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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

the painted pillow





When I ordered this pillow cover from h&m I didn't know what I'd do with it, but knew that the possibilities were worth $4.99.  By the way, who knew that h&m had such great bedding!?  My mom got the boys linen duvet covers and shams for Christmas from there, and we love them.



 I honestly don't have any photos of the painting process because I really didn't think I would like it, and especially wouldn't post about it. 

But one day as I was painting the canvas you see the corner of this photo, I decided to experiment with painting on the pillow cover.  
I placed a piece of cardboard inside the cover (there's a zipper in the back) so it wouldn't bleed through.  I used both fabric paint and acrylic paint.  
After it dried, I removed the cardboard and put the pillow form in the cover. 


I love the way it turned out!
I should probably make a disclaimer that this is not the pillow you'll snuggle up with--it is not soft.  It's just a simple way to add color to a room.  
Wouldn't this be a fun project to do with your daughter for her room?


You can barely tell in the photos, but the gold that I used was metallic so in person it catches light--so fun!




I found the turquoise chair at a flea market in Shreveport.  I didn't even have to paint it!  The frame on the wall is from the trash, and the branch is one that was on our porch one day that I decided to hot glue it to my wall.  Don't worry, it comes off easily.

One more thing--do y'all have the Color Snap App from Sherwin Williams?  You can take any photo and match the colors to make a color pallette.  So if you have trouble putting colors together for projects like this or for decorating a room, you could use a picture to get started. 

Here are a few photos that inspired me to make a color snap pallette. Once it matches all the colors, you can click on any of the small squares at the bottom to see the name and number of the color.  






Wednesday, April 13, 2016

etsy & a coupon code





Happy Wednesday friends!  I've reopened my etsy shop with just a few pieces that I have on hand.  I'm hoping to get a chance to paint this weekend so stay tuned for more pieces next week!

Use coupon code: HAPPY2016 and save 10% 

Monday, April 11, 2016

the never ending t-shirt


Last week I told you how I often use shirts and sheets, or any fabric I can get my hands on, to make pillows.

I didn't start this because of clever creativity but more out of necessity and limitations.



I wrote a few years ago about one way I repurpose outgrown t-shirts.

Of course there are a lot of t-shirts that come and go with little emotional affect, but then there are those that bring a flood of memories.

You see that Detroit Dogs shirt above?  This was the shirt my middle son wore when he was five.  For what seemed like the whole year. With orange basketball shorts that were too big (anyone else have sons who liked shorts so big they looked like a skirt? or kolots?).  The grey shirt with the red football on it was a toddler shirt.  All three of my boys wore it--I get teary eyed thinking about my little chubby boys in that shirt and a diaper. Anyway, so you get my point.

Today I want to show you how easy it is to make pillows from a t-shirt.



This shirt is not as much of a memory  for me, but it is for my youngest.  He is 9 and into all things sports.  And yes our team is called the Wampus Cats--a six legged cat--4 to run the speed of light and 2 to fight with all its might.  

He was so sad when we declared this shirt outgrown so I quickly pulled out the machine and got to work.  I may have a throw pillow accumulation problem which my kids do not share, but they'll agree to having extra ("they aren't extra, they are necessary!") pillows if they're cool.

Keep in mind that the definition of cool changes often and suddenly--rule number 523 of parenting.

The tricky part of t-shirt pillows is getting the logo centered if the shirt isn't very large.  I didn't do a great job with this one but no worries.


As I've said in other posts, I always draw straight lines to help.







I wait and cut the excess after it's sewn in case I make a mistake.



And don't forget to use a pillow form that's a little bigger than your pillow so it will be nice and full.




The pillow sham on his bed (which looks empty in this pic) is one I made years ago out of my husband's old dress shirts and pajama pants (!), which is fitting because it's for the son who would permanently attach himself to his dad if he could...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Resurrection of a Cart


Granny Grant had this little cart for years.

It was originally chrome and 70's green, but then she spray painted it the color you see below when she wanted an update (Oh Granny, we are alike in so many ways...).



We were cleaning out her house when she moved and would you believe this was headed for the trash!?  Obviously not everyone has cart-love like I do.

My husband said "no way" but we all know there are times to be stubborn.  This was one of those times.


I used my electric sander on each piece until it felt smooth.  I wasn't trying to remove all the paint, I just wanted it to feel smooth so that the chipped paint wouldn't show.

