Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Men Scan 2 Blog Hop - Flip Pal Review and DIY Project


It's been a week since my Flip-Pal© Mobile Scanner arrived and I've been putting it to the test.  After a few field trips with traveling"pal" and some in-studio challenges, I'm happy to share with you a couple of fun DIY's.

The Flip-Pal© Mobile Scanner's most valuable feature to me, is the portability.  It runs on four AAA batteries, which allowed me to take it everywhere, ready to scan when something caught my eye.  I was also pleasantly surprised how well the image stitching software handled the unusual subjects of my oversized scans, which you will see further in this post.  The removable cover allows for direct scanning of images by placing the face of the unit against your image source, which opens the door to all kinds of scanning possibilities.

To introduce the first DIY, using the Flip-Pal know that I specialize in designing and creating products for kid's rooms and children's spaces in addition to my work as a published artist.  I wanted to create something for use in a child's room, utilizing scans of "reclaimed" lumber, which is a hot material in design right now!  I placed the word reclaimed in quotes because some of the lumber didn't have to be reclaimed, I actually scanned it in place, by holding the scanner up against an old warehouse wall and a couple old garages in our Portland's 1920's bungalow neighborhood.   Following the scanner's instructions I made multiple scans, overlapping them to enable the stitching software to assemble one larger image. This photo frame project is an easy one, perfect for crafting with your kids.  It requires basic craft materials and abilities.

Having enjoyed putting together the reclaimed wood frame, I decided to add a second project and create a holiday reindeer wall hanging utilizing the same technique, to follow.  I'm a big fan of vintage decor, so I catered the design to have a retro appeal.  This second DIY requires use of power tools and a few specialty craft mediums.


A decorative frame with a reclaimed lumber look.  It's a perfect accessory for a boys room.  Personalization would be easy to add and the color scheme could be tailored to suite your needs.

Materials list-
Simple pine frame blank, available at most craft stores $5.00 and under.
Matte decoupage medium
Raw umber acrylic craft paint
Chipboard or matte board
Brush, cutting blade knife, fine sandpaper and scissors
Glue Gun and glue sticks
Flip-Pal© mobile scanner

Remove the Flip-Pal scanner cover to utilize it's direct to surface scanning capability.  Assemble your supplies.

Lightly sand your unfinished frame to remove burrs and minimize rough spots.   Dilute the raw umber craft paint with water so it can be applied like stain to the frame's surface.  Wipe excess paint off and let dry.  Facing the scanner against the reclaimed wood of your choice, scan various spots of unique texture and paint effects.  If you would like to utilize larger pieces follow the supplied instructions on overlapping your scans for the stitch software to assemble.  Remove the supplied memory card, place it in the provided card reader/usb adapter and plug it into your computer.  Follow the instructions for MAC or PC to download the scans.  I imported the scanned images into my photo editing software and played with the colors and saturation to create the look and palette I wanted.  I also reduced the size of the "boards" to better suit the scale of the frame.  Print the finalized images on a quality text weight paper.  
Cut the printed images into individual boards.  Decoupage rows of your wood images in various lengths and thicknesses onto the frame, while staggering the ends.  Leave gaps between the "boards" so the background's raw umber color shows through.  You may want to layout your board rows before hand to achieve a color balance or just wing it and take your chances.  Once the entire surface is covered, give it a final coat of decoupage medium, let dry.  Adhere a "board" print to chipboard and let dry.  Cut the covered chipboard into strips.  Arrange those strips around the frames opening and cut to the desired lengths.  Use hot glue to adhere the strips.  If you choose to personalize the frame you could cut out letters from the board scans, also mounted to chipboard. Hot glue them in place.


reclaimed lumber craft, DIY, reindeer, reindeer craft, christmas decor, by Aaron Christensen

Materials list-
In addition to the items listed for the frame add:
Small glass ornaments to match
Small pine cones
White Glue
Alcohol Inks- dark brown and black
Alcohol blending solution
Old soft hair brush
1/4 or 3/8's inch thick Mdf (medium density fiber board)

Drill and small bit
Jigsaw or table top reciprocating saw
Safety glasses
Wire cutters

Image of Deer-
Download a larger PDF file of this silhouette here.

