Monday, August 30, 2010

little by little... and some fun tutorials.

Remember when I said my living room needed a change? Well I have been out of town for most of the summer, but I managed to do a few new things to freshen up the space. I've been living in apartments for 11 years and I am just getting sick of my same old stuff! But since I stay at home and Franc is in med school, we don't really have the funds to buy all new furniture, etc (I know you don't believe me when I just went to Europe for 3 weeks, but that was mostly money from our wedding that my parents just gave me--- 4 yrs. later.). So I am trying to redo things on the cheap, by hand, little by little.

ANYWAY, there is the wall I started awhile back. It was so simple, and maybe a little abstract for some (but that is how most of my artwork is), but you could definitely tailor this to your own taste. Here are the deets:

-tiny little sample jar of house paint (got it for free at
-drawer liner/contact paper (on sale at walmart for $2 cause no one but me wants to use that hideous faux-bois wood grain anymore). I bought 2 kinds: light "bamboo" and traditional "wood"
-masking tape
-paint brush

1. Cut simple geometric shapes out of the one or two kinds of contact paper. Make sure you vary the sizes and shapes to make it interesting (think about what kind of visual rhythm you want to create on your wall with the repetition of shapes).

2.take off the backing and smooth the pieces onto the wall (these are completely removable).

3. I do it as I go, rather than planning ahead, but you need to figure out where you want to have your painted shape. Once you figure it out, use masking tape to tape off the area.

4.fill in the shape with paint.

5. step back and decide whether you need anymore of the contact paper pieces and voila! you are done!

Vintage Envelope Pillow tutorial:

-vintage doilies, handkerchiefs, potholders, etc (cheap, cheap, cheap)
-plain fabric (I got mine for $1 per yard)
-pillow insert ( I tend to buy cheap pillows that are on sale at random stores, like big lots for about $1 and use those, you can always take the cover off, or leave it on if the new cover isn't see-through!)

1.measure your pillow and then add 1/2" to each side to allow for a seam. (FRONT SIDE) (example: 21" x 21")

2. for the BACK PANELS, create 2 pieces, one piece should be the same WIDTH as the front, but only 2/3 the height. The other piece should be a little more than half the height as the front piece, and still the same WIDTH. (example 21" x 14" and 21"x 11)

3. FRONT PANEL: sew your doilies and hankies, etc onto the front.

4. BACK PANELS: double over the edge of one WIDTH side of both pieces (in my example its the 21" side), creating a hem. you are only doubling it over about 1/4. so: fold over 1/4", then another 1/4" and sew.

5. Front panel and the two back panels together, right sides facing each other. Make sure the back panels are overlapping.

6. sew a 1/4" inseam and then turn the whole thing right side out. Now stuff it with a pillow insert and you are done!

sorry this tutorial didn't have step-by-step picture instructions, I figure there are a million envelope pillow tutorials out there already, so if you need photos go there. sorry! I did these late at night with a friend. We had a pillow-a-thon! We pumped out a bunch of new pillows for our couches.

I am seriously obsessed with these pillows right now. They really changed the look of my couch and lightened it up. yay!


Petals said...

That wall art is so much fun. I love it!

Jessica said...

I love those pillows so much. I just got some linens at an antique fair that would be perfect for pillows. And I like the wall a lot too.

Sandy Ang said...

What a bold and graphic treatment for your living room ! Thanks for the inspiration

Charissa said...

Amazing, amazing job. I am interior decorating-challenged, and I really appreciate the creative and resourceful way you handle your home!