Posts Tagged ‘Mod Podge’

My house was built in 1928, and along with tiny closets and plaster walls, that means charming details. One of my favorite of those details is our mailbox. It’s actually a little mail chute with a little mini-door next to the front door. See:

Here’s a closer view:

It’s super convenient to get the mail, seeing as I don’t even have to open my front door. And when our friends with kids come over, the little ones L-O-V-E that little door. My husband likes to tell them that tiny pirates live inside. Yeah, he’s that guy. And they love him.

But the other day, I got the mail and didn’t shut the mailbox. A little while later, I looked over from my perch on the couch and saw this:

I’ve lived here for a year and a half, and as many times as I’ve gotten the mail, the inside of the little door — with paint slapped on in what looks like an afterthought — never really bothered me. I guess it was mostly because the little door was always shut, hiding the slack paint job from my eyes. And who cares if the back of the mailbox door looks kind of crappy, right? But for some reason, that day, I cared. And not only did I care, but I actually did something about it. I grabbed my book of scrapbook paper and picked a patterned paper that is fun, but not too crazy. Who doesn’t love some stripes?

Then, I measured the back side of the mailbox door and cut the paper to size and put a hole where the “door knob” gets screwed in.

I used some paper glaze and a paintbrush to glue the patterned paper to the back of the door.

Once it dried, I painted another layer of glaze on top of the paper to seal it.

It looks really glossy in the next picture, but that’s just because the glaze is still wet.

I waited until it dried, then replaced the little mini door knob and stepped back to admire my mini makeover.

It’s just a small thing that took very little time and effort, and it’s hidden 99 percent of the time, but it makes me happy.

Have you tackled any “hidden” projects lately that make you happy? Let me see. Please.

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I’ve been a very bad blogger. I was starting to feel a little momentum with the blog and motivation to post semi-regularly, and then… I dropped the ball. I don’t have a good excuse, other than that I definitely get spurts of motivation separated by periods of slackerdom. And if I were to try to make excuses, I’d say that I’ve been busy with planning, not one, but two wedding receptions to celebrate my recent nuptials (which were in Mexico) with friends and family who weren’t able to make it to the actual wedding. One reception was in Ohio (where most of my family lives), and one was right here in St. Louis (where Chad’s family lives). But that’s not a good excuse anyway because, if anything, it gave me more projects to potentially blog about — which I intended to do. I wasn’t so diligent about photographing everything, so I’ll have to skip some of the projects, but I’ll show you what I can. Better late than never, right? (Sometimes, I feel like that should be my life slogan.)

Anyway, today I’m going to show you how I made the favors for the first wedding reception (in Ohio). Since most of the people who would be attending the reception weren’t able to attend the actual wedding, I thought they might like a photo from our wedding, but I wanted to do something a little more creative than just sticking it in a frame. So I used a method that I’ve used in the past to make coasters for our coffee table and art for our walls. It started with all this:

In case you can’t tell, that’s a box of white 4 inch X 4 inch ceramic tiles that I got from Lowe’s for about 12 bucks (for 80 tiles), some claw-style picture hangers, Mod Podge and a small paint brush that I had on hand, a bunch of prints of one of my favorite wedding pictures (that I got for 13 cents per print from Costco), and my paper-cutter that I used to trim the photos down to 4X4. Not pictured is a tube of clear kitchen and bath silicone that I used to attach the picture hangers to the back of the tiles.

The photos were 4X6, but I needed them to be 4X4, so I trimmed one side with my paper-cutter, then the other side, until they were all the appropriate size.

Then I laid out 50 tiles on my coffee table, with newsprint underneath the tiles to protect the surface of the table.

And I started painting Mod Podge on the tiles, then placing the photos in the center of each tile, making sure to press any air bubbles out from under the photo.

I worked down each column of tiles, painting Mod Podge on three or 5 tiles at a time, then going back and placing the photos before the Mod Podge could start to dry.

As with any project, it probably would have been a snap to do a small group of these, like say 5 or 10. But 50 is another story. It certainly wasn’t hard, but it definitely started to get a little monotonous by time I got to the last few rows.

But finally, I placed the last photo, and I was finished. Sort of. I was finished with that step, at least.

That’s Kiko looking up at me (and my husband’s foot). Cute huh? (The dog, not the foot.)

By the time I finished gluing the 50th picture on the 50th tile, the first tile was dry and ready for the next step, which was to seal the photos by painting over them with Mod Podge. I did this step twice. First, I went over each tile horizontally. After they were dry, I went over each tile again, but this time my brush strokes were vertical. This technique gave the finished product a linen-like texture that I really liked.

If you’ve never worked with Mod Podge, you might not know that the milky white glue dries totally clear. You can see in the next picture that the first column of tiles is almost completely dry already, while the fourth column is freshly painted and still quite wet.

This next picture is to show the dried horizontal texture, before I put the second coat of Mod Podge on using vertical brush strokes. You can see that the Mod Podge is clear, but there is a bit of a textured sheen to it.

Here, I’ve painted the second coat of Mod Podge on, and you can see the linen-like texture. This is still wet, but it’s easier to see the texture in photos that way.

Once all the tiles were good and dry, it was time to attach the picture hangers to the back. I used this kitchen and bath silicone because it adheres to both ceramic and metal. Plus, I already had it on hand. I’m sure you could use E-6000 or some other kind of heavy-duty glue, but I was happy to use the silicone because it’s low odor/low VOC.

The grid on the back of the tiles made it easy to center the picture hanger without doing any measuring.

I just squirted a couple dots of silicone in the appropriate places…

And pressed the picture hanger onto it.

I should mention that instead of putting picture hangers on the back, you could just as easily stick a little felt or cork pad in each corner to make a set of coasters. And you can use scrapbook paper or old maps instead of photos (or whatever else you like). Although, I can tell you from personal experience, Mod Podge isn’t totally waterproof. The coasters I made about a year ago using this method are a little worse for wear due to condensation and coffee spills. I might try using diamond glaze or something like that instead of Mod Podge if you are going to make coasters. But for something that is going to hang on a wall, Mod Podge certainly does the trick.

But back to the wedding favors: I just waited for them to dry and wrapped them up in pretty bags that matched my color scheme for the receptions.

That’s it! I really should have taken some photos of the favors at the reception, but I was busy catching up with family that I hadn’t seen in far too long. But I think everyone liked them. It was a fun project, and a cheap and creative way to give everyone wedding pictures. I think it worked out to about 44 cents per favor (before the bags and tissue paper — and about 80 cents per favor including the wrap job). Not bad, huh?

How about you? Have you ever gone two whole months between blog posts? Or made wedding favors for yourself or a friend? Feel free to link to a post on your blog in the comments (or a picture on Flickr or elsewhere). I’d love to see all the other creative favors that I know are out there!

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