Monday, December 26, 2011

Let's Hear It for The Girl - a New Baby Gift Tutorial

A sweet niece of mine had a baby girl recently. Big deal, you say? Well, this was a big deal - the first girl after THREE boys!! I like to create something special for all the new babies in the family, and I was excited about creating something for my niece's first girl. I was so happy to hear from my niece that it was going to be ALL PINK ALL THE WAY for the new little one.  It was also bittersweet - my niece and her family recently moved to South Carolina from Michigan.  So I won't get a chance to hug that little girl for awhile, until I can get there for a visit. 

I saw a tutorial that I liked (can't remember where) that was done using a repurposed window. I had it in my head that I would like to try that for the new baby, but I hadn't taken it anywhere yet. Fast forward - I visit my local thrift store for another reason, and I spot this:

Believe it or not, it looks better in the photo than it did in real life. It was pretty sorry looking.  And it wasn't a window, it was a little screen door. But I thought I could do something with this, so I plunked down my $2.00 and ran. 

First step, take it apart and remove all that fishing gear.

I did the best I could to remove the wood pieces from the screen, but as you can see the screen was pretty much destroyed. Fortunately, I was able to steal a replacement screen from an old screen printing kit I had.

Next step: Sand and paint. I gave the frame a light sanding.  Then I forgot to take photos of the next few steps so I'll just explain them.  Are you familiar with the trick of rubbing candle wax along the edges before you paint? It's an easy way to get that worn finish on a painted piece.

The first paint coat was Krylon Berry Pink spray. It was a bit bright for my taste, so I grabbed a can of light pink paint that was almost empty.  It did exactly what I wanted it to do - it spattered lightly, softening the Berry Pink color. When it was dry, I used a razor blade and some sand paper to scrape off the candle wax and rough up the finish.

I attached the new screen to the back.  I then printed three of my own floral photos to fit behind the screen.  I picked brightly colored photos because I wanted to be sure they showed up through the screen. 

I then printed and cut out some butterfly clip art.
 I glued a piece of wire to the back for the butterfly antennae. I don't care for the white edge showing on a cutout, so I rubbed the edges against a black stamp pad.  I also darkened the body a little with permanent marker.

The three photos were mounted with acid free archival tape.

The final steps: attach a cabinet knob as the door knob ...

Attach the butterflies to the screen ...

And, finally, our little girl's name, in letters from a garage sale bag of mis-matched cardboard letters.

I added a matboard backing and hooks and the piece was complete. I couldn't wait to pack and send it! 

Here it is, on the porch in South Carolina ...

And at its final destination, on the wall in Bree's bedroom.

The verdict is in: Mom, Dad, and the three boys love it! And although Bree's a little young yet, I know it won't be long before she's cooing at those butterflies! 


  1. Gosh! That is sooooo cute!
    What a great way to repurpose that screen door!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  2. wonderful and whimsical ....lovely gift for a sweetie babes room...You have a great talent for beautiful crafts.

    - KAT -

  3. That is really beautiful! Don't you just love thrift stores?! You can always find things to take home and make beautiful. Nice job!

  4. Oh so for very SWEET!!! I would LOVE for you to share it here

  5. Absolutely adorable!! Almost as cute as the sweet baby! (ok, a little biased here)
    How lucky Bree is to have such a talented aunt!!! Thank you so is really truly awesome.
    Bree's Mommy xoxo


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