15 April 2011

How To Stencil Curtains

I am SO excited because today, I am guest posting over at Little Blue Chairs.  Laurie runs this blog, and she is one of my Circle of Bliss BBFs (Best Blog Friends).  She has created some major projects over there!
She did a complete overhaul of her daughter's room.
She successfully slipcovered a chair.
Her striped living room floors are insane!

I love that I get to guest post for her for two reasons:  1) She is getting her see her hubby after 6 months of being apart.  He has been working overseas, so the last thing on her mind when he gets home is her blog!  2) I just finished a HUGE project/tutorial.

Here is my guest post:

Since Christmas, we have been redoing our breakfast nook.  We have painted, installed wainscoting and switched out the table.  I am now ready to begin layering on the accessories and accent colors.  After lusting after some Forsythia plants at the edge of the transportation department's driveway and stealthily snatching some for a centerpiece, I fell in love with the pop of yellow it gave the nook.  Since curtains are the next most dramatic thing you change in a room besides paint color, I set out to make some curtains inspired by this West Elm photo:

The wonderful folks over at Cutting Edge Stencils, sent me a wall stencil to test out.  I have wanted to stencil something so bad, and I started off with my curtains.

  • Curtain panels (Ikea Vivan in white)
  • Acrylic Paint (Craft Smart, Yellow)
  • Fabric Medium (Delta Ceramcoat)
  • Stencil (Zagora Allover Stencil)
  • Foam Roller
  • Brown Craft/Painter's Paper

1.  Cover a large, flat working area with heavy paper to catch all paint that might bleed through.  I used my breakfast nook floor.
2.  Wash and dry curtains.  This will keep the curtains from drawing up later on when your basset hounds "hound" all up on it when you let them sleep inside....

3.  The directions say to iron the curtains, but mine were not wrinkled when they came out, so I just skipped this step and smoothed and tugged out the wrinkles.

4.  Mix your paint.  You can use fabric paint, but I found that it was too expensive.  I just bought acrylic paints and a product called Fabric Medium.  You just mix 2 parts paint to 1 part fabric medium, and you will have tons of fabric paint for next to nothing!  Play around with your shades by adding colors together until you get the color your want.  I took my yellow to a more muted yellow by adding some of my leftover wall color Pearly White by Sherwin Williams.
5.  Place your stencil in the upper left hand corner (if you are right handed like me) and add a few pieces of blue painter's tape to hold it down.
6.  Prepare your brush by rolling into paint and removing excess on a dry paper towel.  You could also roll right on for a faster, thicker coverage.
7.  Stencil your first section. 

8.  Repeat last two steps until your are done!

Now, here are all of the little helpful tips I learned along the way that I hope can help you out:

It is very possible for the fabric to misbehave and ripple under the stencil or behave perfectly.  Both are fine because you can't tell when you are done!
When you are done stenciling a row, pull the whole curtain up and lay it back down to keep the paper from drying to the curtain.  I wouldn't pull your curtain down after each square because it actually helps keep your fabric tight and makes it easier to align.

When stenciling fabric (especially curtains), you will NOT get the stencil to line up perfectly because the fabric will pull all different ways and stretch.  Stop stressing about this since they will hang and flow anyway!  It's just like not shaving your legs in the winter...no one has to know!
Once you have lined it up as much as possible, carefully stencil the pattern beside it without going over the pattern in the overlapped areas.
In tight corners or edges, you can turn your foam roller sideways and use a tapping motion.  This works well in the parts of the stencil beside where you have lined up with the last area you stenciled and you don't want to roll over any parts that are not matched up.
Drum roll please.....
I really love how they turned out.  They look so much like my inspiration curtains from West Elm!  I can't wait to get into my guest bathroom and stencil away.  It will be a breeze after stenciling these slippery curtains!

If this project really matches your style, I have linked my top 3 blog posts to the images below.
Pottery Barn Hundi Knock Off Lantern
Pottery Barn Jewelry Holder
White Mantlescape

The project won the Knock-It-Off Contest over at Seven Thirty Three!!

08 April 2011

Scribbling at Midnight

It's no secret; I have a slight infatuation with sketches of the female body.  I think they would look so perfect in a private master bathroom.  When I see one, I always consider buying it.  I found some here at Ikea and here at the Scott Antique Market. However, in the back of my mind, I always thought that I could do a simple sketch myself...even though I have NO artistic ability and even screw up drawing stick figures!!

Well, last night I decided to do it.  I bought a 16x20 canvas at Hobby Lobby for $3.50 and found a pencil in my office.  I practiced an idea of a sketch about four times until I felt comfortable drawing it out on the canvas (I know, big risk...$3.50.  Why is it we are so scared to even TRY some new idea?)

I laughed and laughed as I was drawing these.  
Here, let me write some captions:

  1. After sitting on the couch for hours and hours watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta and eating cheese and crackers, I had to peel myself off of the couch to get a coke.
  2. I got through horseback riding and my bottom half just stayed this way.
  3. I played a rough game of all-girl soccer, and I was the goalie.
  4. I am Kim Kardashian's body double for nude scenes (yeah right, lol!)

Here is what I ended up with.
I am trying to decide if she looks too well endowed, haha!  Since it is only pencil, I can just go back and redo any parts I don't like.
From here, I am trying to decide if I want to keep it as a pencil sketch, go over it with smoky charcoals, dry brush it black or dry brush it several different colors. 

What do you think?
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