Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Craft That's for the Birds

Wow, no post since Sofa Drama. I'll quickly provide an update and then move on to the good stuff. We bought a sofa and chaise from Ikea and we're exceedingly happy with it! Plenty of room for all five of us to lounge. (Two humans, two cats and a dog.) My plan is to post some pictures of the living room once I get a few projects done, so you'll see it then.

Speaking of projects, the living room is sorely in need of some color on the walls. Because we're renting, I don't want to paint, so I've initiated a couple projects to dress up the space. Enter the bird tiles...

These bird tiles are from Crate and Barrel's outdoor collection and I love them. At $50, the price is reasonable, but it's still more than I wanted to pay. In addition, they're the wrong color. I decided that, with the help of some paint, I could recreate something I'd be happy with.

With that, it was time for a trip to Michael's for 1'x1' canvases. Because they were running a sale, I ended up with 4 11"x14" canvases for $10 or so. The square canvases would have cost 4x as much! I have a bunch of paint left over from another project, so we were good to go.

The first thing I did was paint the canvases with the same turquoise/teal color I used for the coffee table. What coffee table, you ask? That's for another post!

While the paint was drying, I went bird hunting. Because of the purse appliques I make, I have a ton of silhouettes saved and waiting to go. I picked out 5 birds from a collection of clipart so they would match. (I didn't want a cartoony bird next to a realistic bird.) A google search for "bird silhouette" will give you tons of options. Using Microsoft Paint, I resized the birds, then pasted them into Word so I could print them all on one sheet of paper. Cardstock, to be more precise.

The print on the left was to make sure I had the right size (the birds are about 3" tall) before printing on cardstock. I also adjusted the color intensity to conserve ink. Then, I cut out the birds.

Here are my cut out birds atop a print of the original Crate and Barrel tiles. I would be using the picture in the next step... Drawing the trees!

Because we apparently don't own a pencil, I used a metallic gel pen, which worked out well. It stood out on the blue, but disappeared under the next layer of paint. Referencing the picture of the C&B tiles, I drew tree branches onto the canvases. I wasn't going for an exact match, but it did take some of the guesswork out of the composition.

Next, I traced on the birds. I chose to make my birds legless, by the way.

With the birds in place, it was time to paint the branches. I decided to go with white for a nice, clean look. I also figured it would show up nicely against the blue. While painting the branches, I was careful to paint around the birds.

I wrapped the branches onto the edges of the canvas to make it look more finished. You can also see in the next picture that I decided to add some curls to the branches.

Now it was time to paint the birds! Again, I already had paint from my big box of craft paints. I decided to make the birds orange and black. As you can see below, the birds required two coats of paint. By the time I was done painting the second orange bird, the first one was dry enough to paint again.

And here's the finished product!

And from a slightly different angle...

So! For a grand total of $10 and some stuff I already had at home, we now have some colorful birdies to adorn our wall!

I'm updating this post with some new pics and a link to the CSI Project! The theme this week is Frames, Art and Wall Decor. Go check out the awesomeness!