Monday, March 22, 2010

Craft Hacking Grandin Road

It all started with a message on Facebook from my mom. She found some wall art she really liked, but the price was just insane. She asked me to wrap my head around it, and see what we could do to recreate it.

It was very clear to me that we could indeed do it for much cheaper than Grandin Road wanted for it.

Here's a photo of the original art work she loved.


It's 3 canvases across, and 4 canvases down, for 12 total canvases. In this instance, it resembles a telephone pad. The canvases are sold separately, at a cost of $119 each for 16x16, and $159 each for 24x24.  To buy 1 each of the 16x16 canvases, you are looking at spending $1,428. Want to splurge on the larger size? $1908 in all.

Well, it was a no brainer to me. Obviously we could do it a LOT cheaper than that, and fully customize it while we were at it!

This weekend, I drove over to her neck of the woods with my older daughter Raegan, and we got started.

Telephone Pad Wall Art

You'll Need:
  1. 12 Canvases- we went to Dollar Tree and picked up 12 of the bird printed 5x5 wall art picture, which are stretched like a canvas around a wooden frame, but the "canvas" is more of a plasticy feel.
  2. Mod Podge
  3. Scrapbook Paper or Fabric- We used 2-3 patterns for each canvas, but the scraps left over on most of them were large enough for some numbers or contrasting. I would recommend 12 sheets of 12x12, and 4-6 sheets of 12x12 for extra paper
  4. Distress Ink
  5. Stencils or computer print outs of numbers- we used stencils on some, free hand on some, and computer print outs on some
  6. Paint brushes
  7. Buttons- we used these for dots on the number 3 block, but this can easily be skipped.
  8. Scissors
All in all, supply wise, we spent $12 on the canvases, and we spent roughly  $15 on scrapbook paper, with plenty left over. The buttons we found came in 3 packs, but only 1 large one per pack, so we bought 3 packs at $2.99 each. Split that down to what was used, and it was $1 per button- but this could easily be "On Hand" with buttons you have, or circles, or even just using the number 3.

We picked up the stencils for $3.50 after a 40% coupon, and they're totally reusable, so I'm not counting that as a cost necessary to this project. I had Mod Podge, but we also bought some, again with 40% coupons. I had everything else on hand that we needed.

So total costs:

Canvases- $12
Paper- $15
Buttons- $3

For a total of $30 spent, probably less when I subtract papers not used. $2.50 for each of 12 pieces for this large wall art. I -freaking- love it. We "saved" $116.50 on each piece we made, for a total savings of $1398. Almost $1400 saved by "Doing It Yourself!"




And now, for the tutorial.

  1. First, do as I say, not as I did- match each paper up with 1-2 contrasting papers for the numbers or design. Trust me. Once you've matched it, lay it all out in the order you want them in- rearrange so you don't have all orange on top, and all green on the bottom have the colors matched up where you want them. Take a photo, and number the backs of the paper in pencil. Trust me. 
  2. Decide which paper will be the back ground. We decided to crumple some, and leave some flat. The crumpled paper got distressed immediatly. From there, start covering the canvases. You'll want to measure the paper out to about 1/4" wider than the canvas, give or take a bit.
  3. Spread the top of the canvas with Mod Podge (we used Matte, and it turned out great), and smooth the paper on. From there, start folding and Mod Podging it around the edges. Take care to remember where the hanger is on the back, and don't podge over it.
  4. As the canvases dry, distress them to your liking. We used 4 different colors, so some were more brown, some had a touch of black, some red, etc. 
  5. Once all the canvases are papered, it's time to start cutting out your numbers. While we did do the phone pad, we didn't do a number, precisely, on each one. The 4, for instance, spells out FOUR in a square, instead of the number 4. The 5 is hash marks. The 3 resembles a dice with 3 dots. Be creative. Also- this is where you'll notice that while a large chunk of paper A stands out nicely against paper B, when cut to a thin number, it blends RIGHT in. Ugh. This is where chunks of scrap paper came in nicely to form blocks behind some of the numbers. I also took advantage of my distress ink to high light edges, or create square blocks behind numbers.
  6. When you are satisfied, start to podge over the tops, adding the numbers. 
  7. Seal the top with more podge.
  8. Viola! You are done!
All in all, I was surprised at how quickly this project went. We made 12, and granted, there were 2 of us working on it, but the entire project only took about 2 hours from start to finish.  And without further ado, some photos.



