I actually spent a little while thinking about what to do for this one–I have lots of things on my to do list, but none of them are really pinterest-worthy. Frame things? Yep. Organize my closet? Yikes, for sure. I got a start on reorganizing my craft supplies with all of the new dining room storage, but thats sort of a stretch. I need to get started on my Christmas cards, but while that would be within the letter of the challenge, I don’t really think its within the spirit.
And then I remembered one of those things on my list…a gift for my favorite “niece” (daughter of Brad & Melanie) that I’ve been vaguely planning for ages.
In my head, it all came together into using my friends’ childhood favorite books to make some art for their little one. The same friend that helped with the banner planning (and breaking-and-entering) contacted their families for me—pretty easy since she was the maid of honor in their wedding. That step actually took forever, so if you were doing this for a family member, like a sibling, it would probably not take three months.
And then I thought and played and lots of other stuff. They loved the banner, but making stuff for Brad always makes me nervous–he has a design background and does home staging. He’s the one that picks out a paint color for me whenever I need one. I feel like he might (never ever he’s too nice) judge what I do. So I really wanted it to be right.
I tossed around a couple of ideas, like cutting the letters of the baby’s name and/or birthdate from the books. It would look cute, but since the images would get broken up, you wouldn’t be able to see which books they were as clearly. Since this was something that I was using meaningful books for, I wanted them to be visible.
In the meantime, I had to actually get these favorite books. Luckily, my mom is a children’s librarian and I’m a patient girl. They move items out of circulation relatively quickly in the children’s department, and my mom looked for the titles I needed at thrift stores too. I had actually originally asked my mom to make me color copies of a couple of pages, but that is apparently a copyright violation so librarians won’t do it for you. Even if the librarian is your mother. It ended up being a lot nicer to have the actual books, because I could flip through and choose the page or pages that I wanted.
I settled on circles (clean and graphic, and let you clearly see the images/text) and started playing. (My friends are not heart people, but those would be cool too.)
My circles are 2.25 inches (ish) because it looked nice on my circle cutter. I have several circular punches, but the circle cutter worked best here and gives really clean lines.
After cutting a bunch of the circles, I decided that it might look interesting to do layered circles, with the top one creased and the bottom one flat. That way you can see a little of the bottom one for added dimension, plus I could use more text that way–the text alone looked a little busy/boring.
So now I had a pile of circles, and a vague idea that they should go in a shadow box frame, or at least something with some depth. Which would be when I realized I couldn’t really go any further until I knew what size frame I planned on using. A little online research settled me on a 12×12 square frame.
And then, for that matter, what I would be putting the circles on. The pages are several shades of almost-white, so white or cream might look funny. I also didn’t want to compete with the colors in the pictures, so I settled on black. It recedes and lets the book pages be the star.
Then it was time for assembly. Last couple decisions: how many on the page, and how to attach them. For the size of circle I randomly decided on, a 4×4 grid looked good; 3×3 was too spaced out. I think I would maybe do the circles a touch smaller, like 2″ exactly (which is also a common craft punch size if you don’t have a circle cutter).
I think they would look really cool with a line sewed down the middle, but that is not a talent I have and I didn’t have time to head out to my mom’s to have her do it for me. (Someone please sew them and tell me if it looks cool!) Instead I used my cutting mat and made sure each circle was centered, then used my ruler as a guide to crease the top circle (for the doubled ones) with a bone folder. I decided to use scrapbook glue to hold creased circles down, applied in a very thin bead. After I applied it, I put the pre-creased top circle on top (carefully!) and then pushed the bone folder straight down on the crease–after holding it like that for about five seconds, I picked it up and then ran the point down the crease, but if I ran it down straight away, things wiggled and got crooked. They seem to be holding nicely so for other non-sewers I recommend the method!
Then it was all fun with layout, sticking them down (I just used a tape runner since they’re only paper), and deciding if I wanted to leave one blank, leave a blank space but write her name in it, or leave no blank at all. Tough stuff. Oh, or two blanks. It was a rough night. For right now I’m going with one space, which I may or may not write a name in. What do you think? Leave it how it is or write in the name?
I haven’t given it to them yet, so I hope they like it.