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Design Crush DIY: Framed Paper

Welcome back to the blog! I hope the previous post got you thinking about stationery in a different way.   Today, I’m looking forward to showing  you one of my favorite (and one of the easiest) ways to get your favorite paper goods out of your desk drawer and onto the walls of  your home.

But first, here are the three Rifle Paper Co. products that I own:

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Wildflower Wrapping Sheet / Happily Ever After card / 2013 Cities Calendar

I splurged on the Cities Calendar last year because I loved all of the prints and knew that I would reuse them long after the calendar itself was outdated. More recently I found the Happily Ever After card at Anthropologie and fell in love with the color scheme and the font. It sparked an idea for my bedroom, the results of which you’ll see later on this week.  And finally, I fell for the wildflower floral print on a recent trip to visit my sister-in-law.  Again, it was the colors that got me.  In particular, the faint blue-green flower that perfectly matches my kitchen walls. I knew just the spot to hang a framed section of this beautiful print.

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Here’s an upclose view of the floral print.  This is a singular sheet of wrapping paper that I got for about $5, which is expensive for one sheet of wrapping paper, but completely affordable for a framed print.  I love that the flowers are thick and chunky with visible brush strokes. A little Matisse-ish if you ask me.

Follow along as we work with this lovely little print today in

DESIGN CRUSH DIY: FRAMED PAPER

STEP ONE:  Gather Your Tools

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Paper / Scissors / Frame / Pencil

I’m using a wrapping sheet, but scrapbook paper also works well and is very affordable.  Any paper with a design or pattern that inspires you is perfect.  I’m using a frame I already owned, but of course you could purchase a new frame or find one at a flea market, yard sale, or wherever suits your fancy.

STEP TWO:  FIND  YOUR PATTERN PLACEMENT

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Open your frame, remove the glass and other inserts, and move it around on your paper to find out what section you want to frame.  My paper has a repeating pattern with no clear direction, which made it easy to place.  Other patterns may take a bit more time to find the correct placement. This will also give you a good idea how much of the pattern will be hidden behind the frame.

STEP THREE:  TRACE THE GLASS

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Place the glass insert over the section of paper you’ve decided to frame and trace the edges with a pencil.

STEP FOUR:  CUT

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Take one last look at the section  you’ve outlined to make sure it’s what you want, then grab those scissors and cut out along the lines you just traced. I always try to waste as little paper as possible when tracing and cutting so that I can save as much paper as possible for future projects.

STEP FIVE: PLACE IN FRAME

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Place your cut out paper behind the glass in the frame and secure.  Now it’s ready to hang on your wall.

Unless…you hang it on your wall and decide it needs a little lagniappe. Then you scrounge around in your craft closet for those two plates you purchased last fall and decide this is the perfect opportunity to add them to the mix.

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In that case, you’ll need these handy plate hangers.  I purchased two at Hobby Lobby.

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STEP SIX:  ATTACH PLATE HANGERS

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For plates that are larger than the disc, simply follow the instructions on the disc:  Wet back of disc, let stand for 5-7 minutes, then press to adhere to back of plate. However, if the disc is slightly larger than the plate back, you may want to first give it a trim.

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Once trimmed to fit your place, follow the instructions on the disc (described above) to securely attach the disc to the plate.

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STEP SEVEN:  WAIT FOR THE DISCS TO DRY OVERNIGHT

I know this is can be torture for some of us, but I promise you can do it! This will ensure that your plates don’t fall off the wall and break due to poor adhesion to the disc.

STEP EIGHT:  HANG

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The most fun part! I chose to hang my framed paper and two plates next to my  kitchen door.  It brings a little personality to my everyday comings-and-goings and livens up this little space. What do you think?  Do you have any favorite paper designs that are worth framing?

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Up Next:  Design Crush DIY: Cards as Artwork

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Design Crush: Rifle Paper Co.

Confession:  I’m kind of a stationery nerd.  I love pretty paper, cute notecards with handwritten sentiments, creative calendars, and fun little prints.  Recently, as I was online searching for the perfect planner for 2014 (i phone calendars just don’t do it for me), I decided to check out the website of Rifle Paper Co.  For the past several years, I’ve been drooling over the bits and pieces of their whimsical stationery line and art prints. I think it is the combination of their hand-painted designs and hand-lettering that speaks to me.  Last year I bought their “Cities” calendar as inspiration art for my office.  Did I mention I also have a crush on cities, especially maps of cities? But, that’s another story…

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 Source // Rifle Paper Co.

