Friday, February 7, 2014

DIY Valentine's Love Art (a million options!)

There are a million ways to do this (and I've listed them below) so if you're single/have divorced parents/all sorts of other options, stay tuned!
In Michigan, February has 2 major connotations for the general public: Valentine's Day and snow. Oh my word.
But for me, it reminds me of my grandparents as well.
My GRANDPA DIED a few Februaries ago. My Grandparents were so in love and so intertwined, that it wasn't  much of a surprise when my grandma joined him 2 Februaries later- almost to the exact day. In fact, we really feel like she was aiming to pass away on the anniversary of his death, but didn't quite make it.
As the one year anniversary of her death approaches, I wanted to do something in honor of her, of them and of the legacy of love in our family. That's how this project was born. It's something I can put up each year that looks happy and festive, celebrates love and reminds me of them.
I started with a wooden plaque ($2.99 at Hobby Lobby, full price and without a coupon. These do not go on sale, so bring a coupon!) some pictures printed from Snapfish. My project focused on a picture of my grandparents' + parents' weddings as well as our own. I had them printed in a pink tint (which looked more purple to me) standard and in black and white. I ended up going with B +W.
You will also need:
Sharpie paint pens in the appropriate colors.
Scrapbook paper.
Stickers for the bunting, to spell out whatever word you want (last name, love in a foreign language, whatever! Mine were from Hobby Lobby, Sticko brand. They go on sale).
Acrylic paint in the appropriate scheme.
3M adhesive- I choose this over modpodge for this sort of project since it doesn't bubble up.
A method to hang the plaque. You can get frame kits from Hobby Lobby for $2 that screw into the back of the plaque and allow you to hang it on the wall.
In the name  of festivity, the pictures were cut into heart shapes using a simple stencil made from card stock. In general, I trace in sharpie right over the photograph and cut inside of the line. If that makes you nervous, you can trace the backs. The easiest way is to position the heart where you want it and cut off the excess of the picture. Then you can flip the photo over, put the heart right at the top and trace, knowing that you will have the content you want. You can see where I cut away the extra photo in the picture directly about this paragraph.
 Let's talk options! You can go vertical.
 You can stagger- in this option, you wouldn't be able to use a bunting. In the other vertical position, you'd just hang the bunting top to bottom and write the "established" dates next to the photos on the opposite side.
 Let's also talk about options for photo content, since you may not want to use your parents' + grandparents' weddings!
1. First heart: dating. Second heart: engagement. Third heart: marriage (established dates would just be the dates of those three events.)
2. The three (or however many) hearts could be your children with the dates they were born.
3. One heart could be for you and your S.O., the others could be your children.
4. Center heart is you and your spouse, with the weddings of each person's parents on either side.
5. Hearts could be other significant weddings- siblings or friends.
6. Hearts could be significant friendships, with the year listed that you first met.
And anything else you think of!
Here, for example, you could pretend that the left side is actually a picture of John's parents' wedding.
But it's not.
Also, I had a hard time choosing between these two pictures of my parents. PS- they've been married 35 years this year- Go Mom & Dad!
I'm going to do another one that matches our house and is less VD themed with John's parents, but I need a steal a picture from their wedding still!
Ok- paint your plaque in the desired color scheme. I did a light pink from Martha Steward (Carnation) and a gold from Anita (Hobby Lobby).
Cut out your bunting. I used a triangle stencil again made from card stock and a few pieces of fun paper. Lay everything out and make sure you like how it looks. Do the hearts need to be smaller or repositioned? Are the flags too big?
 Start adhering everything to the plaque using your 3M spray. I put the items over a cardboard box, spray the backside and then immediately attach them to the plaque. I had already put my stickers on the bunting, but you can do that after the flags dry, too. 
For the pictures, if you're overlapping them, start on the right and work toward the left hand side.
 Lastly I added my "string" for the bunting and the arrows. This is the second I would entirely change. I didn't have the supplies I thought and had to improvise. You can get flat wooden arrows from Hobby Lobby in the Papercrafting section. I would have painted them white and then added the established dates in gold above. I didn't have the arrows, so I had to use black sharpie paint. Also- the gold pen I used was Tree House brand and didn't write smoothly.  Spend the extra 30 cents and buy the sharpie brand paint pens. They're oil based and go on so much more smoothly. 
The dates were much harder to read because I practically scratched them in. Sharpie brand oil paint pens are a million times superior.
I also added some gilding on the arrows (final picture below). I traced the arrowhead so that it was more obviously a heart and highlighted the feathered tips.
Once more!
I hope you have the best Valentine's, I generally don't do much for the holiday blog-wise, so next week look for lots of Instagram projects! All the best, and as always,  thanks for reading!

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