valentine's gift for hubbie :: music made into wall art

Before Callan came along (I know what you think I'm going to say, but...) Hawk and I couldn't have cared less about Valentine's Day. We used it as an excuse to go out another night, but I can't recall if we ever gave each other anything like a card, let alone chocolates or flowers or the like.

But then we became parents and for some reason I am getting into Valentine's Day. Perhaps it is because it's a chance to do something that focuses on each other. Last year, I made a flutter wall of reasons why I love Hawk. It was fun and productive and I was able to reuse them the past few months by tossing one into his lunch every now and then.

This year I thought I'd take advantage of his desire to see art on the walls (yay!), my cheap creative side, and our romantic sentiments. I found a tutorial for a DIY sheet music into artand figured I could pull it off, too.

Callan helping me with the scraps 2 Callan helping line up the sheets for copy 3 laying them out in proper order 4 making sure everything looks pretty even 5 coffee-painting the new sheet 6 the final product

I'm happy to say it worked! There are some differences between her tutorial and what I actually accomplished, which I've listed below, but overall it was a very easy project that a non-parent could complete in 2-3 hours (including travel) and a parent of small children could complete over 2 days.

Here's the tutorial from Scout & Nimble, and here are the alterations I made that worked:
  • I used a smaller frame which included the glass, matt, and enclosures because it was the most price-appropriate frame I found in Hawk's style between JoAnn's, Michael's, and Target. Mine, technically a 16x20", came from Target and was under $20. I would have made it more ornate and gold, but I wanted Hawk to actually like it since it was a gift for him.
  • She suggests using a wedding song or a romantic piece that is meaningful to you as a couple. Our wedding song, Wear My Name, written and performed live by one of our all-time favorite musicians, Mike Mangione, is not in sheet music form (I doubt even for the band to use). I could have chosen a piece from our wedding like Come Thou Font or Gounod's Ave Maria, but neither came in form a liked. So I chose to use Bach's Sonata #1 in G Minor, the piece Chris Thile plays most often when performing Bach at his shows. Check it out:

  • I found my sheet music for $2.99 and unlimited printings at Virtual Sheet Music
  • I used posterboard instead of a canvas for two reasons: cost, and canvas wouldn't have worked with a backed-frame.
  • I used coffee instead of tea. Only suggestion: make sure you don't "paint" evenly across the sheet. It looks more authentically aged if there are darker and lighter areas throughout.
Here are the alterations I made that DIDN'T work:
  • I used aluminum foil instead of newspaper or telephone book paper. This was NOT successful. It did dry and adhere well to the posterboard or the back of the sheet music. I ended up eliminating it in the next step.
  • I was a total pushover at Fedex Office, where I had my sheets resized once I'd cut and pasted them together. I really should have demanded that it be reduced, but she wasn't reducing it by much each time even though I spelled it out...ugh, so some of the music had to be folded under itself and doesn't totally fit in the frame. That and it cost $7.99, not $4 like the original tutorial suggested. Whatever. Still an efficient present.
  • I'd step back in brighter light to ensure that your coffee/tea painting job is as you want it.
All in all this was an extremely successful venture! Callan was able to help through much of it (or at least feel like he was involved), I was able to complete it with a 14-month-old touching everything, and it was manageable for my schedule. 

Hawk loved it. Or at least really liked it considering he's a guy. Do guys love anything but their women, kids, and those 1 or 2 things they're really passionate about?

If you do the project in your own home, come back and let us know how it goes and be sure to stop by Scout & Nimble and let her know how helpful her project is.

Happy hump day!


1 comment:

  1. for the longest time I thought you wrote you were making an art stand but your words actually just say "artand". wow. now that I know you didn't make a music stand for Hawk I love this idea! if only I were crafty :)


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