I made Thumbtack Art! And a sort-of DIY.

12 March, 2012

in Art & Art Journaling,My Take

You Me Oui Thumbtack Art

Happy Monday, friend!

I made myself a bit of art for my wall completely inspired by Pakayla Biehn’s Neon which I featured this morning.

It was so fun!

You Me Oui Thumbtack Art

Earlier that day I had gone thrifting and found giant graph paper and vintage thumbtacks. I had no plans, but as per usual, figured I’d use them for something, or put them in my vintage shop. (I’m working on some paper ephemera kits.)

Same for the canvas.  A friend who was moving didn’t want the art she’d made for her daughters old room and didn’t want the canvases either.  Guess who knew the canvases would get used for something sooner or later?

Then, idea! What if I made some thumbtack art?

I’ve been wanting to add some metallic shine to the living room. But what to make? I thought of a compass or star…but neither felt right for the moment. And then I remembered totally crushing over Biehn’s neon sign, wishing I could have it.

I love the simplicity and cleverness of the play on words!

You Me Oui Thumbtack Art

Once that was settled, I put my new graph paper to work.  I outlined my canvas, then free-handed the words.  Me turned out perfectly sized and centered, and then I rewrote you and oui a couple times.  It took a bit to get the Y and Os the way I wanted them.

(I’m almost sure there’s some messed up psychology in there somewhere!)

You Me Oui Thumbtack Art

I also played with the idea of painting our last name in gloss along the OUI at the bottom. 

When I first realized I had to remember how to spell Drouillard, I thought, “But I took Spanish!”  But even I knew oui was yes in French, so once I realized that, I was helped immensely.  Ever since then, designs with oui in them, like this bag, have made me happy.

But I think I was complicating the design.  I couldn’t figure out how to make it look cool because putting “dr OUI llard” on there, even in a hint of gloss, brought the OUI off-center.

Besides, now it leaves something for people to figure out, since I didn’t literally spell it out for them. 

(Except you, of course.)

You Me Oui Thumbtack Art

After I spray painted the canvas olive green – because I like olive green and gold – I originally started thumbing the tacks right through the paper onto the canvas.

You Me Oui Thumbtack Art

At this point I started realizing two things….

One,  I was not going to be able to just tear away the paper when I was finished.  Those tacks held it tight.

You Me Oui Thumbtack Art

Two, those tacks needed something more to hold onto than just the canvas.

So I recycled a bunch of cardboard box pieces into the back of the canvas and taped them in with painter’s tape. 

I have nice brown packing tape somewhere that would have looked better, but I couldn’t find it.  I’m thinking my little urchins may have used it up. That is usually the cause of “lost” craft supplies for me. 

(But oh well, no one but will see the back anyway, right? Ahem.)

You Me Oui Thumbtack Art

I also took all the Y tacks back out, firmly, and then firmly but gently traced all the letters over a few times and put dents in the canvas. 

I’m sure there’s a better way to transfer these with carbon paper or something, but this is what made the fastest sense at the time.  I forgot to get a good shot of that, but you can see the rest of the M and the top of the E at the bottom of this photo if you look carefully.

You Me Oui Thumbtack Art

Currently, the canvas is living on my mantle, making me happy.

You Me Oui Thumbtack Art

I’m in the midst of planning a collage wall though, so in the next few days it will be hanging on the opposite side of the room.  If it looks good (ie. how I imagine it) I’ll take a shot and show you.

Did I mention this was super fun?!

Sore thumbs by the end, though.

You know what was the best thing about this project?

Besides the inexpensive, recycled, and thrifted materials?

I had the idea and got the project done within a 24 hour time period.

It felt like giving myself a gift.  I didn’t do it “perfectly”, but who cares?  I have so many ideas in a day, and am always in the middle of many projects.  It was so good for me to just let myself have the time and space to execute an idea from start to finish without stopping in one day.  I take SO long to get projects done, it was a high, really.

And a turning point, I think.  Or part of the tide shift I’m experiencing in learning how to get things done.  Or more things done in an organized manner, I should say.

