Friday, March 23, 2012

Bicycle Chain and Glass Insulator “love” Sign – DIY


I’ve been wanting to create a “message” sign out of old hardware or metal materials for a while now and one day got around to digging through our pile of rusty goodness we’d collected.  We have the start of a good variety of hinges, chains, springs and other odds and ends.  I pulled out a few pieces of old bicycle chain and started working and twisting it until it eventually spelled out “love”.. something I’m lucky to have a lot of….  


So this was the base for my design..  I had thought about mounting it in between two mason jar vases but decided to go with glass insulator candle holders.  (Look for the mason jars in future projects…)

love sign edited_3-001

Then I had to decide what to mount it all to…  weathered barn wood is always an option..  but I had something different in mind.  I wanted to created a collage of beautiful chalk paint colors and that’s just what I did..  the design was complete, here’s how I pulled it off!

I needed a larger board to mount everything to so I grabbed a piece of scrap lumber my husband had in the shed.  For the mosaic of chalk painted boards I purchased a piece of trim board from Lowes.. it comes in 7ft pieces, which was just enough for this project.  My first step was creating my pattern and cutting the trim board into smaller pieces.


Next, I stained all of the pieces with a dark stain.  The large base board because it’s sides were going to be exposed and so the dark color would serve as a background for any cracks between my smaller pieces.  The small mosaic pieces so that the dark color would come through after chalk painted and sanded.


After staining and wiping down, I chalk painted the smaller pieces.  I chose to use three colors I felt go well together.  I make my own chalk paint using a simple recipe of 3 parts paint to 1 part Plaster of Paris, also available at Lowes. 


After painting and allowing to dry (which literally takes minutes with chalk paint) I sanded each piece to give it that lovely worn look and allow the dark stain color to come through.


Next up was attaching these painted boards to my larger base board.  For this I simply used wood glue and allowed to dry overnight while weighted.


The next day I started by attaching the glass insulators.  I decided to attach them with twine, and the first step was drilling two holes for the twine to feed through.


The twine is wrapped around the glass insulator and each end is fed through one of the holes, then tied and stapled to the back of my base board.



I repeated this for the other glass insulator, then it was on to attaching my “love” bicycle chain.  For this I used E-6000 glue, picked up at Walmart in the craft aisle. 


I allowed that to dry overnight with a few books on top to weigh it down.  I screwed an old chain to the back of my base board for hanging, and my “love” sign was complete!






On to the next project!

Megan Signature

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