09/21 DIY Projects

DIY Painted Window Curtains

Curtains before

Hello new curtains!

DIY Painted Curtains

Why yes, I do want my place to look like a Sephora store.

Black and white is probably my favorite color combination and I love how it looks with red. Since my couch is red, I felt the bold, black and white stripes would fit nicely in my living room. The curtains I had before were left behind by the previous tenant and although free stuff is my favorite kind of stuff, I thought they were a bit too drab.  These new curtains are a fresh change and can actually work in a lot of different spaces.  I’m a huge fan of that kind of versatility.

Before we get started, let’s have a moment of keeping it real.  This project was not easy for me nor did I complete it with the finesse I’d want to make it seem like (you are, after all, my cherished reader that I’d like to impress ;)).  At one point, I had unknowingly stepped in some paint and left footprints all over my hardwood floor.  I don’t know how many times I yelled “I ruined it!!!” during this project, but I’m glad to report that they weren’t ruined to the point where I couldn’t use them.  As the saying goes, don’t let perfect get in the way of good.  I actually saw that on Pinterest and am now wishing I re-pinned it.   Darn it.

On to the project!

DIY Curtains Materials

Materials:

  • paint roller
  • paint tray
  • white curtains
  • painters tape
  • acrylic paint- I used about 18oz (9 bottles) of Folk Art Pure Black
  • textile medium- I used 9oz (1.5 bottles) of Martha Stewart’s Fabric Medium
  • measuring tape
  • garbage bags, or whatever you want to use to protect your floor

 

First, measure out the length of the curtains and figure out how thick you want each stripe to be. I hit frustration in this step because the curtains, which I got from Target, were supposed to be 84″ long but were actually shorter.

What the heck Target

Most of the reviews online actually mention that these curtains run short, which I wish I had read beforehand so that I could have gotten the 95″ ones!  But never mind that now.

I decided to make each stripe 11.3″ wide starting just below the grommets since I didn’t want to paint around them.  With a pencil, I marked the edges of each side of the curtains at 11.3″ intervals.  These marks act as a guide for where to place the painters tape.  The key thing to keep in mind is that you want the tape to lay on the parts of the curtain that will not be painted.  Thus, the tape should not look evenly spaced but should be closer together between the edges of the stripes that will remain white.

Curtains Taped Where to Paint

I doubled up on the tape in the “Not here :(” area as a reminder to myself that it should remain white.

After the curtains are all taped up, they should look something like this:

Curtains Taped

Try to stick the tape down as flat as possible with minimal bumps and ridges in the fabric.  This is so that there is little to no paint that leaks past the edges of the tape.  Smooth over the tape with your hands to reinforce the adhesion.

Before painting,  make sure you have something covering your floor under the entire area of the curtains.  The paint WILL leak through the back so make sure your floor is protected.  I used garbage bags that I cut open, which ended up being the perfect width for each curtain.

Mix 2 parts paint with 1 part fabric medium in your paint tray and paint away!

Curtain Paint Roller

Lay the paint on thick.  I thought I had used too much paint on the first stripe so I slimmed down on the rest of them, but that first stripe actually turned out the best.  I probably could have afforded another coat of paint on all the stripes.  The thicker the coat, the more opaque the stripes will be and most likely the more even the coverage will be.

Remove the tape after painting all the stripes and let the curtains dry thoroughly, at least 24 hours. The instructions on the fabric medium say to to heat set the paint with a dry iron, which is useful if you want your curtains to be washable.  I probably will never wash these curtains because I’m lazy, but I dry ironed them anyway to smooth out the wrinkles.

DIY Painted Curtains 2

Lovely.  They came out exactly as I had envisioned and were a nice and inexpensive upgrade from the previous curtains.  Forget what they looked like?  Here’s a refresher.

Curtains before and after

Especially when it comes to apartment decorating, it’s best not to do things that are TOO permanent, such as painting the walls (one of the many things I look forward to as a future homeowner).  Adding decorative window curtains is a great, temporary alternative  that can make just as much of an impact.

What do you think of my new curtains?  Do you prefer them to the old ones?  Leave me a comment with your thoughts!

Thanks so much for reading!

