Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pinterest to Reality : Project 02 : Important Dates print

Now that the holidays are (far) behind us, I think it's about time to start working on the craft + DIY projects that I've been wanting to tackle. And most of them come from Pinterest (where else?). Last November I blogged my first Pinterest to Reality project - TV tokens for Morgan. Project #2, which was actually pinned in my home decor board, was inspired by this Dated Design Wall Art by Andrea Steed.
If it just looks like a bunch of numbers to you, well, you're right! It's actually rows of some very important dates for our family. Row 1 is Mark's birthday. Row 2 is mine. Row 3 is our anniversary. Row 4 is Morgan's birthday and Row 5 is Parker's birthday. I absolutely love the graphic look of this print.
Andrea has a great tutorial about how she made her wall art in the post above (she actually used her Silhouette!) and she also has a link to create your own and have a poster printed through Zazzle. Very cool, and easy! Since I have a decent amount of Photoshop knowledge, I took the DIY approach. Here's a very simplified version of how I did it :

In Photoshop (I'm using PSE 9), create a new canvas to the size you want your print to be. I knew I wanted mine to be 8x10 and I was going to frame it in an 11x14 frame with mat.

Using the text tool, I started typing out the dates, with no spaces in between. I didn't worry about the font, the font size or colors here. I just wanted to get all of the dates on the canvas first, and then increase the sizes to fit the space. After lots of experimenting, the font I used is Modern No. 20. For 5 lines/rows of text on a 8x10, the font size ended up being 120pt and the leading (the spacing between each line) is 105pt. Then, center your text box, vertically + horizontally.

Next, I played with the colors. I wanted to be able to distinguish, at a glance, the different dates on the print. You could do this 100 different ways but I ended up going with black for my and Mark's birthdates, red for our anniversary, and white for the kids birthdates. Very neutral - but that's just how we roll here. I highlighted each line of numbers that I wanted to change and chose a new color from the palette in the toolbar above.

Last, I choose a background color. Perhaps this should've been the first step? Again, this is just how I did it, but I used the paint bucket to fill the background with color. I chose 25% gray. Not too light, but dark enough for the white numbers to pop. Plus, 95% of the walls in our house are a shade of gray so it seemed to be a good match. :)
Now the fun part. Printing it out! I used our Epson Photo Stylus R2880 inkjet printer, but of course it would be just as easy (though not as instantly gratifying) to send it off to have a photo service print it. If you want to try this at home, I love Epson's Ultra Premium Glossy Photo Paper. It turned out so crisp + clear. Love it.
Patiently wait for it to dry, frame it + stare at your handiwork.
Right now I'm going to keep it on a shelf in our living room until I can find a permanent home for it. Mark + I really want to do something with this sad bare (and huge) wall below. Perhaps some sort of photo + art collage? Or a super graphic? Hmm...
One other idea that I thought of while designing our print is that you don't have to have kids to make this! If you are married, with no kids (or you just want a special print to hang in your bedroom), you could do your and your spouse's birthdates, the date you met, the date you were engaged + the date you got married. 5 rows of dates. Whatever dates are important to you. There are so many ways to customize it.

So, how about you? Have you made anything fun lately after being inspired by something you've found on Pinterest? Please feel free to share in the comments below - I'd love to read about it (and pin it myself!)


  1. great job!
    This was one of those projects that I really liked but haven't thought about again. I might just have to make one!

  2. this is awesome.
    i am happy to report that many of my pins have made it to reality!! :)
    most from my "i can do this" board and "tasty"
    not so bad after all!! :)
    i think my most recent pin to reality was making washi tape magnets. woot!

  3. Nicole,

    Your version looks fabulous! I love the colors you chose and the way you highlighted the groupings of dates differently. Thanks for the linkback! Glad you were inspired by my artwork! :)

  4. lOVE LOVE THIS!! And our 15th wedding anniversary is this year...AND I have PSE....must play with it. Thanks for the directions.

  5. Love this idea...another one I'll have to add to me to-do list :) I've actually done a lot of things I've found via pinterest...TONS of recipes but quite a few projects as well (especially at Christmas!)

  6. LOVE This! & your hubby & I have the same bday well I'm born in 75 :) our 10th yr. anniversary is next mth I might have to come up w/something kind of like ..hmm wonder if I could make a "crossnumber" w/our numbers :) Thank you so much for the awesome idea!