1.15.2013

Weekend Craftivity: Easy Ampersand Artwork



I'm not sure why, but I'm kind of obsessed with ampersands right now. It must be the typography nerd coming out in me or something. Isn't it a nice symbol though? I can't draw one freehand to save my life, but I can trace like nobody's business. That must be the perfectionist coming out in me.

So this past weekend, before diving into my office organization project, I decided to make a little ampersand artwork for my gallery wall above the sofa. Remember the dilemma I talked about with this wall? I think it's starting to come together. I've been making little adjustments here and there, and hopefully soon I'll have a more finished wall to show you. In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy doing a little ampersand artwork yourself. File this project in the "quick and easy" category. (I think it took me less than 30 minutes start to finish.)

Supplies Needed:
  • A large ampersand (font of your choice) printed out to fill an 8.5"x11" piece of paper
  • Craft knife
  • Cutting mat
  • 8"x10" Art canvas
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush (I used a small foam brush)
  • 8"x10" Frame (optional)

Place your printed-out ampersand on your cutting mat.


Use your craft knife to carefully trace along each edge of the ampersand.


Once you've traced the edges with your craft knife, pull out the black sections. You've now created a stencil! Congratulations. Place this on top of your canvas. Since the center pieces are no longer attached to the stencil, you'll have to place them back in their proper locations. I used some painter's tape (you can see it at the top of the photo below) to hold those center pieces down. You can also use some to hold down the rest of your stencil if you'd like.


Go ahead and grab your paint. I used acrylic craft paint that I already had, and a foam brush to fill in the stencil. The key here is to try and keep your paint from bleeding under the edge. I found the best technique to be to dab the foam brush up and down vertically so I wasn't sweeping any paint under the edges.


Once you're satisfied with the paint's coverage within the stencil and it dries for a few minutes (this may depend on the type of paint you used), pull up the stencil. You may need to do a little bit of touching up at this point, but try not to get too picky or you'll lose the crisp edge the stencil provided :).

I put mine in a frame (without glass) and hung it in our gallery wall. Here it is on its own. Pretty and simple.



And here it is with some of our other gallery wall items. The wall is a work in progress, like I said at the beginning, but I think it's coming along nicely.

And there you have a quick, homemade, and inexpensive project to add to an art collection!



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