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DIY California Chic Ombre Curtains

I cut lengths of cotton muslin, purchased in a 15 yard bolt at my local fabric store for around $20, into 4 panels at 8’. Since my backyard is something is fairly small, I chose to work on this project in my guest bathroom. If you also plan to attempt a project of this nature indoors, be sure to keep in mind that your bathroom will be otherwise unavailable for 2-4 days while your panels air dry… unless of course you get clever and find away to shower around your panels. I clipped the panels up over my shower curtain rod, thereby creating a section of the fabric that I am able to keep white; it was about 1/4 of the total length of the fabric.

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This project has been a long time coming. We talked a bit here about how many curtain projects will need to be completed before I have no more naked windows in my home! In other words... almost all of them! 2 down and 2 million to go, but one by one we shall get them all covered and looking snappy!

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For the first 2 steps in this project I used this premixed Fabric Spray Paint, there are a few varieties to be found at the fabric or craft store and I chose this particular one for the color. For the last 2 steps in this project I purchased RIT fabric dye in Indigo in a powdered concentrate that will need to be mixed with warm water in a large bin or bucket of some sort. The fabric, and 2 varieties of dye were all that were required to complete this fun project so the cost was very minimal.

Since the object of ombre is to gradually step down (or up) the color saturation in a gradation, I began by creating the color for the lightest of the 3 dyed sections that I will complete, which was a dilution of 1/4 oz. of the Fabric Spray paint mixed with 3 3/4 oz. of water.

This squeeze bottle was the perfect 4oz. vehicle to deliver this color up near the top of my panels, since the first 2 layers of color were to be done using a dye that was not the sort to be mixed in a bucket or bin. A traditional squirt bottle would also be fabulous.

Before I removed each panel from the dye bath, I used a plastic spoon to simply scoop and splatter the indigo dye up onto a portion of the previous section of color allowing it to blend a bit with the turquoise like teal shade I had previously completed. Yes, I was adding another section of color to the mix, but truthfully it needed to be done to make this into the set of curtains I had envisioned for my family room.

I followed the same process for mixing the second section of color only this time I mixed a ratio of 1:1 or 2 oz. of fabric spray paint and 2 oz. of water into the same squeeze bottle and sprayed my heart out beginning about 18 inches to 2 feet from where the first color began (4 sections, each about 2 feet in length for a total of 8 feet).

All I had to do was squirt my dye in a relatively random pattern and yet in a somewhat straight line. I wanted the sections to be well delineated but I didn’t want a perfectly clean line of color. You can see that this first color which butts up against the white section is very light and the perfect intro into the saturated sections.

The instructions on the package for the Fabric Spray Paint suggested allowing it to air dry and so I did for about a day or so. My original plan was to continue with the last color at 100% fabric paint with no dilution, but it was beginning to look much more turquoise than teal and so I decided to throw the Indigo RIT dye into the mix for a more purpley navy specimen of blue.

I mixed about 1/2 the box of concentrated powder according to the instructions on the box right into this small bin and set the bin into the shower along with my panels so the bottom of each panel could soak by hanging right into the dye for about an hour or so.

I allowed the panels to drip dry for a day before throwing them into the wash on a gentle cycle followed by a tumble dry, and then hanging them to enjoy!

I continued on in this manner allowing each panel to rest in the dye for around an hour, then scooped and splattered the adjacent 14 inches or so before moving onto the next panel.

I did this one panel at a time, and you can see that the color was taking well, but of course there was that perfectly straight line I was trying to avoid…

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Cheap Chic Striped Candles

I began with these bargain beauties… One dollar each at my local Dollar Store (don’t you love a good bargain?).

There are no images on these, they are simple and white and slender. Just fabulous and waiting to be worked over!

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These fabulous striped candles were so easy to make, really inexpensive, and super quick to complete!

Materials:

Candle Filled Jars from my Local Dollar Store

DecoArt Gloss Enamels in Metallic Shimmering Silver

Small Paint Brush

Gorilla Glue Tape

My DecoArt Gloss Enamels in Metallic Shimmering Silver was the perfect embellishment for an accessory in my new office craft space…I will be revealing that soon, yahoo!

I knew I wanted stripes, but I couldn’t make my brush work properly, actually I couldn’t find my brush so I was using my little guy’s water color brush (I do not recommend this!) and so I decided to tape off the proper stripes so I didn’t need to worry about brush issues!

It was so much easier to paint on the stripes this way… yahoo! So I used several coats of the paint because I wanted it to read opaque and be sure it was on there nice and solidly! Since the directions on the paint bottle suggest that you can either bake the paint to permanent after allowing it to set and dry for 48 hours OR to allow to air dry for 21 days…I obviously had to choose the latter since baking would very likely melt the candle (duh, just sayin..). Obviously allowing these to air dry doesn’t preclude me from enjoying them in the meantime… yay perfect solution!

