Stripe obsession

My obsession with stripes has not waned.  If anything it grows stronger everyday.

When I walk into Hunter's room (multiple times a day), seeing the bold stripes makes me smile.
So I've hatched a plan to incorporate them throughout the house- but not too much.

Never fear, I've not become a weird mash up of Where's Waldo & the Cat in the Hat.  Living in a world of all-stripes-all-the-time would be a bit much, even for me....that and turtle necks look horrible on me (what with my big round head and all) and I can only imagine how cute I'd look in that big striped hat.

Anyway, I am looking for subtle ways to incorporate them.  As if large bold stripes could ever be subtle.

I had been meaning to redo the headboard in the guest room for months, but hadn't gotten around to it.
Did I mention I never really liked this comforter?  Yeah, it's already gone.
When I finally got the new dresser painted and installed in that room, it spurred me to get on my list of projects.

If I'm being honest, I also could have possibly looked at the calendar and realized my friend Ashley will be staying with us in 22 days (but who's counting).  And oh yeah, she's bringing her husband this time, who we have only met their wedding.  Of course we need to impress him with our fabulous guest accommodations (because the boarded up windows, trash in our font & back yards and general state of the rest of the house is certainly not going to do the trick).

So, I set out to find the perfect fabric to use for the new headboard (striped of course).

Of course, my budget was like $5 for the whole project, so finding 3 yards of fabulous fabric was a bit of a challenge.  Especially since it needs to be thick enough to cover the teal fabric underneath (because taking it off would be WAY too much work).

Hunter and I happened to be dropping of a trunk full of donations at the Goodwill last weekend, and so I thought I would take a gander through the aisles (you never know what treasures you will find).

I usually avoid the textile aisle like the plague.  There is just something about it that freaks me out.  Especially the sheet sets....ewwww.

But on a $5 budget, I held my breath and hunted through the 2 aisles of sheets, blankets, curtains and fabric looking for the holy-stripey-grail.  As luck would have it I stumbled upon something I didn't even know I was looking for.

A white canvas shower curtain.
It hit all the high points:
  1. Thick fabric
  2. Large enough to cover the headboard
  3. $7.99 with a red tag (meaning it was 50% off since it was Saturday)
  4. No stains, odors or other grossness
I snatched that baby up and ran to the check out.  In my hand I held $4 of endless possibilities.

After I washed, dried and ironed it.  I was my blank canvas.  Quite literally and figuratively.

I spent a few hours trolling the internet for painted curtain tutorials.

And after reading the best practices from across the internet, I ignored them all and went the lazy man's route.

Instead of buying fancy "fabric medium" to make the paint washable and softer (as many blogger recommended), I decided to try my hand at making it up as I go (I'm generally pretty good at that in life, so I figured the skill would transfer). I should mention that my decision was mainly based on my lack of patience, and my desire to get the project done in one night.

So, I laid my very large curtain on the floor (after sweeping and vacuuming of course), and then laid my headboard on top of it.

Then, I measured my stripes out.
This part I actually had to measure (eyeballing it wouldn't do the trick), because crooked and unevenly spaced stripes are no good.

I decided that I would dip my toe into the vertical stripe arena (new territory for me) since the pillows on the bed would cover most of the stripes (so horizontal stripes wouldn't be seen nearly as much).

My headboard is about 6 feet wide, and I wanted to make my stripes nice and thick, so I went 8 inches wide.

The measuring and taping process is boring but important. I taped off both sides of the "painted stripe" and then I marked the "don't paint here" stripe with a strip of tape so I didn't accidentally screw up my stripe pattern.

And yes, in case you are wondering, it is quite easy to accidentally paint the wrong stripe if its 11pm, your husband has been out of town for 3 days and you had wine for dinner.
I pushed hard on the tape to ensure that it was stuck on there good.  I didn't want the paint to bleed.

Oh, at this point I should point out that laying out plastic underneath BEFORE you paint would be a smart idea.  And without a huge sheet of plastic handy, feel free to use a roll of Christmas themed saran wrap like I did.

Actually scratch that.  I started using saran wrap until I realized it was going to take a whole roll and all my patience to do so, so I swapped the saran wrap out for garbage bags.  I just cut off the sides and unfolded.  WAY easier than saran wrap. 

Now, here is where the figuring-it-out-as-I-go part started.  (I think the wine had kicked in)

I wanted to use the leftover grey paint from the dresser makeover. Free & it would match the rest of the room.

Since it is wall paint, it is thick.  I didn't want it to be thick and hard on the headboard, and I was thinking that a semi-transparent color could be kind of nice.

So I decided to go halfsies with water & paint.

The one thing I did get from the other bloggers was that spraying your fabric to dampen it helps the paint go on smooth and prevents it from sucking up gallons of paint (which is good because I only had half of a pint left).

So, I started rolling the half & half paint onto the fabric.


Apparently I'm not so good at proportions, or winging it.

It was pretty watery, but I figured that would be fine.


Watery paint = bleeding.

The paint/water mixture bled right under the tape, in all sorts of unattractive blotches which looked nothing like the crisp stripes I had imagined.

Smart one Ashley.

So I quickly stopped that and decided to try all paint (no water this time).

That worked like a charm.

I sprayed, then rolled and it went on easy and smooth.  No more bleeding.

As soon as I was done painting, I pulled up my tape (a little trick I picked up along the way in my stripe painting days).

The first stripe (they very wet & watery one) was a problem.  There was a ton of bleed.

So I decided to tape off another inch in and paint over it.  I knew it would throw off my one white stripe (being slightly too skinny), but I planned to wrap that side around the headboard, so hopefully it wouldn't be too noticeable.
Unfortunately, I was too hasty (surprise surprise) and it was still to wet so I had more bleed.  BUT, I lucked out and it was only on the bottom half of the curtain, which will be hidden by the bed, so I was in the clear.

So, now the drying part.

I didn't quite think the whole thing through since I basically took up the whole den with my project and inadvertently blocked my only aisle to our bedroom.  I was able to tiptoe around the fabric, but Ketchum on the other hand isn't so good at tiptoeing.

So I had to move it to dry (and to get to bed).  That was fun.

I put plastic all over the kitchen island, then carefully transferred the curtain and draped it over to dry.

It took 24 hours to dry, but it looked good.

I had to do some touch ups on the watery stripe (it dried a different color, so I had to go over it again), but I don't think it's very noticeable now.

I used the same steps as last time when attaching the fabric to the headboard frame, and broke out my trusty staple gun to take care of the job.

The only thing I did different was add some "stuffing".  I had an half of the stuffing left from the dog bed I made Ketchum, and it was nearly perfect sized, so I tossed it in there, stitched it in place with a few quick hand stitches and then covered it up with the curtain.
I think the finished product looks pretty good for $4.
I have to be honest.

I don't love it.

I think it's because I'm not done with the bed yet. And nothing matches in that room. It kind of hurts my eyes actually. I think this is one of those times, that the room looks crazier before it gets better.
I'm on the hunt for navy and white geometric bedding with fun yellow throw pillows.

Obviously that is going to be phase 3.

So I'm only in-like, not quite in-love.

What I am in love with is the new window curtain.  I found a fun window panel at Target (from their new Threshold line) and couldn't resist.  It matches the dresser and the in-my-dreams-bedding perfectly.
I'm calling this room good for now.  Good enough for guests that is.

Now if only I could find my matching set of guest towels....or a towel that hasn't be used on the dog...