I don't have time to be as crafty as I would like and after a while I get in a creative funk that can only be cured with a project. I usually have to do projects like this when Benton is out of town because he lacks creative vision and doesn't trust me not to screw up the house.
Not that every project is a success - like the bathroom I painted in our old house when I was 9 months pregnant. Paint job was sub par, but it was the electric blue that sent Benton over the edge. He was as nice as he could be with his critique, but I had a hormonal meltdown anyway.
So here is today's project. Credit for the idea is from my mom - pre-Internet. She used liquid starch and fabric on our bathroom back in the early 1990's. I had been planning to find a hip chevron pattern to put on the backsplash of our laundry room. I figured this was a safe place for experimentation since almost no one sees it anyway.
Chevron must be cooler on blogs and Pinterest than in real life because it was hard to find a pattern. I wanted one color with white, not a Missoni multi-color, and the only one I found was a sunshine yellow with white.
So I switched to a tan and white print with Tiffany blue parrots. It's a great transitional print since the hallway is khaki and the bathroom and guest room next door are blue. It was regularly $17.99/ sq. ft. at Hancock Fabrics, but it was on sale for 40% off.
I bought 3 yards and began measuring out the fabric on my kitchen floor using the tile to help me cut straight lines. If you're going to try this - add half and inch to your vertical and horizontal measurements. If you know me, you know I'm mathematically challenged anyway and you'll want the room for shrinkage. Plus, if your measurements or cutting aren't perfect, you need extra to trim off, rather than a gap that's too short.
I tried to cut a hole for the outlet before putting the fabric up and my measurement was off. After that, I just put the fabric up and then cut holes where I needed them.
After the fabric is cut, put the first piece in a bucket and pour undiluted liquid starch on top of it and soak it until it's entirely wet. Squeeze it slightly into a ball so that it's really wet but not dripping. Stretch it out over the wall starting in a corner so you can get your lines as straight as possible.
You may be a really great measuerer/cutter, otherwise, pick one side to be your straight side and let the other side have your overhang you can fix later with a straightedge razor after it dries. Starting in your first corner, put push pins every 10 inches or so (you'll remove them after it dies). Smooth out the fabric and stretch it flat across the surface. That's it!
It was harder to make sure the pattern sort-of lined up, but a solid color would have been the same as paint and I wanted a wallpaper look and feel. I ended up doing more wall than I planned because I had fabric left over and I loved the way it looked. I went back and bought 3 more yards and another bottle of starch this evening.
Someone asked on Facebook how I did his with a toddler. I did the prep work while Parker was awake and he wasn't much help. He tried to walk on the fabric on the kitchen floor, stole the tape measure, and tried to hold the scissors. I did most of it during his 2.5 hour nap this afternoon, but I will say it was much easier to do this with Parker than painting or wallpapering - yikes!
Tomorrow's project is to paint a chevron pattern on a rug for the floor, so stay tuned!
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