Monday, 27 July 2015

painted herringbone rug

diy painted herringbone rug

Happy Monday everybody! This post was due to be all about Max's room, full of pretty pictures of the finished product and all the nice little things in it. And then this happened......

diy painted herringbone rug

I made the mistake of taking my eyes off Emilia long enough to actually go to the bathroom by myself the other day (selfish, I know) and when I came out I was greeted with this. Fluorescent pink highlighter all over the lovely wall I JUST painted. 

I'll say this much for her, she knows how to hit you where it hurts!

Killer of dreams, eater of souls, destroyer of walls.

So, after giving her the evil side-eye for a while and imposing a particularly emphatic time-out on her I was ready to forgive and forget.. Once I go back and paint over the pink again of course *sigh*. 

This post is therefore going to be about another project I got done just last week. My dad took the destroyer to a party that his family was having ~not depressed at all about the fact that my toddler has a better social life than me, nope, no sir~ and she stayed overnight so the next morning had a kind of holiday atmosphere here with just one, non-talking child to look after! I watched Judge Judy, I drank entire cups of coffee while they were still hot, I went to the bathroom alone...and then I decided that I should really get something done that I've been meaning to do for ages but had put off cos I needed to do it when she wasn't around and I hadn't been able to muster the energy in the evenings.......

I painted the rug for her room!!!!

                 diy painted herringbone rug

So painting a rug may seem like a strange thing to attempt, but hear me out!

I feel like there's some sort of weird conspiracy going on when it comes to buying rugs here in Ireland. I see all these gorgeous, affordable rugs on pinterest which inevitably come from shops that I don't have access to, and then when I go to look for something similar that I can actually get my mitts on it is either:

a) Tiny.
b) Not in any kind of print anyone with functioning eyeballs would want to be subjected to.
c) So expensive that you'd have to take out a loan to buy it, and then be stuck with it forever cos you paid so freakin' much for it!

As you can imagine, none of these options were going to work for me. 
I am both a possessor of eyeballs and someone who constantly changes their mind about what I like so "b" and "c" were right out.

So I did what I usually do...I typed "diy rug" into pinterest, and as usual, it told me to use paint! So I reckoned it was worth a shot. The rug was for Em's room so it wasn't like I would have to look at it too much if it was hideous or anything ;)

diy painted herringbone rug

I already had this ugly rug that I bought in Ikea last year. It was a panic buy.

I'm slowly, s  l  o  w  l  y learning that I do not have to make purchases even though I can't find what I want just because I "need" something. Last time I checked no-one takes your kids away cos they've come into contact with naked floors!

I had gone with the intention of buying a softer, patterned grey rug for the living room, but when that was sold out I picked this up cos it was the right size and a neutral colour, and cheap (€60) so I figured it'd get used somewhere. Turns out it was actually a really ugly grey/brown, nothing like the nice sisal rug I already had and thought it was similar to. Also, it stained REALLY easily, not good.

So long story short, I hated this rug anyway, so it didn't matter if the project didn't go to plan. 

Basic rule of thumb when making decorating decisions~you can't ruin something you already hate people, take a chance!

It was such a rough fabric/tight weave (not sure how to describe it really) that I thought it would take paint perfectly, plus I was pretty sure that since it was already on the rough side the paint wouldn't be noticeable underfoot.

diy painted herringbone rug
Stains! Stains everywhere, and this was after I tried to clean it!

So I gathered up different paints, enough containers and brushes for the colours I wanted to use and some fabric medium that I had already from making curtains (tutorial coming soon, I promise) and I got to work.

diy painted herringbone rug

First, Max did the math and figured out that four sections across and five down would look best (I wanted a large pattern). So we divided the width (160) by four and saw we needed to tape off every 40 cm. The tape was exactly 2cm wide so we taped from 39-41 cm, 79-81 cm and 119-121 cm to make sure it was even. The weave of the carpet was in little squares, two of which were exactly the same with as the tape and ran in straight lines down the rug, which was very, very satisfying for someone who likes precision....but is usually in too much of a rush to get it!

diy painted herringbone rug

diy painted herringbone rug

I laid a strip of wood across at the 46 cm point (230 divided by 5) so I could lay the next pieces of tape corner to corner without measuring each time, make sense? You're basically just making a lot of large triangles.

diy painted herringbone rug

About an hour in it was all taped up and ready for paint. At this point I almost convinced myself that I liked it with the tape on and I should just stick with that....I am so impatient.

diy painted herringbone rug

I quickly went back over the points where the tape crossed over and cut away any excess to make sure I'd end up with crisp lines. i also went back over everything and made sure it was all pressed down properly.

diy painted herringbone rug

diy painted herringbone rug
Tip-use the roll of tape to go back over your lines and rub them down to stop the paint bleeding-it's the exact same width so you won't miss anything

Then I mixed up the colours I wanted using some fabric medium and regular wall paint I had left over. I'm not sure how beneficial fabric medium was for this project cos it's not like it's ever going in the washing machine, but it did make the paint dry a bit softer than it would have been I think. Plus, it's no harm to have it for when I inevitably have to try and scrub stains off the rug later.

diy painted herringbone rug

diy painted herringbone rug
I bought the delta one online and the other one in a craft shop. The Berol is much cheaper and doesn't smell odd like the delta so I'd definitely go for that again.

