i diy’ed

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let’s be honest, there are a whole lot of pinterest-inspired projects pinned on my “for a rainy day” board that are probably never going to make it past the planning stage. i mean, growing up, i was always the kid doing craft projects (most of them involved puffy paint, which, hi, how great is that?). we’d spend hours at michael’s scouring the shelves for cross-stich kits (i went through a cross-stitching phase, it’s fine) and plastic string to construct those lanyard key chains that they teach you how to make at YCMA camp. then in high school, i even channeled my inner monet and enrolled in art class as an elective as a freshman and sophomore before moving on to yearbook for my final two years (if only to put really flattering pictures of me and my friends in there). but since those afternoons i spent huddled over 18 X 24″ paper, knee deep in shading sticks and charcoal pencils in mrs. farrington’s art class, i haven’t so much as picked up a paintbrush (well, except for that one time i helped a certain someone paint his living room walls) since.

but that doesn’t mean i haven’t had the urge to flex my creativity muscles over the past ten years. sometimes i think they may have atrophied. but when some empty frames on my beloved frame wall beckoned to be filled with something other than an obnoxious 8 X 10″ glossy of yours truly (apparently i refrain from taking photos where i’m not the center of attention. huh, wonder what that means?), i did some creativity squats (to warm up the muscles, obviously) and turned to pinterest for a little inspiration. a quick “stenciled burlap” search later, and i had all the muse i needed. so accompanied with my favorite shopping buddy (momma, duh), i ventured over to michael’s for some fabric paint, brushes, and stencils. the popular chain craft store came through on the paint and brushes, but their stencil collection was pretty deplorable. well, maybe not deplorable, but severely lacking. and given my new(ish) love for the ampersand (by far one of the cutest symbols), i was pretty saddened that the michael’s stencil collection (if they can even call it a collection) did not readily offer me one.

down, but not out, i figured this oversight in the michael’s stencil-ordering department (i have to assume a craft store of that magnitude has such a thing) might just be my perfect opportunity to shine. and by “shine” i mean, it would force me to figure out a plan B which, in this case, involved me constructing my own stencil out of card stock and a size 800 font ampersand. i printed out the symbol and cut it out before tracing around the shape with a sharpie and using a sponge brush to fill in its contents with the white fabric paint. i made sure to use a skinny paintbrush for the edges because let’s be honest, it had the very real possibility of turning into an unrecognizable blob. but luckily, as evidenced below, i managed to keep the integrity of the swirly shape and in turn, produce a lovely piece that i’m not only pretty darn proud to admit that i created, but also, equally as proud to hang on my wall.

so as it turns out, you don’t actually have to wait for a rainy day in order to complete a diy-project from your “for a rainy day” pinterest board (perhaps that was my problem all along, it has been a rather dry season). as long as you have ample burlap, some white fabric paint, brushes, and a little ingenuity (and a steady hand), you, too, can take a pinterest project from dream to reality.

DIY ampersand

the finished project.

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