As Cindy showed us last week with her funky new keyholder and Ann showed two weeks ago with her pull toy turned salsa dish, with a little bit of effort, a tiny bit of cash, and a whole lot of winging it, you can turn simple toys into something unexpectedly awesome and useful. As you saw on WIP Wednesday, I bought some cheapo wooden peg games and little fairy dolls at the dollar store, and today I spent the afternoon turning them into wall hangings that can be used to display your favorite art or photos.
First I tackled the big pile of game bits in the middle of the floor (thanks teenager and toddler!) and fished out a few boards that I thought might work:
On my “Roundabout” game (I wonder how to play it now, of course. I didn’t even look earlier, probably because I was in a frazzled crazed frenzy trying to finish. The life of a procrastinator is full of woe. And also WHOA when I realize just how behind I am. But I seriously digress), I marked the peg holes that I wanted to use for my display wires and my hanging nail and then drilled them all the way through.
For this particular board, I tore a page out of a book (don’t freak out – I had two copies) and laid it out so that an interesting phrase would be in a prime location: “like a wisp of smoke.” Interesting, right? Weird that there was nothing exciting going on – just two chicks talking. I glued the page down, poked holes in the paper to accommodate my drilled holes, and then let it dry. I then painted the whole thing turquoise, framing out that interesting phrase, added a wash of black and then stenciled with a doily. Don’t tell anyone that I have doilies or I will cut you. I mean, Pretty!
The next game I grabbed was a spiffy triangle. I did the drill thing again then cut a piece of flocked cardstock to fit, marked the holes, and used a hole punch this time instead of just poking them with the end of a paintbrush. I’m fancy like that. I painted the whole thing black, glued down the cardstock (see how cool and grimy it looks? That’s from two things: 1) failure to properly rinse black paint out of a paintbrush and 2) flocking comes loose when you rigorously brush over it with Mod Podge), and then took a yoga break.
So once I was all yoga-ed up, in tune with the universe and sipping on a wheat grass cocktail (I totally wasn’t, but I was having coffee without the urge to light things on fire) and all that crap, I came back and made my final game board. You can see it in the pictures below, but in short I glued down some star-covered paper, poked a LOT of fancy holes, painted over it with green and yellow iridescent paint, used purple paint with sequin waste, and used a paint cap to make circles. WHEW. When that one was all dry, it was FINALLY time to assemble.
I’m using wire swirlies to hold my art. To make one of those most complicated things, first cut a piece of wire about 8 inches long (I’m using 18-gauge copper wire) and insert it through a hole, leaving a tail of about 1.5 inches. Tightly wrap the short tail around the long piece two or three times to make a pretty little coil and then trim the excess if needed.
Once you have your coil, grab the long end of the wire with your pliers and make a wee loop. Then another loop. Then another loop. Then keep looping and looping until you have a nice swirl. I usually give my swirls hard corners because sometimes I think I’m Tim Burton’s illegitimate daughter, but it works just as well with smooth circular swirlies.
When you’re done, you should have something that looks like this:
Now do that 487 more times, and you’re in business. You see that I have way more holes in this one than I have wires. I was going to use this to display ATCs (2.5 x 3.5 inches) and display a LOT of ATCs, but I decided that way lay madness and so just kept it at three skinny pages (3 x 7 inches). When I finished making all the wires and everything for that particular board, I hung it up and then came back to work on the other two. They looked like this:
Yeah okay they’re pretty enough and all, but still a little boring. Plus I had all of those fairy dolls to dismember! I popped some heads off, popped some arms off, juggled their headless/armless bodies until my daughter chastised me and then took the rest of the fairies away (boo0). I still had a bunch of skeletons left over from that tutorial way back in October, so I gave purple fairy head a horrible haircut and gave blue fairy head a new place to live on top of my pencil.
I distracted the girl with a cookie or Diego or something and used a pair of wire cutters to snip the back of purple-hair’s head off so that she would lay relatively flat on my game board. I glued the arms to the ribcage, gave everything a coat of beige paint, blacked out the eyes, gave everything a coat of crackle paint and then a wax-on/wax-off treatment of dark brown to catch the crackles and make it look thoroughly disgusting. After I glued her down to the board and discovered that it really freaked out all 27 of my children (okay there are three, but seriously… zombies all day long but one four-armed, rib-cage-visible crackle-faced baby and they all lose it?!), I settled for gluing a flower and glass eye to the triangle.
SO MUCH BETTER!
In case you forgot what they look like all finished and happy (or creepy, you know, whatever), I’ll save you the trouble of scrolling and show you again. I know you’ve seen a lot of pictures since then. 😉
Now it’s your turn. Dazzle me! Make something inspired by this project, Cindy’s project, or Ann’s project (following the rulez, of course), post to our Flickr group, and you could win and win big! Not only do you get to say, “I made something awesome and was featured on the home page at Wonderstrange!” but you also get to say, “I made something awesome AND won this crazy awesome prize!”
YOU GO NOW!