DIY Rustic Table Top Art Print Display Browser

I needed a way to display my unframed prints at fairs and shows and also in gift shops where my work is stocked. I searched online for table top print browsers and retail display solutions and looked into old apple crates and custom made wooden boxes but nothing was right …or it cost more than I was willing to pay!

I wanted a rustic style box that was not too deep (so the prints would stay fairly vertical) and that was low at the front (so as not to obscure the prints) and higher at the back (to support the prints from behind) … and the right size for my prints… so quite specific requirements then! I decided my only cost effective option was to make them myself.

Here’s how they turned out…

DIY Rustic wood print browser for art

If you’d like to find out how I made them, read on! I’m a not a skilled woodworker and it took me a day to make 5 browsers.

Here’s the tools I used:

A hand saw, tape measure, pencil, set square and drill (with 3mm drill bit for pilot holes and screwdriver head) plus various wood screws… sizes 3.5 and 4 and 30mm/40mm long.. and some rough sandpaper and sanding block or an electric sander.

Here’s what I did:

I visited my local wood recycling yard where for the princely sum of £12 I picked up some lengths of pallet wood – about 16mm thick and 100mm wide and some 20 x 44mm battens. They were nice and rustic looking!

The internal dimensions of my table top browser are 500mm wide by 250mm deep so for each box I cut the following lengths of wood:

3 x 500mm: 1 front and 2 back lengths

2 x 250mm: 2 sides on the bottom layer

2 x 266mm: 2 sides on the top layer

5 x 282mm: slats for the bottom

4 x 250mm lengths from the 20 x 44mm batten for the uprights

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First off I screwed together 2 x 500mm lengths and 2 x 250mm sides to make the base frame. I drilled pilot holes first to reduce stress on the wood and reduce the risk of it splitting.

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An extra pair of hands is useful to hold the pieces together but not essential. Next I screwed the slats onto the bottom. Again I drilled pilot holes in the slats before screwing them in.

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Then I  screwed together the three sides for the back and sides of the top layer … I used the remaining 500mm length and the 2x 266mm sides… it was a bit wonky but so long as it’s roughly square it doesn’t matter once it’s screwed into place.

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Next I attached the uprights to the box. I placed each one in position and marked with a pencil where to drill the pilot holes… making sure I avoided the other screws that are holding the frame together. I then drilled the pilot holes and screwed the uprights in place with 2 screws per upright into the bottom frame.

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Now turning the box on a short side, I inserted the 3 sided top layer that I made earlier. It didnt sit very square but this was rectified as it was screwed together. I put one screw in… no pilot holes this time… drilling through the frame and into the batten upright. Then I turned the box onto the other short side and holding the top layer into place, put another screw through the frame and into the batten.

I put 4 screws in each end – 2 into each batten – as shown below.

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Now all that was left was to add my logo. I thought the best way to do this would be by stencilling. I had some Mylar (thin plastic used to make stencils) but cutting out the small font and the Dog was very hard, especially as my Mylar was probably a bit on the thick side.

I looked online and found plenty of places who would laser cut any design into a stencil for you but it was Friday afternoon and I didn’t want to wait (or spend the money) so being a printmaker I decided to cut my logo into a scrap piece of lino and use that to apply it to the boxes.

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It worked pretty well though it needed a bit of touching up with a small brush in places where the wood was too rustic!

Hope you like the idea… I’d love to see your solutions to displaying prints at fairs too.

 

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Hand-Painted Lettering on Vintage Saw

I have seen some awesome hand-lettering projects on antique saws so I was happy when I got the chance to do my own. The saw I used has a carved hardwood handle and having been stored in a garden shed for the last 50+ years, there was a lovely rusty patina on the blade. I cleaned it up and removed all the loose rust to get a stable surface for painting onto.

I wanted to letter a phrase onto the blade that had some kind of connection with the use of a saw and woodworking – as well as being inspirational…. so here’s what I came up with:-

Hand lettering on old saw by Debbie Kendall

Read on to see more pics and find out more about the process…

After much pencil and paper work trying out different lettering styles and layouts, I transferred my chosen design onto the blade.

Lettering design traced onto saw blade

It took a while to figure out a nice colour combination – I settled on a simple, traditional palette of cream, red and ochre – and then using sign writers brushes and my favourite casein (milk-based) paint, thinned with a little water, I got painting.

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…And after some painstaking hours of painting I was pretty happy with the result

Hand painted lettering on old saw

Hand lettering on antique saw by Debbie Kendall

The final stage was a thin coat of linseed oil to seal the painted letters and bring up the wooden handle to a nice colour. The oil also gave the painted lettering a nice vintage look.

Hand painted letters on old saw by Debbie Kendall

Hand painted lettering on vintage saw blade by Debbie Kendall

I like it so much that I’m not sure I actually want to part with it!

 

 

Vintage Dog Greeting Cards

Handmade dog breed cards with vintage cigarette cards

As a lover of dogs and all things vintage it was hard to resist these wonderful collectable cigarette cards celebrating dogs. To create the greeting cards, I mounted each one on a coloured card to define it and then mounted this onto a recycled kraft manila card. I used a recycled card to echo the vintage feel of the original cards. I then sourced an envelope in a co-ordinating colour.