Turns out, Rifle Paper Co. is a husband and wife team that began as a small business only four years ago and is now a world-wide brand that can be found at Anthropologie, Land of Nod, Paper Source, and countless other stationery and gift boutiques nationwide. Talk about inspiration! Now, I’m not only enchanted with their artwork, but also with their story.

Here are a few of my favorite things:

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/ The World is Your Oyster Print /

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/ Merci Card /

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/ Pram Card /

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/ Vintage Blossoms Notecard Set /

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/ Custom Illustrated Notes & Calling Cards /

I can’t even describe how much I love these! Click the link above to see all the different illustrations.  ADORABLE.

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 / Comb and Bobby Pin Prints /

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/ Ant Print /

So what does stationery have to do with decorating your home?  A lot, I believe.  Over the next few days I’ll show you the handful of Rifle Paper Co. products that I’ve gathered over the past few years and how I’ve used them in unconventional ways in to easily add a bit of whimsy and nostalgia to my walls. I hope you’ll join me!

And in case you’re wondering, Rifle Paper Co. does not make a planner. If they did, I’m sure it would be fabulous. They do, however, recommend this one, which I decided to splurge on and have been happily jotting in for a few days now.

Here’s to the handwritten – or hand painted – word!

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Gathered: Gilded Mirror DIY

I am excited to share Hunt & Gather Home’s first DIY project, which features an item we’ve gathered and turned into something more fitting for one of our homes. Ironically, this project didn’t make it on my Fall To-Do list , but don’t worry, I’ll add it just so that I can cross it off!

The story:  A dear elderly friend of my in-laws had recently passed away, and after the family removed all the furniture and items of sentimental value from his home, I was invited to look around to see if there was anything I might like.  (My in-laws know me well.)  I found a few things, one of them, this mirror.

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It had an odd, faux wood, 1960s sort of brushed-on finish, but I thought the detailing of the frame had potential.  The aging glass was a bit cloudy and unclear, but that didn’t really bother me.  A quick inspection of the back of the mirror proved that the glass could easily be replaced if desired.

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So, I brought the mirror home and stuck it in my storeroom where it sat for about two years until I passed a $5 can of gold spray paint at Lowe’s and inspiration struck.  Now for the how to:

03-20131118-132929Don’t be fooled by the cheap looking gold color of the cap.  While the can of paint is actually inexpensive, the color, which I tested on the paper provided by Lowe’s, proved to be quite rich.  So I grabbed two cans and headed home to round up the rest of my supplies:  kitchen shears (the most convenient cutting utensil I could find), painters tape, and a length of the kids’ drawing paper torn long enough to cover the glass.

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I laid my mirror on a plastic drop cloth in my garage and covered the glass with paper.

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Then I folded the paper to fit and taped the edges just underneath the frame, pressing each piece of tape down well to ensure a good seal.  This took about five minutes.

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Then I started spraying, doing my best to spray slow, thin layers.  This always proves more easily said than done, but the picture above documents my initial efforts. The gold paint did a nice job of bringing out much of the detail in the frame.

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Another “before” section of the frame showing the detail.

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The same section “after” with two coats of paint.  Make sure to wait at least five minutes in between coats.

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And here is my weapon of choice. Seriously, this little spray paint gun is a life saver.  It will save you from permanent spray-paint-can-trigger-impression-finger and just makes the entire process more fun.  Life. Saver. You can find this little guy at practically any hardware store.

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Here’s the semi-finished product looking good with two coats of paint, but not quite dry.  The instructions on the can said that within one hour, the paint would dry and could be handled.  I got side tracked making dinner and playing with my kids, but came back to the mirror after about 2 hours and it was good to go.  Here’s a not-so-final, final photo.

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As you can see, I still have some hanging and arranging to do.  And let’s just look past that little lamp for now.  That’s another project for another day.

The mirror turned out just as I’d hoped.  It fits perfectly in its new location and although it looks a little formal and overwhelming in this picture, the gold brings a nice hint of ecletic formality to our very casual family room, which you can see in the reflection. I’m looking forward to decorating it for Christmas.

Speaking of reflections, here’s my final thought:  You can’t go wrong with a $5 can of spray paint.