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A quick thank-you to those of you who commented (or just sent good vibes) on last week’s post: thank you from the bottom of my heart. I didn’t get a chance to look at them until this morning, so reading them all on a day where I had more peace of mind was certainly nice to see. Today’s sponsored art project seems appropriately well-timed in context, so let’s get on with it!
****This giveaway is now closed.****
I’m excited to share some cheerful, decidedly flawed art with you today:
Has anyone ever handed you something and asked you to make something from it? I remember it happening a lot more as a kid, especially in art class or when hanging out with my grandfather, but not so much as an adult. It was one of my favorite things to do—just to see what you can create out of a spontaneous material and nothing but your creativity.
I suppose that’s why, when Brother asked me to create art for my office using their P-Touch PT-D200 Label Maker for April’s little monthly DIY project, I was both a little perplexed (from not having done this kind of exercise often enough) and excited for the challenge. After all, I could think of plenty of ways to label things with a label maker, but art? How fancy can that possibly get?
Turns out, Brother made a gold foil label maker tape. Which is right up my alley, considering that I’ve tried gilding just about everything else in my office (like the painted gold light fixture on my DIY desk or my gold leaf map art). But what to create?
As you know from last month’s attempt at creating a watercolor border for a quote, I have been struggling to find words to pair with these watercolor backgrounds. What I didn’t tell you though was that my problem was really that I had the right quote, but the watercolor border I’d made just didn’t feel right once I started printing out the words on my P-Touch. I still had the pretty watercolor border created, and didn’t want to toss it, so I put it aside until the words came to me (which still haven’t quite happened yet, but I think this weekend opened up my search a bit).
Anyway – I created several possible watercolor backgrounds to use, and a pink and orange one seemed just right for this tutorial. Step one is kind of obvious:
1. Create the background
For those of you that missed last month’s quick DIY tutorial (if you can really call it that), the key to getting light colors all mottled together like this is to wet the paper down enough to allow the watercolor paint to just sort of take on a life of its own and swirl around as you move the brush. I randomly dabbed into pink, orange, purple, and even red (similar to last month’s watercolor border DIY, but less saturated) to get the color variation I was going for.
2. Choose Your Quote + Load the Label Maker
I started experimenting with fonts for the quote while I let the paper dry. The P-Touch label maker has several to choose from, which are then given additional options from there (bold, italics, outline, sizes, combinations of these, symbols, etc). Brother also sent me several color options to choose from (green, pink, gold and silver foil are among the snazziest), but ultimately, I decided on gold. Having never used a label maker before, I found the whole cartridge loading thing to be really straightforward—just pop in the batteries, pop in the cartridge color of your choosing, and go.
As each option printed (trying to conserve tape, I printed just one line of the quote at a time), I compared the effects and made my final selection before printing out the rest of the quote. As you can see in the pic below, I tried out a few combinations, including the watercolor background I didn’t wind up ultimately choosing for this project.
3. Apply Labels to the Background
The beauty in this piece is that the quote is specifically about flaws (Augusten Burroughs, the author of this quote, is a wonderful writer, FYI), so I didn’t want the lines of each part of the quote to be perfect. In fact, since the labels come with a backing on them, it was easy to lay out each line and tszuj them into place to see exactly how they should all go down. I also debated whether to clip the extra ends off of either side of the quote (you can see two variations at the bottom), but ultimately wanted the extra gold on the ends.
4. Frame & Display
Done! I find that adding some greenery next to artwork keeps things interesting (and for those wondering, I bought these plants at Walmart on a whim for $2, and they’re still going strong).
5. Photograph the Art in Your Office
Just kidding. I needed to, but you don’t. This artwork is only 4 steps long, which means you can easily crate it in an afternoon. (And FYI: it looks shinier in person, but gold tape is somewhat difficult to photograph while making sure the words are still legible, but it looks less brown and has more of a gold sheen in person).
All in all, I really enjoyed making this piece. It’s very simple (like most of the art I like), but the point of these little DIY projects each month has been to just keep the creative juices flowing, and I think they’ve done that (you can see January’s here and March’s here… February was a short month and got lost in the shuffle, but I did have a project for that month too; I just need to frame it!). I found that once I started trying to think of something, I created another project. And then another. And I kept going until I had a slew of new things created from my label maker (#craftnado). Brother has also asked several other bloggers to make a few creative projects, so we’ve all been posting the things we create on Pinterest. You can see the ones I thought were pin-worthy (and you long-term readers will spy a very necessary label in the bunch!) by checking out my Trends: Label It board here:
And now, of course, a giveaway! If you’ve been here before, you know the drill:
What you win: Brother P-Touch PT-D200 Label Maker and 3 cartridges (1 each of Berry pink tape, Lime green tape, and black-on-white tape) Number of winners: 1 Contest ends: Friday, May 9th at 11:59 EST Eligibility: Canada and U.S. residents only How to enter: I’m using Rafflecopter to run this giveaway (just because it makes things a lot easier to pick a winner), but since you know how I like to have a little fun with giveaway comments, I’d like to know: What’s the first thing you’d label in your home? (Your mail sorter? Your pantry? The cat? It’s easy to get carried away!)
Disclaimer: H/T to Brother and Loop88 for their partnership in this campaign. Although this is a sponsored post, all words and opinions are, for better or worse, 100% my own.