Thumb Tack Letter Art

While working on this post, I had an accident. Not too bad, at least the air bags didn't pop but I had a folded bonnet, broken head lamp and injured bumper to deal with. I'm sure you're wondering how that is possible. Well, you would find out in a bit. Lol.
Thumb tack art is all over Pinterest (of course) and is inexpensive to make especially if like me, you already have most of the supplies on hand.

Things you would need;
  • Saw dust board ( I bought mine years ago in Benin, and it was called Selotex or something like that)
  • Thumb tacks- the old school kind. Found mine at a bookshop in the market. Cost 400 naira for the whole pack
  • Fabric
  • Marker/ Pen
  • Paper fusible interfacing (Gum stay)
  • Spray paint in your color of choice
  • Wax paper or Grease-proof paper
  • Strong thumbs; my thumbs kept malice with me for days.
  • Print out of the words you would like to spell out
  • Staple gun
  • Glue gun( optional)

Lay out your saw dust board, it's a little crumbly so try not to toss it around too much
See how crumbly the edges are.
Lay out your printed letters on the board the way you would like them to be. Cover them with one grease proof paper and secure with thumb tacks. Trace out your letters with a marker. When you are done tracing , unfasten the thumb tacks and take out the prints-outs.

Next, take everything off the board and lay your fabric over it and staple on. Make sure to pull your fabric taut while stapling so it's smooth on the board. If you don't have a staple gun, you can use a regular stapler. You open up the stapler and place the tip on the fabric and board and use the heel of your palm to slam it in.

After that is done, wrap a layer of plain grease paper around the board and then put the marked grease paper on top and secure the edges with thumb tacks. This way you have a double layer of grease paper to prevent paint seeping onto the fabric. Then you start placing the thumb tacks on the letter outlines. It doesn't have to be exact, the template only serves as a guide. When placing the tacks, don't push them all the way into the board because while removing the papers beneath, some of the would come off in the process. You want a few centimeters of 'unpunctured' board left underneath so the tacks aren't loose when you reinsert them.

Like this

See how I didn't tack every line?

At this point, my thumb tacks finished- I had only three of the small packs at the start. I deliberated whether to leave it and get more tacks when next I had errands to run but then the next day was a sunday and most stores wouldn't open so I decided to just go to some stores around my house to get some. They only had the 'new school thumb tacks' aka push pins and then I said to myself, "the market isn't far, let me just dash in". On the way, a cab driver decided to run across the road thinking he was James Bond and therefore invincible. Two cars on the lanes beside me swerved to miss him but I was by the culvert and the only way i could have avoided him was to maybe climb it but of course in that split second all I could think of was "is this really happening?" and then the impact came. Never experienced a thing like that before. All I could say for a good 5 minutes was "JESUS, JESUS, JESUS" while shaking like a jelly fish. People were knocking on the window asking if I was okay but I couldn't move. Of course, the cab man didn't have car insurance and could only give a paltry sum towards the fixing of the car. Next thing I could think of was "All I wanted was some thumb tacks!!!" I thank God for life and safety and the fact that it wasn't worse.
Anyway, I got my thumb tacks in the market on Sunday! Imagine! I completed the tacking and had other things to do so the painting had to wait for another day.

I taped some of the holes that were left after moving some thumb tacks to prevent paint seeping through then applied three coats of spray paint allowing it to dry in between coats. When dry, it's time to tear out the paper. I don't know how best to direct on this, just follow your gut. Some tacks would come off in the process. Don't fuss too much about this, you would have holes in the fabric to guide you when replacing them. Next, use the heel of your palm to push the tacks all the way in and you're almost done.

To finish up the back, cut the interfacing to fit, place it on the back of the board shiny side down and the iron on. If you want, you can use hot glue to put it on. Trim the edges and you're done!
Still don't know where I would place mine yet. But I just love looking at it.
Thanks for stopping by,xx



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