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Month: February 2017

St. Patrick’s Day Watercolor Painted Pillow Cover

Top O’ the mornin’ to ya! Are you looking to do a bit of decorating for St. Patrick’s Day? One of the easiest ways to dress up a room with a theme is with a throw pillow. “Lucky” for you, I’ve got a fun idea for a painted watercolor 4-leaf clover pillow cover to share! #seewhatididthere

 

I didn’t use to do a lot of decorating or anything else for St.Patrick’s Day, but my family loves to celebrate it in some way every year. When I met Shay, I had no idea how much he loved St. Patrick’s Day. Little did I know that we would become the people eating corned beef and cabbage every year and drinking green beer. Well, I probably knew that we’d be drinking green beer, because Shay does like beer, but I had no idea on the corned beef and cabbage. I don’t like corned beef, and I’m indifferent to cabbage. I mean, I like cabbage in cabbage rolls, and of course, in coleslaw, but by itself, especially boiled, cabbage is just kinda.. eww. My man loves it – at least on St. Patrick’s Day. We once had an entire conversation about corned beef and cabbage that ended with Puff the Magic Dragon. True story. The point to my story is, over the years, I’ve had to up my St. Patrick’s Day decor and celebration game. A few years ago I whipped up these fun rainbow frosted brownie bites. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do this year, so you can bet I was super excited when my friend Meg of Green with Decor invited me to share a St. Patrick’s Day project idea, along with a group of fun and talented bloggers! Instant plan! Well, save for what we’ll be eating… but you work with what you have! On to the pillow cover!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pillow form – Mine was a 10″x10″ form I already had. I wish I’d had a down filled form, but I didn’t have one the size I needed! If I’d had time, I’d have ordered this one.
  • Fabric to cover pillow – I had a package of white cotton napkins that were the perfect size for my pillow form, so I used that for the front of my pillow, and some velvet that I had in my fabric stock for the back.
  • Watercolor paints – Any type will do – they do not need to be fabric paints. I used this cake set, and I’ve also used this liquid version as well. You could potentially use your kids Crayola paints, but the colors won’t be as vibrant.
  • -Fine-tip black sharpie
  • -Iron
  •  -Fabric Medium –  This bottle of magic, when added to paint, allows you to use any type paint on fabric without leaving the fabric feeling stiff. I found this FolkArt brand at JoAnn’s, and was happy with the results, but could only find the small bottle there. If you’re using this for a larger pillow, it’s cheaper for the larger bottle on Amazon.
  • -Two small containers for water
  • -Two brushes

To begin, transfer the clover and text pattern onto your pillow using the marker. (Right-click on the link and save to your computer). I used my Cricut to do this, drawing it directly on the fabric with the fine tip pen. Because I wasn’t cutting the fabric, I was able to write onto the fabric without applying Wonder-under first.


If you don’t have a die-cut machine,  you can also apply the design with a fine point sharpie pen using one of these transfer methods, printing on fabric using printable fabric, or if your fabric is sheer enough, tracing the design by hand.

Whichever method you choose to use, you’ll need to heat-set your design before adding watercolor to the fabric. Do this by applying dry heat to the drawing from the highest setting of your iron.

Once your design is sealed, you can add your watercolor accents – the fun part! Fill your two containers with water – one for cleaning your brush and one for the fabric medium. You don’t need alot.. probably about 1/4 cup. Add about a 1/8 of a cup of fabric medium to one of the water cups.

Use one of the brushes dipped in water to wet your paint, keeping in mind, the less water you use, the more color your brush will pick up, the less water, the lighter the color and the more it will spread on your fabric.

Begin applying the color to your fabric, filling in the design, staying in the lines.. just like kindergarten! I used various colors of green to give the drawing dimension – there isn’t a right or wrong way to do this.

Once you have painted your fabric as desired, use the water with the paint medium added to it and paint over the entire surface. You may see a slight amount of run from the outline, but it should be minimal if you’ve heat set the marker.

Your fabric will be quite wet at this point. Allow your fabric to dry – My fabric took a few hours to dry in the air.  Once dry, carefully go over your lines if necessary, then again, heat set the design using a dry, very hot iron.

You’re ready to create your cover! I like a pillow cover with a zipper, but an envelope style pillow cover would also work here. Until I get around to writing a tutorial on how to create one, I like this one for creating a cover with a zipper a lot – it’s very thorough and easy to understand.

I added handmade pompoms in the corners of my pillow cover for just a little bit extra – I pinned the pompom strings from the inside to each corner before stitching.

I love how this cute little pillow turned out, and despite the fact that we’ll likely be eating the dreaded corned-beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, adding this to our decor means at least we’ll be doing it in style! How about you? How will you be celebrating St. Paddy’s Day? Do you do any decorating? Do you have any “authentic” Irish dishes to share?

Before you go, be sure to drop by and visit these talented ladies for a peek at their St. Patrick’s Day projects!

 

knockitoffkim.com projects

 

Don’t forget it, Pin It!

