I’ve been having fun styling my new fun area, thanks to a neat new art piece made by yours truly. But… it’s hard to do, isn’t it?! For one, I’ve got lots of little fingers and curious minds around always wanting to touch “mommy’s things.” And secondly, it’s just tough in general to find a nice balance – I feel your pain. I’m a fan of trying things out and shuffling pieces around. I live with things for a few days and then switch it up, until I’m pleased… of course, that lasts only until I’m getting bored with it or (my favorite!!) I get something new. Me love new toys. Happiness.
Anyhoo, here are a few options I put together for your enjoyment… and mine. Thank you for indulging me!
And here is a quick shot of the side of the art piece. The wood really looks cool… all grainy and au natural!
And here is a picture of that awesome light at the top of the painting… I got it on ebay for $20 (which included shipping)! It’s vintage and I LOVE it! It’s so cute and tiny and I’d like to keep it in my pocket.
Shopping on that darn, addicting site is like playing roulette… you’re either the smartest person with incredible vision or you’re a lame-o sucker. In this transaction, I gave my self a big ‘ol pat on the back! I have seen newer versions on Fab.com if you’re interested and they are not too bad, about $40 bucks.
Styled anything lately?? I’m not sure which option I’m going to go with… but I will let you know!
Do you ever look at art and think to yourself, I can do that? I know I have a healthy self-confidence and all, but I think this A LOT. Sometimes these scribbly things sell for millions. Yes. Millions. Or I’ll see a piece that I swear my 3 year old could have done. Don’t get me wrong, they really are beautiful pieces and of course, I want one. But still…. can they really be that hard to make??
I like to go on to 1stDibs.com to see what’s out there in the world of antiques, art, and such, and I’ll get dumbfounded by the prices on this stuff. Jawdropping. But hey, We can do this!! You and I, we can make this ourselves!! Don’t believe me? Here are some examples of what I’m looking at…
Still not convinced? Check out these rooms with great art… Art that we can definitely use as inspiration for the treasure we’re going to make.
I have had this canvas that I bought about 10 years ago sitting all dusty in my garage forever! I even tried to sell this thing at a yard sale and no luck… but maybe she was destined for something else?! I think I bought it from TJ Maxx or something like that, so I’m repurposing. I started by spray painting it with oil based white, which took two coats to get the color out.
Inspiration Come To Me!! This is the hard part.
What to paint??
After doing a little bit of homework, I decided that I needed a picture to inspire me. Yes, I knew I wanted to make something abstract, but it’s kinda hard to just bust that out. Where to start, ya know? So, I read that some artists will find a picture and then zero in on a detail of it or crop only a portion and replicate that. I found this picture of a pagoda on istockphoto.com and really loved the colors… and hhheeellllooo, it’s a pagoda, which is something I’m kinda obsessed with.
It’s so small, (they don’t want people stealing their stuff, like I did – whoops!) so I copied it and enlarged it in Word… which kinda made it all blurry, a good thing for me! I’m on my way! I made the decision to just use horizontal strokes and get the spirit of the picture. I used some acrylic paint that I had from other projects… nothing fancy.
Painting took me about 2 days, since I had to hide to keep the boys from messing with my toys. My paint!!! (Now I know where they get it.) And I didn’t get a photo. I can be such a ding-dong about this stuff! After I was done, I coated it with a gloss medium. This is not necessary, but I was thinking a little gloss would look vvveerrrryyy nnnniiiiccee.
Here’s where it went from DIY looking to much, much better… I don’t want to say professional ’cause I’m no artist, but if you did a good job painting, yours would definitely look pro. I decided to frame the canvas in natural wood.
Here’s what you need (you can use this saw if you don’t have a miter saw). And you’ll need some wood glue, stainable wood filler and stain, if you want to stain it. That’s it!!
Go to Lowes or Home Depot and they sell craft wood in the lumber section. Looks something like this…For 4 pieces it cost me $8.50.
I measured and cut the wood to size and at a 90 degree angle on the sides. I highly recommend that you place the wood pieces on the side and mark the angle with pencil – I accidentally sawed one wrong and this saved me some time later figuring out where and which way to cut.
Once I cut, I stained the pieces… If I did this again, and I think I will, I would only stain the inside where it will be glued to the canvas. But as a first-timer, I stained everythang.
