Tuesday, March 13, 2012

First Ever Pinspiring Guest Feature: Ashley!

I'm so excited to feature my first guest -- Miss Ashley, a dear friend of mine from when I lived in Dallas, TX.  Ashley and I bonded over fashion, sewing and how we would love to quit our day jobs (we worked together) and spread our love of fashion across the land.  That was years ago, and while we still have day jobs, through this little slice of the blogosphere, we can spread our creativity across the land world wide web...gotta start somewhere, right?

Say Hello to my girl Ashley!
Anyhow, Ashley is a fellow Pinner (follow her Pins here), and via her Facebook, I saw that she had recently made an item she had Pinned - a Door Monogram!  I jumped at the chance to feature her because a) I've wanted to start this feature for a while and b) what she made is so awesome!  This was Ashley's first Pinterest inspired project.  She considers herself a novice crafter (you would think she's much more exprerienced from the photos below!), but she's gotten the crafting bug, and she'll be in the advanced category before we know it!

I'll let her tell you how she did it!

Inspiration from Embellished Living on Etsy

Hot Glue Gun and Hot Glue Sticks
Sisal Twine (I used 1 ½ - 525’ rolls purchased at Wal-Mart)
Button (I used a 1 ¼” button)
Ribbon for Bow (I used 3/8” ribbon)
Ribbon for Hanging (I used 7/8” satin ribbon)
Cardboard/Paper Mache Letter (purchased mine at Joann’s and used a 12” tall)

Project Cost:  approximately $18.00
Project Duration:  approximately 6 hours (this is not a “quick” project, especially for perfectionists like me)

I started at the end cap of the letter and put a dot of glue and then laid the twine in the center.  Then I added glue next to the twine that we already glued down and laid the next bit of twine down.  I did this in a circular pattern until the entire end cap was covered.  Note that I used more glue on this section than any other since it needed to lay perfectly.  Just keep wrapping and gluing until you get to the “letter” portion.

Keep wrapping around the letter laying the twine next to the previous wrap.  I also double layered some of the sections to prevent the letter from showing through.  I would put a dot of glue every 2 inches or so to ensure the twine stayed put.  Since there are curves in most letters, you will need to add glue to hold what you have wrapped as you go along.  I noticed that if I did not, it was very easy for me to lose my grip and then the twine would not stay wrapped tightly.  The curves can be a little tricky.  You want to ensure that you are covering all of the letter, but also ensure that you are using as little twine as you can to avoid building bulk.  It may take a few times to get the best method for you, so don’t be discouraged if you wrap and then realize it just isn’t looking the way you want it.  I ended up redoing several of my curves before the project was done because they didn’t look good.  Since you are using hot glue, you can easily pull it up and take the hot glues bits off without damaging the letter or the twine.  Keep wrapping and when you get the other endcap, follow the same steps as on the original (but going outward toward the inside).  If you run out of twine, then glue the next roll on and make sure you cover it.  No one will know you didn’t use a continuous roll.

To make the button bow, I used a 1 1/4” button and 3/8” ribbon.  Take a small snip of the ribbon and feed it through the button holes, then hot glue it to the back.  Try to use only small dots of glue to ensure that you don’t build bulk on the back of the button.  To create the bow, I cut the ribbon into sections and them made loops and hot glued them to the back of the button.  For the big loops, I used about 6” of ribbon and for the small loops about 4”.  Cut the ribbon into even sections, put a dot of glue in between the ends and press them together to create the loops.  Once it has a moment to dry, glue it onto the back of the button.  Then once it is done, I hot glued the button bow to the letter.

Then I took about 12-14 inches of 7/8” satin ribbon and hot glued the ends to the back of the letter to create a way to hang it on the door.

And viola!  Here is my finished monogram letter.  I gave this one to my mother for her birthday and she loved it!  There are endless ways you can embellishment the letter to make it your own style.

Challenges/Items to Note:
  1. Don’t be afraid to mess up.  As I mentioned, it can very easily be taken apart without     damaging or wasting your supplies.
  2. Since it would be very difficult to ensure both sides of the letter are perfect, focus on just the front of the letter.  The back will be against your door and won’t be seen anyhow.  Do not however, to ensure that you are focusing on the correct side of your letter.  I got halfway through the project before I realized I was making my S backwards.
  3. Try not to be an intense as I am when you are crafting.  The cardboard/paper mache letter isn’t delicate, but it can bend if you hold it to tight (as I did on several occasions).

Awesome, right??  She did an amazing job! 

Thank you, Ashley for letting me feature you!  I'm excited to see more Pinspiring projects from you, and I'm sure I will want to feature you again in the future!  Leave a comment below to tell Ashley how awesome her project is, and follow her on Pinterest!  


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