How I Made Over My Old Banker’s Chair

Many thanks to Wagner for the beyond useful paint sprayer and sponsoring this post. Of course, all opinions and bad grammar are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for details.  

What do you do when you have a piece of furniture that has seen better days, but you can’t seem to part with it? The obvious answer is to paint it or upcycle it!

When my mother died, among many other things, I brought home her office chair. My mom was a workaholic. Not in the negative way that you would normally associate with the workaholic label. I don’t remember ever feeling like she didn’t have time for us, but many of our long talks took place around her desk, in her office. Her passion for work was simply a part of her – she thrived off of business savvy exchanges, constant learning, and hard work. And salesmanship? Whew! I swear, she could sell mud to someone in the middle of a flood. As a result of all of this, she clocked many, many hours in that chair. It is a piece of furniture that still means a lot to me and reminds me of her whenever I see it.

Unfortunately, the chair had seen better days. 12-years ago, the chair was gently used. But today, the chair was falling apart and needed a make-over, STAT. Somehow, the arms had both come off, and one was lost – I’m still holding out hope that it will turn up somewhere! Hopefully, I’m not the only one who loses things in their house! The faux leather seat was torn, and the finish was chipped and scraped all over. I gave the chair a new finish and recovered the seat. Usually I would have used a heavy duty fabric, but since I didn’t have one, I decided to paint fabric with a Buffalo check pattern for just a little bit of an on-trend look. To keep the cost down, I used a piece of canvas drop cloth as the seat cover and painted the pattern on using two colors.  I went with gray and beige shades to keep things neutral and light. A coat of clear wax keeps the chair pad protected. The color combination is very calming and a sweet contrast to the dark wood tones of our home office. Here’s how I did it:

 

Painting a Buffalo Check Pattern

Supplies you’ll need –

  • 1 1/2″ painters tape
  • Acrylic paint in 2 coordinating colors
  • Paint brush
  • Clear wax

Using the painter’s tape, tape two pieces, horizontally, side by side every 3″ across your surface.  This will create 3 x 3″ squares in the finished check.

 

If possible, run a small line of paint down the edges of your tape lines to seal the edges. This ensures a crisp line when you remove the tape. Allow this to dry.

Paint between the tape lines using your darkest color – I used a dark gray, and remove the tape before allowing the surface to dry.

Now, tape two pieces, vertically, side by side every 3″ across your surface going over the first set of lines. It’s best to start from the center to ensure an even pattern. Again, seal the edges and fill in the taped off area with your darkest color. ALLOW TO DRY.

Using the tape, create a grid by again adding tape lines horizontally, following your original tape lines, then paint the squares that have been set up by the grid of tape in your contrasting color – I used white. Remove the tape and allow to dry completely.

Brush on a coat of clear wax or another plastic coat sealer. If you’re painting this on fabric, this will also soften your fabric slightly, removing the stiff feeling of paint on fabric!

Covering the Chair Seat

To recover the seat, remove the seat pad from the chair. Most chairs have 2-4 screws attaching them to the base and will come right off when you remove these.

If the fabric underneath is in good condition, I’ve often left it on and just removed the cover piece – you know, that piece that covers the staples and makes it look all clean and pretty that I can’t remember the name of right now!? In my case, the fabric was torn and had to be removed. I did this with a pair of pliers, prying up the staples. Fun stuff.

To put the new fabric on, cut a piece of fabric roughly the same size as the chair pad, with enough fabric to wrap around all four sides.

Lay your fabric on a flat surface, pattern side down and center your cushion on top of it, face down.

Starting at the front of the cushion, pull the fabric up and around the seat and then turn over the raw edge and staple along the edge, about an inch in.  Repeat on each side, pulling the fabric taut and straight as you go.

To finish the corners, pull the center of the fabric over the corner, pulling tight and staple. Then, pull the fabric on either side of the center over, pleating and pulling taut, stapling around.  Cut excess fabric off and staple the edges down. Repeat on the other corners. Staple down the liner on the fabric staple line, turning over raw edges as you go.

Attach to the chair. All finished!

Painting the Chair:

To paint your chair, you’ll need to:

  • Make any necessary repairs
  • Prepare the surface – give it a good cleaning and lightly sand to remove any shine. This will help the paint to adhere better

I’ve had success with painting chairs using spray paint, and also by hand, but I decided to try out the Wagner paint sprayer that I received during our Game Room Makeover. #badhairdontcare #momjeansforpainting

Don’t worry, though, if you don’t have a paint sprayer, you can achieve the same look by painting by hand, using chalk paint and a polyacrylic coat for protection.

The sprayer I have (Wagner Flexio 890 Paint Sprayer) comes with two spray heads. One is for more detailed work such as crafts and furniture and was perfect for this job.

