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Category: Craft

saying c-ya with cyanotype: DIY cyanotype key sunprints

So, good news first: we found a place to lease next year! A bona fide house with a yard and storage and everything! We are thrilled: me, to be done with house-hunting and to start planning a new space, and Matt: to have me done with the house-hunting part. Let’s just say I take to house-hunts like a fish to water. An incredibly stressed, frazzled fish who systematically checks five different housing websites every six hours.

But, sad news: did you guys know that moving to a new place typically means leaving the one you’re living in currently? The first lease you signed together, the first time you made a home together, the place where Matt finally watched The Office all the way through? I’m super sentimental and even though I could not be more excited about our next place (it is SO cute and having a house will be so fun and now we can actually have more than two people over for dinner and not make them eat on our couch AND A YARD FOR FINN) but I can’t stop the feels about leaving our cozy little apartment. Home means a lot to me.

DIY cyanotype key sunprint

Commemorating our first place together seemed important. When I saw Little Green Notebook’s cyanotype prints for her playroom, I knew that would be perfect. Cyanotype prints work really well with flat objects – leaves, dried flowers, etc., so I thought I’d make a print of the key to our apartment. The cobalt color of the paper is so pretty, it looked pretty easy, and I could order the kit on Amazon which is just so dang appealing. Here’s the quick how-to:

how to make a cyanotype key sunprint

How To Create a Cyanotype Key Sunprint

 

What You’ll Need:

  • Sunprint paper kit (this is the one I used)
  • House key
  • 9″ x 12″ tray or dish
  • Water
  • Paper towels or paper bags
  • Heavy books

making a cyanotype key sunprint

  1. Keep the paper in the kit while you’re setting up – any exposure to sun will start the reaction, so keep it protected until you need it.
  2. Fill a tray or long pan with water. You’ll submerge the paper when it’s done sitting in the sun, so you want this ready to go. 
  3. Lay some paper towels or paper bags on the counter so that you have a place to set the wet paper to dry.
  4. You’re ready! Take a sheet of paper, lay it outside in direct sunlight, and place the object you want to make a print of in your desired position on the paper. Let the paper sit in the sun for anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes or so. The longer the paper is in the sun, the deeper the blue hue will be when it has processed. I experimented with different times and liked the ones in the 3-4 minute range. Probably a good idea to buy some extra paper if you want to experiment a lot or are looking to make several prints. 
  5. When the paper has been in the sun for the desired amount of time, pick it up and lay it in the water, completely submerging it to stop the chemical reaction. 
  6. Gently remove the paper from the water and lay it down on the paper towels or paper bags to dry.
  7. When it’s dried completely, use some heavy books to sit on top of it to remove any wrinkling or curling on the edges.

DIY cobalt cyanotype key print

Voila! A pretty sweet way to commemorate your first home together. Or your first place of your own. Or the key to your shop. You get the gist. And since I technically spent a grand total of about $1 on the print, I wanted to dress it up in a really special frame that I might not normally splurge on. Enter Framebridge!

framing a DIY cyanotype key sunprint with Framebridge

Framebridge was the perfect answer to a frame for this pretty but unusually sized print. Here’s how it works: you go to their site, choose a digital image or upload a picture of your physical art, enter the dimensions of the art, and then click through their frames where they mock up how the art will look in the frame. It’s incredibly satisfying if you’re super visually-motivated like I am. As soon as my eyeballs saw the blue key print mocked up in the burl-wood Cairo frame, they fell out of their sockets like a cartoon boy dog looking at a cartoon pretty girl dog. 

Framebridge review - pretty details!

Once I got the eyeball situation figured out, I sent off my print to Framebridge in a package they provided with a shipping label also provided. A few weeks later, I got my got-dang gorgeous frame back and had to deal with my eyeballs all over again. They even dress up the backing with this pretty Matisse-style print. LOVE. And bonus for yall: use the code bigadventure15 to get 15% off your first Framebridge order!

framing a DIY key sunprint with Framebridge

cairo burl wood frame from Framebridge with a cyanotype print

Still a little sad about moving, but I’m really glad to have a little physical memento of a home and a time that was pretty great to us. And yes, I realize that I also have two years of blog posts, but who knows how long this “internet” thing will stick around. 

