we probably hang out in our backyard a good 60% of our free time in the summers. if it's friday night and not raining, we are usually out there having a few cocktails with a fire going. for a while, we hosted happy hour every friday at our house (anyone is still welcome to come over), and we even have a facebook place name to tag if you're over!! needless to say, i try to make the outdoors cute. it's a little harder with our temperamental seasons, but i work with what i've got.
i wanted to have something to hang in our yard. sure, we have lanterns and bird cages on the trees and garage, but i wanted some actual "nail it to the wall" sort of artwork. so i decided to make something myself. this was one of the more time consuming diys that i have done, but really what that means is that it took more than 30 minutes. all in all (not counting the waiting for paint to dry part), this probably took all of two hours.
so, here's what you'll need.
one strip of lumber (i used a piece that was 8" by 48")
stencil paint brush
hooks for hanging pictures
template for your scrabble letters
oh, and a saw (not pictured)
you could probably find enough square plaques at a thrift store to make this, and then you wouldn't need the wood, the saw, or the hangers. but i wanted to find wood that was similar in color to an actual scrabble piece...plus that piece of wood was $1.22, so it was pretty cheap. chris did the honor of cutting it because power tools scare me.
i told him he looked like bono with those glasses.
i had him cut them into perfect 8X8 squares.
because i need everything to be perfect.
i then should have sanded them, but i was too anxious. i went straight for the painting portion.
i had printed out the letters in the word "party" on five pieces of paper. i looked up what number coincided with each letter in an actual scrabble game. i used the univers font at 500 pt. and for the number, i used the same font, but a 200 pt., and subscript. i printed them on 8.5X11 paper.
i then went outside with the paper, exacto pen and a cardboard box (to put under the paper while i cut) and began carefully cutting the stencils. i always forget about the stupid holes in letters when i try to make my own stencils. in the end, the "P", "A", and "R" all had holes that i had to tape to the wood before i painted them. however, this is kind of necessary because scrabble letters don't have any lines or cut outs in them. i think i did a pretty good job of lining up the stencils with the cut outs. am i even making sense here? if not, look at the picture below. see that big part i am cutting out of the p? well, i needed that back in order to properly stencil. so i taped it back in. now am i making sense? this is a hard diy to explain!
ok, i think you get the picture. you're all smarties!
next up, put the paper on the wood. i was very exact about this. and by very exact, i mean i measured where to put the wood with a tape measure. no, not an actual tape measure....a roll of tape (see below). and then to make sure each letter was placed in the same spot as the last, i just used the first one i did and lined each one up with that. very scientific. i hate measuring.
then i painted. most people would try to be very careful that they only paint inside of the stencil. while i was pretty careful, i got a little careless by the time i got to the y. i had to do some fix up later.
i let them dry, but not completely...because i knew i would need to fix them. i grabbed some nail polish remover and the exacto pen, and scraped away on the wood to get rid of any black paint that snuck through the stencil. it's ok if you notch up the wood a bit because you will poly it later.
patience has it's perks...but i wouldn't know (at least when it comes to crafts).
i then let them dry overnight. the next day, i added some hooks and wire so i could hang them. make sure you put the hooks in the same place for each one (i almost didn't). i used another very good measuring tool to do this...the remote control.
then you can poly them, front and back. make sure you use an outdoor poly if you plan on hanging these in your yard. this was the only brand of outdoor poly i could find at home depot. i painted the front and the sides, let them dry one more night, and then did the back.
then i just needed a cute place to put them. this will do for now. once our plants are fully grown in, i will need to find a more permanent spot for them.
the flamingos love to party!
i actually love this diy. i think it's a fun way to add something unique to your house or yard. it's cheap, it's easy, and you can choose any word you want!!