So I started applying the paint, and as per usual I didn't have a definite plan for what colours would go where, I just knew I wanted more grey and white than pink and mint, and I wanted the colours spread out fairly evenly.

diy painted herringbone rug
Ack, those thiles. The more I see those them in photos the more I hate them. 
Your number is up tiles, I'm not putting up with you much longer, you will offend me no more!

diy painted herringbone rug

Once I finished all the colours I pulled off the tape and let the whole thing dry. It took two days to be fully dry, quite a lot of paint soaks into the fibres.

diy painted herringbone rug
Still damp

diy painted herringbone rug

So there you have it. I'm pretty pleased with it all in all, it brings a bit more pattern and colour to Emilia's room that I could tailor exactly how I wanted it, it didn't cost the earth, and if I want to change it in six months I won't feel guilty about it. I think I'll even do this again to make a rug for the dining room.

Now, as usual I did things wrong and made mistakes that could have been avoided if I'd just thought a bit more beforehand and had reigned in my impatience to get started...but hey, I'm too old to change at this point. Luckily though I can impart that hard-earned knowledge to you so you don't do the same! So here you go....

1) The fibres will soak up a LOT of paint, make more than you think you'll need, even adding just fabric medium will change the colour slightly so if you try and make up another batch it won't match and you'll end up with patchy bits.

2) Don't remove the tape until you are completely finished painting-if you try to touch up parts after you won't be able to go right to the edges and again this will turn out patchy.

3) If you need to add more paint, apply it to the whole section, not just the part you think needs it-again with the patchiness.

All these things happened to me and I did end up with patchiness in some areas, but I was going for more of a faded/imperfect look rather than having super saturated colour in the hopes that stains/wear and tear won't show so much, so I'm ok with it. But if you want perfection, just do as I say, not as I did ;)

                  diy painted herringbone rug

What do you think? Have you ever painted something that wouldn't normally be painted? Let me know in the comments!

Linda xx

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Thursday, 16 July 2015

if you go down to the wood's today......

diy birch tree painted mural feature wall nursery kids room

Max's room kind of naturally ended up being "woodland" themed. 

I had started out with an idea that I would do soft blues and oranges and bring in geometric shapes, but then everything I bought for it seemed to have foxes and owls on it. So when I made the curtains (tutorial soon) with an arrow print on them all of a sudden I had a "theme" without ever having consciously decided to do one! But it works, and the whole room has been one of those things that just came together really easily, without me having to think about it much (or at all!). 

So the room was pretty much done, but the wall behind the cot was completely blank. I had ordered blue and orange triangle decals when I thought I was going with a geometric feel, but now they just didn't work......

....ok, they probably would have worked just fine, but when I tried to put them up I realised it was going to be a NIGHTMARE to get them all even and lined up properly. I am both impatient and very bothered by things not lining up, so this was not going to work! I took them down again and kept them, I'm sure I'll find a use for them.

So I was left with a big blank wall....

diy birch tree painted mural feature wall nursery kids room
Add caption

I thought about hanging some art, but it would need to be big, and I was kind of worried about it falling and squashing the sprog.

(He took a lot of time and food to make and I'm quite fond of him)

Also, I already had art on the other three walls and I thought it would be too cluttered looking if I put more frames and stuff here. So I left it blank for a while and searched pinterest for inspiration, and eventually I came across these decals....

Birch tree wall decal for nursery and home by designedbeginnings, $85.00
....but I didn't have €80 lying around that I wanted to spend on decals. Plus they were a bit too "cute" for what I wanted. The room was already a little on the babyish side for my taste what with the soft colors and the baby woodland animals everywhere, so I wanted something a bit more graphic and "real" looking to tone it down. I know it's a kids room, but I was going for "childlike", not full-on babyish.

And then, lo and behold,  I saw the idea for painting birch trees on canvas that I did a tutorial on last week , and i thought "holy crap! that's it!".

