Crafty Monday: Painting Curtains

Last week I wanted to blog about my adventure in expanding my overly small bedroom closet. My closet is in the smallest bedroom of the house. Inside the closet, is a fireplace. No, not the front of it, but the entire back of it. It is actually a faux fireplace which faces my craft room. Made of marble, concrete, and plaster, it’s not something that can be removed to make closet space without contractor! So I needed another solution.

Total Closet Size

Total Closet Size

It didn’t work out as planned, but I DID get a few things done to it. The big plan was to move the closet rod to the outside of the closet and hang the clothes in front of it. I didn’t really want a big metal rod hanging there with all of the clothes out in the open. The serenity of my bedroom is something I thoroughly enjoy, but this was not conducive to that serenity. So I was also going to put a curtain in front of the clothes. Simple, right? Well, as I explained in the previous post, it wasn’t all that simple because I didn’t allot enough time, nor did I have all the proper materials ready. *Sigh* This is the bane of many DIY projects.

But I DID have a plan, and I wanted to finish it. First of all, I needed curtains. So what does a crafty sewist do? Ah, yes, I’ll make them. And I did. I measured top to bottom and used a 60″ wide piece of off-white cotton lining I had bought to reupholster a couch. (Couch left, meaning I had 10 yards of this stuff available.) I cut and sewed them, making a simple header style curtain that could have grommets.

Then I started looking at all of these beautiful curtain panels online. You know, the ones that cost well over $100 each? They were embroidered and woven with beautiful scenes. My plain white curtains just didn’t measure up. I decided to paint my curtains. I played it smart this time, though, and made a sampler to try out some techniques.

Cherry Blossom Test Panel

Cherry Blossom Test Panel

Using the “make cherry blossoms with a soda bottle” pin as inspiration, I tried using the method they had. Ok, soda bottle didn’t work out so good. The ones I had, made flowers with spaces way too wide between the petals. So I took out my paint brushes and made little circles with them. Then I added some other colors to the branches and flowers, to see what I like best. Getting a little input from the husband, we went with the pink blossoms lined with a dark pink shade. Now I also had a painted panel I could frame and use to decorate the room! Yay, me!

A couple of days later I laid out my curtain panels and began to decorate them like I had the test sample. Not only was it fun, but I felt really good with paint on my hands and the smell in the air. I used acrylics with a little bit of water. The paint did seep through the fabric a bit, but I had covered the table with some craft paper beforehand. Once it had dried, I pulled it up. It stuck just a little bit, but no big deal.

Here are some progression pictures for you:

Creating the branches

Creating the branches

Branches done, ready for blossoms

Branches done, ready for blossoms

 

Painting on blossoms

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More blossoms

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Shading the blossoms

I love how they turned out! I put one across the bed to let it continue to dry, and instantly decided I needed a quilt that matched. One thing leads to another, and I have plans for my first painted, whole cloth art quilt. I love DIY.

Crafty Monday: Time Management Fail

Right here should be a really awesome blog post about making a closet in a weekend. Yep, that’s what I had planned. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Things just didn’t come together, I didn’t have the right materials, and I spent my Saturday doing something else. Not that I would’ve done anything differently on my Saturday, but it was just one of those projects where I had an idea, thought it would work, but nothing. Nada. Zip.

I got one part of it done, but it took me most of the day on Sunday. By the time I wanted to finish it, Sunday was nearly over. We were also dealing with two sick children. I also run a charity similar to Warm Up America, but I try to keep it local. It’s called Warm Up the Boro and if you’re interested, please stop on by our Facebook page and check us out. I spent most of the morning handing out hats and scarves to those that didn’t have any at our local soup kitchen. It was so much fun, and such a blessing. Little kids walking out with warm hats that they didn’t have previously, and adults that wore theirs the entire time they were there. Even here in South Georgia it’s been very cold and the wind chill has been killer. It took a year’s effort and many donations to make it happen, but it did. If you follow anything about knitting, you probably saw the scarf on the statue last week? I think that should be up for “Best Possible Use of Yarn Bombing EVER!”