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09/17 DIY Projects / Seasonal/Holiday

DIY Spray Painted Wine Bottles for Fall Decorating

My boyfriend has recently developed an addiction enthusiasm for wine, and I collected the empty bottles out of the foresight that I’d need to add some DIY vases to my vase-ridden apartment. Though I can never have too many vases, my boyfriend seems to think I’ve surpassed that limit a long time ago, so this was my attempt at compromise. As long as he’s emptying wine bottles (don’t worry, I help him out), I might was well decorate and use them as vases, right? :P  This time around, my objective was fall decorating.

DIY Spray Painted Wine Bottles 3

This is a super simple DIY and you only need a  few things.  The materials include wine bottles, painters tape, rubber bands (optional), and my holy grail DIY weapon:

Rust-oleum Spray Paint in Gold

THIS.  Pinterest was not lying about this one.  I got mine here (affiliate link). If you’re as crazy about gold as I am, Rust-oleum Metallic Spray Paint in Gold will make you want to paint everything you own in its awesome, goldy goodness.

I wanted to have at least one bottle painted entirely gold in order to see the color in full force, but for the other two bottles I taped them up in two different stripe patterns.  For one of them I used only painters tape to create thick stripes, but on the other I used four rubber bands to create thinner spacing between smaller stripes.

Taped Wine Bottles

The next step is to spray paint the bottles, but let’s refresh some basics since I feel like I should have done this before I started (aka I messed up).

SPRAY PAINTING TIPS:

  1. Really make sure there are no bubbles in the tape edges near the portions of the bottle that you are painting.  Use a credit card to scrape over the tape edges so that the seal is tight and no spray paint can leak through
  2. SHAKE THE CAN A LOT before spraying.  Do not underestimate this step.  I used to ignore the instructions on the back of spray paint cans that say to shake for 2 minutes thinking it doesn’t make a difference, but it does in terms of how evenly the color comes out.  Do it.
  3. Test the paint after shaking it by spraying it onto any scrap material you have.  If the paint doesn’t come out even in color, resume shaking.   Repeat until the color comes out evenly.
  4. Use light, multiple coats instead of trying to spray one heavy coat.  This will give you much more even coverage and prevent the paint from dripping.
  5. Start spraying off of the surface and then sweep it across.  If you start the spraying on the surface of your material, you are more likely to create uneven texture and will be able to see where your stroke started.  The goal is to get a clean, air-brushed look.

DIY Spray Painted Wine Bottles Up Close

And there you have it!  The paint is dry to the touch after an hour but should be left to dry fully for 24 hours.  If the spray paint leaked through the tape in some parts, you can just scrape off the imperfections with your fingernail, like I did.  That also brings up a point that these painted bottles are not ideal for heavy handling and are best for purely decorative use.

As for what to put in them, I had originally planned on putting in some white silk blossoms I had, but I saw these mini “pumpkin trees” at Trader Joe’s and just couldn’t resist (the majority of my floral/plant purchases are impulse buys during a trip to Trader Joe’s).  The thing that got me is that they’re REAL!

Mini Pumpkin Tree

I had no idea these cuties existed, and when I saw that they were bunched in a bucket of water, I started to daydream about how they might grow into full-sized pumpkins.  Will they?  No, probably not.  But they are too darn cute and forced me to buy pumpkins in September.

I put the pumpkin trees in the gold bottle, and for the other two bottles I put in some grass stick bouquets that I got at the dollar store.  Because of their height, I probably wouldn’t keep them as a centerpiece on my dining table and will most likely move them to the living room.

DIY Spray Painted Wine Bottles 1

Replace the pumpkins when they die or go more traditional with some flowers?  My love for pumpkins was purely in eating them and this is the first time I’m actually decorating with them. Luckily, the bottles are versatile and can work throughout the year instead of just during the fall season.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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09/08 DIY Projects

DIY Wall Art With Ribbon

DIY Wall Art With Ribbon

I did it!  I came up with an easy, mess-free way to create this geometric wall art using ribbon and double-sided tape.  Simple enough, no?  I was inspired by the rug in this photo, and while I wasn’t seeking to paint a rug of my own at the time, I thought the design would translate well into wall art.

Here’s how it’s done.

