December is upon us, friends. I’m one of those annoying people who freaks the fuck out about Christmas. Here’s a short, probably incomplete list of things I love about Christmas:
- Putting up my Christmas decorations-to the point where if I tell my roommate I’m going to Target, she tells me “PLEASE DON’T BUY ANY MORE CHRISTMAS STUFF.”
- Buying presents because
a. I love shopping
b. I get super excited buying things I know people will love.
- Warm alcoholic beverages – i.e. Irish coffee or apple cider with Fireball whiskey.
- Winter activities – carriage rides, ice skating, caroling etc. I also enjoy watching others doing these things via Instagram and imagining the incredibly festive lives they lead.
- Christmas music – if you don’t like Christmas music, I feel bad for you son, and I highly recommend you watch any of the Glee Christmas episodes and then come back to me.
- Ugly Christmas sweaters. I just bought this one.
I would argue that the most difficult and stressful part of all of this is buying Christmas gifts. Are you supposed to buy a gift for your boss (who probably makes three times as much money as you do)? What do you buy for your great-grandma who has survived 85 years of Christmas gifts and only remembers your name about half the time? How late is the mall open on Christmas Eve? What’s your Discover credit card limit again?
While I don’t have the answers to all of those questions, I can help you cross some of those hard-to-buy-for sports fans off your list. For the next few weeks leading up to Christmas, I’m gifting you with a DIY tutorial that’s cost-efficient (read: cheap), easy (somewhat) and that someone on your list will love (80% guaranteed).
The problem: You just started dating someone new and you don’t quite know what to get them for Christmas, but you want it to be special and awesome, more special and awesome than whatever they’re getting you because you’re out to prove that you’re the best gift-giver in this budding romance, goddammit.
The solution: DIY large scale wall art!
There’s a new Mr. Razz in my life, and he loooooves baseball. You would think that considering the Royals’ recent World Series victory and the shitstorm of Royals gear that has descended upon KC, it would be fairly easy to find this kid something he wants for Christmas. Not necessarily true, because he doesn’t “believe” in Postseason gear. He thinks it’s for posers. Remember when we talked about superstitions? This guy is the king of them. He wore his same Salvy t-shirt with the same gray Gordon jersey over it to every Postseason game. When we won the ALCS and I asked him if he wanted a commemorative t-shirt or sweatshirt or whatever, he looked at me like I had asked him if I could pour acid on him in a sexual way. And even though I scoped out his hat size and I REALLY want to get him one of the World Series flat bills because I know it will look sexy, I won’t do it because I know he won’t wear it.
But I know this World Series win was really special to him and it was special to me because we experienced it together, so I wanted a way to remember that.
This is a perfect DIY for any sports fan, but really it’s very customizable – you can use a ticket stub from any game, concert or movie, a photo or piece of art, I’ve even seen it done with envelopes, large quotes and book pages.
- engineering print of your choice (can be printed at Staples in black and white for less than five bucks. Since I did mine in color, it was about $14.00)
- foam board (you could also use something more hefty. I think plywood would make it look nice as well, and you can get it cut to the size you want at the hardware store)
- spray adhesive
- Optional: duct tape, paint or trim pieces to frame
- Choose your image and get it printed at Staples or Office Depot as an engineering print. I pilfered one of Mr. Razz’s World Series tickets for this one. The black and white prints are significantly cheaper, and can come out really cool for some images, but I really wanted to capture the color in the ticket, so I paid the extra money.
- Cut your backing (in this case foam board) the same size as your image. I used a box cutter for this, although an x-acto knife might be more efficient. I’ll admit that I got lazy here. The foam pieces that I had were 11×17 and the blown-up image of the ticket was a little wider than 11 inches across. I didn’t want to have the cut down all sides of the foam board because I knew the edges wouldn’t come out as clean as I wanted them to be. So I knew there would be a little white space all the way around the ticket. Looking back, I have ragrets.
- Cut your image down so that there is enough left around the edges that you can tape it onto the back of the foam board.
- Lay your image face down on a clean surface and spray the spray adhesive all over your image. Carefully place the foam board onto the image.
- Flip the board over so the image side is up and smooth out any bubbles with your hand, or GENTLY with a credit card. Work as quickly as you can, the spray adhesive dries fast.
- Flip the board back over so you can tape the sides down on the back. Think of it like wrapping a present. Do the long ends first and tape them down securely. Then do the short ends, making sure your corners come out neatly.
- I think this would look great just by itself hung on a wall. Because the foam board is so light, it should hang on the wall using just a couple command strips. If you choose something heftier like plywood, you might need to attach two picture hangers like these to the back of the plywood.
a. You can also choose to “fake” a border with paint, duct tape or some painted plywood. Be sure to leave some white space around your image so that your border doesn’t cover parts of it.
Here’s what it looks like in my room for scale, and with the white border trimmed off.
If you make this DIY gift at home, please tag me in your pics! @lindsvanna on Twitter and Instagram.
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