Sunday, April 13, 2014

Worst Gift Giver EVER!

For the record, I am a terrible gift giver.

As in, like, the worst!

I don't know what it is! I like to think that I'm considerate and empathetic, and that I know what people like... but if there's a gift-giving gene, it skipped me.

This is where I do a happy dance and sing "THANK GOD FOR PINTEREST!"

Seriously, add that to the ginormous list of the reasons to love Pinterest (as if we needed another one!).

Here's the thing. My friend's birthday party was this past weekend, so a couple of weeks ago I realized that I was going to have to think of a gift (*dread face*). Then I thought, "I'll check her Pinterest board! See if there's something that I can buy or build!"


Um, I can do that!

So I built three 12" frames (they're 12" on the outsides, the opening's are 9 3/4" - you can find similar building plans here.)

The ones pinned looked like they had an oxidized finished, which could be achieved using steel wool and vinegar (like I did on my hotel key rack), but I used a stud made from a different specie than I'm used to working with, and I wasn't sure how it would take the steel wool/vinegar mixture - and didn't have a lot of time to test it - so I stuck with my General Finishes gel stain in Brown Mahogany.

Those were looking a little to "clean" though. The feel of the pinned frames seemed more rustic, so I took some 120 grit sand paper and went over the frames lightly to emphasize the woodgrain, and pressed a little more firmly on the corners to emulate regular wear and tear.

Next came the burlap. Michael's had 50% off of all of their Recollections scrapbooking supplies and a 20% off your entire purchase coupon, so I got three of these burlap sheets for under $2.50 and hot glued them onto some 1/4" ply.

And attached some picture hanging supplies that come with the IKEA Ribba frames (we use command strips to attach ours to the walls, so we have quite a few picture hanging kits) and tacked the backs into the frames.

Somewhere along the lines I stained some clothes pins with the same stain that I used on the frames (super simple, just take the clothes pins apart and apply the stain).

Then hot glued those and a big "A" to the frames.

Of course I had to throw some prints on it for pictures...

Here's a close-up of the "A". I printed a big 7" "A" and transferred it onto some 1/4" ply then cut it out with my jig saw. The color of the burlap wouldn't allow for a cream-colored letter (like in the inspiration picture), and I thought that it would look flat and uninteresting to stain it the same color as the frames and clothes pins, so I spray painted it a matte brown and lightly sanded the edges.

And with that, I can actually feel like this is a decent gift (even if it is only 3 picture frames).

I have to know, are you a good gift giver? If so, HOW DO YOU DO IT!!??!!??


  1. I think you've done very well. I like the look [and the letter] of your inspiration picture and think you did a marvelous job of putting your own spin on it. I, however, am a terrible gift giver…I have gifts dating back years that I've never given.

    Do you know my middle name?

    1. I do! And we haven't gotten a bad gift from you, yet!

  2. I keep a memo in my cell phone, anytime someone mentions something they want I make a note of it and refer to it at Christmas time. Prior to my cell phone, I was a terrible gift giver also!

    1. GOOD IDEA! Are you discreet about it, or do you tell them to hold that thought, you need to put it in your phone? Because I don't know that I'd remember after the fact..

    2. I usually pretend I have an important text, but that could be rude in some situations - I try to be discreet, but sometimes I try to wait and of course forget.

  3. I don't do too bad actually. However, how ingenious of you to stalk their pins! I would have never thought to do that, so thanx for the idea. Now do tell, what was their reaction?!!!

    1. p.s. I forgot to say, you did an awesome usual!

    2. Thanks! <3 She was great. She wanted to find a spot and hang them not long after she opened 'em, which made me feel good (y'know, because they weren't just thrown somewhere and forgotten).

  4. I love it Gina! I'm sure it was awesome for her to get that! We obviously must have great minds, cause we think alike... I too look at people's Pinterest boards for gift ideas! Otherwise I would be clueless! In a pinch I like to make crates, they are useful and cute, and everybody loves them... Right?

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