Wouldn't it be great if people actually wrote real letters (ya know, like on paper?) instead of only emails? There's something romantic about a handwritten letter. It's like there's a part of that person in those letters. A connection that you don't get in an electronic impersonal email. I'm not saying we should go back to not having the accessibility and convenience of email - because that would be silly. And let's be real, there are amazing things that are now possible through ever-increasing technology. But nevertheless, there's something magical about holding a piece of paper in your hand in which someone has poured out their heart and soul through parchment and ink...
Okay, so maybe I've watched Pride & Prejudice too many times. But you have to admit that when you get something in the mail other than bills and advertisements, there's a little something inside you that smiles. And you probably rush to open that one first, before the bills and other un-fun parcels.
However, realistically, most of what we receive in the mail is bills. But nevertheless, I need a spot to put those bills instead of on my kitchen table.
So on an afternoon shopping excursion with Meg, I found an old letter holder at the Salvation Army Thrift Store for $1.50 (score!). I knew that I wanted it to be purple and green (the soon-to-be colors of my kitchen), but I also knew that I wanted to use stain instead of paint (I prefer the natural wood grain behind the color). So I talked to Morgan at the paint counter at Home Depot® down the road and she whipped up a Behr custom purple stain for me. I also bought another Behr wood stain – “avocado” for the front panels. I sanded it down, using an 80 grit sandpaper (you could probably also use something less course depending on how thick the finish is), and then using a rotary tool to sand the beveled areas (this isn’t a necessary tool to have for this – it just comes in handy for small spaces). I taped off the edges and applied the green stain first. It was a lot thicker than other stains I’ve used (I usually work with a Minwax® Wood Finish stain), so my layers were probably a little thick, which showed less wood grain. But regardless, I like how it turned out so I didn’t sand it off. I then taped off the center to stain the sides. The custom purple stain was slightly thinner, but I still had to make sure that my layers were thin (I applied about 3 coats). I put a couple pieces of scrap paper in between the panels, using an Elmer’s Spray Adhesive, then a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top to seal it. I added some designs to the panels with rubber stamps and an embossing kit. Because the base was a wood stain instead of a paint, the heat from the embossing tool didn’t make it bubble. So I was able to apply the design directly to the wood. And voila! Old letter holder = wall worthy once again.