DIY Project: Painted Curtains

We finally got around to hanging up some curtains in (our 8-month-old) KP’s room. Yes, she has had bare windows for the last 3 months, so it was time to get on this. I convinced myself I needed to make something special and custom for her, but then took my sweet time getting it done.

KP finally has some curtains!

What do you think?

Part of the reason I felt a need to customize is that I wanted something special for her, but I couldn’t find anything like what I had in mind to purchase. I did a lot of looking around and found lots “close”, but they were all either too expensive, wrong size, wrong shape, or just not quite right for one reason or another. Here’s my inspiration:

Inspirations curtains from my Pinterest Board

To customize her curtains, we bought some green panel curtains from Target and did a fabric paint treatment on them. I would have loved to sew her something, but realistically that would have taken another 3 months to get done.

For the fabric painting I used the freezer stencil method. There are a ton of tutorials on the web for this, but I’ll do a quick overview of my method.

Supplies:
– Freezer paper

-Razor blade/craft knife

-Fabric paint

-Iron

-Scrap cardboard

Begin by drawing your design on the non-shiny side of the freezer paper. If you are an artist you can freehand something or it is easy to trace it too. You can get as complex as you’d like, but I think the simpler graphics are much easier to cut out!

simple design

Then use your knife to cut out the design. Remember to cut out any inside circles too!

I’m spoiled enough to have a Cricut cutting machine that takes care of the first two steps for me- but I have done this by hand several times and it is almost as easy! (I used the Cindy Loo cartridge if anyone is interested).

Next iron your stencil onto your fabric. If you have a complex design or something with inner parts, just gently iron the entire thing onto the fabric. Don’t stress too much- you can peel it up and reposition it if it isn’t right the first time. Once you are happy with the position, peel away the design, leaving only the stencil. Go over it with the iron and make sure you do a good job of pressing down all the edges.

Iron down stencil- keep the "inner part" in place to help with alignment!

 

Peel off the part you want to paint- make sure to leave any inner parts that you don't want to get filled in with paint!

Next you paint! I use a sponge brush, but a normal paint brush would probably be fine too.

The paint will bleed through most fabric so be sure to place that scrap cardboard under your fabric to protect what is underneath (yes- I’ve learned this lesson the hard way!). Use enough paint to get good coverage, but don’t get too gloppy with it.

Like my fancy pallet? Brush a smooth coat of paint over the entire design.

 

You'll need multiple stencils if you want a repeating design.

Now my favorite part! Once the paint is dry you get to peel off the freezer paper stencil and see the finished product! If you did a good job with the ironing you’ll be impressed at how crisp the edges come out!

 

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I repeated the process 9 times on each of KPs curtains to get the “vine” look I was going for. If I was cutting my own stencils instead of using the Cricut, I probably would have tried just making 3 large stencils for each, but that might have gotten a little wily to work with.

 

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I love doing this craft! I’ve done it on baby clothes for shower gifts and to spruce up tote bags. I’ve also seen great projects on throw pillows and even rugs, so I’m sure you’ll see more projects like this pop up around here.

Anyone else used this process for home decorating projects?

Living room layout- tweaks

So after I showed you all what I was working with for living room layouts I got some good feedback – none of the layouts were quite right as drawn, plus I found a fun new toy on the internet to play with. That means I have even MORE options now!

I signed up for an account with Autodesk Homestlyer. It’s free and super easy to start using. You can even use your Google/Facebook/whatever account or sign up for a new one.  No need for any autocad experience to get some pretty cool visualizations of what your room could be. I really like that you can toggle into a 3D view to get a better feel of the room. Plus you can save your designs, take snapshots of them, and even share them… you know, if you’re into that sort of thing. The only downside I can see so far is that there is a somewhat limited selection of furniture, so you sort of have to make due with what they have, but I think they have enough options that you can get close to what you have in mind. Oh- also- it wouldn’t let me drop the tv on top of the fireplace, so it looks like I’m planning on putting the tv IN the fireplace,  but you get the idea, right? They have layout options for other rooms in the house, so I’m sure I’ll be playing around with this as I move on to other rooms!

So here are some options:

Layout 1:

   

Layout 2:

   

Layout 3:

   

Layout 4:
   

 

What do you think? Am I getting closer? Which of these options do you like best? Any other cool design/layout tools I should be playing with?

 

Living Room Layout

Now that we’ve been in the house for a couple of months, survived the holidays, painted to rid ourselves of the residual stink left from the previous owners and checked nearly everything off our TISH repairs list, we are starting to think a little more about furniture/decorating/ lay-out. At least I am… Reuben is probably thinking about smaller details like replacing old pipes and re-wiring the entire electrical system….

We haven’t bought much of our furniture. Other than our mattress, and an Ikea dresser and shelves everything else we have is hand-me-downs, gifts, salvaged from a dumpster, or home-made. Not that we’re complaining! We’re slightly proud of it, and wouldn’t mind furnishing most of our house out of a dumpster. However…our couch- which was an awesome upgrade from our previous dumpster couch and in really good condition when we were given it- has had some, let’s say “issues” lately. The structure of the couch has been “upgraded” after the hide-a-bed literally fell out of the bottom. The couch fell into pieces, but we screwed it back together. I was actually promised a new couch a year ago, but then we decided to move and it made sense to wait until we were settled in a new place before investing in new furniture.

This is what you see if you remove one of the seat cushions.

Over Thanksgiving we were pretty hyped about buying a new couch, but after about 15 minutes in a super-sized furniture store we realized we were in over our heads.  Style? Fabric? Size? Who knew you could customize all these things? With a baby whose bucket list includes throwing up on every surface in the house- do we really want to invest in new furniture? Should we focus on the bounty that is offered on Craigslist? To say we were overwhelmed would be an understatement. We decided to slow down a bit and take some time to decide what we really want. First things first- what kind of layout would work best in our room?

The living room is pretty big and right now it feels a bit sparse. Maybe someday we’ll change it to a more formal living room and put the TV in a family room in the basement, but for now this room will be where we keep our TV It has a fireplace on the center of one wall and a large archway offset on the opposite wall, so already the centering of the room is a bit off.—i.e., if you place a couch directly in front of the fireplace, it will be blocking the archway.

I started thinking about the layout and made this awesome model to play around. Pretty sophisticated, huh?

You get the idea, right?

Then I found this slightly more elegant free room design software online (this one is from a La-Z-Boy company, I’m sure there are tons, this just popped up first and fit my needs). So after playing around a bit, I’m no closer to knowing what we want, but maybe some of you will have an opinion?

Layout 1: TV on the fireplace mantel? Chair in the middle of the room?

Layout 2: Are we sectional people?

Layout 3: TV in front of the window? 2 chairs and one couch?

Layout 4: Is it weird if the couch is not against the wall?

What do you think? Any of them keepers or should I keep at it? Am I missing something obvious?

The main ideas we’re toying with are:

  • Sectional/one couch/one couch and one love seat?
  • TV on the fireplace mantel or on a table in front of the window?
  • What goes on the other wall? Bookshelves? Entry table? Storage hutch?

Anyone out there have a similar space? What were your layout solutions?
I’d love to hear your advice!