Monday, March 3, 2014

DIY (yes, I did it myself) Sports Art

I've said before and I'll say it again, "My name is Cassidi.  I'm a Pinterestaholic." And I am not in the stage of recovery. I still get a high looking at Pinterest pretty much every day and when I see something that just fits my life perfectly, I go on a binge. This was one of those times.

As I was casually scrolling through one day, I saw this pin.
I was instantly like that crack addict that just had to have more. I clicked on the pin.  I saw the whole awesome playroom this amazing woman put together. Slowly, I got sucked it, I kept finding more and more other things this woman with crafting super powers had done, but eventually, I made my way back to this original post I'd clicked on.

JJ had a blank wall in his room that was begging to be decorated and I knew this was just the thing. The problem- as much as he loves his superheros and would love pictures similar to this, his room has a sports theme and this just wouldn't fit in.

This is where I really pushed the limited space in my brain reserved for creativity and figured out a solution. The amazing craft genius that made the pics above simply took pictures of her kid's favorite toys and blew them up. So I got to thinking- you know what might be even cooler than toys? Balls! Yes! Balls for sports! Perfect for JJ's room. It was like I finally got my first hit off the pipe (in case you are getting creeped out a little- I promise, I don't really smoke crack and I'm about as far from an addict as one can be). 

I read the details of her directions and, amazingly, it looked quite simple. I'll let you go to her page for all the real details, because my blog is about as far as you can get from a craft blog (which is why I also don't have step by step pictures of how to do this). But basically- you take pictures of toys (or balls!), convert them to black and white, take them to Staples and have them blown up into engineer prints, and glue them to MDF. Easy peasy!

I ran into a few small glitches, but overall, it went pretty well. I took pictures of a basketball, a football, and a baseball with my iPhone. Yes, I am about as good at photography as I am at crafting. I used the giant envelope I got my Valentine's card in as the backdrop (again - pushing my creativity to the limit!). The basketball was pretty easy and the baseball was even easier (and looked very cool and rustic). The football was a challenge. I just couldn't find a football that was taking good pics. Then I ran across this two inch football that came out of a happy meal. I kid you not. And it had the New York Giants logo on it, and being we love all things (and most teams) New York, it was perfect. 

Once I had the pictures, I moved on to the next step. I was ready to get some of those cool engineer prints for less than $4 that you see all over Pinterest. I headed to Office Max.  Turns out Office Max doesn't do those prints and I was quoted $88. Not what I was looking for. I looked back at the blog directions and she specifically said Staples, so I decided to try there. Sure enough, three prints for less than $12. And they were huge. In fact, I was a little concerned they were too big for JJ's little room. Once printed out, they weren't nearly as clear as I'd expected, but what do you really expect from a picture you have blown up to huge from your iPhone for less than $4? Plus- it gave them kind of that cool, rustic look you want in black and white.

Next was to get the backing for the beautiful works of art I'd created. The blog said she used really thin MDF from Home Depot. Of course, I like Lowe's better, so I went there first. I should have learned my lesson with the whole Office Max/ Staples issues, but I didn't. Lowe's didn't carry the thin MDF, so I crossed the street and found what I needed at Home Depot. Like she said - they even cut it down to size for me.  

After I arrived home, all I had left was to cut the prints down to size and spray glue them to the MDF. I spent a long time measuring and cutting and praying I didn't cut them too small or crooked or leave spots you could see my pencil marks. I spray glued them on and for the most part, it went well. I had a few minor flaws, but I just kept telling myself that made them look rustic. Due to my cutting fears, I'd cut them a little big and some of the edges were ragged, so once the glue had a little time to dry, I used one of those blocks of sandpaper and sanded the corners/ edges and it worked amazingly well. If I ever do this again- I won't go through the long stressful process of cutting the paper down at all, I'll just glue it to the board then sand off any extra paper.  

The last step was hanging it on the wall. By this time, I had accepted they were huge, but I was all in and very excited. I measured and placed the Command Strips on, just like the blog said.  

Sidenote- My life had not been complete before I discovered these Command Strips.  Not as cheap as a nail, but totally worth it!!  Love them!  

And this is the finished product!

Can you believe, non-crafty me actually made those?  Yeah, me neither, but I cross my heart, hope to die!

One final note.  After they hung for a few hours, some of the corners and edges weren't holding up.  I used plenty of spray glue (or so I thought), but they just came loose.  I just grabbed a glue stick and glued them back on without even taking them off the wall- problem solved.

And I guess since this isn't a craft blog and really all about JJ, I should mention his reaction.  I told him I had a surprise when we got home.  He walked into his room and gave a big, "WWWHHHOOOAAA!"  Then he looked around for the "treat" that was his surprise.  Can't win them all...

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