This set for John Player, issued in 1931, was created from painting of dogs by Arthur Wardle, an English painter born in 1860 whose paintings of animals, both domestic and wild, are highly sought after. There are 50 breeds in the series.

Arthur Wardle dog painting cigarette cards for John Player (1931)

Arthur Wardle dog painting cigarette cards for John Player (1931)

Wire Fox Terrier vintage greeting card using original matchbox label

Wire Fox Terrier vintage greeting card using original cigarette card

The second set was created for the Turf brand from tobacco company Carreras in 1952. Frustratingly I haven’t been able to discover the name of the artist who drew the dogs for the 50 Famous Dog Breeds series in their distinctive blue pen & ink style.

Carreras Turf Famous Dog Breeds Matchbox Labels, 1952

Carreras Turf Famous Dog Breeds Cigarette Cards, 1952

Dalmatian vintage dog greeting card using an original matchbox label

Dalmatian vintage dog greeting card using an original cigarette card

The dinky cards  measure 104 x 74 mm and are blank inside for your own personal message.

The breeds available are: Afghan Hound, Airedale Terrier, Alsatian, Australian Terrier, Bassett Hound, Beagle, Bedlington Terrier, Bloodhound, Border Terrier, Borzoi, Boxer, Bulldog, Bull Mastiff, Bull Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Collie (Rough), Collie (Scotch), Corgi, Dachshund (Smooth), Dachshund (Long haired), Dandie Dinmont, Dalmatian, Deerhound, Elkhound, English Setter, Field Spaniel, Flat Coat Retriever, Foxhound, Fox Terrier (Smooth), Fox Terrier (Wire), French Bulldog, Golden Retriever, Gordon Setter, Great Dane, Greyhound, Griffon, Harrier, Irish Setter, Irish Terrier, Irish Wolfhound, Keeshond, Kerry Blue Terrier, King Charles Spaniel, Labrador, Lakeland Terrier, Mastiff, Newfoundland, Norwich Terrier, Old English Sheepdog, Otterhound, Papillon, Pekingese, Pointer, Poodle, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Saluki, Samoyed, Scottish Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Shetland Sheepdog, Skye Terrier, Saint Bernard, Springer Spaniel (English), Springer Spaniel (Welsh), Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Welsh Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Whippet and Yorkshire Terrier.

Sniff them out at The Enlightened Hound.

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Handmade vintage dog breed greeting cards – 50 different breeds

Vintage Collectable Art for Dog Lovers

I’m always on the lookout for vintage dog-related bits and pieces but there’s not much out there that takes my fancy! As you may know from my printmaking work, I like pieces with a strong graphic element, however much of the dog related ephemera I’ve come across seems to be either very traditional or rather sentimental. It’s also interesting how dog breeds have changed in appearance over time and so some breeds now look quite different to how they were illustrated in days gone by. I’ve seen some lovely old vintage metal advertising signs for dog food (they are pretty hard to come by) but I’m keeping my eyes peeled!

What I have found though, are some wonderfully illustrated vintage magazine covers from Country Fair (published in the 1950s in the UK) with cover illustrations by Australian artist John Hanna…

Country Fair Bulldog John Hanna

Country Fair Magazine December 1955 Bulldog by John Hanna

 

Country Fair Magazine November 1954 Pointer by John Hanna

Country Fair Magazine November 1954 Pointer by John Hanna

and some New Yorker magazine covers (first published in 1925 and still going strong today) well known for its iconic covers commissioned by celebrated artists, illustrators and cartoonists…

Perfect for Bull Terrier lovers are the covers illustrated by cartoonist George Booth…

New Yorker magazine March 1979 White Bull Terrier & Cat by George Booth

New Yorker magazine March 1979 White Bull Terrier & Cat by George Booth

New Yorker magazine February 1976 White Bull Terrier and Cat by George Booth

New Yorker magazine February 1976 White Bull Terrier and Cat by George Booth

or this adorable dog, waiting for someone to come home or guarding the house… a Bulldog perhaps?

New Yorker magazine February 1974 Bulldog Waiting by George Booth

New Yorker magazine February 1974 Bulldog Waiting by George Booth

and these great illustrations of dogs in the dog park by Mark Ulrikson and Ana Juan

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New Yorker magazine July 1995 Dog Park by Mark Ulrikson

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New Yorker magazine February 2010 Dogs in Sweaters by Ana Juan

and this wonderfully atmospheric and humorous illustration of a man walking his dog in a blizzard by Eugene Mihaesco

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New Yorker magazine February 1987 Man and Dog in Snow by Eugene Mihaesco

or this amusing scene by Andre Francois…

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New Yorker magazine May 1973 Dog & Cat through a window by Andre Francois

I also managed to lay my hands on what I think is a page from the Tailwaggers’ Club magazine featuring the official Tailwaggers’ Club doggie merchandise. The Tailwaggers’ Club was started in 1928 to raise money for sick and injured dogs. They donated money to the Royal Veterinary College, raised from membership subscriptions. At its peak in the 1930s the club had over a million dogs as registered members!

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Tail-waggers Club Doggy Equipment

Take a look at the vintage section on The Enlightened Hound’s website to see these (and hopefully other) interesting vintage doggy finds in the future.