Hi, it's David from Cheltenham Road.
I've been wracking my brain to come up with a Father's Day gift. Of course, being me, I've left it to the last minute (it's how I roll) but I think I've got a fun, unique, easy and very affordable wall decor idea dads will love.
My dad has enough books to fill a library, doesn't wear ties anymore and probably isn't in need of any more drink coasters (although some dads whose sons don't make coasters might so please check out my Etsy shop if you're so inclined) – but wall decor might be fun, and he loves baseball and baseball history. And since I love anything vintage and graphic, this could work out great!
This project came together crazy quickly so it's great if (like me) you're a bit stuck for a Father's Day gift idea. Here's what I used:
- A blown up print of an old baseball ticket (more on that in a sec)
- Medium density fiberboard lumber cut to size: 36″ x 10.5″
- Matte Mod Podge
- Hard Coat Mod Podge
- White Latex Paint
- Sandpaper or sander
- Foam Brush(s)
- Paint roller
- Large plastic tub
- D Hook Hangers
I'm going to explain what I did and then at the end I want to discuss alternate ideas and techniques.
I saved the resized graphic as a PDF (to guarantee that it prints out at the correct size), transferred it to a thumb drive, and took it to Staples.
At Staples I asked for an “Engineering Print.” Engineering prints are affordable, over-sized print outs that are great for graphics. My three foot long print out cost: $6, and they did it while I waited.
I chose to use Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) for my backer because it is inexpensive and has a super-smooth surface that makes it easy to work with when decoupaging – no splinters or unevenness.
I gave the board a light coat of white paint and, when dry, a light sanding to smooth out bumps or drips and give just a bit of distress to the edges.
After brushing the Matte Mod Podge onto the wood . . .
. . . I let the paper soak in some water for just a few seconds.
Soaking the paper allows the fibers of the paper to relax a bit which makes it easier to smooth out onto the wood with fewer wrinkles. Since this project was so large I used a plastic bin that I have but I've done similar stuff using the kitchen sink or bathtub.
Handling the paper carefully – it's a bit fragile at this point – I laid it on the board and used the paint roller to gently smooth out air bubbles and squeeze out any excess Mod Podge.
Once it was dry I sanded away the edges for a slightly worn look and sealed the whole thing with two coats of Hard Coat Mod Podge just for durability.
After adding the hanging parts I was done!
The whole project (excluding drying time for the paint and Mod Podge) took about an hour.
No one will know you only spent a few dollars on this wall decor because . . . it looks like . . . A Big Ticket Item!!!!!!! (sorry, couldn't resist . . . should have but couldn't)
I used a vintage ticket but you could use anything. A ticket from a favorite contemporary game or concert maybe? You could also make a collage of tickets or children's art, black and white pictures – the sky is the limit.
I used Photoshop to enlarge my scanned ticket but but you can bring your item to any print shop and have them scan it at a high resolution and then blow it up and print it out for you.
If you wanted to do a collage but weren't keen on doing it on a computer, just take a sheet of legal sized (or larger) paper, lay out your collage in a pattern that appeals then scan it (to hold everything in place an avoid damaging the originals just use a temporary glue dots found at most craft stores in the scrap-booking section).
I like working with MDF but any fairly smooth lumber will work just fine. And if you don't have access to saws, most lumberyards will happily cut the board to your dimensions.
I hope this helps out with any last-minuters like myself. If you have any questions fire away – I will monitor the comments section.