Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Painted Fabric for an Antique Pine Box

Oh, I have missed throwing ideas into the blogosphere the last couple of weeks.  As you've probably noticed, Christmas has exploded in retail stores everywhere, and here in Buffalo it is no different.  Strangely, I had no elves to spread Christmas cheer into my booth for me, so I was doing it myself.  Not that I mind, of course!  I played my favorite Christmas CD last week while working at the store.  Christmas with the Rat Pack.  It's not Christmas until I hear some Frank and Bing.  But now that the (Angel) dust has settled, I have a tip to share!
I was given an old pine box that had seen many years, but under all that grime I knew it was beautiful.  I planned to cut out a top and upholster it, making another upholstered bench like the one I made a couple of weeks ago (you can read about that project here), but I was going to stick to straight upholstery, not tufted (for that process, check out this post here).  I had a problem, though.

Dilemma:  I couldn't find any fabric in my stash that I liked.  And I say if I don't have fabric that I like, it's not worth going to the trouble of upholstering it.
Plan A:  Go to store and buy some.

So I went to the store.  Usually I try to find remnants at second hand stores--I can get a yard or two for $1.  I went to the local thrift store, but couldn't find anything that really tripped my trigger.

But there was some sturdy white fabric.  Hmmmm...

Plan B:  Paint something onto the white fabric using fabric paint using those little craft paints that are about $.99 a bottle.

I have been wanting to do a piece that has a European antique flour sack look (with those great blue stripes).  However, those darn things are awfully hard to find in little ol' Minnesota.  So I thought I could make a look-alike.
 I really loved the idea of using blue stripes on a white fabric, so I found a stripe pattern that I liked.  I was originally thinking about stenciling letters or numbers on the fabric as well, but I didn't want to "guild the lily," so I settled on two bold stripes.

First, I cut my fabric to the rough size I would need and taped it down to my tabletop to keep it from shifting.  Then, I taped out my stripes, one small stripe at a time, and painted them in using my craft paint and a large craft brush.  I did not water down the paint, and found that it worked pretty well.
You can see that I didn't worry too much about making a perfectly solid line.  I left some of the texture because I was too lazy to fill in all the cracks didn't want it to look too new.

I was really impressed with how quickly the paint dried.  I pulled up the tape from one stripe, and laid it down right on top of it about 2 minutes later to do the next stripe.  
Once you have all your striping done, your newly striped/stenciled/otherwise embellished fabric is ready for its new life!  I went ahead and upholstered my box with it, and am so happy with the results.

Do you have any sewing or crafting projects that you can't seem to find the perfect fabric for?  What about painting it?!  I am seeing all these possibilities of lettering, damask, polka dots, quotes, etc...etc... on pillows or draperies or, or, or....

If painting doesn't seem like a solution for you, there is a company that will print your custom designed fabric for you.  Go check them out at Spoonflower.com.  Even if you're not in the market for fabric or don't feel comfortable designing your own, you can go check it out and drool over other people's designs that are for sale.

Happy Painting!

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