Print the deer silhouette.  Utilizing tiled prints and tracing paper, projection or grid enlargement transfer the image in your chosen scale to the MDF board.  While wearing safety goggles and observing proper tool safety, cut out the image using a power jig saw or a table top reciprocating saw.  Sand the edges to remove burrs and smooth out any ragged cut marks.  Dilute the raw umber craft paint with water until it's a stain consistency.  Brush and wipe the color onto the MDF, removing any excess.  Allow to dry.  Draw a horizontal line across the body of the deer to use as a starting point for your decoupaging.  This guideline will help start your rows off level.  Decoupage rows of the images onto the frame in various thicknesses and lengths, akin to the instructions for the frame starting on the line.  Continue decoupaging varying board lengths.  Once completed apply a final coat of decoupage medium and let dry.  Drill two holes to receive the hanging wire.
Like I mentioned earlier, I love the vintage look.  If you don't have small antique ornaments lying around you can create your own.  First sand small areas of the colored coating.  Second apply diluted layers of black and brown alcohol stain to the ornaments using an old soft hair brush.  You can reapply to build up layers or sand the dried ink back to achieve different looks.  The alcohol stains also antique glitter and glass bead ornaments.  Let dry.  Remove any wires from the ornaments with wire cutters.   Anchor your ornament collar by hot gluing the two outside ornaments first.  Fill in with assorted ornaments, being sure to hide the hot glue within the arrangement.  You could add metallic tinsel or jingle bells for variety or go with pine cones and whole tree nuts for a more rustic look.

Feed the wire through the holes and twist or braid it into a decorative look.  While I like the look of the deer as is, for the purposes of this DIY, I added the glittered NOEL.  There are a ton of options for this part.  Use precut letters, cut them from your die cut machinery or create your own by hand.  To do so, print in a light grey, the desired font in your chosen scale.  Decoupage it to chipboard and let dry.  Cut out the NOEL with a blade knife.  In a small plastic bin pour a generous layer of the glitter of your choice.  I chose vintage look aluminum tone glitter.  Cover the face and sides of your NOEL with a generous layer of white glue.  Immediately place the word face down into the glitter, pressing lightly to ensure good adhesion.  Remove the word, tapping off any excess glitter and let dry.

If you'd like the antiqued glitter look brush the edges with the alcohol stain.  Let dry.  Hot glue the NOEL in its final position.

You could choose to not add the NOEL  for a simpler look.

The NOEL adds that retro feel with it's flowing cursive font.
 The reindeer would look terrific on a front door, leaning on top of a mantel or dangling from a cabinet's nob.  You could cater the colors to match your color scheme utilizing photo editing software.  Many of which are offered free online.

While I'm obviously in the honeymoon phase of my Flip-Pal© relationship and am truly in love with it for all the right reasons, my fellow Men Scan Too scanners and I will post each Thursday during December to reveal creations and blog about this little gem in review.   Immediately, I'd like to encourage a power adapter option for those times when the scanner's size and convenience keep it indoors with an outlet close by.  Otherwise I'm truly impressed, let's see how this baby handles what I have in store for next week....

Be sure to check in with my scan happy partners in blogging the talented Suede Baum - Fashion designer and TV personality from the Project Runway, Ken Oliver - The Accidental Crafter, Martin Amado - Interior designer and HGTV design host, and Mark Montano - Author of The Big Ass Book of Crafts.

Thanks for hopping with me, I'd appreciate your comments and feedback.  Happy Holidays to you and your love ones!

I'm excited to be able to offer you a coupon code for a discount on the Flip-Pal© if this little charmer is on your holiday shopping list.  Coupon codes are valid on their website until December 22, 2011.

To receive $15 off the purchase of a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner use coupon code MS2FP11.

To receive $20 off the purchase of a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner with Creative Suite Craft Edition DVD use coupon codeMS2CS11.

Join my fellow Flip Pal bloggers of Men Scan 2
Suede Baum -    
Mark Montano -

Now, much like a superpower, with great power comes great responsibility.  I choose to be a Man Scanner of virtue, only scanning, non-copyrighted source materials.  It would be very easy to take the power of the scanner to the dark-side and be an arch villain of copyright.  As an artist that has been the victim of copyright theft I therefore ask that you please do the right thing and respect copyrighted works. 
In full disclosure, I was provided a complimentary Flip-Pal© Mobile Scanner to use and review.  Even though I've received this item for free, I will give you my honest opinion about it regardless, that's how I roll.  I'd encourage you to explore the product's capabilities and features on your own to form your own opinion.  I've been invited to participate in their affiliate program.  By clicking through the links I've provided and making a purchase I may receive a small commission.  Monies raised by affiliate programs are used to fund postage and offset costs related to our free give-a-ways and contests.


  1. Fantastic projects! You've blown me away with your craftiness, again, Aaron. ;) I'm very impressed with this scanner so far, too. I agree though, I always want the option to plug-in.

  2. This is beautifully done! Any boy would love to have this frame with their picture diplayed in it! Totally awesome! Bravo Aaron!

  3. I love both projects! Very cool! Interesting texture from the reclaimed lumber!

  4. Awesome Projects..makes me think outside the box about crafting....