LOTR Wall hangings

This is a bit of a throwback post, since I made these almost 3 years ago. When I was still trying to decorate my first place, I found that despite the large collection of posters and such, I found I wanted some unique geek things that I could put up and be proud of. Being the DIY and craft fan that I am, I decided I wanted to make something.

After a trip to my local craft store, and finding canvas on sale, I came up with an idea. I decided I was going to try my hand at my first project that involved painting with acrylics, and was going to make my own wall hangings. I already had a cloth map of Middle Earth that came with my collector’s edition of Lord of the Rings War in the North, so decided I would make wall hangings that were iconic images from the Lord of the Rings universe.

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First task was to pick which images I would use. I decided to pick one image from each of the major races: Elves, Men, and Dwarves. For the Elves I chose a version of the Evenstar, for the Men I went with the Tree of Gondor, and for the Dwarves I picked the doors of Moria. I decided that I would do each image in silver, and then picked three colors as the background.

The first step was easy. All I had to do was paint the canvas a solid color. One green, one burgundy and one navy. Then I had to figure out how to get the actual images on to the canvas.

I am most definitely not artistically gifted enough to just draw or paint the images on. My first thought was to use a stencil, since I could print the images onto card stock, cut the stencil with an exacto knife. And use it to transfer the image. The problem I found was that the level of detail on the Evenstar and Moria was too high to feasibly make a stencil, so I had to come up with something else.

After a bit of clever engineering I figured it out. I made myself a light box. I printed the patterns on to transparency, like the ones I used to use in school as a kid on the light projectors. Since I don’t own a projector, I took a large cardboard box and made a platform on it for the canvas, and one below that for the transparency. Then I put a bright LED on the bottom of the box, and the image was a shadow on the canvas.

Once I had engineered the solution, it was simply a matter of taking the silver paint pen I had and tracing the shadow onto the canvas.

I was pretty happy with how they turned out. Now they hang in my entryway, next to the map of Middle Earth, and make for a unique and geeky welcome to anyone who comes in to my home.

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