Pinspiration Monday: Elephant wall art

Good morning and happy Monday to you! Just as I was about to head out the front door for work, I was met with a major downpour. I L-O-V-E rain though, so it was a happy unexpected surprise. Hope the weather suits your happiness this morning too!

Today, I’m sharing my latest Pinterest-inspired project, which just so happens to be a birthday gift for my friend Alyssa. You might remember her from this post of yore when I gifted her a different DIY project for Christmas.

Well I continued the DIY Alyssa love by scouring her Pinterest boards and decided to recreate this adorable elephant wall art collection that she had pinned. Our group of girlfriends is made up of 7 people, so (excluding the birthday girl) we thought it would be fun to craft up 6 little elephants so that we could decorate the backs with personal messages to Alyssa, one from each of us.

Source: Love Peace Pionies

Keeping the pinned inspiration image open on my desktop computer, I recreated the shape of the elephants on a piece of computer printer paper. After that, I cut it out to serve as a tracing template for the final elephant shapes.

To get the colorful, patterned look of the elephants in the Pinterest image, I traced my elephants onto pretty scrapbook paper. I always seem to have a bunch on hand and, since the elephants I made would only be about 5×7 inches, I was able to use some scrapbook paper scraps too. Reduce, reuse, recycle, right?? I simply flipped my sheets of paper over and traced the elephant template on the back – By tracing on the back of the paper, I made sure that none of the ugly pen marks would show on the finished product.

Oh, and you may notice that some of the elephants are facing a different direction. I thought it would be fun to give the finished collection an asymmetrical look by making the middle elephants face the opposite way then the others.

While scrapbook paper tends to be thicker than regular copy paper, I still decided to give the elephants a little more stability and thickness with the addition of cardstock beneath. My hope was that the added thickness would make the shapes not curl since paper tends to do that. I would have LOVED to cut these out of wood and hand-paint them, but I was running out of time with her birthday fast approaching. In the end, the cardstock seemed to do the trick.

To attach the cardstock, I mixed up a batch of craft glue + water (about two parts glue to one part water) to give it a thinner consistency – I can’t stand gloopy glue, plus the thin watered down glue applied much quicker and avoided any air drying before sticking the elephants to the cardstock.

After that, my process was pretty simple and methodical – I gingerly held each of the elephants in turn in my hand and applied the watered down glue to the back with a paint brush. Then I pressed the elephant onto the card stock. I was able to save paper by gluing two elephants to one sheet of cardstock, so I positioned them at the top and bottom of the paper.

Once all of the elephants were in place and drying on their respective sheets of cardstock, I layed them beneath stacks of books to make sure they didn’t curl up from the wet glue. Thankfully, at the time I already had all of my books down and in piles while waiting to hang my studio shelves.

The next day, I lifted the books free and was rewarded with three sheets of happy, colorful elephants. The last step in the elephant creation process was to cut them out of the cardstock by following the lines of the scrapbook paper shapes.

To attach the elephants to each other, I punched a hole at the center of each of their backs. The plan was to string lengths of golden yellow ribbon through the holes to connect them. Below you’ll see the hole in the back, but I ended up punching a second hole in the bottom of their bellies as well.

Time for another stint beneath the book stacks to minimize the curling that happened during the cutting process…Another night under the books seemed to be all they needed to flatten out.

After stringing on the ribbon and getting the girls to write (or email me) their messages, we were all finished. I hung them in my studio just so that you could get a sense of what they might look like at Alyssa’s home, but I’m sure she’s done something beautiful with them in her own way.

Here is one side flipped over so that you can see what I mean by writing little “happy birthday” messages on the back. Since one of our friends lives an hour away in Charlottesville, she emailed me a little Haiku poem to print and tape to the back for Alyssa to read and giggle over.

I think Alyssa was surprised to see one of her pins come to life. I am so glad that I was able to make this project for her and hope she had a fabulous birthday – She deserves it!

P.S. I was also recently gifted a rather unexpected present! My sweet hubby surprised me with my very own iPhone!!

This is my first smart phone and I am absolutely addicted…One of the first things I did was download Instagram and I am loving the ability to share photos via Twitter and Facebook. If you want to follow my Instagraming, follow me on the social media pages just linked to, or find me on Instagram via @dreamgreendiy.

Have a great day!

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