Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Look who finished a project!!

That's right.  I'm back, just like I promised I would be! 

I have been quite the little project queen this year... from redecorating my entire apartment within 2 weeks, to taking on DIY projects, to dating the DJ.... what?  Too far too soon?  OK, then let's move on...

I finally finished ONE of these projects quite successfully!  I'm pretty excited!  Here's what I did:

My best friend's mom was getting rid of a bunch of stuff in their move about 5 years ago and I just happened to be moving into my first apartment where the furniture wasn't already provided in all of its' mass produced glory.  She had a really adorable dresser and night stand that I decided to take.  They were antique white, with gold and white ornate handles. 

When I moved to DC, I painted thin black lines in some of the carved wood to add a little pizazz.  I also painted over the gold on the night stand handles.  I was happy with the look for the time being, but I assumed that I would get new furniture at some point. 

Now that my room has taken on a romantic, Parisian look, the set fits in even better than it did before!  But it needed a little something.  It was a little too romantic to really fit in with the rest of the decor.  So I was on a hunt.  I wanted to find something in this pattern:

Or at least something similar to it.  You wouldn't believe how tough it is to find this stupid pattern.  I was open to decorative paper, wall paper, tissue paper, fabric, whatever!  I just wanted that pattern and could NOT find it no matter where I looked!  I was beyond frustrated. 

It was a trip to Hershey and visiting the local scrapbooking store that found me the pattern I really liked.  It looks like this:

Pretty cool, huh??  I took the store's entire stash which was maybe 7 or 8 pages.  The paper was much thicker than I had expected to use, kind of like cardstock thickness.  I wasn't sure if the modpodge would do the trick or if it would just be too heavy to hold.  But I forged ahead anyway telling myself that if it didn't work that I could always scrape it off and try something else.

So I gathered my supplies:

sheets of paper, removed the hardware from the drawers...

Modpodge, paper plate, paintbrush, ruler, pen and razor blade
 So, the papers measure about 12x12 inches.  MUCH too big to cover the front panel of the drawers, so they would have to be cut.  I measured the the areas on the drawer that I wanted to cover.  Basically, the panels were about 4.5"-5" tall, but about 24" long.  So I was cutting the papers in a little less than half, and decoupaging them side by side on each drawer panel.  The good thing about the pattern that I chose is that it's so busy, I didn't have to worry about the pattern matching up. 

Here is one of the drawers before I decoupaged.  See the thin black lines on the top and bottom?  The paper is going to be decoupaged between those lines. 

Now, here comes the tough part.  Decoupaging.  The steps go something like this:

1) Paint some of the modpodge onto the drawer

2) Set the paper on top of the glue and smooth out and air bubbles

3) Once set, paint modpodge on top of the paper in a thin even coat

4) measure, cut, rinse repeat.

No seriously, that's it!  So easy, right??  I placed the paper right over the holes where the hardware was anchored, and just used my trusty razor blade to cut the paper and put the hardware back.  I was able to cover all 4 dresser drawers and 2 night stand drawers with just the paper bought at the store in Hershey.  It looked a little like this:

Super cool, right??  I painted the black details at the bottom of the dresser when I did the thin black lines.

So pretty cool looking right??

You would assume that since this part looked so cool I would be totally amped to finish the sides of the pieces so that it was complete and awesome looking right?

Yeah, you would be wrong... again.  You're wrong a lot about me, by the way.

These sat this way for like... a month?  Or so?  I guess?  All I had to do was go on the website, Adornit.com, and order the pages.  They would get to me with in a couple of days and I'd be on my merry, decoupaging way.

But I didn't.  And didn't and didn't and didn't.  Until I did. 

And then they sat in the box for a week.

Here's what I've learned about projects that I DIY.  I have to be in the mood to be creative.  Websites like etsy.com and pinterest.com certainly help in the creative inspiration area.  But still, I have to be really into it for it to turn out well. 

So last weekend, I gathered Puka, my ruler, my Modpoge, paint brush, papers, razor blade and headed into the bedroom to get this shit done already!  Geez!

Doing the sides was MUCH easier.  It only took me maybe 2 hours to finish the entire project.  It was easier because the sides are much deeper, and so required less cutting.  The nightstand was just under 12 inches deep.  So I just coated the sides with modpodge and placed the paper on it, smoothing out the air bubbles.  Then I used the razor blade to shave off the excess.

Just slide the blade down the side of the dresser to cut off the excess,
do the same to the bottom around the legs.

So there along the edge you can see that it's not laying flush.  No problem at all.  Just take a little decoupage glue and stick it back down.  There's not much you can do wrong here.

After you seal the paper with modpodge, it will take on a clear sheen.

The decoupage goes on white, like seen above but dries nice and shiny.  The paper I chose had sort of a matte finish.  I guess if you wanted to you could just put Modpodge on the surface, stick the paper to it and not put a finish on the top so that it stays matte.  But this being my first project, I wanted to be sure that paper was secure!  And believe me, it's not going anywhere!

So here's the finished project!
See how the bottom is a little scalloped?  I covered it entirely, then ran my razor blade along the edge of the dresser to cut off the excess paper.  It came out perfectly!

So there's the finished product!  Please excuse the excess wires.  I have no excuse, since the TV blew up a few months ago and it's still sitting there.  I feel a little like a redneck.  Anybody know how or where to recycle electronics? 

Aaaaanyway, there it is.  Easy and fun!  And very much updated so I can get YEARS out of these pieces!  I'll probably paint the hardware either black, or antique white.  I'll have to experiment a little bit with that.  So sorry this took so long to updated, but here it is!  I have another DIY post coming up in the near future after I finish it. 

I will probably be updating again later this afternoon (once I save myself from the sea of invoices and the undercurrent of expense reports) so that you can be brought up to speed on the craziness that has been my life over the last 5 days or so.  It's been nutty!


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