Thursday, January 19, 2012

DIY: Fishscale Panels

I love shiny things.

I'm always up for any excuse to add a touch of glamour.

When I saw these textured panels, I knew they were for me.  Here's how to make your very own fishscale panels~~
Gather your materials:
:: 2" punch (or a circle template, scissors, and a lot of patience)
:: posterboard
:: cardboard, cut to your preferred panel size
:: staples
:: trim or a picture frame without the glass

Use a 2" punch to punch out about a million circles.  I used old paint chips and posterboard.  I liked mixing the different finish of the paint chips and shiny/matte sides of the poster board to add subtle texture to the finished panel.

If you want to get technical, you can measure out your cardboard panel and mathematically figure out exactly how many circles you'll need.  There's probably a fancy formula you can use, but I'm not a math wiz.  I just laid out two rows worth of circles, took the measurements, and then multiplied by the total size of my cardboard.

After your circles are ready, draw straight lines on your cardboard to keep you on track when you begin to attach the fishscales.

Next, individually staple the circles onto your cardboard in rows.  Every other row should be offset, so that you have a fishscale pattern (this means that you will have half a circle hanging off the edge of your cardboard on the offset rows).

Keep stapling...keep stapling...if you used different textured materials to punch out your circles, you may want to randomly distribute them throughout so you don't end up with a bunch of the same kind clumped together.  Unless that's the look you're going after -- totally up to you!

Now that your fishscales are all in place, time to spray paint! 
I used mostly metallic gold, with a little matte gold and bronze that I had on hand.
Finally, staple your cardboard to the back of your frame.  You could use a pre-made open back frame or you could make your own from trim that you purchase by the foot at Lowes or Home Depot.  We were in the middle of replacing door trim, so I just got Kristopher to make me some frames out of the old trim.

I used a metallic oil rubbed bronze paint on the frames, but I'm thinking about doing something lighter instead.  Pewter/gold mix?  Not sure yet.

I love how you can see them shimmer anytime you walk past the foyer
The best part of this project is that you can personalize it to your own taste -- use larger circles, bright colors, or any mix of textures that suits you.  Good luck!

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