I’ve mentioned before here on the blog how we don’t let much go to waste around here. Some people call it hoarding. I call it being resourceful. 😉 We’ve been in the middle of our big, fat, never-ending house renovation project, so I have plenty of wood scraps around here. Today, I’m going to show you how I took those wood scraps and turned them Softball Photo Holders for a quick gift.
There are two kinds of scraps. There are scraps that go into the trash and then there are creative scraps. If you are a creative type, you know that there are some scraps that are just too big to justify throwing away. These are creative scraps. They never get thrown away! I have stashes of paper scraps, fabric scraps and of course, wood scraps.
Because we’ve had a fair amount of construction around here, I would come out to the farm every night while the addition was being built. I noticed there were all of these ends of 2×4 and 2×6 boards laying in the yard. Some were 2 to 3 feet long. They were definitely creative scrap material. So I walked around the yard every night with a 5-gallon bucket and picked up all of the creative scraps. I’m sure the guys working on the house addition just thought I was cleaning up the yard. Little did they know I was hoarding the scraps for just the right project.
I Needed A Quick Gift And Softball Photo Holders Were It!
My daughter is finishing up the last softball season of her high school career. I could tell you about how sad this makes me, but if you’ve ever had a child graduate from high school and move on to college, you know already know. If you have littles at home, your time will be here before you know it!
A few days ago, we had Senior Night where all of the seniors were honored at the last home ball game. These are girls she’s been playing softball with for 7 years and sometimes we played three seasons a year – spring league, regular season and fall league. She’s been with these girls a long time and I wanted to create a little keepsake for the girls.
The problem was, I didn’t think to do them until the day of the game! I am a bit of a procrastinator! I like to say I need the adrenaline kick! So I ran around the house quickly grabbing the materials I would need to make them. Good thing they don’t take much to put together! And it’s a really good thing that I am a craft hoarder!
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- Wood block – I used a 6-inch long 2×6 piece of wood for each holder
- Acrylic Paint – Red (Waverly Chalk Paint) and Neon Yellow/Green Acrylic (more on that later)
- 3-ply Jute String
- Make-up Wedge/Sponge
- Oramask 813 Stencil Mask
How to make Softball Picture HOlders
Cut the Blocks
I used our power miter saw to cut the blocks down to 6 inches. They’re actually 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 because the nominal size of lumber (the size it’s called, in this case, a 2×6) and the actual size differ quite a bit. Long ago, they used to sell full dimension lumber, which is just what it sounds like. It’s crazy to me that a 2×6 isn’t actually 2 inches by 6 inches.
Paint the blocks
Normally, I would have taken the time to sand the boards before I painted them. I skipped this step and I probably shouldn’t have. I think the wood would have taken the paint better had I sanded first. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to take a shortcut!
I had the bright idea of staining them first (using the baby wipe method) but this was a mistake. The dark color of the wood made it next to impossible cover with the neon paint. I had good intentions of giving them a dark stain coat so I could distress them after I put the neon yellow paint on the wood. It didn’t work out all that well.
I used a couple of different types of neon paint. This was the first one that I tried:
It’s Folkart brand. Normally, I like Folkart paints, but this one is pretty thin and watery. And the coverage wasn’t very good. Next, I decided I would try this acrylic paint that’s an artist-type paint.
This was better, but the coverage still wasn’t great. They were both pretty streaky and not at all what I’m used to with chalk paint. I decided to give the blocks a coat of white chalk paint and then covered the white with the neon yellow. While I didn’t love the look, I did get a chippy paint look instead of a distressed look. Either way was just okay. I wanted to give the blocks the appearance of beat up softball.
Paint The Laces
I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out some laces for the softball out of Oramask 813. I applied them to blocks. Since the blocks were small and the laces were large, I was able to trim them down a bit and apply them by hand without any transfer paper or contact paper. Once I applied, I began painting the laces with the red paint.
I didn’t do my usual base coat over the stencil like I did for this project and like I do for most every stenciling project I complete. I skipped that step just because the paint is pretty shiny and unlike chalk paint, takes forever to dry. I was expecting some bleeds, but they weren’t awful. I could live with them and since the game was a few hours away, I didn’t have a choice.
Remove The Stencil
I pulled the stencil off before the paint was even dry. I love how quick of a process stenciling is when using Oramask 813.
Add Jute To turn the blocks into Softball Photo Holders
Now it’s time to use the jute to wrap around the blocks to hold the photo. I wrapped it around once, tied a knot in the back and began wrapping in a looping motion to create a look like this:
Add The Photo And Wrap It UP
Now that the holder is complete, it was time to add the photo (as I did above) and wrap up the gifts. I didn’t have the photos printed, so I had a little time left over to run to Wal-mart to get the photos printed. I wrapped them quickly in my car (thank goodness for gift bags!) and had 30 minutes to spare! Phew!
For the most part, I was pretty happy with how these softball photo holders turned out. There were some challenges in using that neon paint. I think if I had to do it all over again, I might try spray painting them instead of using the acrylic paint.
If I had a baseball player, I think the white would have been easier to paint and would have looked nicer because chalk paint has excellent coverage and sands beautifully. But I had to work with what I had at home and to the best of my knowledge, there is no neon chalk paint on the market. I thought for a brief second that I could mix in some water and plaster of Paris to make my own chalk paint. Then I looked at the clock and thought better of it.
I was really excited to find another purpose for the wood scraps I have around here. I have a friend who rolls her eyes at me and my hoarding. Moments like these are the reason why I hoard! You never know when you’re going to need something! She says it just empowers me to hoard more. I would say she’s correct.
If you aren’t a hoarder like me and you don’t have wood scraps, you can purchase 2×6 boards wherever you buy your lumber and just cut them to size.
Free Softball/Baseball Laces So You Can Make Softball Photo Holders
I created the ball laces SVG cut file just for the softball photo holders, but I’m happy to share it with you. You can download it from my Resource Library. It’s absolutely free, but you’ll need a password to get in. If you’d like the password, simply sign up using the form below. There are a bunch of Free SVG Cut files in the library. I’m sure you’ll find something in there you’ll like!
What will you do to Craft Your Happy today?