I could have spray painted it without taking it apart but I don't like how pieces look when they've been sprayed and creases are painted and eventually crack.


These screws were caked with paint so I used my sander on each one to remove the paint.  Putting them in a piece of cardboard makes spraying them quick and easy.

I asked my friends what color they thought I used.  Don't you love their ideas and guesses?! 
Funny that no one said gold...


For smaller projects I like rub-n-buff or gold leaf (you can see a scrap of gold leaf from another project on the counter in this picture).


The first round of spray paint resulted in a color that was more bronze than I wanted so I did a second coat with this paint.  I really like the color.

Here's a close up.



I'm still not sure what I should put on it--y'all have any ideas? I looked online and mostly saw pictures of carts used as wet bars. 



I love the thought of having a cart in the kitchen or using it when people are over for snacks and drinks, but for now I've nestled it here.  









Monday, March 21, 2016

DIY Shibori with Bleach


Do a quick google search for shibori fabric and you'll find beautiful                         indigo, navy, and cobalt images like these.  


I've noticed this trend and wanted to try a diy version when I had several extra yards of denim left from my ottoman makeover.







When I see something I like, my first thought is usually, "hmm, I'm going to try that myself"--please tell me I'm not the only one!  

A lot of projects don't work out, but I'll save those for another post. 





This fabric, a lighter chambray on one side, which is what I used on the ottoman, and a darker design on the other, was inexpensive at less than $10/yard. 




I've used Rit dye before to change the color of a dingy coverlet, but since this fabric was already blue I thought I'd try using bleach in the same way.
I'd never used bleach anywhere besides the washing machine so I first tested this little scrap to see if it would work.


I wanted 20x20 pillows so I measured four 24x24 squares and rubberbanded each piece. 

Just like when using dye, you could also fold the fabric or make other designs with rubberbands.  

I filled my sink with bleach and water (probably about a cup of bleach per gallon of water but I didn't measure so that's not exact) and let them soak, completely immersed in the water/bleach mixture until they were bleached.



I probably should have actually washed them with soap but I was too impatient so I rinsed them with cold water after cutting off the rubberbands.


I really like the design of the unbleached areas.

Here's a close up of the chambray side when it's dry.  
A piece of this fabric in a frame or wrapped around a canvas would make fun art.  You could even use a large piece of fabric to make a headboard.


I'm not an expert at making pillows at all but there are a few things my mom taught me that are useful.  

The first is that a lot of fabrics will rip straight, which is what I did with this fabric.  I'm a horrible straight-line cutter so this really helps.



I like to iron the fabric to make it easier to work with--I don't always do this but it helps if you have the time. 




I also use a straight edge to measure and even draw a line to help me sew a straight line. I used a sharpie because I knew it wouldn't show through, but you can use a disappearing fabric marker if your fabric is thin or transparent.



Pin your fabric.

Start sewing!  

If you've never sewn before, please please give it a try.  

I started years ago because I wanted to decorate my home but could barely afford the dollar fabric at walmart.  
I used my husband's old dress shirts to make the boys' pillow shams, sheets for curtains, old shirts for throw pillows...no unused fabric was safe from being repurposed.

My early projects were extremely imperfect.  Extremely. 
I still make mistakes and have to call my mom (she still talks me through threading the machine every time) or watch tutorials, but practicing is so fun.



Use your reverse any time you begin or end a stitch.


When you reach a corner, stop sewing, leave the needle in the fabric, raise the foot, spin the fabric, and lower the foot.


When you're finished you'll want to trim the excess fabric before turning the pillow right side out.  It's also good to trim the corners so there is less fabric when it's turned.  


I used my machine to sew the pillows but then hand stitched the last bit after putting the pillow form inside.  
I've noticed that pillows look best when the form you use has a bit of down in them and are 2-4 inches larger than your pillow will be.  I used 24x24 forms for these 20x20 pillows.


I couldn't decide between the light chambray or the darker denim so the pillows are different on each side--one side is light and one is dark. 









I considered adding some sort of trim or tassels to them but decided not to because I may end up putting them on my sons' beds when I need a change.  
I bet they wouldn't appreciate hot pink trim as much as I do!


*If you'd like more help with making your first throw pillows, here's a link to a helpful video.