 

I was provided with product by Framebridge, but all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the companies that support ABA!

How to make a DIY cyanotype key print
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no flocking way: an easy and cheap way to flock an artificial tree

Time it took to flock this tree: 20 minutes. Time it took me to title this post due to the plethora of “flocking” puns: twelve hours. I wasn’t planning on posting this week, but I got so excited that this flocking “technique” (quotes because you’ll see that it’s so easy, it can hardly be called a technique) worked that I wanted to post before you guys decorate your trees!

easy way to flock a tree

(Finn is way more excited about Christmas than he looks. The reality is we were losing a football game that we should have been winning as I was taking these pictures, which meant we were stressed, which meant Finn was stressed. It’s tough to be a Longhorn fan this year, even if you’re a dog.)

Some backstory: last year, we got a white tree that I love. It’s pretty petite and I realized that it would look really great in our study this year. I grew up with a traditional green tree — sometimes real, sometimes artificial, and always lovingly decorated with an eclectic mix of ornaments. I thought it’d be nice to get a slightly larger green tree this year to feed my nostalgic Christmastime craving. 

I didn’t want to spend much. I’ll say it’s because we’re in a rental and I didn’t want to invest in our “forever” tree, but it could also be that I’m cheap. Or a mix of the two. Either way, I started out on a hunt for a pre-lit artificial tree that was 6′ tall, well-reviewed, and inexpensive. I ended up finding the perfect one at Target, and it’s now on sale for $20 less than I paid because the Christmas Shopping Gods like to punish me for planning in advance. (Find it here.) I’m really happy with the tree and definitely recommend it if you’re in the market.

how to flock an artificial tree

Howevuh. Sometimes I can’t leave well enough alone and decided I wanted to try to flock the tree. I read up on some flocking tutorials and was like LOL ain’t nobody got time for that. I thought I’d give the ole “can of fake snow” a try on one side of the tree, thinking if it looked awful I could just put that side in the corner. But it DIDN’T look awful and it was so flocking easy. 

Note: This is really more of a dusting of snow than the thick, layered look of a “real” flocked tree. For that look, you should probably do it the hard way. But if you want a quick way to add some interest to your very standard artificial tree, this is for you. 

What You’ll Need

  • Artificial tree (This may work on real trees? Not sure since I haven’t tested it.)
  • Can of snow spray (I used this one.)
  • Drop cloth
  • Finger strength

snow flocking spray

How To Flock an Artificial Tree with Snow Spray

  1. Make sure the tree is unplugged. (Idk, seems smart.)
  2. Put the tree outside or on a drop cloth inside to protect the surfaces you don’t want to get sprayed with snow.
  3. If your tree is dusty, wipe off dust with a dry cloth. 
  4. Shake can of snow spray vigorously. 
  5. Spray the tree, directing the nozzle downwards on the tree branches as if it were real snow falling on the tree. 
  6. For a natural look, only spray the outside branches (that would actually be dusted with snow if it were snowing outside.)
  7. Repeat as necessary for your desired level of snow appearance. I did two coats, which looks like a light dusting of snow. This only took about 1/3 of the can. 
  8. With a warm, damp towel, gently wipe the snow from the bulbs. Probably not totally necessary, I just wanted the bulbs to stand out more. 
  9. Let dry for at least 4 hours. I left mine overnight just to be safe.
  10. Enjoy your semi-permanent dusting of snow. I don’t think this will last year after year, but would be easy to replicate each year with 20 minutes and a can of fake snow.

cheap and easy way to flock an artificial tree

Woo! Basically like we live in a quaint Colorado mountain town that just got its first snowfall of the season and not the tropical climate of Austin, Texas that we actually live in. I’m so excited to get the tree trimmed and all of our decorations up, but promised myself (and Matt) that we wouldn’t decorate until after Thanksgiving.

