It’s been a while since the last update. There are just so many little projects going on, but nothing worth sharing yet. Well, not anymore, got a few things done, and one of them I will be sharing today.
Since I am in the process of decorating our living room, I have been looking at a lot of living room decor. I’ve never really shopped at West Elm, except for a few special occasion gifts, but I have discovered that I love their site! Most of their products have been styled in 2 or 3 different ways so you can browse the photos and better imagine how a product might fit in your interior or how you may decorate it. Also, if people tag #westelm in their instagram accounts, it will link their photos to the product page so you can also see how the product looks in “real life”. Anyways, now I am just babbling. My point is that I was on the West Elm website and came across this clock.
Not sure why, but I really liked it. $100 seemed like a steep price to pay for the clock, but I almost bit the bullet and ordered it until I checked the dimensions and confirmed to myself- although it is beautiful, $100 is a lot for a 12″ x 12″ clock when you have so many other (more important) things on your shopping list (dining table and chairs, new front door, fridge, etc.). But I really really like it! What to do? Well, why don’t you just make it? So I started thinking (sometimes I do that). I considered buying tiles and sticking them to canvas but that seemed a bit complicated and on a pricier side. I also considered ordering sticky vinyl paper to stick it over the canvas, but that would make the pattern “too perfect”, where I like a more random pattern of the WestElm clock. Again, I have not even seen the clock in person, so my impression of it is strictly based on the online info. So I thought, ”Why don’t I just paint the canvas!” What a great idea! You’re so creative! Well… so I thought! Someone had already beat me to it. This blogger loved the clock too and had the same idea! I must admit, I was a bit disappointed to not be the first in the e-world to write about this, but having a veteran “West Elm Herringbone Clock DIYer” made me more comfortable to move forward with the project. So after work I headed to Michael’s, and the rest was history…
At Michael’s I picked up a 12″ x 12″ canvas (I went for a wider frame, slightly more expensive version at $20 it was the most expensive part of this project, but there were other 12″ x 12″ canvases for under $10, and if you have 50% off coupon, you should be set!). I got super lucky with a stencil, because they had a chevron stencil exactly 12″ x 12″ (I knew it was meant to be!) for $6; Easy-Tack to keep the stencil sticky to the canvas without damaging the material for $8 (a tip I learned from YHL in one of their stenciling tutorials, and it worked great on this project too!); I also picked up a new brush for $4, and some acrylic paint in black and white both for under $2. With a 20% coupon my total came out to $36. Not super cheap, but some of the materials I can use again (all except the canvas), and you really can go with cheaper canvas. Although, one thing you don’t see in this picture is the actual clock mechanism. I saw them at Michael’s for $8, but was hoping to find a cheap clock at the dollar store. After visiting the Dollar Tree and 99 cents only store (across the street from each other), I came out empty handed. I didn’t want to go back to Michael’s again and decided to put it off until tomorrow. Which I am glad I did, because at home Dmitry reminded me about this old dusty, cheap clock we had laying around. I quickly took that thing apart and extracted what I needed! Holding time in your hands, what a feeling!
After all the moving parts were figured out, I got to work. I spray painted one side of the stencil with Easy Tack and laid it over the canvas. Isn’t it great when things just fit? I think it is!
And then I got to painting. I mixed some white and some black (mostly white) acrylic paint on a paper plate and went on a zig zag stroll down the canvas. I noticed that to cover the canvas well I had to make several brush strokes over it, which would turn the paint color into a solid gray, which I did not want. I was going for that more “imperfect” look of the original inspiration so I dipped the paint in just black and went over some spots and in just white in other spots.
And tah-dah! Peeling off the stencil is probably the most exciting part because you get to see your (almost) final product. Hm.. Looks like the paint ran a little. But it’s OK; since the colors shift from lighter to darker it kind of fits the theme. The colors probably ran under the stencil a bit when I dipped the brush in water and brushed over some “harsh” spots to soften the look, but if you want a perfectly straight edge, I would use spray paint instead.
I was also too impatient to get the power drill out, so I pocked the hole for the clock mechanism with a knife, worked great for me :).
Not sure where I am going to put it yet, but it will probably go up on the wall at some point, maybe when we finish the office (next year?).
After struggling with a few other projects involving spray paint, paint stripper, and sanding, it feels good to have a quick and easy no-mess 30 minute project that feels oh-so-rewarding! The coolest part about using canvas is that you can draw, stamp, or stencil any image you like, creating a custom piece of art that is also functional in a matter of a few minutes! I say, you should give it a try!