Monday, August 16, 2010

Typewriter Key Plaques | Ballard Designs Hack

 This is a stale post.  Don't you smell the stank?
For fresh ideas and the newest new new stuff 
why don't you head on over to the blog we actually update.

Love to see you there.
Carry on as you were.


In my last Ballard Designs catalog,
I about passed out when I saw the typewriter key plaques.
Or maybe I passed out when I saw how much they cost.
I mean I love font art like the other girl.
Love it enough to go through MONTHS of creativity
to create some of my own.

After staring at the picture for about 8 hours straight
I thought to myself
(yes, I speak to myself as well)
"self, you can make those."

And I did

I went to my fave Dollar Store in Burien
and bought some more wreaths
But this time
I bought smooth green ones
instead of the fuzzy white ones.

And of course you know I have plenty of black spray paint around.

Supposedly, I only paint things white or black.

On my way home from work, I stopped by Michaels
to see if they had any letters that were
and cheap

Preferably on clearance.

Clearance smooth foam letters

Basic supplies, Ballard hack Typewriter plaques
Photo (c) b3 home designs

50 cents each. 
And I ONLY had to dig for 10 minutes
to find letters that would actually spell something
Lucky me
I found P, H, T, O(x2)
Guess what that spells?

After trying to kill everyone in my home
by spray painting in the garage
with the garage outter door closed
but the door to my home open
I realized that I didn't like the dull look of the spray paint.
So I broke out the latex enamel.
Yes, said same enamel that gave me fits on another project
that yet remains to be unblogged for the love of all things

so the latex enamel
I got it at Big Lots
For $2
so when I run out
I will be really sad

Thank goodness in typical B fashion
I bought two cans

That's thinking ahead.

The latex enamel went on really well
because I had a black spray paint base
But even directly onto the letters
it worked well

latex enamel painting
photos (c) b3 home designs

Then I had to figure out what I would use as a backing
And because I'm a world renown scrapbooker
I know that kraft cardstock is in style
So I would never use my PAID for cardstock
And instead whipped out all the card and kraft packing materials
from my stash of "this would be awesome to scrap on"

Of course they were not big enough to outline the whole circle on
but they were big enough to cover the whole opening

Typewriter plaque backing
photo (c) b3 home designs

I would have LOST IT
if they had fallen short

Or they would have just gone on the pile of still unfinished projects.
That's more likely
Getting mad just takes up so much energy.

Traced the outside of the circles, onto the cardstock
Cut out the backings
Broke out the trusty glue gun
Burnt my fingers off gluing the foam circles
to the cardstock backing
Then affixed the letters to the centers

Affix letters to center of backing
Photo (c) b3 home designs

Then I broke out the nails
First I was going to pierce the nail through the front
on the cardstock
just under the foam ring

Then I had a duh moment and realized that
if I just poked a hole in the back of the foam circle
I could hang them flush on the wall
and not see the nails

Sheer. Genius.

Photo plaques hung
Photo (c) b3 home designs

Almost as genius as that Patty Murray political ad on my tv.
I mean come on,
you didn't think that was a dirty movie did you?
In the middle of the day??

On second thought, that ad is really dirty. 
and not in a good way
So I guess it is one in the same.

* the observant ones will note that I also picked up and painted an "s"
I am all about decorating in odds. 
The "s" would have been the 6th plaque.  So I ditched it. *

Ballard Designs wanted $250 plus shipping for a similar set up.
I made mine for

Foam wreaths | $5 for 5
Foam letters | $2.50 for 5
Spray paint | .99 for 1 can
latex enamel | $2 for 1 can
carstock backing | free - you have a ton of it too (backs of cereal boxes if necessary)

Have fun with it and show me which ones you make!
If you can only find x's, o's and q's
consider making some x and o plaques
or some "q" for question plaques to style a bookcase with
or some initial plaques if your name is like Quantae or something

man I miss that kid

Linking up to the other Hacks at CSI


  1. Hey Bernadette,
    How is it possible that I only now have found your blog? It is possibly one of my favorites ever! I plan on visiting often. Love, love, love the subway art! and the typewriter key wall hangings! and I cannot wait to explore further.

    Diane Dolan

  2. this is beyond brilliant.
    I think you should market this is "i can not only do things for less, but also better"

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Appreciated your comment. You have a great blog. Love the idea for the "type" wall hangings. That is a great idea. I am sure you can do the quatrefoil design it is really easy. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  4. Love this!! How chic are you! Great job, missy!! I'm happy to be your newest follower of your delightful blog! Be sure to come by FrouFrouDecor..I love having new friends! I also have a link party every Friday and would love to have you link up!
    ~Terrell @ FrouFrouDecor~

  5. Love what you did! I might have to try this myself. Will let you know if I do!

  6. You are so creative. You captured the look well!

  7. Those are great!! I love Ballard Designs but they are a bit pricey!! Good for you for recreating the letters! I really like yours better!!

  8. What a great blog! You did a great job and you made my laugh. I am your newest follower.
    Bonnie :)

  9. Your posts are cracking me up!

    I really love how these turned out! I have seen these done a few different ways, but I think this is a really creative and super cheap way to do it! You can NOT beat that price and they are so super cute!

    I am so glad you found me and are linking up to my link party! I am enjoying getting to "know" you through reading your blog!

    Thanks for linking up!

  10. Wonderfully clever and well done. You clever woman.

  11. Hi Bernadette. Love these! What a fantastic idea using wreaths - I would have never guessed. They look fabulous. I'll be featuring this today. Stop by and grab a featured button if you like. Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase party! Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  12. These are really great! I like yours better than the ones that inspired them :) Hope you have a wonderful day! Be sure to visit my blog for a great giveaway!

    ***Visit my blog for a GIVEAWAY and new linking party!***

  13. Wow, how clever- I really like the way you write.
    I think I'll stay a while and have a look around.

  14. very cool. also very entertaining!

  15. i featured this at my blog today! so awesome!

  16. OMGoodness, I am laughing my *A* off at work right now. You're going to get me in trouble. I love your personality. And you are so incredibly talented. When I grow up I hope to be just like you. Who knows if that will ever happen? My poor children...
    Anyhow, I will be checking your blog daily. Love your inspiration. Thanks for making my day :)

  17. I tried to paint them and it ate away the plastic!!! THe only place I could find a foam wreath like that was hobby lobby, 4.99!! Love the idea though

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