I tried it on the canvas, and it was unbelievably easy and effective, so one evening when Gavin was feeding the kids I grabbed a can of grey paint left over from our bedroom, a pencil and a plastic chopping board, and I headed upstairs to try it out.

diy birch tree painted mural feature wall nursery kids room
Any large piece of thin, rigid material would do I think, but chopping boards are easy to come by. The paint is a colortrend color called "clockhouse" that I had mixed in fleetwood paint cos it's cheaper.

And one hour later I had this.

 I am not exaggerating, this whole wall took one hour, including gathering my stuff together and sorting the bed out again so Max could go to sleep! This was one of those things that you know is going to work from the start, I love when that happens!

diy birch tree painted mural feature wall nursery kids room

I just drew a (really rough, freehand) outline of the trees on the wall in pencil and then used the same technique as I did on the canvas, dipping the chopping board in the paint, tapping off the excess and then placing it vertically against the outline on the wall and dragging it inwards.

diy birch tree painted mural feature wall nursery kids room
It's really hard to take photos with your "wrong" hand when you're also trying to rush to get the project done and not get paint all over your phone....just saying

diy birch tree painted mural feature wall nursery kids room

Behold! My wonky tree's!

 (proof they were free-hand)

 I think they have character ;)

diy birch tree painted mural feature wall nursery kids room

I got the little birdhouse's in Dealz for €1.49 each and painted them the same colour I used on the curtains. 

diy birch tree painted mural feature wall nursery kids room
That sign needs to be lower I think...funny how some things become obvious straight away when  you take a photo.

diy birch tree painted mural feature wall nursery kids room
The orange colour is "sweet orange" by valspar. A tester did these, the curtains and the lamp stand....they do really generous testers!

diy birch tree painted mural feature wall nursery kids room

I used an old loyalty card to do the smaller branches...same as I used for the canvas version.

diy birch tree painted mural feature wall nursery kids room

I think I'm just going to leave the middle blank. I originally thought I might put something there and that's why I left it, but now I like it as it is!

diy birch tree painted mural feature wall nursery kids room

So that's Max's room all but done. As soon as I get the last two tiny jobs done in here I'll do a post on the whole thing.

I really love it. It's soft and cosy and baby-friendly without being TOO babyish.

What do you think? Have you ever tried your hand at a mural or feature wall? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

And just because no post about his room would be complete without a picture of the man himself....

'sup ladies?

Linda xx

10 things.....

10 things

Hey all! Just a quick little post today. I've been nominated to do a post on "10 things you didn't know about me" by aoifeweefa and it sounds like fun so here goes!

1. What's your party trick?

Does being really awkward and bad at small talk count?
It doesn't? 
Then I got nothing.

2. Cats or Dogs?

Cats, no contest. I already have two needy little animals following me around needing their poo cleaned up all day in the form of my kids, I don't need another one! Cat's only stay with you cos it suits them, I can respect that.

3. What is your most embarrassing moment?

I can't think of one, so either I feel no shame or there are so many that they've started to fade into one giant, awkward mass and feel normal....probably the latter I think!

4. If you could meet one person living or dead who would it be?

I've already met Daniel O' Donnell, (if you're not Irish that probably won't seem very impressive, trust me, it is!) who could top that?!

5. How long can you hold your breath for? (yes, you have to time yourself)

As long as it takes to change the monumentally horrific nappy of a robust, wriggly 8 month old who strongly objects to you doing about a minute!

6. Why do you blog? took a loooong time to get our house, and now that we have it I find it deeply satisfying to make it look like MY house...and there aren't many people I know who are interested in hearing about that as often as I would like to talk about it! Also, I read a lot of American diy blogs that I get inspiration from, but I get fed up of seeing great products etc that just aren't available here. So, when I started coming up with my own projects and figuring out how to make them work with what was available to me here in Ireland I thought there might be people out there who be interested in that....and so far it looks like I was right!

7. What’s your favourite TV programme?

Currently? Orange is the new black. 
Of all time? Buffy ;)

8. How many brothers & sisters do you have and are they older or younger?

One of each, both younger.

9. Do you live in a city or in the countryside?

On the very outskirts of the city. At some point in the future I'd like to move a bit further out but I don't know how practical that is given that I've gotten so used to being close to everything!

10. What was the last thing you bought other than food?

A set of three very fetching starburst mirrors for the living room from TK Maxx....most purchases are house related obviously, and I have a penchant for the gold/mid-century/totally useless items so I couldn't pass them up!

So there you go. I'm sure you're all soooo relieved that you finally know all that stuff about me now ;P Thanks for the nomination Aoife!

Back to normal posts tomorrow, I've done a feature wall in Max's room that I will hopefully get photographed today and have up asap. No promises though, we've already had several meltdowns here today (mostly by the children) and that trend looks set to continue so I might just start drinking early and leave the photography for another day ;p

Linda xx