Friday, November 14, 2014

Crafting Corner: Button Letters

Crafting has always been something that I enjoy - at Summer Camp my favorite "excursion" was the Craft Cabin.  I love being creative in anything - it's a trait that I greatly enjoy using.  That said, crafting always seemed to take a back burner in my life - because I was always super, super busy.  So sadly I wasn't able to enjoy it as often as I would have liked.  But in the last year and a half that's changed...especially in the last 5 months.  I was finding myself at home A LOT more - and that was causing me A LOT more "free time".  At first, I'll admit I bucked the idea - I hated it...and it has taken me some time to fall in love again with my home, but I am...and I think my home is loving me being here much more often.  I've tried to find various tasks to occupy my time - other than watching TV or being stuck on Facebook or Pinterest {okay that one has actually been a helpful place - so many ideas...a creative person's paradise!}.  But, in time  I'm slowly starting to enjoy my evenings of coming home, closing the door and not having to rush back out - or my weekends of more time to be home.  Don't get me wrong - I loved every moment of the time I did have outside of VdM and I still, greatly, enjoy time away shopping, spending time with friends or family, or whatever the time away may entail.  And I still try to get out some - even if I'm alone...because for me being stuck inside alone without social interaction for several evenings in a row is not good for me - I would go bonkier more bonkers, than I already am!

One of the tasks I've taken on is doing more craft projects - in the Spring time I purchased my first ever glue gun...and boy have I given it a run for it's money.  I even purchased a second - just to have on hand and because it has a more narrow tip for those smaller, more confined areas needing gluing.  Between You-Tube and Pinterest and my own brain, I've found many many projects to keep me going - and my list continually grows of "crafts to make".  I'm starting to realize I need to create a designated location for my crafting supplies - which are much more than a glue gun these days.  And I'm working on figuring out how to best organize my supplies - oh yeah, another project!

One of my most recent projects was this button letter.  My cousin's wife is expecting their first baby, a little girl, in just a few weeks - and we recently had her baby shower.  I love giving homemade gifts - some find them cheesy or elementary, but I find them thoughtful and unique.  So as I was thinking of what I'd make for Baby Kaylin - I wanted to do something with her initial, that could be used in her nursery and one day her bedroom (possibly).  I have had a bucket-o-buttons for some time now, and nothing says cuteness like buttons - what's the old saying..."as cute as a button"!  So I decided I'd purchase a wooden "K", paint it pink, cover it in multi-colored girly colored buttons, cover a canvas with fabric and then place in a frame.  I searched and researched various ideas and options, and decided to take a little of several options and make it my own.

First I sorted through my buttons and found the sizes and colors I wanted to use - the nursery is gray walls, black furniture and the bedding/accent pieces are going to be bright fun girly colors - pink, purple, yellow, turquoise, etc. 

Here is the "K" - almost completely painted. I didn't paint the back - to help with adhering it to the fabric covered canvas.

I used a pretty shade of pink, called Pink Chiffon - so that those places that buttons didn't cover up, wouldn't just be white.  I found this paint at Michael's it was Satin Acrylic - so it gave a little sheen when it was dry. 

Once the letter was painted - I let it completely dry, and then I "played around" with the buttons to position them and create the design I wanted.  It took some time - but it was like putting a puzzle together, just finding which one wentn in the exact location.  I had MANY more buttons sorted than needed, but I wanted to make sure I had several size and color options.  Once I had the design - I then began attaching the buttons with hot glue.  I tried to cover the entire top surface - that's almost impossible since the buttons are round and it's a squared/straight edge.  I wanted to make sure it looked like a "K", and not a pile of hot glued buttons - in the end.

This is once all the buttons were glued on.  I let them sit overnight to make sure they got good and set.  Some had to be re-glued for a more secure fit, but for the most part all of them set up really well.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures during the other phase of assembly - but I used a white canvas, gray fabric quarters and a canvas frame kit - all purchased at JoAnn's.  The frame was 8x10 - and the actual letter itself was about 5 inches long.

I wrapped the top and sides of the canvas with the fabric quarter, and cut off the excess.  I used a staple gun to attach to ensure the material remained taut, and for extra security.  The frame kit included Velcro that was attached to the back of the canvas and then lined up with Velcro inside the frame.  I also used a staple gun to secure the Velcro to the canvas - just for an extra measure.  It came with an adhesive strip - but I was afraid it wouldn't be enough with the natural gradual pull of gravity, as it hangs on a wall.

And this is the final "product".  I used a heavy crafting glue to adhere the "K" to the canvas - to again provide extra security.  I let it dry flat for the first hour or so, and then set it upright (as it if were hanging on a wall) for about 30 min - to make sure that it wasn't going to slip.  The letter itself is not flush, it does sit up "off of the canvas" - so it adds some additional dimension.  You can sort of see this in the picture.
Beginning to end the project probably took me 5-6 hours - this includes the sorting of the buttons, as well.  It's super cute and my cousin's wife loved it - I hope it will look super cute in Baby Kaylin's nursery.
I plan to do a similar craft - but with paper mache letters, for a Christmas gift for one of my nieces.  I'm sure I'll be posting about it in the future.
Next Crafting Corner post - Christmas Ornaments.  I'm on a roll getting various ornaments done for myself, family and as a "thank you" gift for the ladies at my table during this year's Christmas Tea. So stay tuned!  I also have some recipes - I want to share soon, as well.  Along with my Household Management binder and Christmas binder.
Until next time - don't let the glue gun burn you! :)

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