My son has a projector that he uses in his space for watching TV and movies. He had it mounted to the ceiling, but he was more than willing to take it down to help me with my project. Mr had some extra plywood and some tiny brass nails, so we were all set with supplies!
We brought the big old sheet of plywood into the dining room and set the projector up with my laptop and an image of the outline of the mitten and then we zoomed in as much as we could to get it to fit on half of the sheet of wood.
Once we had a good size, I traced over the projected outline with a sharpie. then We flipped the board and turned it sideways and adjusted the projected image so the upper peninsula was on the other half, and traced that out.
Then my son carried the board to the barn and cut out the shapes for me. I was pretty overwhelmed when I first looked at it and all of those license plates! I had no idea where to begin, or what types of shapes to make. At first, I was thinking I'd cut each plate into the shape of each county in Michigan and then put them on the board. After about 2 seconds, I realized that would be an incredible amount of work, so I just decided to wing it.
Mr. thought I should use some sort of adheisive on the board to glue the plate pieces down. Unfortunately, that was a sticky mess and didn't work. Then he gave me a little container of tiny brass nails (they had a good sized head on them), a hammer, a punch (awl) some tin snips and a jigsaw with a metal cutting blade. He helped me set up on a little rolling table and made sure I had safety glasses and ear muffs, and I went to work.
I didn't get very far the first day. I think I was over-thinking it and making it more difficult than it really was. The next day, my oldest and his fiance came over to celebrate Easter with us. It was a gorgeous day! Sunny, blue skies and a touch over 80 degrees. He got right in there with me helping me cut plates and before long, she was into it with us and the three of us finished the mitten in no time at all!
We started the U.P., but I realized the time and had to head in to finish dinner because our turkey was cooking faster than I had anticipated on the grill, and it was time to stop playing around and get serious about getting dinner on the table!
We had a great visit with them, my youngest got home from work and we had a great meal together and great evening. All that sun and fresh air wore us all out and I think we all went to bed around 9:30! Even all the pups (they brought their puppy so we had 4) were exhausted and out for the count.
We had a couple of hours together the next morning and then they were off to visit her family-I hope once he's done with grad school he can move closer!
Things have been crazy hectic and busy between then and now, and last Sunday was the soonest chance I had to get out there and work on it again. I needed LOTS of cutting help, because my arm and shoulder were sore from volleyball and I felt like I had no strength in my hand to use the tin snips and the jigsaw was taking on a life of its own and I wasn't keeping up with straight lines. Mr. was nice enough to help when I needed a set of strong hands to trim some plates and before long, it was DONE!!
I am so happy with how it turned out! I've had a ton of compliments on it, and requests to make more to sell, but I'm hanging up my tin snips! I would be happy to show someone how to do it, but I'm not interested in making any to sell. I have a LOT of leftover plates that I was thinking of selling for $1 a piece to try to recoup my costs a little, but even if I don't sell any, $20 isn't bad for a total cost of a project this size.
A little monkey pup couldn't stay out of the picture!
All ready to go on the side of the shed
I haven't sealed it yet, but I plan to buy a spray on sealer/rust inhibitor to protect the fresh cut edges from rusting. That's on my list for tomorrow!