Friday, April 8, 2011

A Special DIY Wedding Gift

Before Ashley's wedding, I decided that I wanted to give her  and Brent something unique and special. I actually thought this months before the wedding but was at a lost of what I could do. Then, I saw some inspiration on my newly married friend Alicia's Facebook page (p.s. Alicia has a blog you should check out!).

I loved this and after several questions to Alicia about it and how it was made, I figured perhaps I could do something like this.

I had a great vision in my head, but I wasn't quite sure I could pull it off. I decided I'd start with a canvas and use paint and my Cricut to create a gift. Now, some of you are probably asking, "What is a Cricut?" If you aren't aware, a Cricut lets you cut out die cuts. It is perfect for DIY projects. I got one for Christmas a few years back and have mostly used it for scrapbooking, but not to its fullest potential, but I have a feeling that might be changing!

So, I decided to use a two-tone approach to my creation for the then-future Mr. and Mrs. Byrd. Since Ashley's wedding colors were gray and yellow and she will be using the same colors in her house, I decided to use those colors for the canvas. 

I started by cutting out all my letters on my Cricut. This took a little longer than expected because I had to play with the sizes and fonts I wanted to use. I used some scrap paper to get it exactly how I wanted.

Once done, I cut all the characters out on contact paper. I had read online some bloggers had used vinyl, but considering the expense of vinyl, I thought I'd give it a try with the contact paper. 

Once everything was cut out, I placed the "EST 2011" on the canvas first and then painted the entire thing yellow. If you have ever worked with contact paper, you know that it sticks to everything -- everything, that is, except canvas. It really was not sticking well, so I took the wooden end of a paint brush (because it was nearby) and went over the letters to ensure they would stay down.

I was really nervous at this point because I had no idea whether this first step had worked, but I knew there was no turning back. I really wanted the end result to look professional and NOT homemade, so that made my fears even bigger. I decided the worst case scenario would include me redoing the entire project

But, I moved onto the next step, which was to place all the other characters on the canvas. I also placed some painters tape on the sides, so that they would stay yellow. 

Once done, I gave everything a coat of gray paint. After leaving the canvas to dry overnight, I carefully peeled off all the contact paper. I used a pair of pointed-tip tweezers to help get them up. Ironically, even though they didn't want to stick to the canvas, once painted, they were on pretty well!

To my surprise, after everything was off, it actually looked pretty good, but not perfect.

If you look real close, you can see that the colors bled through around the edges.

But, I decided I could fix this. So, I bought a teeny, tiny paint brush and started making touch-ups by hand. 

It took a little longer than expected, partly because once I started, I became a little obsessive with making it perfect. I think it was well worth it, though, because I was very pleased with the end product!

I gave it to Ashley the night before her wedding and was thrilled to see that she loved it! 

I have bought some additional canvases to make some art for our home. I have a feeling this might be a popular new gift for weddings and baby showers!

What do you think?


Alicia (Perry) Beaver said...

AHH! I love it! Turned out GREAT. I can't take credit for mine, but I am glad it inspired you!

lesliesews said...

It was a perfect gift! You did a grea job!

Ashley Newton said...

we love it!! we are planning on hanging it in the bedroom this weekend!

Alison Nash said...

What kind of paint did you use?

Kristin said...

I just used acrylic paint that you can buy at a craft store. I've also seen bloggers use spray paint, so I might try that next time.

Alison Nash said...

Thanks! I got some mini canvases with easels (maybe 3x3), and I was thinking of doing something like this with them. Thanks for the idea :)