Saturday, November 13, 2010

Project Completed!

Madi and I have been preparing for parenthood for the past few months.  The other thing we've been preparing for is our town home!  We are very excited and should everything go as planned with the loan (cross your fingers) we should be closing on it at the end of November.  We can't wait to have our own place again, but we are extremely grateful to my parents for letting us live with them for the past few months.  They've been patient with us as we have created messes, taken over the laundry room, and made a mess with my latest project: the Lula board.  As many of you may already know, Madi and I have chosen to name our little girl Lula, after my dad's mother.  I have been working on a project for her future room for about a month now, and I'm proud to say I am finally done with it.  We plan on hanging it on the wall in the nursery.

I first got the idea for the project from our friends Mike and Lindsey Martineau.  They have some projects in their home that they have done themselves.  We really liked their decorations and I came up with this idea for our own a little while back.  I started out by going to Home Depot and purchasing a laminated pine board that was 3/4" thick, 2' tall, and 4' wide.

Once I got the board, I had to find a way to transfer the name "Lula" from the font on a paper to full size on the board.  I ended up drawing a grid on the font and proportionately drawing that grid on the board.  Once I had the board with the grid on it, I had to do my best art imitation and draw the name onto the board.  I'm pretty proud of my work:)

Once the name was on the board, I was trying to figure out the best way to achieve the effect I wanted.  I was debating whether to rough up the background and leave the name standing out (which is what we chose) or to etch out the lettering and leave the background intact.  I used a dremel (rotary tool) with a high speed cutting attachment to achieve the look on the board.  This was a painstakingly long process.  I underestimated how long it would take to do this.  Doing the background wasn't too bad, but it took time.  The hardest part was getting precise cuts right up to the edge of the lettering.  After doing the big uppercase L, I figured out how best to use the dremel and the rest of it started to go faster (just not as fast as I would have liked).

After about 20 hours of using the dremel tool, it was finally done.  We love the way it turned out!  At this step, my dad (the Bob Vila of Fruit Heights) began to offer the suggestion of whether we leave it in a rectangular shape or do something with the corners.  Madi really wanted to do the corners like our kitchen table.  I wasn't sold on it at first, but now that it's done, I really like it.  I designed the corner shape in Adobe Illustrator on the computer, then printed it out and traced it onto the back of the board.  Once the design was traced on, I let my dad take the jigsaw to it and cut it out.  Here's how it turned out!

Once it was cut, we sanded the corners and I primed the board.  After letting it dry, I put on the first coat of white paint.  I added a second coat the next morning.

Once the white paint was dried up, I used a small foam brush with the gray paint to get right up to the edges of the lettering.  This step took about two hours to paint all the lettering.  I added a second coat to the lettering the next morning as well.

After the paint was all done, I used polycrilic to coat the whole project with a protective layer.  This is the finished product!