Family Celebrations Board Tutorial
Almost everything I make ends up on my walls. My house is literally a B Happy Crafts viewing experience. My friend Kate even said to me once, "I love shopping at your house!" That's what happened with my Family Celebrations Board a month ago. Our friend Jeremy was at our house and saw my family's board hanging on the wall and asked me to make one for his family. What follows is a tutorial for how I make my family celebrations boards along with some tips I've learned along the way. It's a pretty long process fraught with danger and occasionally despair so be warned that it's not a fast and simple craft. ;)
1x6 pine wood board - (cut at 21" long) (or buy a wooden sign at a craft store and skip steps 1-3)
vinyl - I use white Oracal 651
4 colors acrylic paint (one is red and the others are your choice)
12 mm round jump rings (Got mine on amazon. Tip: the 12 mm ones at Joann are more like keyrings in that they wrap around - don't buy those!)
1 1/2" dowel (or buy 1 1/2" x 1/4" wooden round discs from etsy or amazon)
1 1/2" x 1/4" depth wooden hearts (I've bought them on etsy and amazon in the past)(Tip: the hearts and round discs must not be thicker than 1/4" or the jump rings won't fit through them. I made that mistake.)
hanging hardware of your choice
Cricut or Silhouette (sticky mat, weeding and burnishing tools and transfer tape)
Router & router bit
Drill press & bit
Hand-held drill & bit
Needle nose pliers
1) Cut your 1x6 at 21" long.
2) Cut your 1 1/2" dowel into 1/4" thick discs. (Tip: cutting the discs yourself is cheaper than buying them ready made.)
3) Route the edges of your 21" long board. (Tip: You can skip this step if you don't want a decorative edge cut on your board, don't have a router or bought a ready-made sign at the craft store.)
4) Sand all sides of your board and discs.
5) Paint background color on front of sign. Let dry completely (overnight is good). And...
6) While you're painting the background, use the same paint and paint on one side of 1/3 of the discs and let dry. The discs will be painted on all sides. Your second round of paint goes around the edges. Let dry. Your third round is on the other side. Let dry.
7) Paint the hearts red the same way you painted the discs: with three rounds of painting. Paint 1/3 of the discs a second accent color and the final 1/3 of the discs in your third accent color in the same way.
8) Make your stencil design on the Cricut or Silhouette. (I use a Cricut so I'm only familiar with its process. I won't get into how to use a Cricut here, but I can give lessons if you need them or sell you cut vinyl stencils.) Design the layout and cut out in vinyl. "FAMILY" with the month abbreviations is printed on one piece of vinyl and "celebrations" on a separate layer. This is because you will paint them separately (one on top of the other) in different paint colors.
9) Here's the tricky part where things can go way wrong: Weed your stencils and apply the "FAMILY" with month abbreviations vinyl on your board with transfer tape. Paint the stencil (Tip: use dabbing motions not long strokes to avoid bleeding through) and let dry for about an hour. Carefully remove the vinyl stencil. Let dry totally and completely. Apply the "celebrations" vinyl stencil centered on top of FAMILY and paint. Let dry for about an hour and carefully remove the vinyl. Let dry completely. Phew. Glad that's over.
10) Drill holes in the tops and bottoms of your discs and hearts. (Tip: paint first then drill holes. This way you won't get a paint clogged hole you have to dig out. Personal experience talking.) I drilled only a top hole in some of my discs and hearts for the discs that end a month's column. More on that later.
11) Mark on the bottom edge of your board where you will drill a small starter hole to insert the eye screws. (Tip: I center my hole under the middle letter of the month.) Drill your starter holes about 1/8" into the board. Use your hand and screw the eye screws in. Easy peasy.
12) Make a list or table of your family's birthdays and wedding anniversaries. This will guide you in laying out your dics and hearts in the proper order.
13) Starting with January, lay out your discs and hearts in the color order you want and write the names(s) and date(s). No need to write month because the discs will hang below the correct month. Continue with all the months. The last disc in each month column can be a one hole disc (the top hole). (Tip: It's up to you whether to bother with this. If your family is still growing, I would put a top and bottom hole in every disc and heart.)
14) Attach the discs to the eye screws with a jump ring. Attach each disc and heart to the next one with a jump ring. Use pliers to squeeze the jump rings shut. (Tip: I like to wrap the jump ring ends so I'm sure they don't fall off.)
15) Attach the hanging hardware of your choice and you're done! Admire your good work.
As I said, it's not an easy or fast craft, but it's sure satisfying to see it hanging on your wall. Plus it's really handy in reminding you when your Aunt's birthday lands. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
All my best,