Monday, January 27, 2014

Award Shelf Tutorial::Oxygen is Overrated

My fifth grade son started swimming competitively since we moved to Minnesota last November. Since then, he's earned quite a few ribbons and we need a place to show them off! He's had this one blank wall in his room forever because I haven't known just what to do with it. Now I know!
So here's how I built the ribbon holder and shelf. I had my husband bring home a few things from Home Depot:
  • 1x10x6 cut in half, then one of those pieces ripped down the middle. So now I have a 1x10x3
 and 2 1x5x3.
  • A few miscellaneous pieces of Simpson Strong Ties to add the "metal" to the shelf and serve as the shelf brackets
  • 1 small can of stain
  • 1 pkg of screw in hooks (mine came with 8 which worked out perfectly)
  • 1 pkg of screws
  • 1 pkg of saw tooth picture hangers

Once I stained my two boards and left them to dry, the hard part began. I CANNOT free hand anything. So I looked online for how to make a stencil. You might already know how to do this, or have stencils that you love. I did not. So...I found this website called and they create stencils for you to print off and cut out. You could actually do this with any printed font, but since it was my first time, I used their site. The only limitation to this site is that it prints everything to fit a standard piece of printing paper. So if you split up your words, it can be difficult to get them the same size from one sheet to the next.

The picture above shows one of my words cut out using a plastic sheet protector I had in one of my drawers.
Below it the printed out and traced around paper that RR gave me. I had to take the middle of the O and the E's and tape them onto the board to work them into the stencil.
And if you're wondering, no it wasn't hard, but yes it took a while and yes my hand cramped!

Here is the board once I placed my stencil and blotted my white paint onto the board. I didn't take any pics of the actual painting, sorry! You can see in the very first picture that the painting isn't perfect, but I think it looks great for making a stencil out of a sheet protector. Besides, in this house: We don't do perfect!

Next I lined up my little screw in hooks every 4 inches (that worked out nicely).
Then, I got a little ADD and a little excited about the "hardware" so, I abandoned the little hooks and started screwing in my strong ties. I just love the look these give to the shelf. Very industrial.

Next, I screwed in the little strong ties to use as my shelf brackets. They worked great and were easy to install. I attached the shelf to the board and then went back to my little hooks.
I used my exacto knife to put a little dot where each hook should go, then I just twisted them in. Very easy.

I put 2 picture hangers on the back and I'm about finished.

I recruited my husband for hanging the shelf because I hate doing it. Not really sure why, but I just like to watch him do it:).

And there it is. Every time I walk by Chase's room I see it from the door way and am very pleased with myself, HA!

Chase loves the shelf and is already pumped to get to his next meet and try to bring home some more ribbons!

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