Saturday, January 26, 2013

Goodwill Basket Makeover Tutorial

Today I thought I'd share with you how I made over some Goodwill baskets I've had for awhile and just never redid them. I've done several before but only used stain and didn't paint them.  I will show you a stained one and two painted ones in this tutorial.


Let's start with what the baskets looked like before... Ignore all the junk on my table :-) lol  I'm lucky enough to find unfinished baskets at my Goodwill.  They have not been stained or finished in any way.  I'm going to say cautiously that the painted part of this tutorial will work on previously stained or painted baskets.  The staining part I'm not so sure unless you just want to make any paint already on it appear darker.  You may need to sand them a little to give the new stain something to adhere to.  If it is already stained only you may be able to put another stain on top to darken it.  I don't know I haven't done it. :-/  You will need something to cover your work surface. VERY IMPORTANT!!!!  I use old shower curtains.

You all know I share my mistakes as well as what actually turns out.  This first paint test was a first for me.  I used paint (an oops paint for $.50 at Lowe's it's a gray color) sea salt and water.  I know what you're thinking... sea salt???? yep I wanted to see if I could get a texture in the paint and since I didn't have sand on hand to try I used this.  So what I did was I poured a little paint in my bowl added about 1 tbsp of sea salt and water to thin it down. 

You want the paint to be slightly runny so that it flows when painted on your basket.  This way it flows into the crevices.  When I painted it I lined it with paper towels because I didn't want to paint the inside.  I wanted to stain it.  In this pic you can see the sea salt texture.  I probably should have added more sea salt.  Oh well live and learn.  This is only one layer of paint.  I wanted these to look old so it's easier to sand with only one coat.

 After sanding.   If you think about it the higher splints would show the most wear so that's all I sanded as well as the handle.

I'll show you how I finished it at the end because it'll make more sense after I tell you how to mix up the stain.

OK. Let's move on to the next basket.

These are the supplies:  Regular liquid stain I used dark walnut on this one (I've tried gel stain and it is very difficult to use) a glass jar (save any old glass jar from pickles, jam, or whatever) paint thinner and a brush (don't use foam brushes the paint thinner eats it yep learned that too) lol I forgot to show rubber gloves!!!! It'll keep your hands from being stained too.  Please use stain in a well ventilated space!!!!

You will need to pour some stain in your glass jar.  Eye ball it for the size of project you have.  Then add a couple tbsp paint thinner to the stain.  This is what waters it down to flow in the crevices.  Water will not work!!!! Make sure you stir your mixture.

 Next just use your brush and brush the stain mixture on your basket. I stained the entire inside and out.

The final basket I used the same technique as above only I used Early American Minwax liquid stain.  I think I really prefer this color!!!  It's the one in the middle.  You can sort of see the color difference.  These will take a day or two to dry because of the stain.

Alright now let's finish the first gray basket.  I used the left over Early American stain and an old sock and rubbed it on the basket to darken the sanded wood spots and paint. I rub very lightly because I didn't want it too dark.  I also used this method to stain the inside of this basket. 

After looking at the really dark one I decided I didn't like it so I tried painting over top of the stain after it was completely dry.  Here I mixed blue latex paint and water to thin it down.

Shew much better...  As I painted I used a paper towel to rub off some of the paint so it wasn't so thick.  I didn't paint the inside.  I left it stained.  After the paint dried I sanded and restained it with the dark walnut using my sock method.

Here they are all finished again.  I accidentally got some blue paint on the inside oh well. :-)  Prim isn't perfect!!!!

These are previous baskets I've stained using walnut gel stain... It was very hard to work with as it doesn't want to thin down with the paint thinner.  I do,however, like the stain color better.

WARNING: Stain can be highly flammable.  Please follow the manufacturer's instructions on the stain on how to properly dispose of all materials used in this project.  I just let my glass jars dry out with the top off outside and throw them away.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Newest Sampler

Good Morning everyone!  You all know how much I LOVE to stitch.  I do it at work to pass the time or otherwise it drives me insane to just sit there and not do anything with my hands.  I know it's a short drive.  I beat you to the punchline. LOL.  Anyway, I've been very busy pinning away on Pinterest of free sampler and cross stitch patterns.  I've come across Quaker style patterns and just think they are awesome.  So, I decided to use a few Quaker motifs in my newest stitchery.  I think I'll probably frame this one, but for now this is how it sits.  It still needs pressed, but you get the idea.

