Anatomy of a DIY

Most of the times when I see a "before & After" tweaks or even a craft project I get excited because they appear simple and easy to make. I have started out many projects just by looking at the pinterest image, with so much confidence that I forgo the part where you read the instructions carefully, only to end up in a mess. That is when you realize most beautiful things we see are the result of a number of failed attempts, trials and errors and even lengthy thought process.

That is what happened to me, when I started out making some handmade goodies for my friend's daughter. The little girl Hannah, we call her Anna, is eight ( I am sure she will be offended by the "little" part if she reads this - sorry!) and she had very few things in her list of "wants" - surprisingly less for that age. Anyways, one thing she wants for sure is a " door hanger" for her newly decorated room. Since I am a very handy "Aunt Anima" I decided to get her one and then some desk accessories and some art as well. Nice me right!

First up is the door hanger. The specifications for design was very simple, she needed hers and her sister's name on it and her mother wanted it simple. That was the only requirement given - the rest was up to me. At this point I realized that it is easier to design something when you are given tight guidelines. Making something almost blind is the tougher than I thought. Hats off to product designers!! ( Not that they design things without guidelines, still)

I brainstormed many ideas, searched pinterest for something unique and doesn't look store brought or themed. Anna's room isn't really theme based. I attempted nail art, writing her name with nails and yarn, But it was totally messy and non- readable. Apparently, for nail art to work, the form should be bigger to really show of the design. For a small door hanger that too with two names on it - nope.

Source: Etsy

Next I considered having the names stitched like an embroidery and hung with the loop. But I lost interest since there was nothing curious in it. She must have seen it a hundred times! More over how big the names can be on it?

Finally when I was walking through the isles of Michaels, I saw a long scrap wood piece which was kind of perfect size for a door hanger. Then I spotted this vintage looking "key" in the next isle. I thought a key would be interesting on a door hanger. I brought both home. I painted the wood piece white first. Then green and then purple. Oh, there are one thousand shades of purple and Anna doesn't like light lavender one.

I pondered for a while how to write the names on it. Stickers, wood alphabets, textured paint, fabric cut outs, decoupaged paper - so many things to work with. But I finally settled for simple craft paint. Primary reason, she can always paint over and write something different after a while if she is bored, secondary my budget which is $8.

I searched for a nice font and settled for "Bradley Hand ITC" from MS office fonts. I practiced it a number of times after tracing it on a paper and wrote it with gold paint. Why gold paint? Because the reds and greens didn't work on this shade of purple I chose. So gold it is.

On later visits to Michaels ( They should totally adopt me, I visit the place that often), I found these bird and flower stickers, they were 3D and had the same finish as the key which is the key to our project. I added these three pieces to the hanger and thought I was done.

But you see that, it is kind of bland for a girl's room and needed colors on it. With only so much space left on it, drawing a rainbow was the easiest way to add colors to it. So a rainbow appeared on our hanger.

 Hm... I was done with that until I wasn't. I had asked my friend if Anna has any favorite quote or something to create an art for the room. She told me sometimes she leaves a message on her door as "sisters in play" when she is busy with her little sister. That gave me the idea to have a small message board that will tell others if it is ok to disturb the girls in their room - ha.. do we really have to go to that length? Yes, for Anna, it is fun, and for me too. We are having fun remember!

I went ombre way with this one. It is as easy as creating different shades of the same color, each lighter than previous shade.Here it is in all its glory. I have changed one side of this plaque to chalkboard since then. Bad blogger I am, missed taking a photograph.

 I hope now you get my initial point, that sometimes DIY crafts are lots of thoughts, ideas and most importantly fun. I did make some other goodies too for little Anna hoping she would like them at least for another 6 months. After that, there is no guarantee with these girls. Recently another dear friend told me her daughters want their room in neon colors. Can you imagine a room in neon orange? Some dreams and some wishes...

Because I was having fun, I played pretend with them too. Oh, how I wish I could go back to that age and just eat, play, sleep and study!

So what do you think? How far do you go as long as crafting is concerned. Do you like the idea of a trying out different things before you settle for a design or follow the rules and instructions and have an event free time? I do prefer the second sometimes though :-)

Hope you are having a great week.
Keep Smiling,

I party with Remodelaholic

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