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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Recipe Keepsakes

Here's a project a created a few months ago for my dad... but I think it's a lovely and totally charming keepsake that would make a great Mother's Day gift (you have 12 days, by the way...) so I am sharing it with you now.
I actually started this back in December, because it was meant to be a Christmas present, but didn't quite happen.
I think every family has a few recipes that are unique to them... or unique to a certian person in their family. My Dad makes famous cinnamon rolls and a killer apple pie. No one can do it quite like him-- his recipe is unique and delicious and just... his. Same thing with my Grandma's cream puffs. No one made cream puffs like grandma. It was one of her specials. I got thinking about these special recipes and how I would love to make some recipe art for my kitchen, and how much my parents would love having some keepsake recipe art in their kitchen.
I did a little searching and drew some inspiration from HERE (which if you weren't set on creating your own, I would totally recommend, because the work in this shop is adorable), and HERE and set out to create my own. 
I created this using Adobe Photoshop Elements, and using the help of the following tutorials from How to Nest for Less, Sweet C's Designs, and Nest of Posies. If you don't have photoshop, here is a great tutorial about how to create printables using a free site like Picmonkey, it's from I am Momma, Hear me Roar.
After creating my recipe printable (which took a lot of time, trial and error, and tweaking. Self-taught/blog taught graphic artist here!) I looked into buying some nice frames to gift them... but frames are stupid expensive, and still didn't create exactly the look I wanted. So I decided I wanted to mount mine on wood for a little different style.
Here's how that went down:
I took my files to FedEx Office and had them make some nice color prints for me. This cost less than a dollar. (you might also notice that I changed my chalkboard to green... it matched the decor in my parent's kitchen a little better that way)
I went to Home Depot and had two boards cut to 8x10". Then I brought them home and sanded all the edges really well, and stained them with some stain I already had on hand. I also picked up some picture hangers while I was there. Cost for the boards, cuts, and picture hanging hardware was around $5. These were stained several days before... and had completely dried and cured by the time I was working with them. (You notice I didn't entirely stain that top side? It's going to be covered, doesn't matter.)
Next I trimmed the paper prints down to size, I wanted just a very small border of the wood showing around the edges. I laid it on top to make sure it fit and I was happy... I'm happy! Lets move on...
I used a paint brush to put a very very thin layer of Mod Podge (which I already had on hand) on the board, then centered the best I could, starting at the top, applied my paper as smoothly as possible.
I worked in small sections, but very quickly and carefully, as the stuff dries pretty fast and you really only get one shot to get it right. That makes it sound super complicated-- it's not. Just be careful.
Once it is carefully centered and in place with all the mod podge underneath... use a credit card (or your HyVee fuel saver card!) to carefully carefully smooth out bumps, bubbles, and wrinkles.
Once everything is all smoothed out and adheared, get out your modpodge and brush once more and put a thin coat accross the entire top of the board. Mod podge will dry clear, so don't stress if it obscures your artwork while it's still wet. Also, it will give a bit of texture to the art, so make sure your brush strokes all go the same way, and that you don't have finger prints or something in the mod podge... unless thats the look you are going for, I guess.
I will appear to be dry within like 15 minutes... but resist the urge to touch it for a few hours. Let it sit overnight undisturbed to fully cure and harden up.
The next day, install the picture frame hanger hardware stuff to the back (didn't take a pic of this part... sorry!) And you are all done! Yay!

You have lovely keepsake recipe plaques to display in your kitchen or give to someone you love-- or even to remember someone you love. I thought they were really lovely, unique, sentimental kind of art. This project cost me around $6 to create-- which is a pretty cheap gift, I think, but still packs a sentimental punch. If you didn't have things like the stain and mod podge on hand, you might be invested more like $15, but even still-- not bad for nice artwork gift.
I loved them on my kitchen shelf next to Grandma's teapot, and I love them hanging as a pair in my parent's kitchen. My parents were delighted with the gift and proudly hung them immediately.
Maybe you have some family recipes you'd love to create a keepsake out of? Maybe thie would be the perfect gift for your Mother or Grandma this mother's day? Or maybe you just came here to steal the prominately displayed secret apple pie recipe of my father's? Well, I cannot blame you if you did, it's icredible. I can only caution you now that you have this powerful secret to use your powers for good, my friend, not evil.


  1. Replies
    1. Haha, actually as I was making these I was thinking... Pshh... Lisa would just be handpainting these puppies on reclaimed barnwood and they would turn out perfect, and vintage-y, and they would probably be in french and people would clamor to buy them!!!
      But I'm glad you like them. :)