Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Making of a Mermaind sign!

I was going to do this free hand but opted to pull out the stencils instead.  Then I printed out this mermaid from The Graphics Fairy.  She's holding a cute little seal.  I hope it still looks like a seal when I'm done!

mermaid rest

The top says: Mermaid Rest.  I think this is going on my bathroom door.  I'm still trying to figure out what I am doing to the door.

Anyway, I started with a 36 inch x 3 inch hobby wood (I think it's balsam wood?) I cut it almost in half with a razor.  Glued it together with E-6000 glue.  I used the stencils and a pencil to spell out "Mermaid Rest".  I then positioned the print out on the board and used painters tape to secure it; and just traced over the mermaid pushing firmly to leave a groove in the wood.

 I then use a black permanent marker to trace over everything to be able to see it.  (This may have been a mistake.)  I used a stencil to outline the stars, hoping they will look like starfish at the end.  (we'll see.)

I wrote inside the stars.

Again, using painters tape, I taped it roughly in thirds, but did no measuring.  I sanded the glue in the center.  I used a pickled white in the middle and driftwood for the two sides.  I did the same on the back.

mermaid sign

NOTE TO SELF:  Self, the next time, bring it inside right away to dry.  Stain does not dry well in the heat and humidity! ~me

After a few hours outside and still getting stain on my fingers, I brought it in to hopefully help it dry. The black "permanent" ink seemed to run in the white stain. (that's what may have been my mistake.  Stain first, stencil and use marker after.)

 I got an idea from The Lord of the Things 's Mermaids.  He uses caulk... you have to go check his page out.  His work is unbelievable and inspiring!!  I love it. 

Anyway, I used caulk and a plastic fork to do her hair, scales on her body, the fins of the baby seal, his whiskers, and a little on his back.  Now, I have to be patient and let it all dry.

still need work on that seam.

OK Self, I think it was a BIG mistake to use E-6000 glue on this project. I think any other glue would have been a better but most probably should have used WOOD GLUE!! duh!!   

I now will be trying to scrape off as much as I can and possibly re-glue... we'll see.  Oh, it still feels like tacky glue and the stain along that line just comes off on my fingers when I touch it! darn!!

I sanded and scraped off the glue and with it came some stain but as I was working on it, I realized I probably should have stained last or had the patience to stain and let dry in a non-humid place, maybe a couple of days.  But that didn't happen so I'm working with what I have.

I used a green glitter pen to outline the seaweed above here hair; a gold glitter pen around the caulk of her hair. Then mixed a dark brown, white and yellow to pounce her hair.   I'm not sure my baby otter looks like an otter, so I may will be working on him.  After painting her body, I used another glittered aqua paint for depth and highlights, and started to use it to outline the stars and letters.

If to do it over, after tracing everything in pencil, I would have started painting.  I was anxious to see the difference between the two stains on bare wood; to get an idea of what I'd like to use on new plank floors (in the future).  I still don't know. 

I think I might also paint over the writing in the stars and work on it to be more starfish-like...and use the caulk for depth and texture.  For now, I have to let everything dry again!

I did the stars over...caulk and paint...

It's these little kind of crafts I love on hot days or days after I've pushed to much physically.  If I were to do this over, I'd do it differently  but every time I go back to work on it, I try to make it better.  But I like it and I love the sitting and creating...and it's mine!  My next sign is "Paradise Found" with palm trees for my bedroom door...if I ever finish this one!

I worked a bit on the baby seal and I think he is looking better.  I used the aqua glitter paint to add a water and wave look. I added some silver glitter to the starfish for some glistening look.

 I am going to trim with rope and give it an easy hanger... and of course add shells.  I'm just not sure about it's finishing!

 I trimmed the sign with rope, gave a quick coat on and off of the pickled white stain (I wouldn't do that again), repainted letters. glued on shells with caulk and painted the white caulk with dabs of aqua glitter paint, tied a knot with rope and the scissors is kinda holding it in place to dry.

almost done

I think I want to do some more...

What I did learn:
  • Do all the staining FIRST!
  • Then use pencil only to use tracing stencils and cut outs; don't use the marker or actually use stencil and paint;
  • Use the caulk to outline and embellish;
  • Use real star fish instead of star stencils; 
  • DON'T use stain over the paint and glitter; it takes away the vibrancy of the colors and looks kinda dull; 
  • Do better with lining up the middle (knot off centered).

Either way you do it... HAVE FUN!  It's one of a kind and made by you!!

hung on the bathroom door

Still want to do something to the door, but I don't know what yet!

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