Monday, October 15, 2012

DIY Cornice Box

I'm generally a girl who knows what she wants and sets out to get it. This project is an example of that. I wanted grey and yellow chevron cornice boxes for my nursery and no one was going to tell me "No". It didn't seem like an unrealistic request at the time. Mr. Mayhem whipped up the boxes, and I covered them with batting, but then we hit a snag. I could not find a yellow and grey chevron fabric that I liked. I finally decided to settle for plain yellow chevron. I ordered it from, and I love the fabric. It was nice, but the wrong shade of yellow for the nursery. Too mustard. Nice, but not right. Then, I decided to settle again and go for grey chevron. It would be an easier color to match/coordinate with the room.  I found the perfect grey chevron fabric here in town at Hobby Lobby! I decided to wait to buy it until my mom was in town and she could help me finish the cornice boxes. Low and behold, when we went to get the fabric, they were sold out and the warehouse was out of stock as well...sad day. But then standing amongst the crafting supplies lamenting my decision not to buy the fabric the week before when it was it stock, an idea hit me. Paint your own chevron pattern. My mom looked at me like I had a screw loose (I probably do), but she helped me pick out white fabric, acrylic paint, and textile medium. When I got home and announced to Mr. Mayhem what I was planning to do, he rolled his eyes, then rolled up his sleeves to help me. He's a good man.

First, I washed and dried the fabric. Then I cut it to fit the previously constructed boxes. 


This is not really a step in the process, but I like this 3 4 generations photo. My grandma is working a crossword puzzle, my mom is hemming my maternity pants, I'm ironing the fabric, and the baby is just hanging out (probably having the hiccups. They are his favorite way to pester mom :-))

Then the complicated part started. We had to measure and do math...blah! Luckily Mr. Mayhem did most of the figuring. We decided we wanted 5 in. chevrons and each chevron would be 3/4 in. wide. We decided 3/4 because that was the width of our tape. We went along the fabric pinning each place the tip of a chevron would be using a measuring tape.

As you can see, we used a lot of pins. Then, we used frog tape to tape between the pins and reveal our chevron pattern.

I'm not going to lie. It took forever. Especially since we had two pieces of fabric to do.

This is what it looked like when all the tape was applied. I would wholeheartedly recommend frog tape. It is easy to work with and provides a great seal--even on fabric. I had never tried it on fabric before.

Then, I painted my pattern. Two yellow stripes, one grey stripe. I used Anita's acrylic craft paint mixed 2 parts paint, one part textile medium.

We let it dry a little, but not all the way, then we carefully peeled off the tape.

This is what we were left with. Perfect chevron fabric, in the perfect colors for the nursery. Lots of work, but worth it. The rest of the project went as smoothly as planned.

Let's back up a bit to the construction of the boxes. It is really fairly simple. We bought a piece of 10"x 1/2" pine. I don't remember the length, but it is not really important because you would need to get the right size for your window anyway. We made them to extend just a few inches passed the window trim and jut out from the wall 4". 

We drilled and counter sunk three screws on each corner. 

We also attached some L brackets to hang them with. Pine is a really good wood for this project because it is very light.

Now that we had the fabric and the boxes finished, we were ready to put it all together. We simply stapled batting then the fabric around the boxes. We were careful to pull the corners tight and make sure everything was straight and wrinkle free.

Then we hung them up! I love them! What a great touch of color and fun to our little guys nursery. This is a good picture to see how far out they jut from the wall. We picked 4" in case we ever want to add curtains underneath. We would need 4" for a curtain rod.

The other window.

Just a few more touches and the nursery will be all set for little Mayhem's arrival! Can't wait!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Freezer Paper Painting--Minion Pillow

Hello blog friends! We have been making quite a bit of progress putting together our minion nursery for our little guy. I'm 35 weeks pregnant, so it's about time to wrap things up. We hope to finish hanging some shelves and order a chair this week. Once those are in place, I will give you the grand tour, but for now I want to share a fun project the Mr. and I worked on yesterday. We made this pillow!

The technique is called freezer paper painting. I found a nice tutorial of it on this blog.  We finished our project, and Mr. Mayhem looked at me and said, "When do we put it in the freezer?" So I will take this opportunity to point out that you will not actually use the freezer, just freezer paper. ;-)

As you may or may not know there is no minion fabric in existence. Hence, the need to create my own. I started with plain white canvas/denim type fabric. I sewed a pillow case to fit my pillow form. I am probably the most amateur sewer on the planet, so I did not create a tutorial for that. I'm sure there are lots of good ones out there if you need it. 

We started with a minion image from the interweb. Mr. Mayhem worked his computer magic to simplify it into something we could cut out. Then we placed freezer paper over it and carefully cut around the design with a sharp razor blade knife. 

In case you don't know what freezer paper is. (Mr. Mayhem didn't) It is in the ziplock bag aisle at Wal-Mart. 

I didn't get any pictures of the cutting process, but this is what we were left with. It is important to remember that you want to remove the black part, not the white part. You are creating a stencil.

Once we had our images cut out we ironed them on to the pre-washed pillow cover that I had sewn.  Put some sort of fabric between the paper and the iron. We used an old pillow case. I would also like to stress here: DO NOT USE STEAM!!! It must be a dry iron or your paper will be wrinkly and not provide a good seal. We experienced this. Pictures to follow.

 Once the image is adhered to the fabric you are ready to paint. There are two options for paint. 1)Buy fabric paint. 2) (what I did) Use regular acrylic craft paint with some textile medium mixed in. Either way you will be able to wash your project with out the paint washing off. I used Anita's textile medium and paints.

You simply mix in 2 parts paint to 1 part medium. Easy. It does make the paint a little bit more runny than with out it, but we didn't have a problem.

Carefully paint inside the stencil. I painted this minion because it was ironed correctly and therefore easy to paint.

Mr. Mayhem painted this minion because it was the one that we had used steam on. You can see how wrinkly it was. He carefully painted to make sure no paint seeped under the stencil.

Good work, honey!

 After we finished painting yellow, we decided that we didn't like it. It was too close to the white, and we didn't think it would stand out enough. Luckily we hadn't removed the stencils yet, so we just painted over it with grey paint mixed with the textile medium.

When the paint was dry, we carefully peeled away the freezer paper. We were left with our cute design! 

 Here it is in the current nursery chair. We will hopefully be swapping it for a glider rocker this week or next.  I love how the pillow turned out. It is simple, but cute and special. It really coordinates with everything in the room and does a nice job bringing the theme to this corner.

To catch up on other nursery projects so far go here, here, and here.