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Monday, May 13, 2013

{DIY} Custom Monogrammed Tray

I hope that all of you had a great weekend and were able to spend it with family. We were fortunate to have Mr H's family come in from West Virginia so that we were able to spend Mother's Day with both sides of the family. The ladies had brunch at The Glitz restaurant in Irish Acres Antique store outside of Lexington. To the ladies out there, if you have not been to Irish Acres or The Glitz, you must go. The men kept themselves busy, as well. We had a delicious dinner at my parent's house and a fun time playing games.

For mother's day, I wanted to create a present for our amazing moms.  On the web, there are many versions of this DIY project such as this inspiration tray at A Thoughtful Place (www.athoughtfulplaceblog.com):


 I wanted to attempt this similar tray with a bit of a twist:

I popped into Hobby Lobby in search of a photo frame for this project.  I found this drift wood/farmhouse looking frame and knew that it would be perfect.  It was on sale for 50% off so I snagged a couple of these beauties for $15 each.

Next, I headed over to the hardware and drawer pull aisle at Hobby Lobby and found some silver/platinum pulls with a little crystal bling.  I thought that the contrast between the rustic frame and glamorous pulls would be perfect.  The pulls were also on sale for 50% off and rang in at about $3 each.

I love monogrammed decor and accessories so I decided that adding a custom monogram to each frame would be the finishing touch for this custom tray.  I headed to another aisle in Hobby Lobby and snagged some glass etching cream.  It was not on sale, but I downloaded a 40% off coupon from the Hobby Lobby website and ended up getting the etching cream for about $5.

Glass etching cream

I played around in Word with different fonts and sizes to make my monogram stencil for the glass etching.  I liked Times New Roman the best with a font size of 250.  After printing off the letters for the monogram, I gathered an exacto knife and contact paper to begin the glass etching process.

I removed the glass from the photo frames and cut a fairly large (about 1/2 the size of the glass) piece of contact paper to smooth over the center of the glass.  You want the piece of contact paper to be large enough so that when you apply the etching cream, it does not escape the edges of the contact paper and etch sections of the glass that you don't intend to etch!

After applying the contact paper to the glass, I centered my printed letter on top of the contact paper.  Using an exacto knife, I carefully traced the letter, making sure that the cuts went through the paper and through the contact paper, below.

After tracing out the letter, I used the exacto knife to lift a cut edge of the contact paper.

 I peeled off the entire letter in preparation to apply the etching cream.

Next, I used a foam paintbrush to apply the etching cream over the letter.  This was the first time that I have etched glass so I wasn't sure how much cream to apply.  Basically, I applied globs or dollops.

I let the cream sit for 15-20 minutes to ensure that there was adequate time for the etching magic.  I used a paper towel to wipe off the excess cream being careful not to spread the cream on any uncovered glass or my skin (read the warnings on the etching cream before use).  Then, I peeled off the contact paper and ran warm water over the monogrammed letter and gave it a good wipe-down.

After etching the glass, the next step was to attach the drawer pulls to the photo frame.  Since we were driving to Lexington for the day, I had my dad help me drill the pulls onto the frame.  If you want this type of placement of the pulls/handles, make sure that the frame that you choose has a wide enough edge for attaching the hardware.

After attaching the pulls/handles, we have a custom, monogrammed frame that looks like this:

 I love the way the handles work with the rustic frame:

 And now, a few styled shots of this custom tray:

For about $21 and 30 minutes of work, you too can have a custom monogrammed tray.  I love that there are so many options with this tray.  An easy change-up would be to replace the cardboard backing that comes with the frame and add a piece of pretty fabric between the glass and cardboard.  Or, a collage of photos would be a nice touch.

I enjoyed making these custom trays for our moms for mother's day.  I consider  my first experience with glass etching to be a success!  I love the monogrammed glass so much that I might monogram everything I can get my hands on . . .watch out Sugar (the kitty cat)!!



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

{DIY} Wedding Flower Shadowbox

Mr H and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago. Mr H planned all of the festivities and boy did he knock it out of the park! He surprised me with a trip to Lexington where we stayed in the very romantic, Gratz Park Inn. We walked around downtown and visited our wedding venue, the Headley Whitney Museum, where we reminisced on those vows we made, a year ago. As icing on the wedding cake, Mr H arranged for our wedding caterer to recreate the delicious southern meal that was served at our wedding reception, for our dinner. Completed with a trip to Keeneland, the weekend couldn't have been better.

There is quite possibly nothing that I am more sentimental about than our wedding. We spent so much time creating and pouring over every little detail for our big day. One of the biggest details that I planned and created was the wedding flowers. After ordering enough flowers to fill a garage, my mom and I tediously constructed the bridal and bridesmaid bouquets, the boutonniere and the reception arrangements. Luckily, for me, my mom saved as many of these arrangements as possible and dried them in her attic. After a year of not knowing what to do with the dried flowers, I finally had an idea. In celebration of our 1 year wedding anniversary, I give you:

This shadowbox contains Mr H's cotton boutonniere and flowers from my bouquet, the bridesmaid bouquets and the reception table arrangements. 

Bridal Bouquet
(photo by Kelli Baker of Simply Unique Photography)

Bridesmaid bouquets
(photo by Kelli Baker of Simply Unique Photography)

Mr H's boutonniere
(photo by Kelli Baker of Simply Unique Photography)

Reception table arrangements
(photo by Kelli Baker of Simply Unique Photography)

After drying the flowers, I disassembled the bouquets and cotton bol boutonniere.

I bought a shadowbox from Home Goods for about $12.00 for this project.  I pulled out my hot glue gun and started gluing and arranging the flowers and greenery in the center of the shadowbox.

I quickly realized that it was going to take a lot of flowers and greenery to get the full, completely covered, effect that I was going for.  I kept working my way out from the center, hot gluing each individual flower.

I may have burned my fingers a couple . . . or a few . . .times.

And finally, I filled all of the gaps:

While the colors of the dried flowers may not be great, I love the way it turned out!  While this project only cost $12.00 (shadowbox), it was not fast and easy.  It took at least 2 hours to delicately place and glue each individual flower. 

I'm not sure yet where this shadowbox will live in our home, but I'm positive that I'll enjoy looking at it and remembering our wedding and all of the love represented on that day.

Do you have dried flowers set aside?  Perhaps gifts from your significant other or from a loved one's funeral?  This shadowbox is a good way to memorialize those fragile flowers.

P.S-I've considered doing a few posts documenting all of the details that we created for our wedding.  Is this something that you readers would be interested in reading?


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