Wagner Flexio 890 Paint Sprayer

The sprayer is easy to put together and to use. It’s quiet and light. And, you can paint using virtually any kind of material. I used a chalk type paint which enabled me to apply the paint without a primer, followed by a thinned polyacrylic to protect the finish, both applied with the sprayer. I get asked all the time if you can truly use chalk paint without a primer, and the answer is YES! Chalk paint is lovely to work with and is most often self-levelling. It’s even nicer with the sprayer because there isn’t a brush mark to be seen anywhere. The best chalk style paint I’ve ever worked with is made by Wise Owl – it’s a bit pricey, but the coverage is fantastic. Take a look at this post for more information on Wise Owl paint.

Reassemble your chair, reattach the seat cushion and you’re done.

I added a flokati pillow that has been around for a while and has been moved from room to room multiple times – I love things that can live anywhere in your home! The pillow adds just the right amount of texture and softness. This secretary chair was a simple, quick, inexpensive upcycle. And, I can’t be happier with how the chair turned out – I’m positive my mom would have liked it as well, and I hope you do, too!

 

 

 

Get Started With Cricut Explore Air 2 and Brighten Up Winter

So, you just brought your new Cricut Explore Air 2 home. You’ve opened up the box, taken your shiny, gorgeous new machine out – I’m dying to know what color you chose  – you’ve plugged it in, and then… Well, that’s where you start asking yourself, “What am I going to DO with this thing?” Amiright? I was right there with you a few weeks ago when I opened up my new machine! But don’t fret! I’m here today to share some tips and a simple beginner project to get you started.

This project was born out of a need for green and a gentle reminder that Winter isn’t going to last forever.  The skies seem always to be gray, the ground hard, and covered in winter debris – twigs, dead leaves, it’s like nature’s litter out there! The days, while lengthening, are still short and dark. My lips are chapped. My skin is dry, and I’m itchy. I’m sick of sweaters. I might even be tired of boots – oh, the blasphemy! I’m irritated with coats that make me look like a linebacker. Since it’ll be a while before we see any real green on the ground, I decided to take matters into my hands.

I had these adorable faux herb planters that I’d picked up at Joann’s last spring. Yes, I know, faux is passe` bu let’s face it, even if it were spring, I’m a plant-killer which makes faux the only plants for me. They were cute on their own, but I thought it would be fun to add a bit of an embellishment with a wee bit of color.

Let’s get started. First things first, if you’ve not done so already,  and if you’ve not signed up for a login with Cricut in the past, you’ll need to create an account at Cricut.com. If you already have an account,  you’ll login using this account by clicking the login link in the top left corner.

Next, you’ll want to download the plugin and go through the New Machine Setup. Connect your machine using the provided cables, or you can also connect using blue tooth. To do that, set your Ipad or Iphone’s blue tooth settings to your Cricut Explore Air 2 and enter the provided pin. Just like that, you’re connected!

No matter how you choose to connect, you’ll want to go through the “Getting Started” rubric which will automatically walk you through your very first project, which is an excellent way to get a feel for what the Cricut Explore Air 2 can do.

Now that you’re logged in take a look at the Cricut Design Space. The Design Space is where all of the magic happens.

When you log in, you’ll see a list of projects. These projects are what are called “Make it Now” projects. In these projects, Cricut has done all of the work for you. Clicking on a project will show you a list of materials you’ll use, the cost to purchase the project, as well as the directions to create a project. I would encourage you to look around as there is a project for every need and check back often as they are always adding to the library.

Our project today uses the Southwest Pottery Wraps “Make it Now” project. To get started, you’ll click on the picture of the project. First, you’ll see the details of the project, the supplies required and you’ll also see the “Customize” button. Clicking this would allow you to change the design to your preferences – we aren’t going to do that with this project, but it’s good to know that it’s possible to do if you’d like!

I decided to change up the design slightly, using vinyl instead of the leather. The vinyl is self-adhesive, so I also didn’t need the spray adhesive. So, for my version we’ll need the following materials:

Let’s get started! Clicking on the ” Make it Now” button takes us directly to the mat window.

To use your mat, remove the plastic sheet – put it aside to protect your mat when you’re done. Load your vinyl sheet by lining it up to the top left corner and smoothing it with your hand.

Load your machine, aligning and feeding the mat through the guides, then pressing the feed button.

 

Be sure to set your blade to the correct material setting, in this case, vinyl.

 

In the Design Space, push the go button, then press the flashing Cricut button on your Cricut Explore Air 2 to begin cutting.

 

I decided to layer two colors of vinyl and therefore cut the design twice. What I love is that you can just reload your material, reload the mat and it will automatically reset, allowing you to cut by just pressing the Cricut button rather than having to resend from Design Space.

When you’ve finished cutting, press the Finish button in Design Space.

The vinyl is self-adhesive and comes with a backing. Remove the backing from around the cut design, leaving the design on the backing. Use the weeding tool to remove the center of the design that did not come away when you removed the backing.

For this project, I found it easiest to peel the design and place it by hand rather than to use transfer paper.

Once completed, the pots made their way to their new home – my kitchen window sill!

I love the little bit of green and the contrast between gold and stainless steel, giving them a bit of a modern/industrial look and is a great reminder that Winter is only temporary. The fact that my Cricut Explore Air 2 makes this such a simple and quick project makes me love it even more!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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