Friday, December 09, 2011

Budget Christmas Presents - Part Two

Here's another idea for a Christmas present you can make yourself for very little money.  Since The Young Lad doesn't read my blog, I can get away with posting these here....

This is an especially good present if you're a parent who has a kid who loves some brand name product like Pokemon or Mario games or even Justin Bieber, (if it's the latter, you have my profound sympathies), and you'd like to gently veer them away from plastering their walls with huge, retina-assaulting promo posters.  These are very easy to make, like, they literally only take an hour or two, and you get a nifty, unique result.

Michael's and other craft stores carry all different shapes and sizes of blank wooden plaques that cost only a dollar or two.  (The bigger-sized ones can be a little more expensive, but I've never seen one for more than 3 dollars.) Decorate it up and voila!  Instant fan art that's a lot classier than a life-sized color explosion of the Kidz Bop kids gouging your eyes out every time you walk into the room.

What you do is, see, is you:

Buy a blank wooden plaque.  (Michael's, JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby)

Paint it either with paints or with Sharpie permanent markers.  Regular readers know I'm a big fan of the Sharpies.  Easy, fast, FAR less messy, and the metallic versions, especially the silver, come in extremely handy for projects like this.

Go to Google Images and find a picture of whatever it is your kid (or other person on your Christmas list) is currently in love with.  Save it to your computer.  Make sure it's a decent size.  You can always pare things down, but if it's a very small picture, trying to print it out bigger than its original size can pixelate the crap out of it.

If you have Photoshop or any other photo manipulation software, it would really help to go in and cut the picture into a circle or square or whatever shape the plaque is digitally, before you print.  If you can't do that, find a glass or bowl that can sit over the front of the plaque without going over the edges, and then use that to trace the shape onto your printed-out picture.

Cut the picture out.  Glue it onto the plaque.

To make it hangable, you could either get a sawtooth hanger to nail to the back, or an eyelet screw to screw into the top, as per the examples above.  I'd actually recommend the sawtooth hanger over the eyelet, because it'll make it easier to hang on the wall.  I used eyelet screws because I've run out of sawtooth hangers.

And there you go!  You don't have to just paint them, either.  You can glue trim onto them, or screw eyelets into the bottom and hang stuff from them....endless possibilities!


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