cheap-and-easy-way-to-flock-an-artificial-tree-1

flocked-artificial-tree

Love how the white snow helps the tree pop off the black wall, too. Thoughts? Anyone else into flocked trees this year? If you don’t feel like going the DIY route, Chris Loves Julia posted a great roundup of pre-flocked trees that you can find here. Also, can I get a slow clap for how much restraint I showed on the “flocking” puns? I only count two. 

the cheap and easy way to flock an artificial christmas tree
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cop to it: how to make a copper wall grid inspiration board

Nothing like an easy weekend DIY to make us feel like we can do things. This project is great if you want to feel accomplished, save some doll-hairs, and have an excuse to cut things out of magazines like we did when we were nine. (Remember when covering your WHOLE wall with magazine clippings was cool? “I can still smell the old perfume samples…” she said, in her best elderly Rose from Titanic voice.) 

When I was looking at ideas for updating our study, I knew I wanted an inspiration board. As I combed through Pinterest, copper wire wall grids caught my eye. I loved the juxtaposition of the clean grid lines with the chaos of the clipped photos, textiles, etc. I set out to see if I could find an affordable one that also fit the size I wanted. The closest I came was this one, but it was still a bit smaller than I was hoping. So I sourced some options to make my own, and realized I could make one for less than half the cost of the one I found. And YOU CAN TOO! (Ugh, sorry, I’m listening to Rihanna and feeling AMPED.)

how to make a copper wire wall grid inspirationboard

What You’ll Need

I’ve linked below to these sources on Amazon, if you’re like me and prefer your DIYs hand-delivered to your door. 

how to make a copper wire wall grid inspirationboard

How To Make a Copper Wire Wall Grid

  1. Arrange your grids and make sure they are all facing the same direction. (There’s a “front” and “back” that may not be easily distinguishable, but I guarantee as soon as you figure out that they aren’t all facing the same direction when your project is complete that it will make your eye twitch, and we don’t want that.)
  2. Once you have them arranged how you’d like, use a zip tie to secure them in place. You can see where I placed mine below.
  3. After the zip ties are secured, spray paint the whole dang thing. Give one side a good coat, wait for it to dry completely, then flip it over and give the other side an even coat as well.  

how to make a copper wire wall grid inspirationboard

Voila! You have done it. Man. You are awesome. Way to do the things! Now, you can reward yourself with magazine clipping/pinning up time. To get into the spirit of things, apply some Dr. Pepper chapstick or very thick, frosted, scented lip gloss. Wanna really go wild? Spritz some Tommy Girl into the air and walk through it. 

how to make a copper wire wall grid inspiration board

CASUAL GIF DEBUT, NBD. When better to drop my first gif than a post where I make like six other 90s references? 

Anyway. Obviously the bare wire grid wall needed some zhuzhing. First I added larger clippings, then medium-sized, then the smaller ones. I tried to keep it varied with photos, colors, text-based stuff, and personal touches, but girlfriend is not about to tell you how to put together your inspiration board. It’s yours. Make it look how you want. Also, I used two binder clips on the top of a cork tile as a way to hang the tile off of two S-hooks. I liked having a spot where I can pin up more temporary stuff, and I just liked how it looked.

how-to-make-a-copper-gridwall-inspiration-board-8

how-to-make-a-copper-gridwall-inspiration-board-8

Who is as surprised as I am that only two pictures of Finn made it onto the board? Don’t worry, the rest are on the fridge.

Hope you all have an awesome weekend doing things that make you feel inspired and accomplished. Even if that involves taking a trip to Claire’s at the mall because you’re wondering if glitter eyeshadow and karma beads are still a thing.

Wait, is Claire’s still a thing?

Are malls still a thing?

Being 29 is strange. 

diy-copper-wall-grid-inspiration-board

 

How to make a DIY copper grid wall inspiration board
How to make a DIY copper grid wall inspiration board
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