I am so pleased with the result! It adds something interesting to my very traditional seeming office décor! Yay for interesting, and simple, and cheap! Adore!

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The Chevron Creative

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I'm fairly certain there aren't very many of you who can say you dislike this trend, so this is not an inspirational post to show you how to incorporate this into your decor...cuz you very likely already have...

Nope, this is simply to show you how this pattern has been used in so many interesting and clever ways I might not ever have expected, but thoroughly adore!

All of the Original sources can be found here, along with a few extras of course!

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Typography in Decor

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It's all around us, and has been embraced in a major way by designers and design bloggers around the globe. At least for the time being I don't see any slowing in this trend. In fact for now, it would seem just the opposite is true... this trend is trickling down into the everyday homes and the lives of average folks with average budgets. I thought I might share some inspiration for this very fun and fabulous, font driven trend.

All original sources can be found here, along with a few other inspiring goodies!

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Mustard Must Have It

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As the summer begins to fade, while the temps are still high, Mustard colored hues play fabulously in my mind. Dreaming of crisp fall air and foggy mornings with bright sunny afternoons. These amazing items and images really show how chic this color can be. Whether bright or muted, there is a mustard for every occasion.

All of the original sources and images can be found here, along with a few extra goodies which will be added to over time!

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Finishing School and Glazing with Black

I chose to use black for this finishing technique because I feel when it comes to glazing, black is ignored more than it should be in favor of brown or a dark walnut. But, I just feel sometimes, black is the better choice (not always) and in this instance, I definitely think this was the case.

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Since my entire object is small, well, I covered the entire area.

Once you have covered your small section, you will almost immediately wipe off with a clean lint free cloth. The idea here is that you wipe away the glaze on the upper regions and highest peaks while the glaze remains in the crevices, thereby creating an aged tarnished effect.

If you need to do this more than once to achieve the desired level of "aging" you can do so.

You can see the black has remained in the crevices and has darkened some of the flat surface as well. I allowed this to happen in the corners more so than any of the other flat surfaces.

I am always going to err on the side of caution, when it comes to faux finishing. I feel like less is more, but too little is pointless. You need to find a happy medium that you enjoy, but keep in mind that the mistake made most often is going overboard on the technique. It will look contrived and busy which is not at all likely to occur in reality, and that is precisely what we are trying to emulate here.

Once your piece has fully dried, you will want to seal with 3-4 coats of Polyurethane. Make sure that if you used water based paint, you choose a water based poly. I recommend a Satin Finish when you are creating a faux finish since again, if an item is likely to tarnish or age, it is not that likely to have a sheen to it. Give it just enough sheen to make it durable and washable, but not any more than that. I swear by Satin finish poly for a faux finish (unless you are working with a shade of white...the polycrilic or a wipe-on ploy is a better choice)!

Step 3
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That's right friends, after a long overdue vacation from Finishing, I am finally doing the glazing tutorial. Sorry for the delay, but...well, I have just been so darn busy! Then I had a bit of a mishap and had to begin again. Oh the horror. Black paint everywhere and a toddler in the midst.

You can visit the Finishing School Page from the BUILD tab or drop down menu above and view the other tutorials that have been done so far.

Without further ado, let's get started...

Here is what you should end up with to a certain extent:

Begin with a well sanded, primed, and painted surface. For instructions on how to achieve this, see my Tips and Tricks for Painting like a Pro

As you can see from the image below, the Deco Art paints, if you can find them in your area and in a size that is affordable and makes sense to buy, you should. The fact that this piece even looks remotely smooth and brush stroke free is a major feat! You have no idea what this poor baby went through on the road to beauty. Beauty is sacrifice though, is it not?

This color is called Birch Bark and I think I love it! It looks vaguely like a weathered wood color. A little bit gray a little bit beige, and a whole lot of wonderful!

Step 1

Once your paint has fully dried you will mix your glazing concoction. Each Glazing Medium may have a different recipe for you to follow on the back, but here is my one word of advice on this front: until you are practiced in glazing and know how to eyeball the level of watery-ness that you like, make this VERY watery and you can always layer up. Hard to go back if your formula is too thick and it covers to much or in a pattern you don't love.

The product I used was the Deco Art Glazing Medium, which suggest 1 part Glaze to 1 part Water then 35% paint added. The great thing about this is that you can use their glazing medium with any of their paints so this was perfect for me given that I had that already.

For the rest of you, glazing medium can be purchased in the paint aisle where you are likely going to buy your paint or at the craft store if you only need a very small amount.

Once your medium is good and watery (I mean watery, at least the first round), you will cover a small area of your piece, you want to ensure that your glaze doesn't dry before you wipe, so small sections are preferred.

Step 2

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