Wednesday, July 25, 2012

House Projects: Guest Room Headboard


We're on a house theme this week. 

It worked for the original yellow-walled space but looked pitiful in the new grey room.

Time for a new project!

I spray painted it glossy blue (bahama sea, according to Krylon):

And then set about finding some decorations. 

A few years ago I bookmarked some images that are available, free for download, from the New York Public Library and the National Archives. There are thousands of images (drawings, paintings, photographs) to browse, many of them from early American history. Some of my favorites are the animal and botanic sketches, done by the likes of Audubon and others. It's a wonderful, amazing resource. The big fish, plant, and bird drawings are all from that section.

[please excuse the fuzzy phone pictures]

I also particularly like the photograph collection of the American West. The "Pagent of America" is also neat, and I included this photograph of a girl holding her [barred rock] chicken. This vintage seed poster was from the art & architecture collection. 

I found the National Archives to be much more difficult to navigate, although the amount of information included in their digital collections is vast and varied (books, photographs, music clips, movies, etc). Since I was going with a vintage plant/animal/nature theme, I have a few excerpts from John Muir's My First Summer in the Sierra work. 

But my favorite part of the head board is the stuff I already had: letters, fabric scraps, pretty cards, and seed packets. I even included a photo copy of my dad as a teenager. He's actually on a sailboat but it kind of looks like he's a farmer wearing a straw hat, and that sort of fit in with the theme. Here are a few of the other pieces [click on image for close-up]:
I did a very light sanding on the headboard, laid everything out, and then used elmer's glue to stick it all into place. Basically I dredged the picture through the glue so it coated both sides and then adhered it to the board. I've never done anything like this before (and hadn't read any reviews of this technique online prior to working) so I'm not sure if it was the best method. But everything so far seems to be holding up well. Except for one little corner of a photograph that somebody keeps picking at. It wouldn't last two seconds in Ben's room. At some point, I might spray the whole thing down with a lacquer. 

It's definitely one of my favorite projects so far, just because it's so personalized. It screams 'me', does it not?!