I've also gotten bit by the clean out bug once again.  I'm going through more things in my decor that I'm not using or it's time for a change.  My dining room table is heaped and I still have more!!!!  It feels good to get rid of things.  I've also managed to move a few furniture pieces out of my really crowded dining room.  It has a better feel to me.  I think I still need to go through a few more things, but now that I'm on my 4 day weekend that is on my to do list.  I've also done some Spring decorating, but I'm going to wait just a little bit longer to show you until I have things the way I want them.  I'm also going to do another tutorial this weekend I hope.  It's nothing major just a little helpful hint I got in making those Goodwill baskets look old!!!  I have a few I want to try different methods on so it might take a day or so to get it posted.  So be sure to check back :-)  Have a great day talk to you soon!

My apologies if it seems my brain is all over the place, but I got like a total of 40 minutes sleep in the last 27 hours.  So poke fun if you want it is actually pretty funny when I'm so scattered brained. LOL.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Finishes

I'm glad many of you enjoyed my fishtail swag tutorial.  It really is not that hard and if you are like me you need to watch your pennies.  It was quite a shock when I opened up my last paycheck only to find my bring home was $20 less than it was!  Grrrr... darn government. lol It's not like I'm already working 2 jobs and crafting to make ends meet for us and now my paychecks are going to be less.  Oh well, what are you going to do? Well, me I make MORE crafts!!!! lol

I've been busy last week in my craft room since I actually cleaned it up over the holidays.  Many of you know I don't do hearts in my home.  I can't tell you why other than they remind me of my more country decorating days instead of prim like I am now. Anyway, there are people who still use them and I'm missing out on an entire market of people by limiting myself to not making them to sell.  I also had a suggestion from a friend on Facebook to include crows too.  Again I don't use crows soooooo I didn't make them.  Sheesh what a terrible business girl I've been.  So, being short on cash even though I have NOT been to a thrift store since January 1st. (GO ME!!!!!) I got busy.

This is what came out of the craft room... Most of it sold shortly after I posted it on Facebook but I do have a few things left :-)

I have 2 green birds left $3.00 each plus shipping.

Six grubby hearts on a checkered hanger $4.00 plus shipping.

I have three dark brown hearts, 1 tan and the checkered heart's left above $4.00 each plus shipping.

My own pattern of course for the girls above. :-)  The lady in blue is still available for $9.00 plus shipping

I made two make do's like the heart and crow above, which I must have deleted the photo of. grrr.... 

I have to deliver an order today and then get busy on some special orders for customers.  This week is going to be quite busy for me between working and crafting.  Oh well I LOVE it!!!
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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fishtail Swag Tutorial

Please be aware this tutorial is not the only way and heck maybe not the right way, but it worked for me.  You all know I try to save money where I can by making as much as I can.  Recently I received a request from a friend on Facebook about my living room swag over my window.  She went on to say that she has a  quite large window and could not decide how to treat it and asked where I got my swag.  Long story short I told her I made it and that I would post a tutorial.  Trust me if you can sew a straight line you can make this!

Ok so we all know what I'm talking about.  These are old pictures, but it's really hard to take a picture of a window. lol.  Basically it is just draped fabric over a curtain rod.  In the second picture you can kind of see how it tapers down.  Anyway, I'll try to take other pics as we go.  As we speak I'm figuring out new curtain ideas for this window because it is old and drafty and I need to keep some of the cold out.  I'm thinking lined panels, but I'm not sure.

First things first.  Measure your window and decide how long you want the sides to hang down.  I took all my measurements sides and across the top and added them together.  This gives you how many inches of fabric you need.   I obviously like them a little longer.  You can choose between short to long.  This is where I made mistake number one.  Be sure to add about an extra 12 inches on your measurement for the sides.  The reason being when you drape and wrap it around the rod this takes up a few inches of fabric.  Make sure you have enough to make it long enough.  Got your measurements?  Great! 