You, Me, We…We will get this thing figured out, right?

Right!  Also, it’s appearing on the blog only 4 days later.  That’s something, too.

If you decide to try your hand at thumbtack art, let me know!

 

p.s. I used every one of the 200 thumbtacks.  I went lighter on the Me and Oui because I was concerned I’d run out and then filled in the flourishes on the beginning and ends of the words later.  It all ended up just right!

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

ChantalNo Gravatar

Oh my goodness! I love this!!

I may have to steal this idea when we are no longer renting (I hate putting holes in the walls of a rental).

Reply

ElizabethNo Gravatar

Yay! Glad you like it so much. Make it anyway and just lean it somewhere. :)

Reply

pamNo Gravatar

Elizabeth! This is a really great idea! It is simple. Beautiful! And I can just imagine that kids would get the biggest kick out of making one with their name on it for their room – (or door to their room!)

Of course as an adult, I – like you – love the you, me, oui!

Your canvas and the whole inspiration/serendipitous thing you had going on is direct evidence of a muse at work!

Reply

ElizabethNo Gravatar

Pam, thank you! And you’re right, this would make a great kids’ craft, too!

Reply

geek+nerdNo Gravatar

I love this! It’s so simple and pretty :)

Reply

ElizabethNo Gravatar

Thanks, Sarah!

Reply

mandyNo Gravatar

I did a big installation like this directly onto my wall a few months ago and found that using the side of a plastic putty knife by applying pressure from my palms to push in the tacks saved my hands from awful soreness.

Reply

ElizabethNo Gravatar

You are so smart. I will come back to this for next time!

Reply

RosettaNo Gravatar

I came across your awesome idea a while ago and just tried it out, but I made it slightly differently: instead of using a canvas and a load of cardboard, I just spray painted a cork board and used that! It’s probably easier on your thumbs, and you can find some great framed cork boards for just a few bucks. (Cover the frame in masking tape before spraying though!)
Great project, thanks for the idea!

Reply

ElizabethNo Gravatar

What a fantastic idea!! I love that variation on the idea. The textured cork would look really cool, too, contrasting with the shiny thumbtacks! Thanks for sharing! If there’s a picture anywhere, I’d love to see it!

Reply

EricaNo Gravatar

I have a quote that I want to put up in my bedroom. I was just going to print it on paper, but now I’m thinking I’ll have to try this nail art project. I’ll keep you posted. :)

Reply

ElizabethNo Gravatar

I’d love to see it if you try!!

Reply

Beth @ Incomplete Guide to LivingNo Gravatar

I love this! ( I know it’s like over a year old…haha!) Just stumbled across it, and I’ve got a project coming up involving gold….and I was just researching a post on “word art”….came across this, and it is perfect!! I also have the problem of doing too many projects at once…this will be a great mini project! Thanks for sharing :-)

Reply

Beth @ Incomplete Guide to LivingNo Gravatar

I did it….check it out if you want! Made sure to link back to give credit where it’s due. :)

http://incompleteguidetoliving.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/dreamy-gold-studded-word-art.html

Reply

ElizabethNo Gravatar

Yeah!! Coming right over – so great!

Reply

maid service friscoNo Gravatar

It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this outstanding blog!
I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding
your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group.
Talk soon!

Reply

dj naples flNo Gravatar

This site really has all of the info I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who
to ask.

Reply

AshleyNo Gravatar

Our bedroom is vintage Paris and this would be perfect. Can’t wait to make it!

Reply

commercial cleaning Albuquerque NMNo Gravatar

What’s up colleagues, its great paragraph regarding educationand entirely defined,
keep it up all the time.

Reply

http://sandow-network.nlNo Gravatar

Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue with your web site in internet explorer,
may test this? IE still is the marketplace chief and a big section of people will pass
over your great writing because of this problem.

Reply

Tampa Dumpster RentalsNo Gravatar

Right now it appears like BlogEngine is the preferred blogging platform out there right now.
(from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

Reply

Dallas senior picturesNo Gravatar

continuously i used to read smaller content that also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this article which I am reading at this time.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 13 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: