Many people like doing crafts but getting time to is another factor. Adding to the time is money. Still, here is a project that costs little to do, is as original as you want to make it and can give a “Western” feel to the room.
Step 1 – First choose your basics. You’ll need a bottle of “Modge Podge” – usually found in the craft section at WalMart or other stores for under $10. You’ll need a picture – a black silhouette or a greeting card or horse or wildlife poster.. You can do this with photographs but leave out the charring edges part (step 3)! You’ll need a small flat paint brush to put the Modge Podge down with and a small ‘picture hanger’ to attach to the back. You’ll need a board slightly larger than your picture – clean ‘recycled’ wood can work well for this. Lastly you’ll need a candle.
Step 2 – Prepare your board. Make sure the board is clean and dry. Light your candle and carefully hold the edge of the board in the flame. With a little experimenting you can generate smoke which ‘stains’ the board. This is the look you’re going for. Keep in mind it will often be a little darker with the Modge Podge applied. You can use your creativity here to make it slightly “smoked” or more heavily smoked. An obvious caution with using the candle is making sure you don’t set anything on fire.
Step 3 – Prepare the image – you can use straight sides or while you have your candle lit slightly char the edges of your poster. Use extreme caution here as a little too much burns rather than makes a jagged charred edge…work carefully!
Step 4 – Using the paint brush spread a light even coat over the entire space the image will take up, then work quickly to place the image, smooth out any bubbles (work center to edge). You can place heavy books over the image (make sure there isn’t glue to stick them!) but even this can result in some ‘bubbles’ near the edges. This adds to the ‘texture’. Let dry overnight.
Step 5 – Seal the image – using a medium coat of Modge Podge ‘paint’ over the entire image area and to the edges. This can leave some brush strokes which adds texture to the finished image. Set this up in a clean, dust free area to dry thoroughly. You can add a second coat and/or use fine sandpaper for a smooth look – I like the “rough” texture.
Step 6 – add the wall hanger centered on the back of the wood.
This is an easy, inexpensive project that is unique in that no 2 are exactly the same. The use of the candle to create smoked edges alone insures this is a one of a kind wall hanging as a gift or for your home. You could use creative options like ‘framing’ it with a sisal string to give a rope appearance or other ‘Western’ feel also.
It’s easy, original and less than $20 can make several gifts for those on a budget. *Do* wait until this is completely dry – several days after the last coat – to prevent the wrapping paper from sticking. The surface can be wiped down with a damp cloth once sealed.
This can be adapted from a 5×7 size to a larger hanging as pictured, depending on your image. I have used photographs too and not had a problem with the final result. Those who have done scrapbooking may have some creative little additions too.
These are durable also! It’s something that with care will last for years and still look good. I’ve had some over 15 years old that still look good, and an occasional damp cloth wipe is all the ‘maintenance’ they’ve gotten. You could also use the same principles on coat racks or other wood surfaces.
It’s easy and inexpensive. With the exception of the charring with a candle it’s something easy enough for children to do as well. Give a Western gift on a budget!