A few of the paper covered canvases

Trying to figure out/remember what papers we picked to go with which papers. Oops- this is where my stressing of doing this first came in.

A few finished canvases

This one, we wound up going back and outlining the letters with a cranberry colored marker, because while the print stands out, the letters themselves blend in, and it was very hard to read the letters FOUR. I did not, however, get a photo of it outlined.




(I just LOVE the 2 with the circle around it!)

And finally... The whole thing!


The entire project, put together- isn't it fantastic? The awesome thing about this? Well, aside from being FRUGAL? It's totally customizable when you DIY. Don't like the colors? The fonts? Want letters instead of numbers? Totally doable. It came out great, and we had a lot of fun making it!

I'm hard pressed to pick an all out favorite, because I love the entire project. And I also love that I "saved" us almost $1400 with some ingenuity and craftiness. 

One last comparison:



Once my mom gets it hung, I'll get some photos of it, but I was too anxious to post this wicked awesome project to wait for them!

This post is linked up at the link parties listed here.

83 comments:

Sarah's Deals said...

Friggin Awesome Job!! And even I could do this one, limited abilities and all. Great work Heather!

Dee said...

founnd you via the linky when i went to see if my link worked straight after posting.
LOVE your art hack. you did a great job and for great value.

Heather@ My Frugal Family said...

It was SUPER Easy, anyone could do this :) I love, love, love how it turned out, though, and already had another relative request one. ;)

Stephanie @ Minutes to Spare said...

How fun, just love it when you can DIY and save that much money.

Connie said...

Seriously? Why don't you have more comments...this is amazing.

You had me at Rustic. And then wall art. And then it was a done deal at Dollar Store.

Thanks so much for taking time to share!

Michelle @ Sweet Something said...

Great job!!

Heather@ My Frugal Family said...

Connie- it's only been posted for about an hour! I'm sure it'll get more ;)

Thank you everyone!

kpmattingly said...

Fun! :)

Mary Beth @ Live. Laugh. Make Something said...

absolutely delightful! ...I love this project. My mama was a switchboard telephone operator before we had dial phones and I adore anything telephone-y! I dropped in from Cottage Intincts and am so happy that I did. Please accept my invitation to drop in at my place one day this week. until later...

Brooke said...

Heather, I LOVE this project!!! I love reusing ugly canvas. :) This is a fantastic idea, would look cute anywhere especially in kids' rooms. Oh, the possibilities! Thanks for sharing. :)

The Persimmon Perch said...

I love it. Great job. Thanks for sharing with Made it Monday! Jules

Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

Great job! I agree with Brooke - oh, the possibilities!!

Shannon @ Posh Pieces said...

Very cute. Amazing how easy it is to recreate certain things isn't it?

The4Rs said...

Very creative, like yours better than original. I have an unrelated question, how do you put up your blogsite and name on your photos? I don't own photoshop, can it be done with picasa?

Heather@ My Frugal Family said...

It is indeed amazing just how much design stores and websites over charge people! I love craft hacking :)

Cedar Fort said...

Holy cow! That was amazing! I love it! I can't believe how much you saved. Good job.
-Gillian

The Mommy Teacher said...

Wow! Found you over at Skip to My Lou! Just wanted to say great job!! I actually like yours better than the original :)

The Beck Bunch said...

It looks great!! Nice job!

Granny J said...

WOW! Great job! Just goes to show...never let money get in the way!

