Kenny Chavez decorates his folk art amigo sign with flowers made from rusted tin can lids and rusted bottle caps.
Materials and Tools:
4, 2' x 5-1/2" boards
4 medium size rusted cans - cleaned and cut open with the tops and bottoms removed
tin metal sheeting
swimming pool siding
2, 4" blue bottles
4, 2" mini recycled bottles
4 rusted coffee can lids
2 rusted can lids
4 yards of bailing wire
5 cupboard hooks
4 rusted bottle caps
rusted box of mini nails
4 heavy nails--2 for the hanger and 2 for the horseshoe
hammer, needle nose pliers, power drill/screwdriver, tin snips, scissors
1. Cut four 2' x 5-1/2" wide boards. Sand the cut edges smooth. Paint the boards with latex paint. Let dry.
2. Place the boards in an open square frame structure with a hole in the center. Place the top and bottom boards on top of the left and right boards to form a 24-inch square.
3. Remove the top board and nail the horseshoe, open end up and centered on the top board, with heavy 1-inch nails on both sides of the horseshoe.
4. Cut a 4-inch piece of bailing wire to make a hanger for the folk art sign. Pinch it in the center to form the letter "V" and curl each end into a small tight circle with pliers. Nail the hanger to the back of the top board.
5. Replace the top board onto the open square and clamp all the boards together.
6. To secure the boards together:
7. Place a rusted coffee tin lid on each of the four corners of the square and secure with two nails per lid.
8. Rusted Daisies:
9. Amigos Letters:
10. Wrapping Blue Bottles:
11. Cut four 17-inch bailing wire strips. Curl each piece into an S-shape. Place one on each side of the blue bottle facing inward toward each other. Nail them into place.
12. Cut seven smaller daisies out of colored swimming pool siding.
13. Colorful (swimming pool siding) Daisy Placement:
14. Cut two large can lids in half for a total of four halves. With pliers bend the cut edge in 3 cm along the length of the can lids. Place each half circle of tin at the outer center of each board (4 center sections). With the ledge facing inward toward the back of the sign, nail the ledge flush with the wood panel edges.
15. Cut four 1-1/2-foot wide strips of wire. Bend the wire from its center point into an S-shape with pliers, bend and sculpt the wire into swirling accents. Nail one wire at the S-shape holes into the board at the center back side of each tin half circle.
16. Decorate the half-circle tin on the bottom of the frame with hanging tin tassels.
17. Center and separate five cupboard hooks for hanging the bottles and the heart. Screw the hooks into the bottom edge of the top wood board. Cut a 4" x 4" tin heart out of tin metal sheeting. Nail a hole in the center of the heart. Cut 25 1-inch wire strips. Bend all into S-shapes. Connect five at a time into five link chains. Set aside.
18. Cut four 1-1/2-foot wire strips to wrap the mini-bottles. With pliers pinch the end into a spiral circle to hang at the end of the chain link. Wrap the wire around the body of the bottle three or four times making smaller circles under the bottle to secure it. Leave 1-inch of wire at the end. Cut the excess wire. Bend in the tip. Hang the bottles and heart from the chain links of your folk art amigo sign.
Folk Art Amigo Sign by Kenny Chavez from Albuquerque, N.M.
Kenny Chavez was born in Southern California, but raised by his mother in New Mexico. He considers himself both a New Mexican and an artist at heart. Having worked in the field of art for some time collecting and selling other peoples' work, he eventually got the itch to begin creating his own pieces. He combined his Mexican heritage along with his passion for recycling and the results were his Folk Art Retablos or signs.