Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend Ramblings - DIY Part 2

We live in an apartment and are thinking about moving out in the next year, so making big, permanent changes is not what I want to be doing right now. But, I am tired of our plain white walls and white trim, white doors, white vertical blinds and beige carpet. I'm also finally feeling better now so taking on a weekend project doesn't exhaust me like it used to. I can even complete several projects in one weekend! Who would have thought??

I was perusing through Pinterest this week and saw my favorite DIY yet. Upholstering the walls with fabric and liquid starch. It sounds a little crazy, sure. The blogger decorated her nursery with pink, white and green and used the fabric to create a pink wall with a white tree over the crib. It was so darn cute! (check it out at Numbered Street Designs) She gave really excellent instructions that I thought were more doable than others I'd seen. Her recommendation is that you pin the fabric to the wall, then apply the liquid starch over top. Once the fabric is dry, you remove the pins.

I made my own liquid starch by combining:

  1. 2 tsp cornstarch
  2. 3 tsp water
  3. 1 c. boiling water
Put one cup water on the stove to boil. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, mix 2 tsp cornstarch and 3 tsp water until consistency is smooth. When water is boiling, add cornstarch mixture. Stir until it starts to clear up a little. Remove from heat and let cool. I needed to double and sometimes triple+ the recipe depending on the size of my project, but found that starting with a small batch helped me estimate how much I would actually use. Since I don't eat a lot of foods with cornstarch in them, a big batch would go to waste.

Cut and pin your fabric. Pay attention to patterns and line things up before applying the liquid starch. The fabric will shrink a little when drying. It might also be a little darker than before applying the starch, so keep that in mind.

I started with a small project with a lot of hidden edges to test things out. Here's how that turned out (I forgot a before picture, but you get the idea).

$10 accent wall

I'm really not patient about DIY projects.
The fabric is still drying a little on the wall which is why my thumbtacks are still there.
This is also how I know that fabric is easier to trim when it's dry!
the wall is straight, I promise.

Then, I moved on to the kitchen! The fabric I used below for our cabinets was $3 a yard and matches our mail holder perfectly!

Above is our yellow hanging mail holder from HomeGoods.
Am I the only one that loves this color yellow? I blame it on being raised in a house that was
painted/wallpapered 70s vintage green, orange and yellow. Who didn't love olive green walls back then??

$12 kitchen back splash

When this was taken, the fabric was still drying
so I hadn't trimmed the edges yet.
You can see more detail in this picture.
(And that the bottom edge still needs to be trimmed.)
This was an exciting project because the fabric is easily removed. Just pull it down and wipe the wall down with a damp sponge. It's also easily customized. You can put up a base color or pattern and then put another layer on top of that like the blogger did in the nursery. We have one more partial wall to upholster, and we may do a simple solid color with a customized design layered on top. There are so many options! You don't have to limit this to the walls either. I've seen cupboards and dresser drawers redone too.  So, be creative!

$0 Odds and Ends Tray

I was so excited I didn't take time to get rid of all the hot glue wisps! :)

When all was said and done, I wanted to add a little more organization to our kitchen counters. We don't have much storage in our apartment at all, so creating a little organized clutter is something I do often.

To construct this, I grabbed a shipping box and cut the flaps off of it with an xacto knife. Then I wrapped the box in fabric as if it were a present and hot glued the flaps down. Next, I wanted to create a more solid bottom for my tray, so I grabbed a different box that was slightly smaller than the first one. I cut out one of the sides out and trimmed it so it would fit easily into the bottom of the tray. I wrapped that in fabric too. I already had the fabric, hot glue and boxes so this was $0 and is easily changed if I want a different color or pattern.

$0.75 Ring Dishes

I've seen the tutorials for customizing dishes with Sharpie markers and wanted to try it out myself. I picked up two small saucers ($0.75 each) and then went searching online for quotes. I found two by Shakespeare that I liked, though I admit I have no idea what work they come from. I had to redo these three times. The first time I used a faulty tutorial that said to heat the oven to 150 degrees. It's supposed to be 350, so it didn't work. The second time still didn't work because I used a Sharpie pen (you need a real marker for this). The third time, I didn't have the spacing right because the tip of the marker was so much larger. 

After using a regular Sharpie marker and baking the dishes for 30 minutes at 350 degrees I finally got it and love the result...

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