Thursday, November 4, 2010

Baby L's Nursery: DIY #4

Hey there, it's Amanda again.  I know, two blogs in one week! WOWZA!  I'm taking over this week's DIY because I have been dying to share it with you....except it was a surprise for Jayme's shower, so I had to keep it on the DL until she got it last weekend.

I wanted to make a wooden initial to hang on the wall of my niece's nursery.  But it couldn't just be a boring painted letter...I wanted it to look vintage.  And in the end, it did!  I love how it turned out (and so did Jayme), and it was pretty easy, so I thought I'd share the steps with you.

I sketched the L-shape I wanted (There's a clue for all of you, readers!  Baby's first initial!) on a piece of wood, and Q cut it out for me.***

***Disclaimer:  I am thankful to have a pretty rad husband who knows how to do pretty much anything involving tools and woodworking, which made this DIY extremely personalized from its inception...but if you don't have a husband with a room full of every saw/router/ known to man, you can purchase a wooden letter (I've seen them in the craft sections of Target, Walmart, Michael's, etc.)

He edged it with a router to give it depth/interest.

Then he carved out/sanded any rough edges.

We were ready to go!  (This is where you'll start if you have a pre-made wooden letter.)

1.  I added a coat of white primer...

2....then a coat of the aqua blue after that dried. 
3.  (And a second coat of aqua after that one dried).
4. Then I went to work sanding down the paint a bit.

5. I focused on distressing the edges where the letter might naturally wear down more.

It looked pretty good at this point, but I still wasn't happy with it, so I decided to use a little throwback from middle school history projects:  tea staining.  I wasn't sure if it would work/last, but I figured it was worth a try. 

6.  I steeped two large bags of earl grey--though I'm pretty sure the flavor doesn't matter as long as it's black tea, I do love the fragrance--in boiling water until the water was cool enough for me to reach in and grab the bags.  I then proceeded to squeeze out the tea bags and rub the leaves on the letter.  (It's kind of messy, so you'll want something underneath as you work.)  I left the tea grounds and drips on the letter overnight.

7.  In the morning, I wiped the clumps of tea off and scrubbed at any places that were too dark.  The letter had the perfect "vintage" tinge to it.

I used it as a centerpiece for Jayme's shower (post and MANY more photos coming soon!)...
And now it's hanging in their nursery, above a darling vintage print I found while thrifting. 

Pretty simple and really pretty.  I had so much fun surprising her with a gift that Q and I had made completely from scratch.  Hope I've inspired you to do some of your own DIY's!



Q said...

I just knew, with hard work and dedication, that I too could be "rad" some day

Nursery wall decals said...

I remeber my sister's nursery when she was young, my dad made one like this in letter A too.