Thursday, February 16, 2012

Birthdays

I'm always one who is forgetful of birthdays so my Mom had sent out a copy of her list of birthdays. I even changed it up and added additional birthdays of my friends, new nieces & nephews. The paper has been thumbtacked onto my wall for several years now with a bunch of pen & pencil markings all over it to mark my changes. YUCK! I saw on Pinterest, this site had a birthday chart that looked so cute! I knew I needed to make one for me.

****I am REDOING this project. It was beautiful on my wall and very helpful, but I didn't take into consideration what the humidity during the monsoon season would do to the salt dough disk... :0(They suck up all the moisture! even after I covered them in a sealant). I am currently still looking fo wooden disk. Grrr! I think if you live in a low humid region, this will still work, or even if you use refridgerated air conditioning instead of a swamp cooler, this would still be idea.*****
Of course, I set out to gather my materials:
A board for the back drop,
1.5" wooden disk - wide enough to place a screw into the side
About 80 eyelet screws - it all depends on how many birthdays you are going to put up, 2 for each disc.
Acrilic Paints
Clear Gloss Spray Paint
White Dimentional Fabric Paint
1/4" jumpers - little metal circles I used to attach each eyelet screw - look like tiny key chain rings
Super Glue - I used Gorilla Glue but I didn't like how it expanded out from under my months
Hammer
Thumbtack

Of course, when I start out, I realized this small back-woods town does not sell any form of small round crafty wooden disk.  The closest place for me to find them is a 2 hour drive - one way. A little bummed, I put off this particular project for a while & decided to try other things...

That is when I came across this site to make Salt Dough hand print ornaments. After making my handprints with the kids, I realized these little disk were pretty hard and durable.
I set out making 1.5" circles. I needed 12, flat circles I would use for the months. I made them thinner than the rest because I knew they would be attached to the board & not be dangling down. I made about 50-60 birthday circles (extra for new additions to the family later on).




After I cut out my circles & before I 'cooked' the circles, I stuck an eyelet screw in both sides of the circle. Some of the circles needed to be reshaped a little after that. I made sure my eyelet screws were all positioned the same way, flat with the circle.

The time in directions for the 'cooking' of the salt dough ornaments was considerably shorter that what it actually took for me to cook them. I also found that the circles I left sitting out for 2 hours did not puff up like the first ones I imediately put in the oven to cook - poking holes in them did not prevent them from puffing...
After my circles were cooked, I used an acrilic paint to paint them. I chose to use 12 different colors - one for each month. Painted 2-3 coats on each. I enlisted the help of my partner & son to help with the painting & they lasted for one coat... :)
I covered the eyelet screws with tape so I didn't cover them with spary & used a high gloss spray paint and sprayed 2 coats to protect the acrilic paint.
I used fabric paint to write the names & the day of their birth on each of my birthday disks.
I used the jumpers to attach each birthday circle together.
Not wanting to go out & buy a chunck of wood, I enlisted my parent's help in finding a piece in their scrap pile. I didn't find a piece that was wide enough to fit my 12 month circles & write the word "Birthdays" above them.  My Mom did find a 3/4" x 3" x 5' board.
A light bulb came on above me and I decided I would cut the board up into two pieces, both 24.5" long (each of my circles measured 1.5" with 1/2" in between each circle & a 1/2" on the both ends) & attach one above the other with eyelet screws like I was going to do the circles below. A little distracted with company ariving I ended up cuting 1 - 24.5" board and 1 - 24" board... But Eh! It worked out for the best! I had one board slightly shorter than the other which I used for the top board. My boards were slightly scruffed up so I used a sander & smoothed them out. I attached 3 eyelet screws evenly spaced out & attached the eyelet screws on each board together using a 1/4" jumper. After the next few steps, I realized I should have attached the 2 boards together AFTER I painted them...
I sent my Mom a picture of what I had finished so far & explained that I still needed to paint it. She said she liked it better without paint. A little torn on deciding between "paint vs. no paint", I decided to do a little bit of both.
I sprayed the boards with a clear gloss, using tape to cover my eyelet screws. I figured since I was dealing with a bunch of circles, I would paint a bunch of different sized circles on the board with my "Birthday" word.
Unable to paint freehand, I decided to create a 'paint by numbers' template :) Using MS Word on my computer, I printed out a template of the word "Birthdays" using the Rage Italic font. I increased the size to about 190pts & expanded the characters by 10pts. I also inserted 4 circles of differen sizes. Before I cut them out with my xacto knife, I covered the letters with clear packaging tape so the paper wouldn't rip or fold easy. Once they were cut out, I used a pencil to trace the letters & circles onto my board. I used the same acrilic paint to color in my circles. It was a challenge because some of the colors were see through so I had to go back & paint them with 2 or 3 coats of paint. After they dried, I sprayed a coat of clear gloss on top.
On the back of the top board, about 7" from the center on each side, I attached picture frame hangers.
I used gorilla glue to attach the months to the bottom board. I wasn't too careful about the amount I used so the glue expanded out from under the disk. :(
I measured & marked on the bottom edge of the bottom board each of the spots where I would insert an eyelet screw to hang each of the birthdays.  I made holes using a thumbtack & hammer to make it easier to screw in the eyelet screws.  I then attached each of the strands of birthday circles to hang under their month using the jumper chains.
I was really please with how this looks on my wall. It catches my eye every time I walk into the room!
Close Up View

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