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.

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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! 

Busy, busy, busy!

The last few weeks have been crazy busy! We’ve done a lot of antique and thrift store shopping to supply our home. I’ll be taking some pictures so you can see how things are coming along. We recently painted our daughters’ room, which took a of days. When you have two 10-yr-olds plus one of their friends, a 6-yr-old and a 4-yr-old helping out, things seem to take a bit more time.

I have also finally sandwiched my garden pathways quilt and it is ready for quilting. For Valentine’s Day my super-sweet husband bought me a new Brother SE400 Computerized sewing and embroidery machine. I’ve been playing around with that for the last week or so, learning how to embroider with it. The Garden Pathway will be my first official quilt to go through it. Today I embroidered a tag and attached it to the back to identify the quilt. That was fun!

So while it’s not a big update, I promise I’ll be back in soon with more things to show you. Happy crafting!

Junkin’ Up My House

Rose Trellis Fountain

Yes, it’s true. My beautiful home is filled with junk. Well, other people’s junk, anyway. I love thrift and antique stores and my home is beginning to reflect this obsession. I always wanted a home that didn’t look so modern (or falling down) that it would really be a canvas for a shabby chic or country look. I’m attracted to things that I can re-purpose or use in ways not originally intended. And I have a hard time finding extreme usefulness in modern-day furniture designs. They leave out utilitarian needs and instead focus only on style. If it were simple enough in my home to focus on style, then I’d be all for it. But the varied interests, needs, and wants of a 7-member family also demands storage, function, and attractiveness. So with these few rules in place, I decided to fill my home with things that make me happy. I mean, why not? Isn’t home supposed to be a place you come to when you want to be happy? And filling it with things that don’t mean anything doesn’t make me happy. So the pieces I’m choosing will most likely also be an eclectic mix of objects, but that’s ok, because that suits me.

Yesterday my husband and I went thrift store shopping without our children for four entire hours! We found a sitter and went on our mini adventure. We found many things that caught our eye, but we didn’t buy it all. Instead we chose some things to go in our fairy garden, a desk for the dining room/office area, and a teapot for our collection. Altogether we spent about $60. Yep, $60, desk included. The desk was at a yard sale, just waiting for us. I’m planning to clean it up, decoupage some scenes on the ends, maybe distress it and add a coat of white paint to it, and change out the handles on it to something a little fancier. It is, after all, in my formal dining room!

My $40 desk

My husband has an idea on how to hook up the fountains using pvc pipe underground, a two-way faucet, and some aquarium tubing. I’ll try to take pictures of it when he gets it together.

The little fairy holding the petal bowl will eventually have some miniature roses in it. She will help me tend them. 🙂

We also started scrounging around the yard and found some old privacy fencing and wood from a building that would be perfect for the garden and for shelving inside the house. So as it all comes together I hope you’ll join me in my journey. Your

Rose Garden Fountain

ideas and suggestions are ALWAYS welcome.

A fairy for the garden

Fairy Fountain

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