Category Archives: Wall Decor

Bracken-man Has Got It Going On


This project was thought up and done by our son.  Hence the title of this post.  So did you read the post title and start singing “Stacy’s Mom Has Got it Going On”?  (Because I totally did!)

Remember back on this post about the Junk Gypsy Garage Sale Battle that we went to?  Well here is the purchase made by our son, 5 insulators.  He had an idea to use these.


Almost 2 weeks ago he found a map repo on eBay to use for this project.  So this week while he was home for spring break, project insulator was done.

First thing he did was trim the border off the map, then measured and cut the piece of wood to fit the map.  The wood backing he used was from an old poster frame.



Next he used modge podge to attach the map to the board.  He also used a roller to make sure the map stuck all over to the wood.

mapmodge mapmodge2

This was left to dry overnight before he continued.  The next day he prepared the insulators by first cutting off the long bolt attached to them.  To do this he used a man’s favorite tool……the zip cut.  I asked him what did people do before they invented zip cuts, and he said “On the 5th day God created the zip cut, then on the 6th day he made man to use it.”  Anything that throws sparks makes my hubs and son happy.  After cutting off the attached bolt, he used a grinder to make the end smooth.’

mapgrindstem mapgrindstem1

Now here is where it can be easier or complicated.  I would have attached the insulators with E6000 glue, but he and his dad chose a different route.  They opted to use it on the lathe to drill and tap a hole to screw it to the wood.  Here are some pic’s to show you that process.


Once all 5 had a hole drilled in them, he had to figure out the placement.  First he drew a star template so that he could mark the location of the points of the star.

mapstar mapstarlayout

Once the 5 points were marked, he drilled a hole for each one to be able to attach the insulators.  Before he drilled the hole he place a piece of scotch tape over the mark so the drill didn’t tear the map.


Next was to screw in each insulator from the back.

mapinsulatorplaceAfter all 5 were screwed in, it was time to bend the barbed wire.  Since he gathered a weathered piece from the pasture, we laid towels over the map to collect the rust.  This was a 3 person job, because we needed all the hands we could to hold and bend the barbed wire.



Once his star pattern was drawn, he had to tie the two ends back together.  To do this they tried different things, but settled on a piece of leather cording.

mapleather mapleather1

That is it.  He now has an awesome picture to hang on his wall that he thought up and created all on his own.  Thank you Junk Gypsies for being an inspiration, and supplying the items that sparked his creativity.


Linking up at these sites.  Go check out all the ideas!

Cedar Hill Ranch   The Scoop

Homestories A to Z  Tutorials and Tips

Not Just A Housewife  Show Me What You Got

Some Day Crafts Whatever Goes Wednesday

The 36th Avenue DIY Ideas

So I married a craft blogger – A man’s blog!


Upcycle License Plates


As you all may know, we think everything is bigger in Texas.  So why not upcycle something to represent my great state.  You’ve probably seen these pictures around everywhere from Target to Bed Bath & Beyond.


I’ve always liked these, but thought “what if we just did Texas?”  WE, because this took 3 of us (me, G the hubs, and our son) to work with license plates.  I went to the DMV (Dept of Motor Vehicle) and asked if for some strange reason people actually returned their old plates to them when they were issued new ones.  The lady told me, “you would be surprised how many we get returned to us.”  So in true junkin’ fashion, I asked her if I could have some.  She gave me about 30 of them for free.  They were a little dirty, but so what they were free.


The first thing I did was give them all a good washing with dish soap and water.  Then once they were dry I picked out the cleanest ones.  We needed a pattern to shape these plates into Texas, so in comes the Texas size pattern out of cardboard.


We then put the plates side by side, to form a large square that was bigger than our pattern. We flipped them all over and laid the pattern on them backwards.  Next we drew around the pattern on the plates so the state of Texas was drawn backwards on the back of our square of plates.  So sorry I didn’t take a picture of this, I totally forgot.  We got so busy trying to keep it all lined up that I forgot to snap a pic.

Then we needed to cut each plate to form the borders of the state with tin snips.  These are just like big scissors for tin.  This took all 3 of us because it was SLOW going with all those river boundaries.  If you do this with a state that has straight lines it will be a lot easier.


Cut your pattern out of these plates just like cutting out a pattern.  Once you get them all cut out and flipped over you have the state of Texas. (I’m not showing you a picture here because I don’t want to spoil the end result.)

To hold all this together we went through our stash of old weathered lumber.  We gathered up enough pieces for G to  screw them together to form a base to mount the plates on.


Here is what it looks like once you lay them out and screw them together.  You can use a Kregg Jig, or just put a smaller piece of wood (1×3) vertically along the back and screw to it from the back.  Either one of these ways will keep you screws hidden.


Now you need to lay your plates down of the wood mount in the shape of Texas, and screw them in place.


Once we had them all screwed into place, G took a star brand and fancied up the corners.  Here is our finished project that is hanging in the game/workout room.


G just screwed it in directly to a stud due to the weight of it.  We now have Ian original piece of art work for our workout/game room.  (Sorry you can see the shadow of the weight bench, but I couldn’t move it by myself.)

Go shopping at your local ReStore, Goodwill, or DMV and see what you can upcycle for your home.  Let me know what you’ve done.

Linking up at:

East Coast Creative Creating With The Stars Contest.  We didn’t get picked for the actual contest, so we are linking up in their mini-contest.  There is some really creative ideas going on in this contest so go over and check it out.

Sugar Bee Crafts  Take A Look Tuesday

Home Stories A to Z  Tutes & Tips

The Ironstone Nest  Transformation Tuesdays