Hellboy tray before/during/after


The before; a wooden tray that was scratched up and worn around the edges


Working on painting it black after sanding it.


Black paint drying on the back and front edges of the tray (it’s balanced on a box so that it can dry in both places at the same time)


Test fitting the comics that I want to use to see how they’ll fit together.


Planning out how to space out the frogs around the edges to keep them even-ish. I wanted to have the frogs around the border as they were part of the story line in the Hellboy comic they came from (and they are adorable).


Working with scraps to create a patchwork design around the curved edge of the tray.


Letting the curved edges dry after completing the patchwork.


Test fitting the comics with the border to see how they best go together and giving myself marks to line them up when decoupaging.


The first of many layers of varnish drying. The epoxy finish eats through and destroys comic book pages unless they are coated in many layers of varnish before the epoxy is poured.


The final product. I forgot to take pictures while epoxying but this is what the tray looks like with the final coat of epoxy on it. The epoxy makes it extremely hard to photograph since its reflective but helps protect the comics and keep the safe from water.


Couples frames for Valentine’s Day

The frames used for this project were purchased at a local salvage and reclamation store. They’re not normally the kind of frames that I use for my up-cycling projects since they required so little work, but I made an exception as I wanted to do a series of couples frames for Valentine’s Day.
When I got the frames, the cardboard backing was damaged and separating from the front.

I used Gorilla glue to reattach the frames and feel confident that they will now hold together. The front of the frames originally had a pink and black floral design on a white background that was printed paper adhered to the front of the frames but was also peeling up around the edges. It’s hard to tell from the photo below but the paper had been laminated and was bubbling up (that’s the best way I can explain it).

Using a razor blade to remove the printed paper made quick work of prepping the surface for my comic book images. It was nice for once not to have to sand and paint the frames to have them ready to go. It was also unexpectedly nice to have frames that were the same size as it made it easier to plan out what I was doing.

Below are some pictures of how the finished projects turned out. To see more pictures, visit my at Etsy store at


Doctor Who picture frames

Super excited to have made these Doctor Who / Amy Pond picture frames.
Just in time for Matt Smith and Karen Gillan to come to Boston Comic Con. Can’t wait to go see them!!


Metroid Samus string art / nail art

I started this project by drawing out the image that I wanted to turn into string art on paper and coloring it in so I would have a template to work from.  I then added grid lines to the drawing as I needed to enlarge the drawing to fit the piece of wood that I wanted to use and knew it would be harder for me to re-draw the image bigger (I’ve never been good at drawing things on a large scale).



Once the grid lines were on my small-sized drawing I drew a larger grid on a sheet of tissue paper and copied over the lines from each square of the grid to get a larger copy of the image.


After I had made my tissue paper stencil I retraced the outlines in marker to make them easier to see and taped the stencil to the piece of wood that I was using. I then placed nails around the outline to get an idea of where the nails should go. On previous attempts at nail art, I had less of a plan and it didn’t work out the best so I figured by placing the nails where I wanted them to go that I could get a feel of the spacing.


Once the nails were all where I wanted them, I removed them one by one and used a punch to make divots where the nails would be going.

Using an actual punch worked significantly better than using a thumb tack (which I’ve tried in the past and do not recommend). The end result was the  board you see below with the Samus pattern made out of tons of little indentations.


I then nailed galvanized roofing nails into the divots. This went much easier than in previous attempts since the tips of the nails had a place to sit and the divots helped hold the nails slightly straighter. I was careful not to pound the nails in too deep as I knew I would need enough room on each nail to wrap the string.



I used my original drawing to match up what colored string should go where and tried to outline each section with the color that it would be before filing it in. I did this in an attempt to make the different sections stand out from each other and show off what they were  a part of.  For the end of the gun I tried to wrap the string around the nails in a diagonal pattern to emphasize that the end of the gun was round and closer than the rest of the gun which was also green. I then made the part of the gun that was on the forearm have straight lines going back towards the back of the gun to differentiate it from the end of the gun. In retrospect I should have done the gun last to help it stand out in front. If you are trying to make a multi colored nail art yourself, I would highly recommend doing all the “background” colors/parts first.


To finish the project up, I went back to re-outline some of the shapes in the image to make them pop. I added more yarn to Samus’s arm to bring it to the front of her body and added a lighter color green to the outline of the gun.


SGDQ – Sonic the Hedgehog

Super excited that one of my projects was accepted as a donation for Summer Games Done Quick 2017 (SGDQ). For those of you who don’t know what SGDQ is, its a video game speed running event to raise money for charity. I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t! Hoping to see my Sonic the Hedgehog tray on the stream of the event 🙂SAM_4916

Nail / String Art – Attempt #2

For my second nail art project I decided to make Pac-man and a ghost. Once again I used a piece of leftover wood from an old CD rack but for this attempt I changed methods slightly. After printing out the shapes that I wanted to use as my outline, I used a thumb tack to go around the edge and make evenly spaced tiny holes. Using the thumb tack was more difficult than I thought it would be. The first few were easy to push in but it got progressively harder the more times I had to do it (I guess I have weak thumbs). After all the holes were made I removed the paper and nailed the nails in the tiny holes from the tacks. By doing it this way I didn’t have to deal with the paper leaving remnants around the nails. It was also nice that the nail was able to balance a little in the divot created by the tack. I liked this method better than nailing through the paper but still think that it can be improved upon.
To make the string look nicer I went around the outer edges weaving the string in and out of the nails. By going around the  border twice I was able to create clear borders that look more finished than the borders on my original attempt. I also tried to be conscience of keeping the strings symmetrical and even. While it is by no means perfectly symmetrical the zigzagging of the string was much more balanced.

