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DIY: Monogram Piggy Banks

21 Aug

I’m taking a break from my normal posting topics to share an awesome gift I made for a friend’s bridal shower.

This lovely (and lucky) lady mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago that she really loved pigs AND that she wanted to buy a piggy bank. I also know, through the countless of emails we send to each other daily, that saving money is important to her and her future hubby.

So, I set out to find a piggy bank and personalize it for the bride and groom. This gift cost me about $12 in total, and could be done cheaper if you already have the materials… which were:

– A printed monogram, letters, stencils, etc.
– Scissors (the smaller, the better)
– Small pieces of tape
– Pencil, preferably a darker tone. I used a darker drawing pencil
– Acrylic paint and a very thin brush (I used a size OO)
– Patience… lots of it.

First, purchase a ceramic piggy bank. I got mine at Target.  Wanting as much of a blank canvas as possible, I picked out a piggy bank that had a blank white side and then on the other, a cute little chalkboard. On the chalkboard, I wrote out: “Katie ❤ Larry” and then their wedding date. For the side you plan to do customization, clean and dry the surface with cool water to remove any dirt or manufacturing imperfection.

Now, as we all know, I am HORRIBLE at photoshop. These lack of skills apply to word art creation as well, so I cut this part short and used her AWESOME wedding invitation monograms for my stencil. That being said, if you are going to make your monogram to trace or stencil, I suggest picking something that is thick in lettering and is not interconnected. You can see that mine was pretty thin and connected by the & symbol and the lettering styles. I eventually cut the “&” in half and taped it back together when I was finished.

Place your cut out monogram or stencils on the pg and tape it down. From there, start tracing. Once I finished tracing, I colored the outside as thick as possible to make the lettering fatter and bigger.

My friend’s wedding is in an eggplant color, so I mixed my acrylic paint in a burnt red and bright blue till I got a dark purple hue. Looking back, I wish I had tested the paint on the bottom of the pig in one or two layers. Do not be afraid to do this as the paint can easily be removed with water and a bit of scrubbing.

When painting the monogram in, I started by tracing the outside with the thinnest brush edges and then worked my way from the inside. I did about 4 layers of paint till I was satisfied with the thickness and coloring.

If you make a mistake or colored outside your lines, all you have to do is wet the back end of your brush and gently scrape off the paint. I used this method to detail the monogram.

Here’s the finished project next to the invitation with the monogram I used :

Just for fun, I added three hearts- two at the top and one at the bottom. I attempted to add the wedding date in the paint, but it looked odd. I like the simplicity of the monogram on the white of the pig. I felt that adding too much embellishment or trying to match the stylized script would be silly to attempt.

Anyways, the monogram, with all the cutting of the invitation, took me about 3 hours to do. I’m super proud of the results and would love to do more of these in the future for other friends/family members.


Crap I Find On Etsy pt II

21 Jun

Last week, I mentioned that part of my day at work was spent finding artwork for the office. I spent about 14 hours scouring the interwebs and sites like ebay and etsy until I found this:
Basically, it matches our office perfectly as we already have one etsy artwork in this color scheme. It is also kind of nerdy, in a way- perfect for biotechnology departments. We are going to purchase three of these with dark brown or black frames and put them on our currently blank main wall across from our desks.

See! Great things can be found on etsy if you search 3 times a week for over 14 hours!

Back to the crap though, because, duh, that’s where the magic is. If you dont remember, I last assaulted you with baby leg warmers. Priceless and classy formal pageant wear for the teething set. I started off with accessories and am now moving on to my personal favorite, bags and purses (I am skipping art until I am not thankful for Etsy sellers/legit artists like the one above).

Now, I dont know about you, but when I go shopping for purses (less frequently then you think), I tend to channel my inner Rock of Love. This purse is called “Lightning Strikes,” which might explain the painful display of leather fringe dripping from all corners of this monstrosity. The neon blue and the white stars make it only appropriate if you are dressing up like a skanky Hannah Montana for Halloween, or again, that old lady from season 2 of Rock of Love (you know, the cowgirl). Shame on this creator. Even he/she/it/ugh notes that you “cant find this purse anywhere else, maybe Saturn.” It’s out of this world in such a bad way that I am not sure if the gassy, remote planet would even spit crap like this out of its many icey rings.

In case you really want to visit the rings of crazy tacky purse shopping.

Ok, now for a good purse. As you all may know, I have no sense of style but I’ve watched a ton of Clinton and Stacey antics on WNTW to know that short=small. Being short and Pooh like in build, I have learned that my body cant handle a large, Mary Kate hobo bag which is ok with me as man on corner chic never appealed to me. I do, however, adore anything in vintage style and color. When a bag is in the shade of a particular vespa I’ve been drooling over since Europe, I tend to fall in love with it instantly. I can picture myself in a white summer dress, holding on to a rugged Italian (I’ll make it Irish for B’s sake) as he races down side streets in a baby blue scooter. We stop for french onion soup and cupcakes (MY FANTASY!) at some local cafe and drive off into the sunset for our picnic by the lake/river/ocean…. ahhhhhh…

My birthday is only 8 days away…

Happy shopping, folks!

P.S. If anyone is curious as to where I got my fantasy from… just revert to what I watched before bed last night and mix it in with my variously outrageous food cravings: