Gettin’ Crafty: Quotables

Difficulty: If you lack coordination and creativity or have a prison record like Lindsay Lohan’s, you’ll be good to go.

What you need:

  • Canvas
  • Letter stamps
  • Two shades of paint
  • Paint brushes – a bigger one for your canvas, a small one for your stamps
  • Glue pen (optional)
  • Glitter (optional)

A short while ago I bought a value pack of canvases from Michael’s (plus whatever coupon they had on their app that day – if you shop there at all I recommend downloading it ASAP) for little more than shits’n’giggles. Recently I’d gotten into painting but I admittedly have zero talent and slightly more ideas. I was never one of those girls in elementary school who relished the days we went to the Art Room and drew self portraits or built clay ashtrays or what have you.

I hadn’t yet come up with an idea for my pack until I saw this project – which I still might do – and got inspired. The Scrabble-like letter Five in Tow works best on a square, but a book nerd quote would look great on an 11″x17″!

Here is where I get a little embarrassed. I racked my brain and notebooks trying to find a quote to stick on my apartment wall in infamy, but nothing really stuck.  I hit next on my playlist and struck nerd piano rock gold.

I’ve never been one for fan art, but since I first discovered Ben Folds [Five] as a young tween in the 90s, he’s been an artist I can count on.  Where some artists I once loved suddenly hit it big and turn into douche bags, I feel like I could drink a beer with Ben and karaoke despite my lacking musical talents. Maybe it’s because he knows there’s always someone cooler than you? I don’t know. But it’s been a favorite lyric of mine for years and speaks to my general vibe and outlook on life.  If you’re going to do a project like this, I suggest forgoing your intellectual ego, hipster street cred, and general coolness because nobody actually cares – just do what makes you happy.

Pick one color for your background and a contrasting color for your words.  Paint your entire canvas with the first color and let dry.  Seriously, don’t skip that part. Go for a walk. Take a nap. Make a martini – I don’t care.

Once it is dry, take your second color paint and brush it onto your letter stamps. I suppose you could pop the stamp into the paint the way you do when you’re using an ink pad, but this way you won’t have excess paint around the edges of the letter to worry about.  Paint and stamp each letter one at a time so that your paint doesn’t dry out. (It’s relaxing, you’ll be fine.)  After stamping the entire lyric, I went over each letter with another coat of paint to achieve a little more opacity and legibility.

Tip: If you tend to get antsy or forgetful, you may want to write out your quote on a scrap piece of paper so that you don’t forget any letters or misspell a word.  It wouldn’t be quite as embarrassing as a tattoo gone wrong, but it’s a waste.

Now that your letters are all dry you can either be finished and hang up your canvas (yay woohoo congrats to you!) or you can add some glitter.  I used a glue pen for added control, but you can use whatever glue you’d like, or add glitter to still-wet paint.  Whatever you choose, shake your glitter onto your chosen word liberally and let it dry (there’s a lot of waiting for paint to dry in this project).

In my mind’s eye, cooler would pop out more but I think I chose a glitter too like the paint for it to really stand out.  If I did it again I’d pick something a shade or two darker or something of similar lightness in a different color family.

What sums up your theory on life?

What do you think?