For me, Halloween Night can be kind of a wistful time, because it’s the end of a season filled with brilliant and bizarre decorations and the beginning of a season filled with cute ones: Cute gourds, cute Pilgrim statuettes, cute ceramic turkeys with jaunty little hats. After all that sweetness, who has room for pie?! This year, I decided to make some edgy Thanksgiving decorations, things I would be happy to pull out each November. I started with this irreverent sign.
- One or two used computer keyboards, depending on what you want your sign to say (ask the neighbors for their old computer keyboards, or hit up your local Goodwill – they have lots)
- An old plaque with the “award” piece removed
- Scrapbooking or other decorative papers, plus any additional text pages or images you desire
- Gel medium, Mod Podge, or other adhesive
- Sand paper or a sanding block
- Needle nose pliers
- A drill
- Nails or wire brads
- A hammer
- A screwdriver
1. Apply gel medium directly to the plaque.
2. Tear strips of decorative papers and adhere them to the plaque, creating whatever sort of design makes you happy.
3. There are a couple of different ways to remove the keys from keyboards. One is to slip a flat screwdriver under the edge of a key and pop it out, repeating that maneuver until you have all the keys you want. The other method is to turn your keyboard face down on the floor, undo those screws on the back, and pull the whole thing apart. You might still want that screwdriver to pop the keys off, but you have a little more room to work now, and the task feels easier. (As an added bonus, with this second method, you can scavenge the circuit sheet from inside the keyboard and use it in other crafting or scrapbooking projects. Yay.)
4. Isolate the keys you need to spell out your message. Take your needle nose pliers and twist the prongs off the keys. They won’t come off all in one piece, so work bit by bit.
This part is a little tedious, but unless you’re spelling out the Gettsyburg Address, you should be able to turn on the TV and have a relatively painless experience. (If you did suffer during this step, however, you should almost certainly have ice cream.)
5. Distress the keys by rubbing them face down against your sanding block. After sanding, if you like, you can also dry brush some white paint around the edges. Distress the plaque in the same way.
6. Drill a small hole in each key.
7. Position your keys the way you want them on your plaque. Snap a mental picture,, then sweep everything to the side except the first word (the mighty pounding of your hammer will mess everything up anyway). Nail a wire brad or other small nail through each hole to secure the key in place.
When you finish, the wire brads or nailheads will show, and in fact, I think they look pretty cool. If you have a different aesthetic, however, you can always try to hide them with some craft paint. I won’t tell if you won’t.
8. Nail all of the keys in place, then survey your creation and add any last images or touches you want. Once you’re happy with the look, hang that baby up!