BradandMichelle said...

I like yours better than the one you copied! It looks wonderful!

kibbygirl said...

That looks amazing!!

Amy @ Positively Splendid said...

You definitely outdid the original here! Great job!

Heather@ My Frugal Family said...

The4R's- I use an online program called Picnik.com to do the editing. It's free to use!

Thank you all so much everyone. I hope it gives you all some great ideas ;)

Melissa said...

awesome job...and yeah for your Mom too I bet she is thrilled to have you for a daughter!!

Veronica said...

I love yours it has a little more color. Great job.

Thelittlebrownhouse.us said...

Oh My Stinkin Heck!! That is amazing! You guys did a great job, I absolutely love it!!!

One Cheap B*tch said...

You did an amazing job! I think your's looks better than the GR one!

Kaysi said...

That is great!!! It looks awesome and much better than the other one!

Amy Kinser said...

Great job!!!!!!

Jess @ Just a Blink said...

Very ambitious! What a great impact on a great budget. Gotta love DIY projects. Thanks for sharing!

mommyof2tuties said...

OMYGOSH!!! HOw stinkin cute is this????? My little girl and I were at the Dollar tree yesterday and saw 3 X 3" canvas's (needing a
little help of course). I didn't pick them up because no ideas came to mind. Back there today though. I love this. Thanks

Buzz said...

Good Job! If this was for a teen's room you could mix in some metals!
Lots of possibilities here for sure.

Tiffany said...

WOW! Awesome job on the phone pad art re-creation! It looks fantastic! Love the colors and papers you used!

Sherri @ Design2Shine said...

Wowzers! Now THAT is some amazing work! Great idea for any room decor. DIY and match to any colors! Awesome job.

Amanda said...

That is so impressive! FANTASTIC!

Debbie said...

Awesome! I like your unique spin on it, very personal and well done:)

Tammy said...

This is a fabulous piece of art! I featured this article at Dixie Pieces
http://dixiepieces.com/forum/topic/6735?replies=1#post-68016

Heather said...

Oh hon, you are brillant! I love it, you must have one proud Momma!

Krista@thegatheringplacedesign said...

Holy Amazing! Great job...LOVE!

Steph said...

I LOVE it! I've seen the original and thought it was awesome but certainly wasn't about to dish out that much money for it. Thanks for showing it can be done on the cheap!

Ally said...

VERY cute! Sometimes I wonder how these companies get away with charging ridiculous prices. Clearly not everyone is as clever and frugal as YOU!

Patricia L said...

I love it and I love that you also shop at the Dollar Tree (it's one of my favorite stores!). They turned out great.
{Found you on TipJunkie}

Staci K. said...

That is so cool!! I can't believe the prices on the originals!! That's just insane! yours turned out great for a tiny fraction of the cost - way to go!

Lisa B. said...

WOW! You guys did a fab job and that's a lot of cash you saved there. Love it.

Patriotic Mom said...

You are so clever! I loved this! Joan

alwayslearning said...

you did pretty good. funny how a little challange like that can inspire

Emily {Frilly Details} said...

Wowee!! You guys did an amazing job! Love the final look.

The Halbert Home said...

That's neat, I might have to try it sometime. Have they lost their minds thinking people would pay that much for some canvas #'s?

content2be said...

Slick! You are way too crafty. I would never have been able to dream that up. Good job!

Sherry said...

Neat idea! The colors are great.
Win Rachael Ray bake ware at my blog.
Thanks!

Creative Decor by Brooke said...

Wow, I love that. I would have never taken that on. You did a great job. I love the way it turned out.
Brooke

Lei said...

Looks awesome!!!

ratty said...

VERY cool! and i used to be a telephone operator..., i think i NEED this on my wall!!
thanks!

Laurie said...

LOOOVE it!!! Thanks for the tutorial and ideas. I'm a new follower, come see me sometime at sceneofthegrime.blogspot.com

Have a great, creative day!

