Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ampersand Wall Art

I love ampersands.  There is something so classy about them.  I mean, wouldn’t you rather have PB & J than plain old peanut butter and jelly.  And you & I will have way more fun that you and I did.  I would love to share the interesting and I’m sure extensive history behind the ampersand. . . but, let’s be honest, this is really more of a post about a project, not a history and grammar lesson!   If you’re jonesing for that background, check out these links here, here, and here.  Now, let’s see what we can make with the lovely ampersand. 

My first crafty ampersand purchase was a few months back when my littlest brother got engaged.   The lovely couple needed engagement pictures taken, and what better accessory than this for the photo shoot, courtesy of the fabulous folks at Say Hello:
I wanted to make something else for them, and the colors they’ve chosen for the wedding are so very in right now.  Gray and yellow are the new black, right?  It’s a fall wedding, so this IKEA fabric in a leaf print seems like just the thing for the background of a new art piece for the gallery wall they have planned.   And the focal point – how about a yellow ampersand?   Why, yes, I think I will!
I had my husband cut up some scraps of OSB (oriented strand board – it’s like fancy plywood) a few weeks ago, so I have several  12” x 12” pieces of 7/16” OSB just waiting for a project like this!    I debated at first – put the fabric on first, then stencil, or stencil first.  Well, I’ve done it both ways, and now that I’m getting pretty good at stenciling, I decided to attach my fabric first.  I like to have plenty of extra fabric, so I cut an 18” square piece and ironed it really well.   A little spray-on adhesive between the fabric and board will prevent any sagging (which is never pretty, in art or life).  Hot glue along the back keeps it all together.  I turned under the edges of the fabric because it just looks so nice, and details matter, people, OK?   HOT TIP – you may notice the fabric in the first picture does not match the fabric of the final piece…that’s because OSB is pretty rough . . . so after attaching my fabric, I ripped it off and used the cardboard from the back of a scrapbook pad to make a smooth surface.  I thought you should know that I make mistakes, too.  Pretty much a minimum of one a project, as long as we’re in the trust tree and all. 
Now for the front, you know I used my Silhouette to make me an ampersand stencil.  It’s just like magic, only better.  If you don’t have this kind of good crafting magic, then get ready to do some tedious tracing and cutting by hand.  And know that I wish I could share my joy and let you use my Silhouette whenever you wanted.  Really – I would.  As long as you promise not to comment on my housecleaning, or lack thereof.   Anyway, back to crafting.  Here’s another hot tip (that what we like to say in my family when we’re about to give some unsolicited advice, just in case you’re wondering why I’m always saying that here) – mark several lines across the body of the stencil, that way you’ll be able to line up those tricky inside pieces.  Put the stencil (however it was created) on the fabric and pounce away!  I did finish this by brushing for a smoother look, but I think the pounce gives better coverage at the beginning with less chance of leakage under the stencil.  It’s also fun to say.  Carefully peel the stencil up and admire the beautiful artwork you just made! 
Consider this a sneak peek into the new studio (I think that sounds fancier than craft room) – this is the floor and the walls.  Isn’t it so bright and clean and not dark brown with streaks of red showing through?  I am so excited to have it all done! 
I entered this in

Wish me luck!

And of course, I'll be linking up later at:
Newest Link Party:
Make Something Mondays at Sarahndipities   Motivate Me Monday at Keeping It Simple    Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do    Creative Me at The Southern Institute **‘My entry into Creative Me is sponsored by Appliances Online and Bosch Washing Machines.'**  What's in the Gunny Sack? at The Gunny Sack   My insta.week at Let Birds Fly    A Round Tuit at Creating My Way to Success    Mix it up Monday at Flour Me with Love

Handmade Tuesdays at Ladybug Blessings     Tip Me Tuesday at Tip Junkie     Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog     Tutorial Tuesday at Newlyweds on a Budget     Tuesday Linky Party at The Southern Product Queen     Inspiration Board at homework    Take-a-look-Tuesday at Sugar Bee Crafts    Party with my Peeps at How to Nest for Less  The Power of Paint Party at Domestically Speaking     Destination Inspiration at Teagan's Travels

Show and Tell Linking Party at Blue Cricket Design     We Did It! Wednesday at Sew Much Ado     Your Whims Wednesdasy at My Girlish Whims    Made by Me at Jaqsstudio   Crafty Sasse Wednesday at the Sasse Life       Show and Tell at The Delectable Home    Show & Share at Lil Pink Pocket   What We Wore & Made Wednesdays at Rae Gun Ramblings   Wow Me Wednesday at Ginger Snap Crafts   Wordless Wednesday at Marriage from Scratch         Kiss me I'm Irish at igottacreate     From Dream to Reality at The DIY Dreamer    Homemade by You at Pincushion Creations
Things I've Done Thursday at Bear Rabbit Bear      Home for the Holidays at Uncommon      Taking Time-Out Thursday at Mom On Timeout      Create and Share at The Trendy Treehouse    DIY Thrifty Thursday at Thrifty101     Link it up Thursday at These Peas Taste Funny    Thrifty Thursday at Saved by Love    Thursdays are Your Days at 52 Mantels        DIY Diva at Mine for the Making   It's a Party at A Creative Princess    Share the Love at Love Notes by Lauryn

Latest and Greatest Friday at Days of Chalk and Chocolate       Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous   Freestyle Friday at Happy Hour Projects    Shine on Friday at Happy Go Lucky    Featured Friday at Blissful and Domestic   It's a Hodgepodge Friday at It's a Hodgepodge Life    Fun Stuff Fridays at Toys in the Dryer    Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage      Potpourri Friday at 2805     From Scratch Friday at Marriage from Scratch     Pinned it, Made it at Finding My Way in Texas      Dwell on Friday at Dwell on Joy        Financial Friday at The Grant Life    Finished it Friday at The Spunky Diva     Create & Inspire at A Little Inspiration        Every{body's} Creative Endeavor at Every Creative Endeavor

Get Schooled Saturday at Too Much Time on My Hands      Tickled Pink at 504 Main      Scrappy Saturdays at Candace Creations    A Pinteresting Link Party at Here's to Handy Andy   Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors     Sharing Saturday at Crafty Moms Share    Sweet Saturday at Gingerbread        Once Upon a Weekend at Family Ever After

Not Baaad Sundays with Lamb Around   Lisa's Linky Party at Lisa's Craft Blog   Creative Bloggers Party & Hop at Homemaker on a Dime       Sunday Showcase at Under the Table & Dreaming


  1. Wow that looks really cool! Simple things are so effective these days. Always been a fan of wall art =D

  2. Looks great! Good luck in the challenge!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  3. I love ampersands! I have a big yellow one in my office that just makes the space. Great tutorial and what a fun photo prop, too!

    Claire @

  4. Lovely! Welcome to the Typography Challenge! Good luck!

  5. Love it! Love that photo idea too! Thanks for linking up to A Pinteresting Party!

  6. I agree...the ampersand is so charming. Your ampersand out turned out really the gray and yellow.

    sharon @ mrs. hines class


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