A few months ago when I first started blogging I came across a post at one of my favorite blogs BIENVENUE. Susie posted a how to on a Pottery Barn look alike of Vintage Typewriter Keys. I loved it when I saw it and she showed us all how she make it. She has an ETSY Shop site where she sells a lot of the great pieces that she makes and you can see her things by clicking on BIENVENUE and visiting her site. So the other day I was flipping through the Pottery Barn Catalog and there on page 103 was the piece that Susie had shown us how to make. I wanted to make one for myself especially since the Pottery Barn’s price tag was $349.00!!!
With my 40% off coupon from Michael’s I purchased a 20 x 20 blank canvas. Your canvas needs to be a square but you can do make yours larger or smaller but a square with equal sides makes your job a lot easier. Paint your canvas front and sides with a neutral background color. You will be staining it later for that older vintage look. I used some leftover wall paint but craft paint is fine too. This would be a good time to paint your sides with black paint. It makes your finished piece look “framed”. I didn’t do this step until later but when I make another one of these I think this would be a better time to do it. When that dries, you will need a pencil and a long ruler or a yard stick.
Since my canvas was 20 x 20, I measured off on all 4 sides at 10 inches and make a tick with my pencil. Then I drew a dividing line between the top and bottom down the exact center and did the same on the side. Your goal is to dived your canvas evenly into 36 cubes. There are 6 keys that run horizontally and 6 vertically for a total of 36. Use your pencil to mark this. Then I took a drinking glass that had a round base that would fit into each of my squares and I traced around it. After you have 36 circles outlined you are ready to paint.
Using black acrylic craft paint I painted 36 circles. Using a slanted brush makes painting the curves much easier and neater.
After your black circles dry the fun part starts! Take your alphabet stencil and with a cream colored craft paint stencil the letters and numbers on to your black circles. If some of your white paint smears anywhere on your black keys you can just touch up all those marks with black paint when you are finished. I did not include the punctuation marks over the number keys in this piece because I didn’t think I had enough room but plan to next time. If you include the punctuation, you might want to stencil on your numbers a little bit lower in the key so that you have room to add the punctuation marks above the numbers.
The next step was also a lot of fun. You will need another drinking glass with a smaller diameter so that you can “frame” you keys. I used a juice glass for this step. Dip the round edge of the juice glass in craft paint. You do not want it to be drippy. Carefully lower the the paint inside your key but not completely on all four sides….you want it to only “catch” in bits or on one side only to give it the right look. Look at my photo. See how this step is not “perfect” or “uniform”.
When your outlining paint has dried you are ready to stain it to give it that Vintage look. (If you do not want your pencil lines to show in your final piece, now is a good time to erase them. I did not and you can see the lines in my final piece. But I like it that way, it is faint and adds to the background I think.) Any leftover stain would be fine. I used a bottle of craft liquid stain and the color of it was “fruitwood”. Using a mini foam craft brush I gave the piece a coat of the stain working it in. It definitely need a second coat and after that it was perfect!
And here she is!!!! Adding the stain really brings it to life!
I am going to hang it in our office. Below is a photo of it on my dining room wall. The burgundy walls looked best for the photograph but it will be hanging in our more neutral colored office. This project was so fun! Thanks to Susie at Bienvenu and Pottery Barn for the inspiration!!
Stop by and visit Tales From Bloggeritaville for "Thrifty Thursday" and The Shabby Chic Cottage for "Transformation Thursday" to which I am linking this $$$ saving Pottery Barn Look Alike Art Project. :)
Thank You to Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage for the DIY DIVA of the Week Award for this project!!!!