I glued two sides at a time, opposite sides, so I could bungee tie them to the canvas and to each other. If that sounds all loco, here’s a pic… and a sneak into my masterpiece =)
After trying two other types of glue, wood glue worked the best and my tugs haven’t loosened it up, so my advice is to use that. Just make sure to wipe the glue with a damp cloth on the front – you don’t want glue chunks messing up your hard work! After you’ve bungeed or clamped, let it dry for a few hours or, better, overnight if you have the patience (I did, but not because of patience!). I actually glued my wood pieces so there is a lip on the front, not just level with the canvas – I recommend doing this. I think it looks pretty cool. Oh, and if you have a fairly deep lip, then you could even put a little something on it, like a shelf – that would be pretty cool, too.
Once the glue is dried and you’ve put all the pieces on, your corners may look something like this
That’s when the wood filler comes into play. Use a scraper to wiggle the goop into the gaps, and then slide the straight edge to even it out. Once it looks filled in, grab that damp cloth again and wipe the filler off the actual wood. Let it dry, and then you may need to (don’t freak) sand it a bit. I am going crazy with all the sanding lately, and this only took me a few minutes, so no biggie – Pinkie Promise!! Then just spot stain the few areas that haven’t been stained yet (or if done the easier way) stain the remaining edges of the wood.
To hang I drilled two holes in the back and used this wire I had lying around. Easy peasy, baby.
And then you’re DONE!! See how it kinda looks like my inspiration photo… Maybe, squint a little!! I know it seems like a TON of steps, but really you could knock this out in a few days and then you’d be marveling at your amazing skills every-single-day. There’s that healthy self-confidence again. Thanks Mom.
Since this post is super long, I’ll show you how I styled it tomorrow.
It’s Friday, it’s Friday!! Doing my Happy Friday Dance!
And I wanted to share a little secret with you that has worked for me with securing tassels onto the corners of a pillow. So very Aladdin Chic! I don’t know about you, but I’m drawn to tassels… bad mental image, but in all seriousness, I just think they’re really fun and playful.
You could make these…
AND, as I’ve had my 3 little testers trying to take off the tassels for the last 2 weeks, you can have tassels that won’t come out.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this, but I’m not a pro at sewing – no classes or anything like that. I just really enjoy doing it and I (usually) enjoy the learning process. I’ve made a bunch of pretty bad stuff (can’t even give it away!) but I have picked up some tricks along the way and I’m actually really loving the results.
The hardest part – the zipper. But please don’t panic, it’s totally doable. You will need an invisible zipper foot and invisible zipper. De foot looks like this…
Cut your fabric into two squares (or rectangles or whatever) leaving 1/2 inch inseam around the edges. You must iron the zipper first so it lays right. I know, I know. I hate ironing too, but if you like to sew then alas, you must get used to the iron.
Iron so the zippy part lies flat. And then pin the back of the zipper to the right side of the fabric. (I’m using a white zipper so you can see, but try to match the color to your fabric, it’s so much nicer.)
Sew it in with the special zipper foot. You’ll want to leave a little room between the stitches and the edge of the zipper teeth so it closes easily. See? Not too hard, right?!
Then pin the other half of the zipper, still the upside down side to the other square, on the right side of the fabric. Read that 3 more times and it will make sense. Sew that the same way, going super close to the zipper head. (I just made that up, so please don’t use that lingo at your grandma’s book club.)
Be proud! You did it!! Now, test the zipper. Trust me here. Make sure the plumbing works before you buy the cow… or something like that. And do like the pros and stitch up the sides of the zipper seam so it’s totally secure. (Where the pins are.)
Okay, now it’s (finally!) time to get those tassels out and some fabric adhesive. I always have some from Ikea on hand since it’s cheap and it comes in handy for craft stuff.
Cut out 4 small squares from scrap fabric and 4 pieces of adhesive (which I rolled up a few times like tape).
You didn’t put that iron away, did you?? Iron the square and pillow fabric like a sandwich with the tassel and glue in the middle. (Me hungry.) Make sure to leave a bit of give so that you can tuck the tassel under and sew around it later. Am I losing you?!? Almost done, promise!!
So, now just put the two sides together, wrong side out, and push the tassels so you can’t see them while you sew. Sew all around the sides and when you get to the corners, go over it 3-4 times, just so it’s really in there. I used a regular zipper foot to do the sides so I could get close to the tassel top.
Turn it inside out and shove in the pillow form. Finished! GREAT SUCCESS!
After you do this once, the second one will take you no time!! I think it only took me about 1/2 an hr, which ain’t too shabby for a designer looking pillow!
And now you have a little sneak peak into two pillows that will be making my sofa much more cozy… Covers are still holding up. Have you been inspired to recover yours yet??