fleur De Lis with StencilPro StencilsPrint Fleur De Lis with StencilPro Stencils on Cork Panels

6.  Holding a squeegee at 45 degree angle, I printed the design onto the cork panel.

7.  Following the same steps, I printed the rest of the cork panels.

8.  After the paint has dried, I hung the cork panels using self adhesive strips (these come with the set) side by side for a uniform look.

Completed Piece of Art DIY Bulletin Board on the WallCompleted Piece of Art DIY Bulletin Board on the Wall


9.  I used simple pushpins to attach mementos and reminders to make sure not to overwhelm the beautiful wall arrangemet.

Piece of Art DIY Bulletin Board with MementosPiece of Art DIY Bulletin Board with Mementos

Thanks for reading!
- Lena {at} Stencil It Pretty

 

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5/3/13

Wordplay: Screen Printed Blocks of Fun DIY

DIY: Screen Printed Blocks of FunWordplay - Screen Printed Blocks of Fun DIY


  These blocks are super easy to make, and a fun idea for anyone who likes to decorate, perfect for mantel, bookshelf, or wall display. How about printing a hidden message or sweet little nothings for the one you love? If you happen to get inspired and make your own blocks, I would love to see your ideas!

Supplies:
•  A piece of 4 x 4 wooden post
•  StencilPro film (to make stencils)
•  Paints
•  Sand paper and sander (or sanding block)


The full video of the Screen Printed Blocks of Fun DIY for you to enjoy!

Thanks for watching!
- Lena {at} Stencil It Pretty

 

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3/18/13

Run Hard, Be Strong, Think Big

DIY Inspirational T-Shirt Printed Using PhotoEZ and Stained with Sharpie Fabric MarkersDIY Inspirational T-Shirt Printed Using PhotoEZ and Stained with Sharpie Fabric Markers


   We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. Fifty years from now it will not matter what kind of car we drove, what kind of house we lived in, how much we had in our bank account, or what our clothes looked like. But the world may be a better place because we were important in the life of a child once. Of course, it is eminently reasonable that parents should want to protect their children. There is a certain sense of fragility that forces us to place that “Baby on board” sign in a window of our car or baste our children in anti-bacterial hand soaps and sanitizers. The prevailing opinion amongst adults is that our children are at risk. We ensure that they venture nowhere near the edge of the nest: you never know what danger might lie beyond its cozy, bubble-wrapped confines. We take it upon ourselves to protect our children’s innocence no matter what the cost, and sometimes this cost is too great. Of course we have a stake in their innocence; however, are we doing too much? I can already hear you say “You cannot be too careful”. Our “claim to protect” may actually be doing our children a greater disservice. Overwhelmed by parental panic, we over-regulate and squeeze the life out of anything fun. It is as if we give our children wings, and then we clip them before they even learn how to fly.

   It is amazing how inspirational kids can be. As parents, it is our responsibility to protect; however, it is even greater responsibility for us to love, accept, challenge, inspire, and guide our children with enthusiasm; and of course help them live what they learn. After all, we are here to give them roots and help them find their wings. Only then, the sky is the limit!

DIY Inspirational T-Shirt Printed Using PhotoEZ and Stained with Sharpie Fabric Markers

Supplies:
 •  Stained By Sharpie Fabric Markers
 •  Complete or Basic PhotoEZ Starter Kit
 •  Eco Exposure Light
 •  Jacquard or any other brand screen printing ink in black
 •  Painter's tape
 •  Blank T-Shirt - I got mine from Michaels
 •  Small piece of cardboard (for use inside t-shirt to prevent paint from bleeding to the other side)

My artwork for this project can be downloaded from StencilItPretty Freebies section.

1.  I started out by sketching my design on paper, then scanned it into my computer to "bolden" the lines, turn it into black and white (for PhotoShop users, I used "Threshhold" function), and add the inspirational quote "Run Hard, Be Strong, Think Big" by Percy Cerutty.
Original Sketch of the Design for the Inspirational T-Shirt

2.  Once happy with my artwork, I printed it on a sheet of transparency. Transparency comes with PhotoEZ Starter Kit or you can purchase it separately: InkJet transparecy or LaserJet; alternatively transparency can be purchased from your local office supply store.

3.  Following the manufacturer's instructions, I have made the PhotoEZ stencil by exposing artwork and sheet of PhotoEZ film to light, then washing the stencil using tap water and air drying.

4.  Then using painters tape, I mounted my PhotoEZ stencil onto plastic frame. Frame helped to make the stencil rigid and easy to use for screen printing on fabric.

Mount PhotoEZ stencil onto plastic frame using painter's masking tapeMount PhotoEZ Stencil Onto Plastic Frame Using Painter's Tape


5.  To protect t-shirt and prevent paint from bleeding through to the other side, I have inserted a piece of cardboard (I cut one out of an old shipping box I had). Eyeballing the positioning of the design on the t-shirt, I have placed the PhotoEZ stencil on top. Then using a plastic palette knife, I put a generous bead of Jacquard paint onto the stencil (avoiding open parts of the design on the stencil), then spread it across the top of the stencil in a thin line.

