October 19, 2012

This IS My Happy Place

As I've confessed, my back porch is, well... my happy place.  Shall I say, it's our happy place.  Much like the kitchen being the heart of the home - this space is a necessary center of our lives when the weather is great here in the south (most of the time).  As I type this, I'm sipping a glass of red wine, covered up in a snuggie, catching up on my tivo .... on my back porch! 
The space is a constant decorator's challenge.  Part dining room, part sitting area and always being decorated for whatever holiday is upcoming.  A few weeks back, before church on a Sunday no less, I whipped up this cutie little sign proclaiming my space. 

Here's how I did it. 
You need:
  • Puffy scrapbook sticker letters. 
  • A canvas
  • Two colors of acrylic paint (small bottles do the trick)
  • A small bottle of crackle paint (same aisle as acrylic at the craft store).
All of my materials, plus a few on hand paint brushes, were sourced from Hobby Lobby and can be found at most any craft store.  Note, the puffy sticker is key so you can find it once you start the paint process.  And, all of my materials were sourced for under about $12. 
Here's what you do:
1.  First, decide what saying you want.  Note, you should really do that BEFORE shopping for the letters so you get the right ones!  They come on a sheet and usually provide ample options.  But ... if you are heavy on "S" or "E" or any other letter, you may need a second set!
2.  Using a pencil, draw (very light) straight lines on the canvas.  This is your guide for the letters.
3.  Start in the middle and work your way out placing the letters spaced evenly to spell out the words on each line.  If you start in the middle and space (I used my finger between the letters) you will be happier with the balance of the overall end result.
4.  Once all letters are in place, you begin with the paint process.  Start with a coat of your first coat of paint.  I used a khaki as the base coat.  For the crackle paint to work, according to directions, you should make sure this first coat is pretty thick coverage.


5.    Let this dry (we went to church here). 
6.  Once dry, apply the crackle medium according to directions.  Let it get tacky to the touch - a few minutes.
7.  Cover over the crackle with the second coat of a different color of paint.  For this, I used black.  Only do a reasonably light / medium thick cover coat and try not to go back over sections if you can help it. 
8.  As it dries, the crackle appears.
9.  Paint the sides of the canvas to finish it out - I did these in solid black just so I have a finished edge instead of a sloppy paint look.
10.  To make the crackling more significant here's a trick ... apply a hair dryer heat to the paint as it dries.  This will make deeper looking cracks. 
11.  Once this is dry, begin removing the sticker letters.  The area under should still be solid white. 
12.  There will likely be areas where you need to "clean up" the letter outline.  Your paint may have peeled slightly or coverage wasn't quite right.  That's ok.  I used a black sharpie to "fill in" the spaces and you can't even tell. 

Now, the canvas proudly fills a cute little corner of the sitting area.  The table, plant and concrete bunny are complimented by another little DIY, the twine basket that I explained back over here
Get happy y'all!  See you on the porch!