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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Return of the Stencil

You didn't think I went through all that trouble to make my DIY stencil just to do one project, did you? Heck no. Those things are reusable for a reason! So here was my next project: a wall-mounted coat rack for the hallway.

We needed someplace other than our bed to put guests' purses and coats (as well as our own when feeling lazy) and our little hallway has been woefully bare since...The Zoo Incident.

Let me back up to October 2015. The scene? Our wedding reception. We had a wide-matted picture frame and some metallic Sharpies on a side table for guests to sign their well wishes. It was an idea I'd poached from a friend and the end result was both beautiful and meaningful. We planned to put our favorite photo from the wedding in it and hang it in the hallway.

David's father reads the well-wishes left by friends and family.
Zoo, bringer of destruction
Fast forward to November, when we agreed to foster this little guy who had showed up in our yard one day. We named him Zoo. At roughly 3 months old, he needed to be potty-trained and we watched him like a hawk. Or so I thought. Turns out he had been sneaking off to pee under our guest bed. Which is where I had stored our wedding frame until we could choose and print our favorite photo. Needless to say the wedding frame was ruined and since that time I haven't had the heart to think about framing wedding pictures. As such, our hallway has remained naked.

In a house of roughly 900 square feet, however, no space can go un-utilized for long. We needed a coat rack and the hallway was the obvious place to put it. I thought about buying one, but making one sounded way more fun.

We had some spare bits of wood left over from building the addition to my garden. David makes fun of me for hanging on to wood scraps but it's a trait I inherited from my father and I really enjoy coming up with creative ways to use them. I chose one of these scraps, sanded it smooth, and stained it with a blend of mahogany and ebony stains to bring out the grain. I then applied my stencil using the same terra cotta and ochre paints I'd used on the armoire. When it dried I applied a low gloss urethane which deepened the stencil colors and gave the paint a slight translucence.

When I was choosing the knobs for the armoire I had ordered four different styles to see what I liked best. I picked one style for the armoire but this left me with three other knobs of different shapes but in the same coppery-bronze color. Never one to let something go to waste, I used these for the pegs on my coat rack. Ta da!! Not a bad afternoon's work, I'd say.

The hallway clearly still needs work, but at least it's a start! To me unique, handmade pieces like this are what give a home real heart. Sure, I would have preferred to showcase a wedding photo surrounded by messages of love and well-wishes from our most beloved friends and family, but on the upside we had the satisfaction of finding a loving forever home for a puppy in need. Plus, I got to prove to David (once again) the value of my scrap wood collection. If you can't hang the thing you love, at least love the thing you hang.

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