Well the hard work has paid off. After much stenciling, I have something to show for myself. Just look at me working so hard:
Ok. It wasn’t so hard. There was no blood, sweat or tears involved… just a little effort for a little room. The stencil worked fabulously! And that little flat headed stamper from the craft store was well worth the money. If you have stenciling in your future — I’d definitely recommend one!
Don’t you love it when a plan comes together? So soft and subtle. A big change without ripping out fixtures and creating a big headache before the holidays. Now to keep my eye out for a little vintage shelf for above the toilet. One like this perhaps (with a paint job). And maybe a bit of artwork above the towel rack? Some creativity still to come, but for now… I’m one happy lady.
Okay folks. Our little main bathroom paint job is done. Maybe a bit earlier than expected, as we decided to host a ‘Grey Cup’ (the Canadian Football leagues ‘Superbowl’) party at the last second. The. very. last. second.
We managed to pull ourselves together in the nick of time. But, before I show you the before and after (that’s coming tomorrow!). I thought I’d talk about how you can create your own stencil at home to get a custom look.
Next, it’s time to create a stencil. This is not as difficult as it sounds. It’s easy and more importantly… dirt cheap.
Find yourself some acetate. I like going to the office supplies store, and buying a acetate desk protector. It’s nice and large, and can be cut in two (so if you mess up, you can have another go at it). And at under $4, it is not a huge investment.
Now it’s time to transfer your design to the acetate. There’s a few ways this can go. Maybe you want to duplicate a design from some fabric, or a magazine cut-out. In this case you can lay your acetate over top and use a marker to trace it out. Easy.
Maybe you’ve got a design in your head, or want something custom. In that case, sketch on paper, or in my case, draw it out on the computer. I wanted something large, so I used my printer to tile print the image onto 3 sheets of letter sized paper.
Next, time to transfer this image to the acetate. Grab your Sharpie!
I HIGHLY recommend filling in your pattern. Takes a couple extra minutes, but depending on the complexity of your design, it’s worth it. It’s easy to get mixed up on the pieces that are staying and going. So do yourself a favour…
One more step before you make your first cut. Lightly spray the back of your stencil with spray glue. Trust me. Acetate can be a slippery little critter. Spray glue and place onto your cutting board. Then tape down your corners. This may seem like overkill, but one wrong slip of the wrist can ruin your day.
Now you’re ready to cut. Use a utility knife that is small, and feels comfortable in your hand. You’ll be here a while, so make sure you can maneuver it easily. Spread out, give yourself lots of room and move and rotate your cutting board as you go to best line yourself up to make a clean cut. And, one more tip: CHANGE YOUR BLADES OFTEN! I bet I went through about 3 blades for one stencil.
You are done! Give yourself a big pat on the back.
One last tip. Spray glue is your friend. Once your base colour has fully cured, you can use spray glue to help place and secure your stencil to the wall. Use a low tack spray glue, and give a little light spray to the back of your stencil with each new placement. You will thank yourself. Trust me.
Happy stenciling my friends! Be sure to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages!
You may remember my rug drama from last week. Hey, they can’t all be winners right? I think I’ve managed to save this one though. This round of involved Rit Dye, a dollar store spray bottle, and the same painter’s tape stencil from attempt #1.
I followed Rit’s instructions for mixing; 2 cups hot water to 1 pkg of dye (I used 3 pkg’s for this project). Allowed it to cool, and then poured into a clean spray bottle.
My original thought for this rug was actually to try out Rit Dye, but I got scared off by Rit’s instructions. Do not use on rugs. Hmm. Do not use on rubber backed items. Hmm. Do not use on synthetic fibers. Hmmm. Check, check, check. I had it all. So, I started out with my fabric spray paint. As you recall, that didn’t work out so well.
With nothing to lose, and with a great reminder from blogger, Borrowed Abode, about the whole Rit Dye thing… I decided to give it a shot. I would add that I don’t recommend experimenting with that expensive rug you’ve dragged home with you, at great expense, from some exotic land overseas. The rug I am using was a shocking $49 purchase from a hardware store, and I was never really pleased with the colour, but I wanted something softer and warmer under foot while having dinner (on the cheap!).
So back to the rug at hand… Here is coat number one:
Yeah. Kinda scary right? At this point I was having visions of rolling it up and kicking it to the curb come garbage day. But, no, I decided to be patient, let it dry and try coat #2:
Okay, looking a little better. I let it dry overnight and then started taking off the tape…
Hey now! I’m pretty impressed with how the painter’s tape held up to all that liquid and managed to keep a nice crisp edge. I think the fact my rug was a very low pile rug, (ie: Short enough that I cannot pinch any fibres in between my fingers) helped keep the dye under control.
I think this could work!
Now that it’s in place, I think it’s a lot more jazzy than the previous incarnation. It’s got a little kick, a punch, a pop! Maybe this rug and I can be friends after all.
