A year after buying all the dorm essentials and non-essentials (see blog dated 07/07/11), we are buying new stuff because the dorm stuff, some of it, is obsolete. The reason for this is because my daughter has ditched dorm life for a deluxe apartment in the sky. Okay, so maybe deluxe is stretching it a bit, but it IS brand new. And the sky part is really only the third floor, but she's excited to be out of Chitwood Hall and living with three of her Zeta sistahs.
In an effort to save some money on wall art, and indulge my artistic side, I found a DIY wall decor project on Pinterest and decided to give it a whirl. It's just squares of Styrofoam covered with scrapbook paper.
Here's what you need: Styrofoam squares, scrapbook paper, pushpin, cutting board, X-acto knife, emery board or nail file, Mod Podge (I used the clear finish, but you can also get a matte finish), sponge brush, and a straight edge (like a ruler). Optional: coordinating ribbon trim.
(L) Instead of purchasing individual 12 X 12 squares of Styrofoam, I bought two 12 X 36 sheets. The Styrofoam sheets were $4.49 each at Hobby Lobby. As I recall, the individual squares were priced at $3.99 each (they were thicker). By cutting the longer sheets into six 12 X 12 sections, I saved $15.00. The scrapbook paper was 59 cents each. I bought six in coordinating colors/patterns for $3.54. Throw in the Mod Podge and I spent a grand total of $17.51 before tax.
(M) Position three of your papers on a Styrofoam sheet. I discovered that the measurements were off; the end papers hung over the Styrofoam just a smidge, but no biggie. Anyway, place your papers on the Styrofoam so you'll know exactly where to cut your sheet.
(R) Using the pushpin, score the Styrofoam along one edge. You'll want to leave a deep enough indentation so you won't have trouble seeing it when cutting your sheet. Thankfully, I had just had a manicure, so my nails looked better than usual for these pictures. Kudos to my daughter for taking the photos.
(L) Make sure you have a brand new blade in your X-acto knife; this will lessen the drag as you cut. Place your Styrofoam on a cutting board, and carefully cut the sheet along the score.
(M) Sand down the cut edges with the fine side of an emery board or nail file. Because my Styrofoam was thin, I found it easier to sand two sheets together.
(R) Before using the Mod Podge, brush away all the loose bits from the surface of your 12 X 12 square. Brush a thin layer of the Mod Podge on one side of the square. Brush it on as smoothly as possible. Don't leave ripples and ribbons, like you see in the picture above.
(L) Position the paper on the square.
(M) Using your straight edge like a squeegee, smooth the paper down working from the middle to the sides.
(R) Turn the square over and press down for a few seconds to get the paper to stick. Turn upright and glue down any sides or corners that don't seem to want to play by the rules. After this step, I placed the glued square face down with a heavy book on top to hold everything in place for a while.
(L) After the glue has thoroughly dried, trim any excess paper using your X-acto knife.
(M) Brush on a thin, even layer of Mod Podge and set your squares aside to dry. This will act as a sealant and leave a glossy finish. You can also brush the cut edges with the Mod Podge to keep the Styrofoam from "shedding".
(R) Here are all six after the first coat. Allow this coat to dry thoroughly, and then brush on a second, and final, layer. For a little extra oomph, you can glue ribbon trim around the edges. Hold the ribbon in place with some straight pins until the glue dries.
Here's the inspiration from styrofoamcrafts.com. After my daughter gets moved in and settled, I will take a picture of the completed project and post it here.
The original square peg,
grew a beard after our kids left the house. He decided a mid-life hirsute pursuit was cheaper than a new car, and certainly less hazardous to his health than an affair. If he can have a mid-life crisis, then so can I.