Hammer + Nails = Happiness

June 29th, 2009 in member junk     
3 users recommend

Photo: the wall of my craft fair booth

I have a serious addiction to scrap lumber and metal.  Any alley or construction dumpster is a treasure trove waiting to be plundered. I am also a sucker for furniture & architectural remnants. I have amassed a substantial collection of all of these items over the years but never put any of it to good use, until now! (much to the jubilation of my long-suffering boyfriend, who some how survives my unchecked impulses & my sea of junk)

I found joy in the hardware aisle of my local Lowe's the other day when I discovered that something as inexpensive (97¢ per box) as linoleum nails could be very attractive too!  There are all manner of sizes & metals used in these finishing nails. (copper, brass, dull steel)  Suddenly all the tumblers started to fall into place and my new creative passion was unlocked.  Some of these pieces that I have made also utilize copper flashing (thanks again, Lowe's) which is extremely easy to cut, you can do it with scissors, but I would recommend tin snips. As well as the orphaned lids of the tins that I used to make pendant lights. (see previous project post)  There are also vintage metal candle holders as well as a couple of Habitat for Humanity store finds and a yard sale piece or 2.

Because I like cracked paint AND the natural wood color to show through rather than a base coat of a differnet shade of paint, I sealed the wood with an acrylic sealant and then put a 1-step crackle medium on top.  I slathered the paint (all "Oops" house paint BTW) on as instructed and PRESTO! Instant distressed, painted wood!  I grabbed an armload of yard sale finds and furniture bits and started placing them to get the right configuration.  After I figure out what I wanted to be on there the real fun began.  While there is a smidge of wood glue in these pieces to help keep things in place the nails pull double-duty as practical and decorative.  I probably should have sketched out the patterns for the nails before I started but I just free-handed (free-hammered?) these design because I'm a "fly by the seat of your pants" type of gal!  Each piece is hung from a length of brass chain (Lowe's again, who's surprised?) and some brass hooks that I hammered shut so that the chain wouldn't slip off.

Because of the nails and their varied lengths I have had to put adhesive spacers (available at a frame shop or craft store) on the backs of these pieces to keep them from scratching the walls. (unfortunately using wood thick enough to accomodate all nail lengths would have been weight prohibitive)  On some of the pieces I used nails so long that I had to bend them down in the back.  Be aware of this potentail situation when choosing a work surface to do this particular project on.  It's no good make a lovely piece of wall decor at the expense of your kitchen table!

I hope that you enjoy these, any feedback or suggestions for improvement are welcome!


Pattern or design used: My own design - Metal & Wood Wall Decor
posted in: member junk, metal, wood, vase, candle holder, mirror, copper, tin, brass, nails, wall decor

Comments (3)

Junk_Sophisticate writes: I love how unique each one of your pieces is! Beautifully creative.
Candy Posted: 12:11 pm on July 3rd
RustyDiva writes: You're very creative and artistic. I like the red piece like it is - it doesn't feel top or bottom heavy to me. Reminds me of an angel for some reason. Keep creating!!!! Posted: 10:16 am on June 30th
suewhitney writes: Sounds like we share a few passions! I laughed out loud when you said you found joy in the in the hardware aisle. I understand the feeling! Nice job on all of your creations (beautiful!) and thanks so much for all of the detail and tips.

Take care,
Sue Posted: 10:13 am on June 30th
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