Making: This Is What I Did With My Jenn Ski Alphabet Cards

January 15, 2010 04:37 by ehouston

If you spend any time on Etsy than you have probably come across the artwork of Jenn Ski.  She creates the coolest modern images with a retro flare.  I think I may love everything she does. 

From her prints

Giclee Print (item No. P-2007-35)

to her blog about her favorite things and

her home remodeling (she has the hippest pad out there!).  

While trying to come up with a theme for the Little Guy’s room I kept coming back to Jenn’s animal images and I thought it would be great to buy a bunch of the prints, frame them and create a posh retro look.  I even thought about making some simple retro inspired stuffed animals (remember this post?)

to keep with the same retro feel and flow. 


Our spare bedroom with…

(photo courtesy of Zeitlin Realty, Nashville, TN)

the tongue and groove paneling was going to be transformed into a mod space for our new little human.  I had planned to paint everything bright and shiny white (sorry purists!), add a slim shelf around the top of the two side walls to hold all those stuffed animals I planned to make, the guest room dresser (against the wall from which this shot was taken) would be revamped to become the changing table and I was going to purchase the crib of my dreams (see this post!).


As my frequent readers know, my husband’s job was relocated to VA and we had to leave our little 1960’s Tri-Level.  Fast forward a couple of months and we are in our new home, with a new and very different nursery space and, of course, since I now stay home with the baby, a brand new budget!  When reality hit that I no longer had the funds to buy all the prints I wanted, and have them matted and framed, or that the lack of time was going to keep me from being able to make all the cute stuffed critters I longed for I knew I needed a plan B.  At about this same time I came across this tutorial


at Tiny Decor using alphabet cards designed by the one and only, Jenn Ski!  Hoo-Ray!  I thought, if only I could get my hands on these affordable Jenn Ski images I could still have some of that retro look I was going for.  Lucky for me my new GPS located a Michael’s craft store just down the road from our new house and they still had a couple of alphabet packs left. 


Plus they were on sale…SCORE for the budget!

I love these images and the neat little facts on the back of each flash style card.  Although I really liked how they displayed the cards in the tutorial at Tiny Decor I was not sure this would still work for the new room I was putting together.  After much hemming and hawing I decided to just use the Little Guy’s initials.  The nursery really went in a completely different direction than where it was originally headed and I will be posting that process soon.  So, unfortunately the whole alphabet was just no longer going to work with the new scheme.

and so the project began…..

As we were unpacking and trying to find places for things that had been in a completely different style home we found ourselves with lots of bits and bobs that just did not belong.  Or, that did not belong in the same way they had before.  An example would be this odd mirror/picture frame/hook thing that a well-meaning relative gifted us early in our marriage.


When we first received this gift it really did not fit our style at all, but eventually I decided to give it a home and get it out of the closet.  I fitted it with a couple of beach shots from one of our vacations and it was promptly hung behind the toilet in our extra bathroom.  At the time I had figured it would give a brief glimpse at a happy place whenever someone used the facilities.  ;o)  It worked for the space and we just went with it. 

For the revamp I decided to give it a paint job to help it blend better with its new home.


I took the time and made sure I did this in a way where I could bring it back to a mirror/picture frame/hook thing if I wanted to.  (this is what being on a budget does to you….always thinking ahead.)

Then I brought all the pieces together:


I painted the wood frame a glossy white, reinserted the glass and mirrors and then hid those openings with fabric covered cardboard.  The fabric is a chocolate brown, tone-on-tone, paisley print so it adds nice texture that is unfortunately hard to see in this picture.  I just measured the cardboard to fit the space while leaving a nice border of painted white wood and chocolate brown around the alphabet cards.  I cut the fabric (which was a leftover scrap from the office project) just a little bigger than the cardboard, folded the edges down and glued them along the backside of the cardboard.  After gluing the fabric covered board to the frame I used acid free photo mounting squares to “tape” the alphabet cards within the fabric covered cardboard area.  Later, The Mister helped me replace the hooks just below the cards since this task took a little muscle to get the screws through the cardboard and into the wood.  I did have to adjust the hangers down on the back to be sure they had a good amount of space for the screw head to really hold it to the wall, as you can see from this shot:


Prior to lowering the metal piece there wasn’t any kind of lip for the screw head to hook in to and I did not want this thing coming down on the Little Guy’s head during changing time.  Also, this type of hanger is very difficult to line up correctly when mounting, so I also wanted to show my trick for getting the screws lined up properly on the wall. 


It’s hard to see in this picture, but it’s clear tape.  I stuck it right above the hanger on the top edge and then marked it with a pen.  After that I was able to hold it to the wall, level it and mark the location of each hanger.  Then once the screws were in and the picture was ready to be hung I could do this:


Pull the tape and pen mark right off.

I think the finished project came out nice.  I have it hung above the Little Guy’s changing pad and right below his stuffed bear shelf. 


Yes, I was able to get some simple stuffed animals in his room after all.  Each one has a history with a member of my family and we hope they will continue to have one down the line. 

I had a lot of fun working on this project and creating something personalized for our little one’s room.  I got to use the really cool (and discounted!) Jenn Ski images that I adore, I reused something I already had (great recycling) and I did so on a next to nothing budget (The Mister just grinned from ear to ear when I told him that!).

So tell me about some of your favorite personalized or recycled projects.

Kitsch Krafts

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