DIY Wall Art Materials

Materials

  • poster board
  • picture frame (mine is roughly 10.5×14″)
  • permanent double sided tape
  • scissors
  • ribbon (I used 4 colors, 5/8″ in width each)
  • pencil
  • ruler

First, take out the matte from inside the picture frame and trace it onto the poster board.  Measure it into four identical pieces and cut them out, like so:

DIY Wall Art With Ribbon Posterboard

I chose to have the glossy side of the poster board to be front-facing, so I lined the back side edges with double-sided tape and then flipped it back over to the glossy side and put two small pieces of the tape on opposite corners.  One of the corners must be the one in the center of the entire artwork.  The areas I’m referring to are marked in red below.

DIY Wall Art With Ribbon Tape

Next, I took one of the ribbons and laid it diagonally across the glossy side so that it stuck to the pieces of tape on the two corners.  Now, the trickiest part is folding the ribbon over the corners.

Folding ribbon corner

At the corner, fold the ribbon over the top edge of the poster board, then fold it over the side edge.  No ribbon should be sticking out over the edges anymore and the excess ribbon should be stuck to the tape on the back side as shown in the right of the above photo.

Do this on all four pieces of poster board and it should look like this:

DIY Wall Art With Ribbon Diagonals

Fill up one of the poster board pieces first as a guide to how far apart the ribbons will be spaced.  Simply lay the ribbon pieces at the same angle as the first piece of ribbon, fold the ends over the edges, and stick them to the tape that’s on the back side of the poster-board.  Re-do this as many times as you need with each ribbon in order to get the spacing and angles lined up right.  The ribbon should easily stick and un-stick from the tape.

DIY Wall Art With Ribbon First Quadrant

Repeat this with the rest of the poster board pieces, lining up the ribbon pieces with the ribbon edges of the previous piece of poster board.  Once all four pieces are complete, tape the back sides of the poster board pieces together tightly and place it into your frame.

DIY Wall Art

I’m so happy with the way it turned out!  I chose ribbon because not only does it give straight lines, but it provides a unique texture and dimension.  I’m also satisfied with my decision to use double-sided tape since it is a very forgiving anchor for the ribbon.  The double sided-tape holds the ribbon well, even with the repeated sticking and un-sticking necessary for getting the placements right.

Do you like the colors I chose?  I’m a lover of greens and blues.  What colors would you use for this wall art project?  Let me know in the comments below, and thank you so much for reading!

craftionary

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09/04 DIY Projects

DIY Succulent Box

Sssssssssssucculentttttttssssssssss!

I didn’t think I’d ever make my own succulent box, but the inspiration hit me at an unexpected moment and I just rolled with it.  The culprit of this project was accidentally found in the toy section at Marshalls:

Toy Box

When I saw it, I didn’t think about how it was a great educational toy or about the lucky little youngster that would be receiving it as a gift from me.  No, upon immediate sight, I knew I would plant my succulents in it.  For anyone concerned though, I will in fact be giving the puzzle pieces to a young family member.

While I do like the look of unfinished wood, I didn’t want the “Melissa and Doug” engraving on the side to show, so I painted the box and included it as a part of this tutorial.

Here’s how it’s done.

Succulent Box Materials

Materials Used

  • succulents
  • cactus soil
  • wooden box
  • Folk Art Acrylic Paint in Wicker White
  • Folk Art Gesso Primer
  • Americana DuraClear Gloss Varnish
  • foam brush
  • decorative rocks (I found mine at HomeGoods)
  • newspaper (to keep your working surface clean)

DIY Succulent Box Tutorial

Steps

  1. Apply primer to the box.  This will not only help the paint adhere to the surface but it will also lay down a barrier so that the paint doesn’t soak into the wood.
  2. When the primer is dry to the touch, apply the acrylic paint.  I applied two coats, waiting until the first coat was dry before applying the second layer.
  3. Apply gloss varnish once the acrylic paint is dry.  This step is optional, but it will help protect the acrylic paint and prevent it from potentially cracking in the future.  If a gloss finish isn’t what you want, just use any matte varnish.
  4. Once the varnish is dry, fill the box about halfway with the cactus soil.  I did this with a spoon that I used earlier that morning to eat cereal with.  Nothing fancy.
  5. Place the succulents in your desired arrangement before filling the rest of the box with soil.
  6. Add decorative rocks.

And there you have it!

DIY Succulent Box

I wanted to keep the box looking simple and clean, so I kept the succulents to a minimum and used white paint and rocks to bring a fresh, modern look.  I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out and it has taken its place in my mini, indoor apartment garden.

Succulent Box Display

Let me know what you think!  Thanks so much for visiting.

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