Cheri at I Am Momma (I used her printable for the center piece)
The Petersiks at YHL (for showing me the technique)
The quote on the center piece reads: "whatever you can do or dream you can do, Begin It. boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." I love that quote and wanted to make something that would be both meaningful art and would also be a little inspiring. Tom is a pilot and a bike rider, so I decided to make the art piece a triptych rather than just framing the center piece.
The most difficult part of this project was choosing a background for the plane/bike pictures so that the color would match the background of Cheri's quote. I don't have photoshop or anything that fancy, so I used powerpoint to design the two side pieces. I played around in powerpoint until I had the right background color, and then found a sillhouette of a biplane and bicycle on google images and attached them to individual 'slides' in powerpoint. I then printed out each slide so that it would take up the entire 8.5 by 11 piece of paper, and cut off the white border.
Pretty low-tech way of making art, but it worked for me. Oh, and if you feel supremely inspired to do the same thing and want to match the background color, please email me. I have the RGB colors written down at work, and I can send them to you.
After I had my images, I went to Home Depot and had three pieces of plywood cut to 8.5 by 11 dimensions. I placed them on cardboard in the garage and painted them black with craft paint (about $2.50 at Hobby Lobby).
(There are six pieces here because I actually made a similar gift for my father. As it turns out, I didn't take pictures of Tom's gift in-the-making, and I didn't take a final picture of my father's gift. So this post is a hybrid of Tom's and my father's gift. Sorry!)
Before attaching the pictures to the wood, I rubbed a wet paper towel vigorously over each picture so that they would look a little more aged. I also rubbed a used tea bag all over each image to give them a more vintage look. Allow the paper to dry before attaching to the wood.
After the black paint on the wood was dry, I spread mod podge over the entire piece of wood, and then laid the piece of paper on top of the wood, placing it carefully and trying to make sure that the paper was as smooth as possible. I ended up having a lot of bumps, but it turned out fine in the end.
Next, spread a very generous amount of mod podge over the image, and allow to dry.
Attach picture hanging hooks on the back of each piece of wood and voila - instant art! We still haven't hung Tom's art yet, but the piece is leaning on some furniture at the foot of the bed and serves as early-morning inspiration when we first get up.... Ok, maybe it doesn't actually inspire us at 5am, but I bet it sends some sort of good vibes into our dreams while we're sleeping. Or something like that.
If you're curious as to what my father's piece looks like, the 'Home' piece goes in the center, and the map of Maine and the buck silhouette go on either side. I'll try to get him to take a picture and email it to me so that I can include it here.
Once again, thanks Cheri for giving away your printable art!