Friday, November 29, 2013

Moon Photography Prop


I was asked by a local photography studio if I could make props for baby photos.  Apparently this is quite popular, to pose babies with different props.  I did some searches and was given some websites to look at for inspiration.

The moon prop was made from 1/2" thick MDF with twelve 7" long pine slats.

This is how I cut each moon.  I cut a larger circle using my router and then another smaller one.


Because I didn't want any screws or nails to show on the outside of the moon, I decided to glue another piece of curved MDF cut the same diameter as the smaller moon, and glue that on the inside.  This would leave a ledge for the slats to sit on.




I cut out two identical moons and inner pieces, then I made a small 7" wide shelf that would fit between the moons at the bottom.  This shelf sat on top of two triangular shaped feet.  The feet were necessary to stop the moon from rocking and tipping.  The shelf kept the distance of the moons parallel to the top where the slats would be.


The slats were coated with shellac and fit in the curve, pin nailed to the curved inner pieces.  I put  a coat of primer on the moon pieces before adding the slats.


The customer painted the moon white and will use it for baby photographs. The first photo in this post is one she shared with me, isn't it cute!

Thanks to Tanya for asking me to attempt this moon prop.  I had to figure out the best way to make it and it was quite the challenge!


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Serendipity House - A shaped sign tutorial


This post is a tutorial about a sign I made for Cindy who blogs at Cottage Instincts and sells her painted furniture at The Serendipity House .  I offered to make Cindy a sign, just because.

Cindy's business has a really nice logo that she put together with an interestingly shaped graphic from The Graphics Fairy.  I thought it would look nice cut out of wood.



The first step was printing out her logo, which I got directly from her website and enlarged to about 22" long. I printed it out in black and grey on two pieces of legal sized paper.


 

After cutting it out and taping it together, I then found a nice solid piece of pine (oh dear, can't remember the thickness, I think just under 1") and drew the middle section accurately and a rough outline of the outer curvy parts.


I decided that this logo sign would look great if the middle section, with the wording, was raised up from the background.  I thought flat would be a bit, well, boring.

Now, this added much more work to my sign than a flat sign would be, but anyway, away I went with my small router.  Using a straight bit I began to take away wood from the outer edges, where all the fancy design is.

With a router, it's best to work at this gradually, taking about 1/8" depth off on the first pass:

Subsequent passes go deeper and deeper.  This is time consuming, but necessary:

Here you can see the right portion is deeper than the left:

This is a photo of the whole thing routed away.  Unfortunately I don't really know how much I took off, and I've already sent the sign, so... I just took it down to where I thought it looked good:

Here's a close-up where you can see the different heights. Again, the middle part was not touched: 


Now, if I had a good quality scroll saw, I would have used it, but since I don't I was stuck using a jigsaw.  I drew the final outside shape on the BACK of the sign, being sure to line up properly where the design was on the front:

I cut on the back, since it was flat and the jigsaw could run on the even wood.  This is after turning it over to get a peek at how things were going:


Here's the design all cut out, including holes where they appear in the original design:

I used a wood stain and stained darker on the outer portion than the middle:

Here's a close-up: 

After the stain dried I used carbon paper to trace the lettering and birdie for the logo.  Then I hand painted it with standard craft paint.

So, this shows the website logo and below, the wood sign I made:

I hope Cindy likes it, she will be hanging it in her brand new home.

Can I make one for you with your logo?


Showing at the following parties:
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French Country Cottage
Jennifer Rizzo
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too much time on my hands
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Coastal Charm

Friday, November 1, 2013

Making a Post to Hang One of my Signs

I often get orders from people who have either seen my work at Farmers' Markets I go to, or see products for sale online at Kijiji.

I was contacted through email for an order for a sign with the family name on it, hanging from a post.  I also had to supply the post!

When I get an order like this I use email to send links to signs I've previously made and shown here at my blog, or photos of signs I haven't yet posted.  This way the client can choose from many different styles, colours, sizes, and fonts and settle on something they feel is suitable for what they want.

This lovely lady chose a white sign with black lettering.  It is the same on both sides and will hang at the end of her driveway.



Now to make the post...

I purchased an 8 foot 4"x4" pressure treated post and cut about 3' off one end to use as the horizontal member.  The vertical piece and horizontal piece will lock together with 1/2 of the depth of the wood cut out of each piece. (This is called a half-lap joint) Here is the pencil marking of what will come out of the vertical piece.


I use my sliding compound mitre saw to work away at the post.  The saw can be set to only cut down to the width you want, so that it doesn't cut right through the post.  In order to do that, you also need to set a scrap piece of wood between the piece you are cutting and the back fence.  You can see where I have clamped a 4 x 4 piece to keep my post the correct distance to give a straight level cut.



Here you can see the full notch cut out.  This is the same cut for both vertical and horizontal pieces.

Of course you need to be accurate with this in order for the pieces to fit tightly together. Here are the two notches cut out:


They are then fit together, fingers crossed...


Ta da!


I then drilled a hole in the center and used a large carriage bolt with a washer and nut on the back to hold the pieces together more firmly.


The sign then has eyes screwed into it and hooks into the crosspiece. This shows it at my house before delivery:



I also supplied a ground spike for the post to sit in, these are available at lumber or DIY type stores.  It is hammered into the ground using first a short scrap piece of 4 x 4, and then the post is fit into it and screws in the top of the spike box are tightened.

Here is the sign at the owner's home:

Thanks to Sam for trusting in me to make just what she wanted for her family home.



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