Nail/String Art – Attempt #1

Recently a co-worker of mine went to a nail-art event night and told me about it. Apparently they nailed the outline of the shape of Maine onto old barn boards and then used string to create a web between the nails. As she described the class to me I couldn’t help but wonder what other shapes could be made. In theory I could make superhero symbols, words, characters, all sorts of things. I was pumped to give it a try myself. I remembered a board that has been sitting in my closet (it was part of a CD rack at one point in time) that I had stashed in there thinking it could eventually come in handy. When I pulled the board from the closet I was disappointed to find that it had all kinds of screw holes in it from where the metal that held the CDs use to be attached. Fortunately, I had a tub of wood filler and was able to fill all the holes. Once the holes were filled I sanded the wood and painted it black (my go to color of choice whenever I am making something).
For my first attempt at nail art I decided to make a Batman symbol. I found one that I liked the shape of online and printed it out. I then cut it out with a boarder around the edge. Using a ruler I centered the image on the board and then nailed in 4 nails (one in each corner) to hold the cutout in place. Once I was sure the image wasn’t going anywhere I eyeballed the distances around the edges between the 4 nails I had places and drew dots where I wanted place the nails. It took a few attempts to get the dots positioned correctly. It was harder than I anticipated to hammer the nails straight and all around the same height. I think with practice that the nailing portion of this type of project will get easier and look better. What I hadn’t thought through is that once the nails were in place that the paper outline would backfire on me. When I pulled the paper off it left behind tiny pieces or paper scrap around each nail where the paper had to tear free from under the nail in the holes. I attempted to use tweezers to pull off the paper scraps but they were stuck and hard to grasp. Next time I will come up with a better idea for knowing where the nails need to go.


Wrapping the yarn around the nails was incredibly fun. I didn’t have a plan for the yarn so I just went with it and mixed up the directions. This didn’t make for a very clear edge so I also wrapped the yard around the outside boarder occasionally wrapping it around some of the nails as needed to get it to keep the right shape. I’m not sure if better planning would make it come out better or if there is a technique that I should be using. I need to look up some info on how other people do this but for a first attempt I am happy-ish with how it turned out. One thing for sure is that I am definitely interested in giving this another try.


Thrift shop find

So I just found this frame at a local thrift shop and am excited to figure out what to do with it. Its pretty beat up around the corners but should look good as new once I get a chance to work on it 🙂


Getting closer (part 3)

Yesterday was rainy/gross outside so we ended up staying home and working on projects (my husband working on a computer project, me working on GeekChic stuff).

As I was searching through my box of old/ripped/water-damaged/creased comics (I know, so sad) I stumbled across a scene that showed Bruce Wayne’s parents being murdered in a Batman Origins graphic novel that I had gotten at a yard sale last summer. I’m not going to lie, its more than a little depressing but it is a big part of why Bruce Wayne turned out like he did so I decided to use it. I’d actually been wanting to do something with this scene for a while now but the images were too wide to be cut down to go on a frame and there weren’t enough of the images to make a full size tray. Luckily the cabinet door trays are slightly smaller in the middle where the images go since they have the wide borders on the edge so they were perfect for this.

For the second tray I decided to go with a Joker theme which only seemed fair since I am already making a Batman tray. The images for this tray are from Joker #1 (#23.1) from November 2013. I got this comic at the same yard sale that the Batman graphic novel came from and had been waiting for a good way to use it. There is a fairly large picture of The Joker looking straight ahead that I thought would look cool on a tray.

For the last tray I was leaning towards Ghost Rider since my husband gave me his collection of Ghost Riders from when he was a kid that had gotten damaged while in storage and I have a lot of them to work with. However, when I was flipping through Ghost Rider # 77 from September 1996 which featured Doctor Strange I found a pic of Doctor Strange that I just had to use. It was of him standing like a bad ass looking off to the left. Although this issue featured Doctor Strange there wasn’t a ton of images of him so I wasn’t sure if there would be enough material to actually make the tray. After some careful planning (measuring the images in the comic book and considering how to cut them) I realized that it was going to be close but that I could probably make it work and started in. It was closer than I thought it was going to be but worked out in the end.


After selecting all of the materials and getting them cut/laid out how I wanted them I used Modgepodge to carefully stick the images down. For anyone who hasn’t used Modgepodge before I highly recommend that you keep an empty gift card or old hotel room key around to use when Modgepodging. Its very helpful to run over the tops of the images and squeeze out any air bubbles/ excessively glued areas. Since I am going to be epoxying over the comics its vital that the images are stuck down tightly and there are no air bubbles as the epoxy will eat through the paper and turn it black in any areas that have air bubbles. Its also handy to keep a damp rag around that you can use to wipe off your fingers as the Modgepodge will get on your hands and depending on the type of comic book you’re using can cause you to pull the ink off the pages and onto your glue-y fingers. This is especially a concern when using the old newsprint paper style of comics as the ink on those ones seems to smudge and lift easily.

Now that the images are all glued down the next step is going to be painting over them with approximately a dozen layers of varnish going in every direction and then eventually (when the weather improves) epoxying them to create a glass-like finish. More to come on this project as I am able to start epoxying again.

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