Friday, February 6, 2015

Creating FREE wall art using repurposed materials

If you've read my blog before, you'll know that for the past three years I've painted several rooms and quite a few pieces of furniture, not to mention countless lamps, picture frames and accessories.   As you can imagine, I've accumulated quite a few of those free paint stir sticks that you get when you buy a can of paint, and for whatever reason, I've never thrown any of them away. 
For about a week now, the idea of doing something creative with them has been hovering in the back of my mind.  Since they are covered in paint used for various projects throughout my home, they were already the perfect colors to coordinate with my decor.  Also, the exposed raw wood has a rustic feel that I love.  I also really love how they "tell a story".  I can look at them and be reminded of when my friend Hannah and I painted the laundry room, or of my very first paint project in the new house.  They are a reminder of my journey as a homemaker.  I just had to decide how I wanted to use them.  
Way back in 2013, I shared with you guys my guest bathroom mini makeover, and the story of this not so lovely wall art. 

I purchased this artwork right around the time we were buying the house (I think it may have actually been on closing day, but I can't remember for sure).  I don't really love it at all, but I think I was just so excited about having a home that I was just buying up things left and right.  I had visions of a light and airy "spa like" bathroom with touches of blue.  I guess because this art had blue in it, I thought it was a good fit.  Blame it on my home buying high. Regardless of my reasoning, it didn't take me long to realize I had purchased a dud.  So I painted and distressed the gold frame, which made it marginally better, and then I just lived with it for three years, never really loving it but just kind of ignoring it.   Which leads me to....

You guessed it!  I transformed it into a more rustic and industrial piece of artwork that fits my style so much better.  And I did it for completely FREE! My favorite price to pay for anything :) Here is the breakdown:

First, I removed the "renew" thing from the middle because I wanted the art to be a flat surface.   I wedged a flat head screwdriver underneath it and gently tapped it with a hammer until it popped off.


Then I played around with my paint sticks until I had an arrangement that I liked.  I really wanted to do a square pattern, but I would have had to make more cuts, and I just didn't have enough paint sticks to make it work. 

Once I was happy with the layout,  I flipped the sticks over and labeled them by row, so I would know where they belonged.  Some of the rows I had to use an entire stick, plus a little piece of another stick, so I labeled those "A" and "B" from left to right.

Then I had to cut the sticks to the correct length.  Most of them were thin enough that I could just score my line with a razor blade, then bend them to snap them off.  A few of the sticks were heavier duty, and we had to trim those using a hand saw, but still, a very simple process.  We attached the sticks using a nail gun, and we were done! Easy peasy! The entire project took less than an hour.  Originally, I was planning to add one of those round towel holders to it, to make a custom towel holder for my master bathroom, but it just didn't work well in my space.  Also, Reid was really against the idea of hiding most of the beautiful wood with a towel, and preferred the idea of keeping it simply as art.  I really wanted it to be both functional and pretty, but ultimately it was best served in my home simply as some pretty wall art.  If you decided to do a project like this, you may have a place in your home where it could also serve as something functional like a towel holder.

What about you?  Have you created something beautiful with free supplies that have been tucked away in your garage? I hope you have enjoyed this free little project. Thanks for stopping by! 

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  1. How creative! It has a certain character to it and I love the added sentimental value AND itgoes well with your decor!

  2. I would not know that those were paint sticks! I love the colors!


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