Susan S. said...

Love, love, love it! I've seen similar things in catalogs and thought....HOW PRETTY...but certainly wasn't going to pay the high price they asked. Love your take and spin on it.....Really nice!

Happy Spring from Houston, TX!

Mela said...

Yours it much cuter.

Simple. Inspired. Homemade said...

This is another great reason to love ModPodge! Great job, this would be awesome with bright colors in my kids toyroom! Thank you so much for the tut!

Heather@ My Frugal Family said...

Thank you so much everyone! This would indeed make a great piece of art in a variety of colors & patterns to match any room or existing decor.

Zebra print with hot pink is coming to mind for a fun, funky teen's room!

fawnda said...

This is AWESOME! I love love love it! GREAT job! : )

simplydesigning.blogspot.com said...

AMAZING!!

Thanks so much for linking up at my link up party! Please join me Friday for another party!

Lori said...

Awesome! I love it!

Thanks for joining Get Your Craft on Thursday. Please join me next week for another great party. Don’t forget to stop by and enter my giveaway. I’ll announce the winner at next weeks party!

LuckyStarErin said...

That is really cool. This one is on my list. Looks like a fun family project, too!

Jan said...

WOW!! I like yours MUCH better than the original!! Thanks for sharing!

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking said...

LOOOVVVVE it! I'd take your version... the paper and color choices.

Alison said...

Absolutely darling! I've always wanted a project using those little tiles... thank you for helping me think of one!!

Alison
http://oopsey-daisy.blogspot.com/

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

So brilliant! Love it all. You did an amazing job!

Its So Very Cheri said...

That is totally AMAZING--FABULOUS.
This is going on my favs.

PLEASE PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE-if you haven't RE-SIGNED up to follow me at the new site PLEASE DO SO. Google doesn't let you take your followers with you so you ARE NOT getting my updates and won't until you sign up again.

Thanks for posting to the party
Cheri

The Stanley Family said...

Wow - that is amazing! I love it! Thanks for the tutorial!

http://savingsandstewardship.blogspot.com

Brandi @ Frugal Farmhouse said...

oh my goodness you have my little wheels TURNING HARD!!! haha! It looks so great!

kim said...

this is so cute, you did an awesome job! and for a much better price!
thanks for posting it on Someday Crafts!

Lynda @ SportsMadGirl said...

Are they smokin' something?? $1400+!! That's highway robbery. I think your hack is Fantastic. I may just have give this a try myself.

I found you through Someday Crafts. Have a Happy Easter!

Jason and Jill said...

Wow, I love all your projects! If you come link them all up you would probably have a good shot at winning the prize :)
-Jill
womenwhodoitall.blogspot.com

Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

It turned out awesome!!! I want to make me one now.

Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence said...

I so loved this--featuring it this week :)!

Rebecca said...

I love it. I think it looks way better than the original.
Great job! I really want to try this one.

jenjen said...

Wow - you did a wonderful job. So cute!

Thanks for linking it up!

XOXO
Jen

linda said...

Heather, Your version TOTALLY kicks their butt!! way to go!
Happy Easter!
Linda

Our really empty nest said...

All I can say is WOW, you are very talented. Thanks for sharing! SUE

Mallory said...

This is one of my favorite projects I've seen in awhile! I'm supposed to be stash-busting...buying the canvases to make these is a good way to do that, right?

Veronica said...

This is one of the neatest pieces of art I have seen. I have featured it at Veronica's Korner. Please stop by and grab your Featured button.
http://veronicaskorner.blogspot.com

Sheri@childmade.com said...

Those are wonderful! And what a cost savings! Thanks for sharing ... I've posted a link.

Mod Podge Amy said...

I stumbled onto your site - and I like your version better than the original!

Laura F said...

Awesome!! I'm not a big 'crafter' but I love being frugal! I think your version looks like a million bucks compared to the store one!! Keep up the great work!!!