Spread a generous bead of paint across the top of the PhotoEZ stencilSpread a Generous Bead of Paint Across the Top of the PhotoEZ Stencil


6.  Holding a squeegee at 45 degree angle, I printed the outline of the design onto the t-shirt.

Screen Print Outline of the Design Onto T-Shirt Using PhotoEZ Stencil and Jacquard Screen Printing Ink


Carefully lift stencil off t-shirt to expose printed outline of the designCarefully Lift PhotoEZ Stencil off T-Shirt to Expose Printed Outline of the Design


7.  Using "Stained By Sharpie" Fabric Markers, I inked in the color. Tip: practice by printing your design on regular printer paper and filling in the colors as desired first if you are worried about messing up or free hand if you feel inspired!

Fill the colors in the printed desing on t-shirt by using Stained By Sharpie fabric markersFill the Colors in the Printed Outline of the Design on T-Shirt Using "Stained By Sharpie" Fabric Markers


And here is yours truly working late at night on the final design..

Working late finishing up design with Sharpie fabric markersWorking Late Putting Final Touches on T-Shirt Artwork with Sharpie Fabric Markers


Thanks for reading!
- Lena {at} Stencil It Pretty

 

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2/28/13

Creative Bites: WaterMelon Hearts How To

How to make your own heart shaped watermelon treat

Heart shaped watermelon bites - what could be more delicious than that? A healthy alternative to the sugary treats on Valentine's day or any other day when you feel like sharing your creativity and imagination. Fill that someone special's heart with good taste and freshness as a bite of watermelon in your mouth.

Making these watermelon hearts is simple and quick with little or no chef expertise required.! All you need is a watermelon and a couple of heart shaped cookie cutters of varied sizes. Arrange on a dish and add some finishing touches. A wonderful way to win anyone's heart is to make them a special meal. Therefore, think outside the candy box and enjoy!



Thanks for watching!
- Lena {at} Stencil It Pretty

 

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2/15/13

DIY: Etched Beer Glasses

Beer glasses etched using StencilPro silk screen stencil and Armour Etch

These would make a great gift for 'him' for a Valentine's day, a Father's day gift, or a birthday present.
Think personalized wedding bride and groom toasting glasses or a timeless wedding keepsake. This simple and cheap method of glass etching produces great results.

Beer glasses with StencilPro stencils attached ready for etching
I have decided to use beer quotes by famous people; which I printed on transparency (in black and white), then turned into silk screen stencils using product, called StencilPro. Download artwork I used in this project for free from StencilItPretty Freebies page.

Supplies:
•  StencilPro film or StencilPro Starter Kit: Basic or Complete
•  Transparency sheet (comes with StencilPro Starter Kit)
•  Eco Exposure light (to develop or expose your stencils)
•  Armour Etch cream
•  Masking tape
•  Small paintbrush
•  Beer glasses

Here is the video of the complete step by step glass etching project. Enjoy!

Thanks for watching!
- Lena {at} Stencil It Pretty

 

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10/17/12

Inspired Design for Family Room: Silk Screened Canvases

Home decor - screen printed canvases using StencilPro silk screen stencil
Family Room Makeover - Screen Printed Canvases and Picture Frames

Design Inspiration: Candice Olson and Her Divine Designs

   I absolutely love, love Candice Olson and her divine design style. She is by far my most favorite interior designer on HGTV. Her classic, sophisticated, and awe-inspiring transformations are truly timeless and moving. She can glam up any space, and do it all with a lighthearted, quirky sense of humor and grace. I am glued to the TV whenever her shows are on. My “Design inspiration” binder is full of pictures of her room makeovers (Candice has recently added a new show, “Candice TellsAll”, to her HGTV design portfolio). Therefore, it is no wonder that when it comes to my own house, I dream up designs which are no doubt, inspired by the queen of interior design herself. With that said; my spaces are decorated with my family’s lifestyle and aesthetics in mind and injected with my own personality.
When I decided to remake my family room in a monochromatic warm grey, I knew that I absolutely had to have a pop of color. My new couch was grey, my walls were painted in various shades of grey, and even my curtains were a shimmery shade of grey silk. I love photography and take a lot of pictures whenever I go on vacations. This way, when I come back to all the hustle and bustle of my busy life, I could always have a reminder of that wonderful care-free happiness that I have experienced during my travels; this time I wanted to incorporate the pictures I took during our vacation in Monterey, California. This is how the idea of pictures on the canvases was born.
Black and white StencilPro artwork printed on transparency
Black and white artwork
  I have come up with a stencil design which speaks to the traditional style of damask wallpaper; yet reinterpreted in a stylized, modern way for the background that I was going to stencil on my canvas. For the stencil, I used stencil material (film), called StencilPro, designed and manufactured by Circuit Bridge (you can find it here). You can download the artwork for this stencil in my Freebies section.



