super easy craft: diy bird plaque (+ new gallery wall!)

This project would work so many ways, I hate to call it something so terribly exciting and narrow as “diy bird plaque.” But, well, it’s a bird on a wooden plaque, so here we are.

photo 3

I’ve been putting together a gallery wall for my dining room for ages. Only it’s been all in my head, so the majority of the pieces have been leaning against the intended wall. The kids kept tripping on them, one of them broke, and I kept having to vacuum around them.

Actually my husband had to vacuum around them because he does 96% of the vacuuming around here.

My goal was to start it with several pieces, mixing sizes and styles, and expand the gallery wall as I collected more. Basically, I wast willing to wait until I had a whole wall’s worth of pieces. But I hadn’t hung anything yet because I felt like I needed a few more things to make it doable. I finally bit the bullet one weekend and decided that I needed to get it started. That tends to happen when you have a news crew coming to your house and you realize that the gigantic red wall you’ve been staring at for 8 years looks kinda stark. (More on news crew later. It’s ridiculous in the most fun way what happens when people find your blog sometimes.)

ANYWAY. Along with the framed items, I wanted to mix in other types of hangings. I discovered a package of bird prints that I had gotten from IKEA a while back (um, last year) tucked away in my craft shelves in the garage. None of the frames I had on hand were a fit for either the prints OR the gallery wall, since I was dangerously close to having too many plain, black frames of similar sizes. But I did have some wooden plaques sitting around from another project that never really saw its way to fruition.

bird prints
 

See, it kinda pays to hang onto stuff like a semi-hoarder, right?

I am going through a bird phase, and I love fun little bird prints. And then I just had the perfect idea for how to marry the prints and the plaques.

 

First step, I used some slightly old white craft paint to paint the plaque. Like, if paint came with an expiration date, this one would be well past its sell-by date. That’s the price I pay for being spontaneous. (Fun fact: I’m never spontaneous. Just woefully unprepared.)

Since I wanted the bird to blend into the plaque as much as possible, I needed the crispest white there was. It took a few coats, and because I’m lazy, I just let it glue itself to that paper I was using as a table cover. When it was dry I just tore the paper off. A wiser person might use an X-Acto knife.

diy bird plaque

Next I cut out the bird, getting as close to the edges of the illustration as I was comfortable. Because the fun lines of the outer edges of the bird needed to stay intact, I didn’t cut right along the lines.

I played with composition a bit with the bird to find exactly the right spot. The most pleasing compositions are slightly off-center, but depending on the image, sometimes smack dab in the center works too. I really wanted my bird friend to look like he was about to hop right off the plaque. Not to high, not too low, not too centered. I’m happy with where he landed.

diy bird plaque

I used Mod Podge to adhere the image to the plaque. After a few minutes (because I am impatient), I then covered the entire plaque with a layer of Mod Podge. It dries completely clear. Since the only brush I could find that was large enough to give me god coverage was an old oil painting brush of mine (coarse bristles) there are a few brushstrokes showing in my piece. A softer brush or even a foam brush will give a smoother finish. But like I said – impatient.

After the Mod Podge dried, I had to attach a doohickey on the back for hanging, like so.

I adhered it with Liquid Nails because I don’t mess around.

diy bird plaque
You may say that my dining room table is scratched up to hell. I prefer “rustic.”

And here it is, in its home on the not-quite-completed-but-at-least-I-got-started gallery wall.

diy bird plaque
From left to right: thrifted mirror with forest green frame, thrifted 3-d Italian villa-looking thingy, framed drawing of Rachel’s, Banksy’s Balloon Girl print, bird plaque, Stephen Dickerson print I bought at an art festival years ago, metal T, caffe latte.

You like the ring of beads hanging from my chandelier and that white spot that indicates a missing chunk of red wall? Me too.

I love the various sizes and styles of the pieces. Some of them are thrifted, and some came from other places in my home. The center piece is a Banksy print that my husband gave me for my birthday last year, and I love it to pieces. I am NOT in love with the Caffe Latte piece. I actually bought that with the intention of painting over the caffe latte. But that’s another spontaneous project for another spontaneous day.

diy bird plaque

Another view of the wall behind our dining room table. What’s funny is that I finally arranged a desk in my bedroom that gives me CLEAR WORKING SPACE PARAMETERS. I guess I missed sitting on this crappy bench in the middle of the chaotic house. But seeing as Zoe was next to me making snowflakes, I think the company was worth it.

 

What projects are you working on?

 

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9 Comments

  1. That is so stinking cute!! I have canvases that I bought and haven’t used but I love those wooden plaques. And the prints! Love them. I almost thought you had cut some flowery scrapbook paper and layered it. But this is way easier!

  2. It’s so cute! And your wall looks pretty good. I am not working on adding anything right now, instead, getting rid of! But I do like this idea for a little project. Thanks!

  3. I love it. When I was a very little girl we did a craft project (at Vacation Bible school maybe) where we decoupaged prints to little wood blocks. I gave them to my grandmother and she kept them hanging in her bathroom for years and years. Odd the things we remember sometimes.

  4. Good grief you are crafty. You have craft shelves? I have no similar projects to share so I’ll just applaud your efforts. Very cute. Now I’m curious what else you are doing as part of this “bird phase”?

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