26 June 2009

Project of the Day

I have these baskets under my TV to hold some of our movies. They're the perfect size to hold 9 or 10 DVDs, so the baskets aren't too heavy for my children to pull out when they want to choose a movie.
They were very plain, and a little boring, but it didn't occur to me to change them until I stumbled upon a new-to-me blog: The Lettered Cottage. My style isn't quite as shabby-chic as the author's, but it's similar enough that I found lots of inspiration looking through her posts. This one inspired today's craft project:

I saw this and said to myself, "I must paint numbers on something!" The minute I saw my DVD baskets, I immediately knew my first subject.

So here's a close-up of before:
I found a font I liked in Microsoft Word (this one is Gloucester MT Extra Condensed), typed the numbers and played with the font size to get the numbers to fit the baskets. I also fiddled with the size enough to get all four numbers to fit on one page, so I wouldn't waste too much paper. I printed them out on heavy cardstock. **Note: next time I'll remember to change the font to "Outline," so I don't waste so much toner.** I then used my handy dandy craft knife to cut the numbers out. Voila--homemade stencils.
I've had trouble in the past with paint running under stencils, and figured I'd have the same problem with these ultra-textured baskets. So instead, I used the stencils and a carpenter's pencil (wider, easier to see) to trace the numbers onto the baskets.
Then I filled them in with paint. (It would have been nicer if I'd photographed the same basket, for continuity, but I had to wait until the next day for the after-shot, so the sun was shining again, and forgot which one I photographed first. Oh well. You still get the idea.)
Here's a shot of them all together.
I love how it turned out. I was going to rough the paint up a bit to make them look more aged, but then figured that my kids will do that just by taking them in and out, as they do, several times each day. This was so easy and probably took me about an hour, start to finish. Even better--it was virtually free, because I had all my supplies already on hand. Try it!

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