The post that should’ve been here, that isn’t, should be by next Monday. I did put forth good effort. But, things happen I guess. And it gives me fuel for tomorrow’s Knitting Tuesday post. 🙂 

Crafty Monday: Recycle Plastic Thread Spools

The Internet is full of functional and crafty reuses of vintage wooden thread spools. Let’s admit, these things are cool. We certainly don’t want to throw them away because they are vintage. And they don’t make them anymore. Now we have plastic thread spools. But what do we do with them?

I hate throwing them away because they take up room in landfills and leave a horrible carbon footprint. To put it lightly, my 4x great grandchildren could come across a discarded thread spool in the remote future. Hopefully people are still sewing by then and they will know what it is. Or at least have some idea what it is. But it will be in near perfect condition without any signs of disintegration. Wow. Ok, now back to the post. 
So I need to put those things to good use NOW. I was on Pinterest the other day (surprise, surprise) and came across a post where someone was selling fabric covered vintage wooden spools. I thought, now why can’t I make something like this with the plastic ones? And how would I do it? 
Answer: Decoupage. 
I really love decoupage. It’s quick and always turns out great. Well, almost always. 
So here’s what I did: 
Materials: 
scrap of fabric (hey! great way to use up scraps too!)
Mod Podge or something homemade
scissors
thread spool
foam brush or paint brush

Directions: 

  1. Measure the inside distance of your spool. Mine was about 1 1/8 
  2. Cut a piece of fabric the width of the spool
  3. Wrap the fabric around the spool and trim so that it overlaps by about 1/2″. You could also wrap a fabric tape around the middle making sure it overlaps and cut your fabric to that size. 
  4. Using the foam brush, apply Mod Podge to the spool
  5. Smooth your fabric over the top of the Mod Podge and pull it around. Apply a little more Mod Podge where the strip overlaps to secure it down. 
  6. You can choose to let it dry or go ahead and cover the fabric with another layer of Mod Podge. I just did mine, because I’m not real patient. 
  7. Let everything dry for a few hours. 
  8. Go back, marvel at your new creation, and then use it as a decoration is your sewing room. Hang it from some jute cording or ribbon to make a banner. 

I only had the one to use, because sadly I have been throwing mine out. Now that I see their potential, I’m thinking of other uses for them. Like wrapping unused elastics around them and securing with a pin. Ribbon, binding, cording, piping, and so many other things that end up scattered around in piles or boxes could also be wrapped onto these. They make adorable decorations, too. As a quilter, I generally have many empty thread spools at the end of a quilt. You could also Krylon paint the spools to make them look more like wood or any color you want before adding the fabric. You could use scrapbook paper instead of fabric! The possibilities are unlimited. 
If you make something, would you please consider uploading it to our Flickr group? I’d love to see your creations, as I’m sure many others would too! 

Upcycling Recycling Sweaters

There are hundreds of blogs out there that focus on how to reimagine common everyday items into new practical purposes, most with the intent to keep stuff we throw away out of landfills or to clear out thrift stores. Some of my favorites focus on clothing. It seems one of the tend on Pinterest is to use sweaters (this of course comes after tee shirts and Anthropologie re-dos. What is it with that place anyway? Sure they’ve got great clothes but is it a price thing? Why not Tommy Hilfiger or something? Can someone explain this?).

It seems the unassuming wool sweater, designed to keep us warm and fashionable throughout winter months and frigid temperatures, also has a day job as a multi-purpose, do-it-all, DIYer’s dream come true. From leg warmers to arm cuffs, dog sweaters and beds, purses, scarves, stockings, and mittens there is little that you CAN’T do with a sweater.

Of course, Pinterest fails undoubtedly abound, and it’s useful to pay attention to details. However, with a little thought you can probably figure out most of these projects by yourself. It helps to have ideas, though. So the next time your local thrift store has a “fill a bag for $5” promotion or a really awesome sale on sweaters, grab up a whole bunch and squirrel yourself away for a weekend. It’s faster than knitting it all individually and you could have done really great accessories. Follow the Pinterest board below for great ideas!

Follow Freckle Dots (Tammy Lyons)’s board Upcycled Sweater Crafts on Pinterest.

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