Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Banner Day

New Year's Day was a day off from Ye Olde Day Jobbe, and I vowed to make it a productive one.  I swapped Netflix for Pandora, and spent the morning putting together our new banner. 
I'm a huge fan of freezer paper stenciling and dropcloth, so I chose to enlist that trusty team for this endeavor. If it ain't broke...

Having completed the lettering, it occurred to me that I should have gone with a much bigger font.  There was some significant space on either side of the "fandomonium designs" and I wasn't entirely sure what to do about it.  I'll admit that I considered just trimming it down and making a bigger banner later, or starting over then and there.  Frankly, I'm too lazy for that to have been an option, so I hit Sean up for ideas.  As usual, he had a plan; put "aluminum cuffs" on one side, and "upcycled bling" on the other.  I liked it, but I still wasn't sure how to make it work.  Different fonts?  Different colors?  I let that percolate while I had my  breakfast, and hit on "negative space."  I went to my laptop and printed out the phrases I'd need---same font, but a little smaller---and set about tracing and cutting. 
Ninety-nine percent of the time, the cutting that's called for when I freezer paper is done with an X-Acto knife.  I'm kind of a whiz with the X-Acto, but the blade on my current one is beat, so I was delighted to be able to knock this one out with a plain old pair of scissors.  Yaaaaaay, negative space!

While I cut (and sang along with a mix of Once More With Feeling and Dr. Horrible tunes, thank you very much), it occurred to me that it was going to be a huge pain in the keister to block out rectangles of equal size to float these letters in.  More cutting, more rumination, and finally a lightbulb moment.  I hightailed it to the kitchen to grab a dinner plate---thank you, IKEA!---and quickly traced it onto the freezer paper.  A bit of seat-of-my-pants arranging yielded this:

Better than I'd hoped for. I filled it in with black acrylic, taking care to keep from bleeding through to the table this time,  and hoped for the best.  I pulled each letter off carefully with my X-Acto knife, knowing full well that this part of the process is the riskiest bit.  It's easy to get a smudge in the white spaces with the not-quite-dry paint, and it wouldn't be the first time I'd screwed up a big project this late in the game.  Slow and steady.

Here are the fruits of my labors:

Not bad, right?  I'll get a full view at our next market on Saturday.  You local yokels, come check it out in person! There will be beer, and music, and merry-making1


  1. Wow, Wendy! That really looks amazing, great job my friend!

  2. Looks great! Sounds like a productive day

  3. I mean it looks kick ass, but I am confused with how you got it to look so good.

  4. Thanks, guys! Tara, freezer paper stenciling is easy, cheap, and yields pretty damned impressive results. I'll put together a tutorial one of these days...I use it for all kinds of stuff.

  5. Thanks, Julie! It worked out really well for us!