If you’ve ever visited me on Instagram you know that I’m kind of crazy about my cats. Heck, if you’ve just visited this blog a time or two you probably know that I am all about the kitty pets! And because I adore them so, I photograph them often!
Some time ago it got to the point that I was adding so many pics that I couldn’t keep track of what I had even posted. And sometimes I’d want to see that pic of Liddy on my chest with Marla asleep waaay in the back in her bowl. Yes, my cat sleeps in a bowl. Which I have placed in the bedroom because that is where you’re supposed to sleep! But scrolling through all of my pics would deter me.
So I made my cats each their own hashtag so I could easily find what I want when I want it! Lydia became #LiddyCat, Marla became #M arlaCat which became #TabbyMarla when the former became over saturated, Gracie took on his rapper name and became #GmunnyCat and Max, always the dapper fellow, took his full name #MaxamilionVonFuzzyBottom. However, you may have noticed that Max’s frame doesn’t have that tag. In a word, it was just too stinking long. So Max now has a second tag… #MaxVonFB.
And if you think I’m nuts, some of the kitties of my fave bloggers and IGers also have their own custom tags. #lolasbrownchin #banksycat #punkthechunk #peggythecat <— check ’em out. So cute!
But moving on, I thought I’d make my very own kitties their own hashtag frames! So let’s get on with this project! You will need:
- Wood burning pen (this is my third and favorite from Darby Smart)
- Wood burning hot stamps
- Plaid square frames – only a buck apiece at WalMart
- Acrylic paints (I used four colors from this set)
First off these stamps get crazy hot so you need to practice extreme caution when working with them. A few thoughts…
- Have a metal bowl on hand to dump the brands when done with them.
- Use needle-nose pliers and never, ever touch the metal part of the burner or the brand itself with your hands.
- These things stay hot so much longer than you would expect. Even if it has been 10 minutes, do NOT touch a brand you have used in the same sitting. Trust me on this one. I was shocked at how long these suckers can burn you.
- Pull your hair up. I managed to wrap hair around the metal part and it smelled like, well, burning hair for hours. Nasty business.
- If you have cats or other pets that like to be up in your business when crafting, keep them out of the room you are working in. I know it is hard with cats yowling outside of the door and constantly jamming little paws underneath but it’s for the best.
- Sit and wait until the tool has cooled before walking away. Even if you’ve already unplugged it or flipped the off switch, these things get so hot that it’s just best to make sure it really is off.
- I test to see if my pen has cooled by first making a pass with my hand a few inches over the metal portion. Then I place the metal on a piece of scrap wood and see if it mars the surface and if not I quickly check to see if the wood has the feeling of heat to it.
To change out your brands place the new brand on a flat work surface and place the pen onto the part that screws in. Take your needle nose pliers and turn the brand on top of the work space. Gently pull away from the tabletop and if the brand stays securely in, finish tightening with your needle-nose pliers.
Okay. Have I scared you off now? I sure hope not because these things are so CUTE! Plus these tools are super fun to use and I’m absolutely loving mine. Last of all if you exercise caution things will be fine. I’m one of the clumsiest people ever and I’ve had no real disasters with mine so keep that in mind!
Back to the tutorial. Take a ruler and mark a line to work off of to keep your hashtags fairly straight. Next, lay out the COOL brands to figure out the width your finished word will be. Measure that distance out in the center and start working.
Gently press the hot brand down on the wood and rock it up and down, then left and right to make sure it burns completely. It takes only seconds and can quickly discolor the wood (like my hashtag on this one).
If you’ll need to use the same letter again on the same project, I like to lay it where it goes (cool) and then burn around it. That way I only have to heat up that letter once!
And if you’re wondering how I know if my brand is ready to go, I use a scrap piece of wood to test it out. Now since these frames are only a dollar, I got one to use just as my tester. This way I have no question if it will burn correctly on this type of wood when I tested on my usual scrap piece (which is a different type of wood). I wasted a buck but saved several frames in the process so I actually saved a lot more. Plus I can use this sucker for ages!
If your letter is too hot, simply burn and burn and burn until it starts to cool off so that you don’t get discoloration. Also, if using a new stamp before using it on your project place on your tester wood to season it. You’ll notice with that first and second burn the brand will slip around on you and you don’t get a perfect impression. For some reason using it a time or two totally eliminates that problem.
If your frame has any wonky edges, clean them up with a bit of find sand paper. Take an eraser and remove your guide lines.
Apply tape that runs even with the bottom edge of the inside of the frame and paint the top portion a color of your choice. Allow to fully dry and remove the paint.
To finish put your favorite pics inside, and if hanging, hot glue on some saw tooth picture hangers.
Bam! Isn’t that just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?
These cute Instafamous DIY hashtag Instagram photo frames can be made for anyone or anything. Not just kitties or dogs! I think it will be lots of fun to make a gallery wall with pics of family members with a potential hashtag for each. How fun will that be?!