What do you think? Have you experimented with rug dyeing? Any tips for the rest of the class? Share in the comments or our facebook page! Best of luck for YOUR next DIY adventure!
**UPDATE**: After living with my rug for a couple weeks, I started to get paranoid about ink transfer. Though, I have to admit I only ever noticed a slight transfer on the bottom of my white sock. Anyhoo… I thought, what can it hurt to take it outside and give it a rinse? Well, it hurt. It rinsed away a big portion of my pattern. Again, my own fault — I think where I had the fabric paint, kept the dye from setting in properly in that area. Where there was no fabric spray paint, the dye seemed to hold just fine. So there you have it. Mistake one: fabric paint. Mistake two: the big rinse (which would of been fine without mistake one). Oooooh weeeeell. What’s a world without a little bit of creative experimenting right?
So, what bathroom doesn’t seem to need additional storage? Floor plans often don’t allow for additional cabinets — so its time to look up. Waaaaay up. I decided, for my own, that a wall mounted cabinet was the way to go.
I found a great, very affordable cabinet at Ikea. The Brimnes wall cabinet, with sliding door, fit the bill. It has the best of both worlds, allowing for a little bit of display, and hidden storage.
I had some vinyl decals left over from a previous project and thought I could easily use them to dress up this Ikea number.
The vinyl cutout started from an image I found on the internet and traced with Illustrator. I submitted the file to my local vinyl decal / print shop. They were able to cut the design in the colours I selected. I had 4 different sheets cut, in the same design, in two different colours for around $40.
This is the original design:
Here is the vinyl from the print shop:
Begin by planning the position of your vinyl. When you’re ready, peel away the protective layer. (If you’re working with a large piece of vinyl, you may choose to remove this little by little as you work from top to bottom, attaching the vinyl to your selected surface). Here is my piece revealed, sticky-side out:
Start at the top, and with a putty knife or credit card, press and attach the vinyl from left to right, top to bottom. It’s very important to work out all the air bubbles! After you’ve got it all on, take a good look and push away any remaining air bubbles…
Now for the fun part! Slooooowly pull the backing sheet off the surface.
And here she is:
The only thing left to do is dress it up a little, and take advantage of that extra storage! The vinyl is simple, affordable and with minimal effort, it has some pretty significant visual impact!
Now you see it…
Now you don’t…
Here is a previous project where I used the identical vinyl cut out, and applied it to a ceramic garden stool:
Have a project you’d like to share? Send me some low-res images here.
Be sure to resize as you see fit to suit the pattern for your wall. The laundry room pattern was actually larger than an 8.5 x 11 sheet. So you may want to increase your print out by tiling your sheets when printing (Alternatively, you can increase the printout size with a photocopier). Once you have your print-out, trace on to some acetate (I found mine at a local office supplies store), cut it out, and you’re ready to go.
NOTE: Make sure you leave in some tabs on your finished stencil to hold on the centre area! (You can paint over them later on ;). I did my second coat by hand to paint over the gaps left by the tabs, and to smooth out the edges and any small mistakes.
Okay, okay… so the laundry room is not the most important room in the house. But, if you’re a laundry nerd like me (ie: you enjoy folding a warm fluffy towel to even perfection), you’ll appreciate this one. No one says it can’t be pretty where the work is done. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at what we’re dealing with…
Alright. It’s functional. The equipment is there. It’s organized, but far from pretty. Time for a Laundry Room – Before and After!
I think a patterned wall is in order. I start by drawing out a stencil onto some acetate paper and cutting the pattern out with a blade. This will be nice and strong to handle repetitive uses over the entire wall.
NOTE: Keep a level handy to make sure you’re not veering off course. An easy symmetrical design like this one makes it easy to keep ‘er steady. I did my second coat by hand to paint over the gaps left by the tabs holding on the centre portion of the stencil, and to smooth over any small mistakes.
Here’s how she turned out.
A coordinating chair adds some function –– it’s handy for holding some freshly folded laundry, or yourself if you’re gonna be stuck in there a while!
Luckily our laundry room shares a wall with our living room, (which is also in the process of a renovation –– stay tuned!) so we took this opportunity to wire all components necessary for the TV into the laundry room. This great new racking system from Rubbermaid has a shelving unit (pictured here), which we decided to house all of our said components. Add a radio frequency remote (the signals fly through walls), and you’re golden!
Home Sense came through with some great storage baskets.
A simple addition of some accent paint, the same colour used for our patterned wall, adds some cohesion to the room.
A few finishing touches –– a very reasonably priced bamboo mat from Superstore, new ironing board cover from Walmart (maybe $10), and a mirror I already had in storage got a fresh coordinating coat of paint, and we’re done. Organized and lovely. A perfect combination.
Do you have a project you’re proud of? A fantastic idea? Or, source of great inspiration? Email me, I’d love to share it, and get inspired from it!