During a shopping trip to a new craft shop in town, HOUSEMATE picked up a piece of sliced wood, still with bark, sanded and neatly packaged, ready for use, He said, “I’ll bet you could do something interesting with this.” I turned it over and saw the $15.00 price tag and said, “I think I could, but, the challenge would be to find it at a rummage sale for $2. and then do something interesting with it.” What do know, the next day I saw an ad from my favorite thrift store – ‘Keepers’ in Yorktown, Indiana, sliced wood advertised – prices starting at $1.00. I visited at my earliest opportunity.
I picked out several pieces and happily took them inside where I found even more neat stuff to turn into treasures.
This wood had been outside and was damp, so my first job was to dry it. I placed it in front of a small space heater for a couple of days, and it dried beautifully.
Then, using a vibrating sander borrowed from HOUSEMATE’s immaculate garage, I sanded the pieces smooth. While I was waiting for the pieces to dry, I began to plan my projects. I found a quote on line, on Pinterest, to be exact. It is by Stephen Chalmer and decided it would be perfect for what I had in mind. I used the computer to adjust font and size of the print and then ran mirror images of my quote. I took it along with some other images to Kinko’s to have laser prints made – 59 cents per page – what a deal!
Once the wood was dry and sanded smooth, it was time to begin.
Again using the deco podge photo transfer medium, I applied a thick coat to the wood and placed my paper pieces face down, smoothing them with an old credit card. Experience note: don’t rub too hard when you are smoothing the papers, you might tear a piece. (not to worry if you do – it can be fixed)
I allowed this to dry for 72 hours and then began the process of peeling off the paper by wetting it with a sponge and then peeling it off by rubbing it with my fingers.
Here is what I DIDN’T expect. Instead of just the print showing on the wood, the photo transfer medium dried white and shiny and the print appeared to be on paper.
This wasn’t what I had planned, but not to be deterred, I used the same vibrator sander to remove much of the dried medium and then some fine grain sand paper to smooth out the edges even more. The place I tore the paper when I applied it to the wood was also sanded with fine sandpaper and I used a black pen to fill in the empty space.
Next, I wanted to apply a clear finish, so I went in search of a can of Minwax I knew to be in the garage
IMPORTANT EXPERIENCE NOTE; IF THE MINWAX IS ON THE TOP SHELF, TAKE THE TIME TO WALK ACROSS THE IMMACULATE GARAGE AND GET THE STEP LADDER TO REACH IT. ATTEMPTING TO KNOCK IT DOWN WITH A HANDY CAULKING GUN WILL RESULT IN THE CAN FALLING ON YOUR HEAD, RICHOCHETTING OFF YOUR OUTSTRETCHED HAND AND HITTING YOU ON THE HEAD AGAIN! OUCH!
After applying an ice pack to my bruised, cut and dented head for several minutes, I decided to finish the project the next day.
I applied several coats of the Minwax to the pieces, wiping off excess on the lettering. The wood soaked the paint up quickly and I wound up giving that part several coats. It colored the white somewhat, but this still wasn’t what I had in mind when I started the project. So, again, not to be deterred, I improvised.
Once the stain was dry, I gave it a couple of light coats of clear spray sealant.
Then I found some woodland themed decorations – moss, dried wood, flowers, etc and set about decorating to hide some of the white transfer medium.
Once the plaques were to my liking, I attached a long piece of burlap ribbon to the back. I used staples and attached it in multiple places to assure it stayed in place and that each plaque hung correctly.
Experience point: attach the burlap BEFORE you decorate the front sides. It will be much easier to get the staples solidly in the wood.
Here it is, not what I’d planned but a cute hanging for the winter months to welcome people into my home.