Next, choosing your fabric.  I HATE trying to decide on curtain colors and designs.  I feel that by choosing a certain color I'm "stuck" with it in my decorating scheme. So, I tend to stay neutral.  BLACK! This does have mustard checks in it, but it actually blends well with my decor year round.  This was 100% cotton fabric.  I did not buy home decor fabric.  You could, but expect to pay a little more per yard.  I figured using this fabric I could throw them in the washing machine when they need it. Now once you have your total inches convert it to yards.  You will have left over fabric! So then you could make table runners, candle mats, etc. the possibilities are endless or you could make another swag! I only have one window in my living room so I had a lot left over.  Now I did line my swag as you can see with simple muslin.  You don't have to.  I prefer to because it looks more finished from the outside and when it doesn't lay quite right it still looks good.  I really think if you used just a solid fabric that coordinated with your other fabric would look awesome!!! Purchase the same amount of fabric in both fabrics if you are lining them. It is up to you if you want to wash your fabric first.  I highly recommend it.  I did NOT and one of the fabrics shrunk a little more than the other and it's kinda off if you look close.  All ready to start?

I'm going to use scrap fabric to show you since I'm not quite ready to make a swag at this time for the window.

Step One..

This fabric is folded in half. 

Most fabric is 44"-45" wide.  Take your pretty fabric (the front of the swag) and measure half  which is normally around 22"-23" You will measure the side that is cut.  Now you will either need to cut or rip your fabric in half giving you 2 pieces 22-23" by the length of the swag. Ripping sounds harsh I know, but it will give you a very straight line.

Step 2...

If you are using a backing fabric like muslin do the same to this piece.  Please be aware muslin can come in differing widths.  Measure your width carefully and cut or rip it the same as the front piece.

You should now have a front and back to your swag.

Step 3...

This step we will cut what I call the "drop."  This gives it the "fishtail" appearance.  How did I come up with this you might ask? Well, I measured a friend's that bought a swag like this at the store and used those measurements. :-)  Alright so how do you do this? You can layer your fabric right sides together (front and back) and cut them together or you can do them separate.  

You should have a long rectangular piece. The short side of the fabric is at the right side of the picture in the pic below.  Measure up one side of the long side of the rectangle 22" Shown below by the blue tape. Draw and cut a straight line from the 22" mark and the corner of the opposite side  It will save time if you layer your fabric. :-)  Now do the same to the opposite edge. BE CAREFUL and make sure your diagonals are going in the same direction!!!!! Learn from this girl lol!!!! Let me clarify this.  Make sure when you are cutting the opposite edge that the long side is at the top just like this one.  Basically it is a mirror image.

You still with me?


Step four...

I'm going to tell you how to do this because the way I did it didn't work very well.  I've thought about it and this way should be much easier!  Your fabric pieces should be rights sides of the fabric facing each other.  You should be seeing the back of the fabric.  I really suggest using a sewing machine for this.  How I envision this is going to work should be pretty simple.  Find the half way point on one of your long sides of the fabric.  I suggest using the side that is the shorter of the two.  You'll see why in a minute. Using a 1/4" seam start sewing at that midpoint down the side to the corner and around the short sides back down the really long side around the other corners  coming back 6 inches or so from your original start point.  Stop sewing and backstitch.  You should have an opening to turn your swag right side out. HA!!! EUREKA!!!!  You will have to trim your corners slightly to get them to lay right before turning right side out.  Press your swag then whip stitch your turning hole closed.  This should be at the top of your swag when hanging it.  If it's on the bottom it should work just fine as well.

When I sewed my swag I tried to topstitch it and it looks horrid.  I didn't catch all the seams and once I washed them the first time those uncaught edges came out and it looks awful.  I really think the above method will give you a better look.  If you try it let me know how it works.

There you have it!  Just drape your swag over your curtain rod.  I'm a fanatic when it comes to being even.  This step takes me forever to do. LOL.

Hope this helps and please let me know if you have question :-)

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