Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Father's Day Present: We {love} You

I've been trying to get this project done for 2 weeks now :s  Part of the delay was due to some experimentation...  I seem to be having some difficulty getting ideas out of my head and, in this case, onto canvas.  And the other part is that I've started a handful of other projects and am feeling a little scattered about what to do next.  Good thing I have a deadline (Father's Day) for this one!

Originally I wanted to do a series of kid-bit foot/hand prints shaped like hearts that could be framed for Daddy's office inspired  by a friend who did something similar as a craft with her kids for Valentine's Day.  Unfortunately, I wasn't overly impressed with my creations and felt that they'd look pretty silly - plus I know that DH is more inclined to like pictures of the kids rather than imprints of their bits.  So I moved onto the next option, try a tutorial I'd bookmarked a while ago that shows how to use tissue paper to create photo-printed canvases.

All in all it worked pretty well, but I'm not 100% happy with the outcome because the spray adhesive isn't drying and the tissue keeps getting a funny texture.  I'm sure anyone who looks at it will assume it was supposed to be that way... but I'll always know that it wasn't (grrrr).  However, I still love the idea and will try a different method next time.

See the texture?  Not loving it.

Here's a breakdown of what I did to make the 'We {love} You' Father's Day present:


6"x8" canvas covered boards (from Dollarama - $2/pack of 2)
Acrylic paint
Pointy-tipped glue bottles (from the dollar store)
Tissue paper (20inx20in sheets)
Regular printer paper
Krylon Workable Fixatif
Krylon Spray Adhesive
Roll/large sheet of brown butcher/kraft paper
A glue stick
An ink jet printer
Ikea 3 panel frame (for 5"x7" pictures)

Heart prints
Put acrylic paint into a shallow dish and spread it out.  Put your little ones' hands/feet into the paint and then press them onto the canvas trying not to move too much.  This is hard... I found it easiest when they were in their (high)chairs, so they were contained, and having dinner, so they were distracted.

I used a tan colour for my little guy's feet and a pretty blue for my little girl.

Make sure that you're putting the hands/feet at an angle on each side to create the shape of a heart.

While the paint is drying, create your own paint pen.  (I looked at paint pens in Michael's last week, they're around $6 each so I decided to try to make my own). 

I found these pointy-tip glue bottles at Dollarama.  Removed the tops and emptied them so that I could put paint inside. 

I did a couple practice shapes to see if it created lines with the right thickness and to get a feel for how quickly I could draw with it.  If the line isn't thick enough, cut a little more off the tip to make the opening larger.

Once my 'paint pen' was ready I drew a heart around each set of prints on the canvases.

I printed the word 'LOVE' on my laser printer and then cut each letter out and attached the letters with a glue stick.  As I was cutting, the black on the letters got a little rubbed off from being bent in places.  Rather than fight it, I distressed each of the letters by bending them and scratching a little with my finger nail.  I really like the effect it created.

Tissue photo canvases
I followed this tutorial with the following changes:

I used Gimp to create black & white versions of my pictures (Color - Desaturate).  Then I cropped them a little to centre in on the image I wanted on the canvas. 

Once that was done I opened MS Word and inserted the black & white picture.  I cropped it to be 7"x9" so that it was larger than the canvas and then printed onto the tissue paper.

The rest was exactly the same as outlined in the tutorial.

After everything was done I played around with leaving out the glass in the frame, placing the canvases on a different coloured background etc.  In the end, I liked the effect that the matting gave the images because the openings are slightly smaller than the canvases and I think it makes the whole thing look a little more modern (and less cutesy given that there are hand prints in it!) which is more appropriate for a business office.

I've made a few other versions of the hand/foot print hearts and the photo canvases.  I'll make another framed set for my step-dad too.

- Jacs

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