Hello all! Oh, how happy I am to announce that LBL Design offers professional custom framing! And this came out of pure necessity. A very good family friend and a loyal customer needed horseshoes framed for his daughters. Oh, man, how does one frame a horseshoe? This was a big challenge that I was not sure I was going to successfully execute, but since I do like a good challenge, I decided to give it a try and push my boundaries a little bit further. With a little research I came up with the idea and a beautiful piece was born!
Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the horseshoes alone, but I am absolutely certain that you know how they look. Horseshoes usually weight about 2 lbs. which is equivalent to about 1 kg and that meant that I had to make sure that the shoes are tightly secured on the board. I made a quick trip to Michaels – my to go store when it comes to materials for quick crafts and framing and original plan was to go with shadow boxes that were 9″x20″ but, unfortunately these frames were not deep enough so I had to make changes in my design and buy frames that were 12″x16″. Aside from frames, I picked up some black matboards, aluminum tags and fast setting epoxy. After I came back to my little studio I first drew an image to help guide me faster. I first started with measuring the horseshoes and once I had my measurements I turned to my trusty Cricut Design Space and designed everything I needed. There was a lot going on with this project: mat cutting, engraving and foiling and there was no time to be wasted for I only had two days to complete it. The first material I loaded into my Cricut Maker was a piece of matboard that I previously cut to size. Now this did not work and I have to admit that I failed big time! Yes, the Maker did cut the matboard completely, but, the cuts were not clean and since my frame is 12″ wide the wides that the machine can cut is 11.5″, which is 1/2″ too short… This was when this became truly challenging and it was time to get to Plan B! Since I was running out of time, I decided to make my engravings and foiling. These two tasks were super easy and I had no issues creating them; and then it was time to wrap up my day.
Day two rolled in and I was slowly approaching the deadline. Since all photo shops were either closed or take more than two weeks to complete the order, there was only one thing left to do. I visited BLICK Art Materials in Berkeley and I bought a tool for mat cutting. Now, this tool does not look as much, but, trust me, it does an amazing job, but you also have to have a husband that can cut it for you. Yes, I chickened out and my wonderful husband came to rescue! His engineering mind cut all three mats so perfectly! And while he was cutting the mats, I prepared the frames/shadow boxes. I used windex and a fiber cloth to wipe clean the glass inside and out. Next, it was time to glue the horseshoes. When doing this, please make sure where your hooks are, you don’t want to glue your memorabilia on the opposite side of the hooks otherwise you will end up with the framework hanging up side down! I then put my mats on the backing and marked the openings with push pins. This definitely helped define the space I needed for the horseshoes. As mentioned before, bought J-B Weld to attach the horseshoes onto the base. This is a super quick setting epoxy and you have to work FAST because it will set in 5 minutes! I simply followed the instructions on the back of the packaging and everything worked great! One thing that it does not say and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND is that you wear gloves, protect your work surface and work in a super ventilated room, or outside if you have that option. This epoxy has the worst odor ever! I had to open all doors and windows throughout the house because the smell got real bad, but it did air out fast. I simply squeezed out a little bit of epoxy into a little plastic dish and mixed it well with a little wood tool that came with it. I also used the same tool to apply even coat of epoxy on the back of the horseshoes, and simply mount it on the board. Even thought the packaging said that the setting time is 5 minutes, I still allowed it to dry and set a bit longer. In the meantime I attached the messages with some fancy washi tape and put my logo stickers on the backs; I then added the engraved plates and securely glued them with with E6000. After everything was set, I simply put the pieces together and that was it!
I apologize for not having the best photos of the completed project. The kitty helped, of course, but neither of us could help the main light source breaking in the middle of the photoshoot. Overall, I am extremely pleased with how these pieces turned out. They are sophisticated and timeless, and something I would be proud to hang on my wall.
Thank you so much for visiting me today and I will see you very soon with another post.
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