Patriotic Mantel Decor

I love the summer.  Sun, swimming, no schedule, but what I love most is celebrating the Fourth of July.  It has to be one of our family’s favorite holidays.  Although, you wouldn’t know it by our sad state of Fourth of July decorations.  This year, a trip to The Wood Connection solved my problems, and it can help you too- that is, if you’re like me and need to add some cute decorations to your Fourth of July display.

 
 

Hi!  I’m Amy from Ameroonie Designs here again to share with you some fun ideas using the fabulous projects available from The Wood Connection.

 

The pieces I used in my display from The Wood Connection are:

 
 

The Pledge of Allegiance plaque

 
 

the map and 4th of July blocks

 
 

and the wood cutout map on a plaque

 

 

Most of these projects are pretty straight forward, and there are already fantastic tutorials on this blog for applying paper to wood, and using vinyl as a stencil.  However, I have a couple of tips for these specific projects you might find handy.

 
 

First, on this Pledge board, you will notice that the words are in two different colors, red and white.  This requires a bit of planning and a couple of extra steps, but it’s pretty simple once you think it through.

 
 

The first thing you need to decide is what words you want red and which ones you want blue.  I wanted to highlight certain words and make them red, the rest of the words would be blue.  I took a pair of scissors and cut between the sections that would be red and blue.  Then, I painted the board my first color.  In this case I painted it red first because it’s easier to cover a lighter color with a darker color.

 
 

The next step is to apply the words you want to be red.  Make sure they are straight and centered.  This is one of the hardest steps in the whole process.

 
 

Then you will paint the front of the board blue.  I left the edges red because I planned to distress the sign and I wanted it to have a red accent on the edges.  Make sure it’s a good coat, but it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Apply the rest of the vinyl.  This is definitely the hardest part of the project.  Just do you best to keep it straight and centered and it will work out amazing!  Paint the sign white and proceed as you would with any reverse stencil project.  One final tip before you plunge in is to make sure you allow enough drying time between coats.  Because you apply paint a couple of times it can soften the paint underneath if it isn’t fully dry.

 
 

The map is the second project I want to share a tip with.  You will notice there are lots of details cut out on the edges, which is what makes this project look so great- but it also makes it a bit tricky to trace around and cut out. I traced around it as best I could with as thin a pencil as I could find and cut it out as accurately as possible, but this still left a few areas that needed some shaping.

 
 

You can see the paper between the slit on this part of the map.  To get into the corner, and reveal this amazing detail, I used a razor blade to cut out the extra paper after the paper was glued to the wood piece.  Make sure you glue well around the edges and let the glue fully dry.  Then try to cut the paper on strokes that go from the front to the back of the wood, this will keep from ripping the paper or pulling it off the wood piece.  Once you are done cutting around the wood with the razor blade you can go back and sand the edges to clean up any rough spots.

 
 

When you are finished you will end up with a fabulously detailed piece!

 
 
 
 
The wood blocks are pretty straight forward, but adding some ribbon to the finals on top can add an extra detail that makes them pop.
 
 
 
 
And now I’m ready to celebrate the fabulous country I get to call home. Thanks for letting me come and spend some time here again. xoxo, Amy
 

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The post Patriotic Mantel Decor appeared first on The Wood Connection Blog.

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