Friday, April 20, 2012

Trashy Treasures

Humour me for a moment and don't scroll too far down. Just take in this summery photo and think of juicy coloured strapless dresses and sunshine. Ahhhh. Mojitos. And barbecues. Okay, now that your senses are tingling, scroll down a bit.



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Ewwwwwwww. Sorry for that, but it had to be done. If you kind of want to gag, you are not alone. Let's just say the hubs thought I was ca-ray-zy (or kray kray for you, Cait! :) when I brought these pillows home. I even questioned my own sanity for a few moments.



I just couldn't bare the thought of throwing away 2 Pottery Barn pillows (cough...hoarder alert...  cough cough). They were facing a certain death. They spent the winter out in the elements, and these indoor Pottery Barn pillows were not happy. I don't blame them though, we do live on the Wet West Coast after all!

Once upon a time these pillows looked like this:


 Cute, hey?

Anyways, I washed them hoping to get rid of some of those mildew (mold?) stains. Which did absolutely nothing. Well, except for ruin one of them. The mildew must have started to disintegrate the fabric, so one of them tore up quite a bit in the wash. Sad face. But one survived, and I was determined to give it new life. Ew, not indoors. Never. But outside? Just for looks and not for rubbing my face all over? Sure. And I've been meaning to upgrade my outdoor pillow situation, so why not make hay when the mildew grows? That doesn't make sense...


What did I have to lose? A couple bucks worth of paint and few hours of my time? I'm a gambler. So I whipped out my $1 Martha Stewart paint samples, craft paint, and Martha Stewart fabric medium paint and went to work. If it didn't turn out, I was well prepared to trash them, because that is where they were headed anyways.

Because I'm a graphics nerd, I decided to plan out my pillow attack in a rendering. Unfortunately  my second coral design will have to wait until I rescue some other pillow from the trash.


 To start my makeover, I gave the pillow a good base coat on one side only. I was pretty sure it was going to be a total flop, so why waste any more time than I had to? So I painted just one side and let 'er dry. Plus, I didn't want to spend any more time looking at this disgusting piece of fabric than I had to.



Then I printed out this stencil (sized smaller for the look I was going for) and started stencilling. It wasn't nearly as tedious as I thought. In fact, it was almost relaxing. And I really really heart that it was free. There are some GREAT stencils out there, but I'm just too practical to buy them. Print and cut and stencil is where it's at for me! Sure, it takes a bit longer, but worth it. After I stencilled with a light coloured sharpie, I whipped up some more paint and fabric medium in white and used a small angled brush to paint. To stencil and paint the lines only took me about an hour and half. Not too shabby. (Bonus- this "experiment" has made me much more willing to tackle to wall stencils in the future.)





On the back side I decided to just do a solid and went for a sort of ombre effect. After I sew the button back on, I'll take some pictures of the backside.

Verdict? I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I might have to bite the bullet and buy some orange or coral outdoor fabric to make it a partner in grime. Har har.



Moral of the story. Don't put good indoor pillows outdoors. And don't throw things away just because they give you the heebeejeebees.

Things to note:

  • Make sure to put parchment paper in the pillow case before painting so it doesn't bleed through and stick to the other side. 
  • Let the paint dry for 24 hours before stencilling, and another 24 hours before you iron to make washable!
  • Realize that this method will not replicate beautiful textiles. It's a great cheap and easy project, but if you look up close, it's pretty clear it's paint and not patterned fabric. But it's a great "interim" solution while you save for the real deal!

Any other stories about barf to beauty makeovers ?


4 comments:

  1. Wow...what a transformation. Beautiful work! Megan

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  2. Oh My Goodness! So impressed with the transformation (and most especially your craftiness!) I have an "about to barf and on-it's-way-to-beauty" post coming up next week. I dragged an old trunk out of my basement that my husbands parents gave me. It was a trunk a soldier used in a war (very cool!) and filled with mold (very gross!). It is working its way to becoming beautiful...not quite there yet though. Thanks for the inspiration...I am headed outside to finish her up! Have a great weekend! Heather @ www.home-with-heather.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Heather! Can't wait to see your transformation. It sounds very neat!

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  3. I'm guessing I could try this same idea with some brand new pillow cushions that came with our bistro set but happen to be a crazy color that doesn't match our yard....?

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Thanks so much for your comment! You made my day :)