Thursday, February 20, 2020

how to make a wire wall art sign

The older I get, the more I lean toward minimalist design. I love the feeling of simplifying, paring down, and being intentional about what I surround myself with. One of my favorite minimalist trends is wire wall art. I love the clean aesthetic, the organic feel, and the opportunity to customize a word, phrase, or quote you love.

Recently I shared my love for wire signs on a local lifestyle TV show, Studio 5, and I'm excited to share with you three different ways to create your own custom wire word art with minimal effort and cost.



I'm sure there are plenty of ways to make your own wire sign, but I'm going to focus on three ways, plus I'll share some tips about types of wire to use, tools and supplies needed, and how to display your wire wall art.

The first way to make wire word art, and my personal favorite, is with the We R Memory Keepers Big Happy Jig. What I love about this tool is it comes with everything you need to get started: the jig, wire, wire cutters, different size pegs, and a booklet with instructions and templates. There are even dozens more free templates on the @werhappyjig Instagram account. Check out THIS BLOG POST for a tutorial and project inspiration. You can also find several fun colors of wire HERE.


Another easy way to make wire wall art is to use a printed paper template. Choose your favorite script, calligraphy or hand lettering font and type your custom word or phrase. You can print it large scale on two sheets of paper at home, or print it on larger paper at a copy or print shop. Then use your hands to bend the wire to fit the shape of your template.


I used bailing wire for this sign and I recommend using rubber cleaning gloves to keep your hands from turning black. What I like about the bailing wire is that is has a real rustic look to it, so it's perfect if you're going for farmhouse style.


The third way to make wire wall art is to make your own wire jig! I made mine with a 1’x 2’ piece of pegboard. I found a wood dowel that was just slightly wider than the peg holes, then I cut it into 2 inch pieces and sanded them down, especially on the ends that goes into the board, so they’d fit tightly. This is a great option if you plan to make several of these for you, for your small business, or for gifts.


Now that you've got three different options for making wire wall art, let's talk about types of wire to use. Wire is categorized by width, or gauge. The higher the gauge, the thinner the wire. Wire can also be annealed, which means it's treated with heat and cooled at a certain rate so that it's more pliable than traditional wire. My favorite type of wire is annealed medium gauge wire (12-14) because it's not too hard to work with, but it still keeps its shape.

Here are some types of wire you can use:
  1. We R Memory Keepers 10-12 gauge wire (my personal favorite). It's easy to bend, doesn't crack or break, and holds its shape nicely. Plus it comes in all different kinds of colors!
  2. Bailing wire, 16 gauge, is cheap, easy to find, and fairly easy to work with. It has a black distressed look which is perfect for farmhouse style, but it also gets your hands dirty, so be sure to wear rubber cleaning gloves.
  3. Galvenized steel wire, 10 gauge, is clean, silver, and holds its shape really nicely. It's a littler harder to work with so be sure to use a good pair of pliers.
Here are some tools that will come in handy when making your own wire wall art:
  1. Pliers
  2. Wire cutters
  3. Rubber cleaning gloves
  4. Peg board
  5. Wood dowels
  6. Sandpaper
  7. Mallet (to drive in pegs)

Here are some ways to display your wire wall art:

      1. Inside a metal hoop wreath


      2. On a wood slice or wood plaque

     
      3. Suspended on fishline
      4. Directly attached to the wall (leave extra wire at the beginning and end of the design, then drill            small holes in the wall for inserting the wire)


Now that you've got a handle on the basics, it's time to make your own wire wall art sign! Choose a meaningful word, phrase, or quote and get started. Happy crafting!

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