Friday, April 29, 2011

Handmade Ribbon

Up to my nose with house projects, I haven't done a craft project in ages! My boss's birthday provided me the opportunity to get crafty and take a break from wallpapering and painting furniture.
I decided to make her several yards of handmade ribbon - something popular in the stamping world but since I'm a graphic designer who works almost exclusively on a computer, I never got into the stamping world like two of my sisters did.

But it was easy and fun to do and I might do some homemade ribbon for special holiday gifts in the future!
(the hardest part was keeping my furry helpers off the work area!)

I bought a yard of white/bleached muslin at JoAnn Fabrics and some RIT dye. After washing/drying the muslin in my regular laundry, I mixed up some of the dye in a plastic pail (wearing gloves).
I chose a denim blue because I like how it looks when faded - a more reddish-purple undertone. I did not make it full strength - used hot water and a pinch of salt - tied up the muslin into knots so it would dye uneven for an aged look, and plunged it in/out in 5 seconds.
Wrung and rinsed in cold water, then washed/dried again with a load of jeans.
Not wanting to let the dye bath go to waste, I also dyed a stained white cotton Battenburg lace tablecloth a lovely shade of faded blueberry (20 seconds in the dye bath) and a white linen blouse that was also stained (10 seconds in a weakened dye bath). It turned out a lovely shade of pale hydrangea blue!! (new life for both pieces).
The next step was to iron and then tear the strips to the width I desired (in this case, about 2" wide). I loved the torn edges look so chose to do it that way - you can also cut it with a scissors if you prefer a more polished look.
To tear, just cut a notch into the selvage and rip.
Then the sewing machine came out - it only took 10 minutes to sew the ends together!

After laying it out on plastic bags on my table, I began stamping (I bought it all on sale at JoAnns).
Once stamped, I spritzed it with a frost and shimmer fabric/paper spray and stuck on sticky-back rhinestones.

The finished yardage was rolled up on to a piece of unbleached papyrus paper and tied with a piece of white lace ribbon.
For the final touch I stuck a piece of fresh flowering rosemary underneath the ribbon!
My next ribbon will be white muslin with pink and pale green roses and romantic text!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spare Bedroom Wallpaper Update

OK, now the spare room is not done yet - it will need new baseboard and crown moldings. The furniture needs to be moved in and pictures hung.
Curtains need tie backs and the white cotton IKEA rug will hit the floor just before a student renter moves in or otherwise it will fall victim to a spring hairball.
(seriously - all my throw rugs are off the floors right now during this season when the cats are shedding and coughing up the results of excessive grooming)

I hung the wallpaper this past weekend and as usual, it transformed the room.
The walls were a pretty butter yellow but alas, I felt the need to tie the room into the rest of the blue & white house color scheme.
I got the wallpaper for $11.20 per single roll from
Its a pretty blue & white sprig-like floral pattern. I had some late nights getting it up and miscut/mismatched a few times but seriously, no one has noticed because the nature of the pattern hides any mistakes!

I'm very happy with it. The IKEA chambray curtains were $20 per pair and one panel is all I needed for each window. They came with tie backs which I will attach high on the trim so more curtain is held back to allow more light into the room.
I kept the Brylane Home lace panels in each window for added privacy and a feminine touch.

The bed is an IKEA platform bed in pine. (I painted it white)
It's a bit low to the ground but I found risers on sale for $9.99 at Burlington Coat Factory so the bed will rise to a normal height.
The comforter set (Ralph Lauren via TJ Maxx for $29.99) comes with a long bedskirt to hide the risers.

The bedside table was a Shabby Chic $30 buy off Amazon and the dresser with mirror is from Goodwill ($40/set); freshened up with a few coats of white paint.

My little helper's name is "Mini Me" and he's my shadow. He insists on going everywhere with me and getting right in there to help with what ever I'm doing.

Stay tuned for finish snaps - hopefully by the end of the weekend I'll have the twin mattress from a friend's storage and framed images up.