Friday, October 14, 2011

Restoration Hardware Hack: Framed Sheet Music

About a month ago, the Restoration Hardware Source Book arrived in my mailbox and I've been trying not to drool all over buy everything in it.  Because I'm moving in a couple months, I've been avoiding buying anything decor-related for my apartment; but when I saw this picture I realized it would be a pretty easy DIY.

A gallery wall of framed sheet music?  Lovely!  Paying $199 a pop over at RH?  I don't think so.  Being a musician, I have TONS of old sheet music laying around so lucky me.  If you're not musically-inclined, there are a ton of websites out there where you can download free sheet music, so no worries. :)

I have a couple original pieces of music that are already yellowed and fraying, but that would have been just too easy.  They were also all fairly large, and the mats I had were cut for an 8x10.  Instead I decided to use some photocopies of a Beethoven piano sonata I played a few years ago, conveniently sized at 8 1/2x11 and period-appropriate for a Restoration Hardware hack.

I'm just going to go ahead and apologize now for the less than stellar photo quality.  I don't know what was going on with the camera.  Oh, can you tell the music was photocopied from a spiral-bound book?

 Because my music was all snowy-white and RH's isn't, I decided to tea stain.  Yes, I realize I'm using expensive Starbucks Tazo tea, but any black tea you have on hand would be more than acceptable.  This is just what I had sitting around.  If you're wondering what black tea is, it's anything not labeled green/white/herbal.  Earl Gray and Lipton's are black teas.

 I soaked one tea bag in about a half inch of hot water for a couple minutes while I gathered my supplies.  I gently squeezed out any excess water and rubbed it on the paper.  At this point I'm going to advise some caution: BE CAREFUL WITH YO' TEABAG!  Tazo uses a silk bag, which is pretty durable, but cheaper teas use paper bags, which can and will bust if you rub too vigorously and leave you with a big mess that's what she said.

I only did one "coat," but if you don't think it's dark enough, wait for the paper to dry completely before going another round with the tea.  You don't want to get your paper too wet or you'll risk your ink running or, even worse, the whole thing just turning into a pulpy mess.  I hung my pages proud-kindergartener-style on the fridge to dry.

Meanwhile, while my pages were drying, I set about to glam up my frames.  I buy a two-pack of these frames whenever I go to Michael's.  They're cheap, always in stock, and I just like having a few extras around in case the mood suddenly strikes me to frame something.

 I used Rub n' Buff in Antique Gold. (Yes, my fingers are that fat in real life.)  This was actually the longest part of the process.  DON'T do like I did and take everything out of the frame.  They're plastic and flimsy and hard to work with.  Instead, take that picture that already comes in the frame and put it in front of the glass.  Or tape it off.  Whatever floats your boat.

The finished frame, all snazzy and gold.  I only did one relatively thin coat because I wanted some of the black to show through so the frame would look sort of mottled like the original.

And a blurry photo of the finished result!  Told you my pictures today were gonna suck.

I hung 'em up in my hallway, which was needing a little love.  The best thing about this project is that I can expand upon it as much as I want.  I can leave it with just four, but if I want to, someday I can do an entire wall like the inspiration photo.  

The original is on the left.  So mine doesn't have a fancy calligraphy title.  Whatever.  Mine was free.  That's right, friends, F-R-E-E!  All the materials I already had on hand.  And it only took me an hour to complete, start to finish!

I have a plan in mind to jazz up the mats over the weekend, so I'll show you that next week.

Have you done any crafts lately?  Anything so simple and effective it should be a crime?  I'd love to hear about it!  Happy weekend!

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