If you've ever seen the furniture from Sticks, then you know where I got the idea to make this thing. I LOVE their furniture, but it is too spendy for me! http://www.sticks.com
I've wanted to make my own version for a long time, and I finally got it done. My dad built me the coat rack/mirror at my request several years ago (thanks Dad!) and it's been hiding in the back of my closet waiting for me to paint it.
It's going to go into our master bedroom, and I wanted it to be all romantic...hence the "Love Nest" theme.
I put all the Sticks-like little phrases around the outsides, but I made it fit the history of my husband and I.
"Play" - we met playing Ultimate Frisbee
"Follow Your Heart" - well, this is just the falling in love part
"Take a Chance" - gettin' engaged, and yes, my ring has a heart-shaped diamond, too!
"Welcome Surprises" - my daughter was our surprise baby who showed up before the wedding
"Create a Family" - now we have two!
"Count Your Lucky Stars" - why yes, I AM lucky!
I have a thing for crows, hence the two crows. The boy has blue eyes and a little beard like my husband, and the girl has brown eyes like me.
The house on the bottom is our first house, and it was exactly that shade of purple, too!
So...how I did it...
First I sketched out the pictures with pencil. Then I used a dremel to carve out the lines. I used the cutting guide to help control the thing and stay on the lines. The bit I used was the small one with the cutting ball on the end. In retrospect, I actually made the channels too wide, and it was hard to keep the paint out of them, so next time I would make them narrower, like half a mm or so. (edited to add: I used dremel bit #107, but now I know that the better option is #106) When you set the bit relative to the cutting guide, it is just BARELY sticking out. It helps to practice on some scrap wood. The dremel has a hard time going across the grain lines straight, so if you can use wood without obvious grains, you will have an easier time with the carving.
After you carve it all out, sand it down a little bit, then you paint it all with black primer. Then you put the color on top avoiding the lines that you cut out as best you can, but still being very "painterly". You don't want to be all neat about this - blend your colors as you paint, leave lots of brush marks. The messier you do it, the better it will look. This is the hardest part for me because I am so anal-retentive! lol!
The paint I used was Liquitex Soft Body Acrylics. I'm not sure if that was the best paint to pick, as a lot of it was more transparent than I would've liked, but it seemed to work okay. The colors I used were: Olive Green, Cadmium Red Medium Hue, Brilliant Blue, Soft White, Cerulean Blue Hue, Cadmium Orange Hue, Burnt Umber, Raw Siena, Turner's Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue, Quinacridone Crimson, Quinacridone Magenta, Hooker's Green Hue. Top coat everything with Polycrilic. I used semi-gloss, but I would've preferred satin.
My dad made the little sun on top from half of some sort of nerf-like ball. It's too cute!
This actually went a lot faster than I thought it would. It's an easy way to dress up an old piece of furniture to something super-cool. Now I'm going to do this same treatment to my craft room door - wish me luck!
Thanks for looking!