StencilPro is non-toxic, requires only sunlight or fluorescent light and tap water to develop (the entire process takes about 15 minutes); yet you get truly amazing professional silk screen stencils; which would cost hundreds of dollars to make at a professional silk screening shop. I printed the design on InkJet transparency sheet. It is important to mention here that you need a truly black and white image for this process to work. Anything other than black and white will yield less than desired results, and may even waste the stencil because of improper exposure – it will simply not wash out or come off right away with water. 
Exposed StencilPro stencil, ready for stenciling
Exposed StencilPro stencil
I created the stencil by exposing StencilPro and my artwork to light using ContactFrame. StencilProstarter kit comes with a contact frame and opaque wash out box; which make the entire process pretty easy.



 

 
Canvas preparation: using a wide brush; which I purchased at a hardware store, I applied gesso directly to each of the canvases in even strokes from top to bottom to prime them. Then in wide strokes I painted on the background color using Liquitex Basics Cadmium Red acrylic paint. It was a bit challenging; however, as long as I moved my paint brush back and forth, left to right and back again when painting on a large surface, the background looked even and consistent.
Continue stenciling canvas using StencilPro screen
Stencil canvas top to bottom

Now, for the most important part - stenciling design on canvas: I used Versatex Silver Lace screen printing ink to give the print dimensional, shimmery silver detail. To hold StencilPro stencil in place, I lightly sprayed a 3M Spray Mount Artist's Adhesive on the back side of the stencil. Spray mount bonds lightweight StencilPro instantly, yet allows the stencil to be lifted and repositioned when needed. I used circular brush movements and very little ink to prevent ink running under the stencil and to allow better ink penetration: all metallic inks, including Versatex Silver Lace ink, contain metallic particles (it makes the color nice and shiny on the canvas); which could sometimes be a bit of a challenge to pass through the smallest detail openings in the silk screen stencils such as StencilPro. I also had to wash my stencil more often than with regular inks. I then continued stenciling top to bottom, making sure that the printed designs align one on top of the other for a nice continuous background. Since canvas surface is nice and stretchy, I made sure not to push too hard on the brush so that the surface would not flex; thus, smudging the print.

Canvas stenciled with StencilPro stencil left to dry
Canvas stenciled with StencilPro stencil

When all three canvases were screen printed with my design; I left them out to dry for 48 hours before proceeding with the rest of the steps.

Use flush mount to mount fence boards, canvas and frames. Mount picture light.

Flush mounting is great for keeping canvas and picture frames tight against the surface. It also allows for easy picture replacement in the frames (I purchased mine from IKEA). The flush mount I used incorporates removable bubble level; which makes it easy to align canvas on the wall.
I measured and marked the center of the back frame on the canvas and flush mount for proper alignment. Then I marked the position and attached the other part of interlocking Flush Mount bracket to the wall. I marked the positions for the molly bolt anchors on the wall, measuring so that the canvas mount aligns with the center between the marks. This is where the picture frame would later attach to the wall through canvas and board. Using a power drill, I drilled a pilot hole in the marked spot big enough for the screw.

I have used standard 1" thick redwood fence board; which I cut into 8" pieces and primed with wood primer prior to use as filler in between canvas and the wall. Using power drill and Molly bolts or screws, I attached 1" x 8" primed wood board.
I measured and mounted picture light (I purchased mine from IKEA) on the wall directly above where the canvas would hang. I used cable tacks to guide and attach picture light's cable on the wall. I also painted bottom of the electrical cord with paint matching the wall color.

Hang stenciled canvas on the wall
Hang stenciled canvas
I hung the canvas by interlocking brackets of the flush mount on the wall and on the back frame of the canvas
Measure and attach flush mount to wood board through canvas
Measure and attach flush mount to canvas

I measured and attached flush mount bracket to the wood board through the canvas. Then attached matching flush bracket to the back of the picture frame, making sure it was centered.
 

Insert pictures into picture frames and hang on canvas
Insert pictures into picture frames

Finally, I inserted pictures into the picture frames and hung picture frames on canvas by interlocking brackets of the flush mount on the back of the frame and wood/canvas. For convenience, I plugged all three picture lights into power strip.

Silk screen printed canvases and frames - family room makeover
Completed silk screen canvas and frames family room makeover
I can’t help but smile every time I look at my feature canvas wall. Red background is definitely a bold statement; metallics in the stenciled design add glamour and excitement. The pictures in the frames are a constant reminder of good times. All in one, it captures the spirit of family, friends, fun, and a promise of more great things to come!
How do you incorporate your personal style in your design? What are your design tools? What inspires you?
Thank you for reading!
Warm Hugs,
- Lena {at} Stencil It Pretty
 
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Stencil It Pretty is all about inspiration and lifestyle. I love DIY, craft, fashion, and design. By sharing with you what inspires me I hope you get inspired, too.

"If we look at the world with a love of life, the world will reveal its beauty to us."
-Daisaku Ikeda

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