14 August 2012

A Word of Art

Yesterday I posted the super simple Scrabble coasters I made for The Mommy Person. Today I'm going to show you the highlight of the gift set: the wall art. This was the project that I really, really wanted to do. The rest was incidental (I needed 3 Ws for this project; two Ws to a set meant buying two sets... 200 tiles. I wasn't about to waste the rest!).

As a reminder, even sets of Scrabble tiles sold for the purpose of crafting come in the standard letter distribution. Planning is key!

This particular project was a little more involved than the coasters, but the end result was totally worth it!

There is a song, by Sara Groves, called The Word that contains the chorus, "The Word was, the Word is, and the Word will be." I love it. It's an amazing song. Learn it, love it, live it. Those phrases also seemed fitting for this project.

Supply list:
  • Canvas board (the only boards I found, with limited selection, were too large. So my Hero cut them in half for me)
  • Sketch paper or other heavy craft paper
  • An old Bible with pages that are not velum
  • Spray adhesive
  • Tacky glue
  • Scrabble Tiles
Yes, I tore apart a Bible to make this art. No, I don't think I did anything wrong. If you think I did, well, feel free to vent about it in the comments. I'll likely just blow you off listen earnestly to your concerns, so speak your mind. ;) [Side note: I was originally looking for scrapbook pages that had Scripture on them; our local purveyor of all things scrap looked at me like I had three heads when I asked.]

About the Bible: you really need pages that aren't velum, which is very difficult to find. Our local Goodwill has a Bible cart (a grocery cart full of Bibles) and it took several trips to dig through before I found one that would work. The pages weren't exactly regular paper weight, but they were heavier than velum. Also, if someone asks you what version you're buying while you're digging through the cart, ignore them. It might turn out that they are a crazed Jehova's Witness that will use your answer as an invitation to prattle at length about the ills of that particular version, resulting in several futile minutes spent tuning her/him out as you are stalked through the store (and even, for a moment, cornered with no hope of escape). Not, um, that this happened to me, um, or anything.

The method:

Your mind may work differently (Lord, for your sake, I hope so), but this is what made the most sense to me. Because the canvas had been cut, it had a raw edge that I wanted to cover. I started with 1 piece of canvas and 1 sheet of sketch paper.

I used the spray adhesive to cover the sketch paper and layered the Bible pages on it (applying more adhesive to the pages where there was overlap). I kept the pages mostly right-side-up, but wanted a messy-ish look. I suggest doing this bit outside. Spray adhesive has a mind of its own.

Then I used adhesive on the canvas to stick the paper to it (trying to center it).

After that, it was a matter of trimming the excess and using tacky glue to wrap the canvas.

Use some heavy-duty textbooks to squish it all flat as it dries. I'm partial to A Complete History of the Theatre. But Introduction to Engineering may be more your speed.

When it was all dry, I set it aside for four months. Because I had already missed Mother's day, and Mommy Person was coming to visit in August. Naturally, I waited until the night before she arrive to even dig these out again. All that was left to do was add the Scrabble tiles. I didn't want the weight resting solely on the paper pages, so I used a razor knife to cut small squares, down to the canvas, under each letter. Add more Tacky Glue and *poof* done.

(I'm well aware that the letters, especially on the last one, are cock-eyed. Remember yesterday when I said the tiles aren't square? They aren't. Add that to the 'crooked' pages and my eyes didn't compensate very well. But I'm still 100% happy with how they turned out.)

I gave Mommy Person some Command strips to hang these. I figure that's the best bet. Maybe you can devise a fancier style hanger, but for me? I'm not nearly as creative as one might think. [How would you hang these?]

 Tomorrow I'll cover what to do with the leftovers

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