These instructions are in 2 halves, 1 half for those with 7 gypsies letterblock tray and 1 half for those with faux letterblock trays.
I have drooled over a 7 gypsies printers or letterblock trays for many a year. But with a new addition to the family funds don’t stretch to luxuries like this. As I am never happier than when I am sat in my craft room with the radio playing in the background and my hot glue gun constantly on, I decided to construct my own.
I had an old torn and bashed up canvas. I removed the canvas which just left the frame. I gave it a quick sand before adding a piece of mount board to the back of the frame.
Next I measured the depth of the canvas and cut lots of strips of mount board to the same depth. Cut lots as you will need them later. I carefully hot glued strips of mount board around the four inside edges of the frame.
Once dry, I painted the whole thing in black.
I knew this was going to be a piece of wall art for my craft room so the Lille collection would match the reds and yellows of my room perfectly. I laid the collection out and identified my favourite bits from the collage style paper. I carefully cut them out and began arranging them on the canvas.
Once I was happy with the arrangement, I took a photo as I knew I would never remember how they went back together. I took each cut out piece and inked the edges with distress inks. I chose brushed corduroy and weathered wood to match the blues and browns of the papers.
This is the tricky bit; you have to do lots of measuring at this stage. I carefully measured the bits of paper and marked their measurements directly onto the canvas with a pencil. I carefully measured the mount board strips to match the pencil lines forming a grid type pattern. Check the boards fit. They have to be tight. If too big they will bend, if too small they will fall out. Keep going until you have the whole grid made. Paint the whole thing.
Once the paint was dry, I double check the paper pieces fitted into the grid ok. You may have to trim and re-ink slightly.
And that is the tray constructed. Its time to decorate
This is the 2 half, where those with real 7 gypsies trays come in. Do as above, select, cut and ink your chosen paper pieces. As you can see below, just adding the paper pieces gives a very flat appearance to the tray and I wanted mine to be more depth.
To start I selected a few of the smaller pieces and added them to card stock, just to make them firmer. I glued them into their correct places with the glue gun.
Next I construct little box lid type things. I picked another few paper pieces and stuck them to card stock, leaving about a 1/2cm edge around each one. I scored lines directly around the image before cutting off the corner squares.
I bent back the score lines to form a box lid. The unsecured sides expand out to fill the space. No need to glue as it’s a nice secure fit. I repeated with the remaining paper pieces but this time I left 1cm edges (or however deep your canvas is). The resulting “lids” are flush with the face of the frame.
Next its time to embellish. I took random stickers from various 7 Gypsies sticker sheets, and added them to the squares.
I cut out butterflies from the conservatory collection and decoupage them before randomly gluing them on. I added some metal findings and a sneaky Tim Holtz clock, and some buttons. I added more bingo squares with foam pads and a large flower cluster, again with foam pads. And finally to finish, as this project was created for the wonderful art from the heart birthday celebration, I had to add the lovely red heart that adorns your little packages of stash.
I just love how my project looks hanging on the wall.
I hope you have enjoyed my 7 Gypsies themed project as much as i have making it.
Before you move on - you will need to collect a letter from me, which is L. This is part of an anagram of a 7 Gypsies product.
So after leaving me a comment please you need to return back to Dyan. Once you get back to Dys blog please email your answer to Ben by 6pm Sunday 11th September.