Thursday, August 1, 2013

Birthday Girl's Subway Sign

What do you get for a 1 year old's birthday?  Toy?  Clothes?  Books?  What if she has all of this...and a lot of it? 

We have lots of friends (blessings galore!!!), and all those friends have 2 or more children.  That adds up to LOTS of birthday parties and lots of gifts.  I don't like to give gifts that end up in a pile that needs to be purged out of a house.  I like to give things that will last, make memories or be memory reminders, and more.  I've done that with my nieces and nephews for the past several when this birthday came up I mulled over the gift for a while till I remembered I had a MDF board in the garage that was begging to be used for something.  It was then that I decided to make a Subway Sign for her.  I asked her mom to give me words she would use to describe her, worked it all up in Silhouette Studios then went to work putting it all together.

I started off with approximately a 14"x14" board, painted it Simply White with Cece Caldwell's chalk/clay paint, then cut the subway art out of white contact paper (which I don't recommend when using chalk paint...I'll explain later).  I used clear contact paper as a transfer paper and picked the whole thing up and placed it center on the board.  (I use contact paper vs. vinyl and transfer paper cause they're I'll explain later it's also more of a hassle when using chalk paint.)

Once it was on and lined up I slowly and meticulously removed the clear contact paper from the white letters.  It took quite a bit of time and I did it in little sections.  This is where I discovered how much residue the clear contact paper was leaving on the chalk paint.  I had to be careful where I laid my hands cause the oils from my skin were leaving dark spots where there was residue.  I could cover it in the next step, but still I didn't want to leave lots of marks.

Once all the letters were left behind I took more Simply White and painted over all the letters and Minnie silhouettes.  This seals the edges to protect from the top color bleeding through.  Plus it covered up that tiny bit of yuck from my hand to the bottom right.

Once that dried I painted over the whole thing with a mixture of Simply White and New Orleans Purple, also from Cece Caldwell's.  When it was JUST dry I pulled off all the contact paper carefully.  I didn't want to scratch the white under the contact paper, I didn't want to scratch any of the purple and I also didn't want to lay my hands on the sections where I'd removed the contact paper...remember the residue! (I forgot to get a picture of the before of this stage.)

I let the paint dry completely then waxed the whole thing with Maison Blanche's clear antique wax.  I let it dry for 30 minutes to an hour.  I was hoping that the wax would cover over the residue and I wouldn't have to worry about it...WRONG!!!  I started buffing and when I got over the letters they started grabbing lint from the rag I was using.  When I buffed it more using just my finger tip under the rag I could buff it away, but it took some work and a LOT of elbow grease.  So buffing this piece took some time and effort, but in the end the residue did come off.  I'll think twice before using contact paper on chalk paint!!!

I wanted to finish this piece off nice on the back because we'd previously tried using it to decoupage a cigar poster.  It turned out horrible so we scrapped the idea, but it was still attached to the back.  I really didn't thing a 1 year old needed a partial cigar poster...even if it was on the back and not going to be seen.  I thought I'd just mod podge a piece of scrapbook paper to the back, but for some reason they haven't made a 14"x14" piece of scrapbook paper yet...go figure!  So instead I decided to decoupage small pieces of 2 scrapbook pages that I'd torn up to the backside to cover the whole poster mess up. 

For a last little frilly touch I added a piece of cotton lace ribbon around the edges using hot glue to hold it down.  It turned out really sweet and I know my friend will treasure it for a long time.

Now I have a new project idea I can use for future gifts...until they all have one that is...

One more Piece to Treasure!!!


Look here for parties I'm linking up with!!!


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