Thursday, February 27, 2014

Painter's Dropcloth Becomes DIY Grain Sack Shower Curtain

Hi everyone!  Long time no see!!  

Can you believe it's been a month since I last posted anything?!?  Craziness!  But life around the "farmhouse" has been pretty busy with homeschooling, projects, cooking, housework, and yada yada yada.  
I'm just trying to hang on for dear life.  :)

One of the projects I've been working on is the 2nd bathroom.  This is the kids' bathroom and when we have company it's also the guest bath.


The above is a picture I snapped of it before we bought the house.  The electric wasn't turned on, but even still you can see that it's pretty dark in there with absolutely no natural light (therefore, very hard to get decent pictures in here).  The dingy orangey-yellow walls and dark trim just sucked the light right out of the room.


When we moved in I put up a shower curtain we had from our last house, but the yellow ribbons on the curtain only added to the "depths of despair" theme this bathroom had going on.  It was purely functional.

One day inspiration finally hit and I knew what I wanted for this room.  Little by little during the kids' nap/quiet time I tackled the trim and got the walls painted.  I put together an inspiration board on Pinterest where I pinned rooms with gray walls, white trim, and black accents.  It would be very easy to end up with a more modern and chic looking room using these colors, so I wanted to be sure to include some items that would keep it more on the rustic farmhouse side.  One of those things was a shower curtain I had pinned that had stripes that were sort of grain sack looking.  Nothing says 'farmhouse' more than a grain sack, right?  But the problem was that this particular curtain was $40...more than I wanted to spend could afford for a shower curtain.  So I went searching to see if I could find a basic white curtain for much cheaper and just paint the stripes on my own.  Well, during all of this research another idea hit me and my mind started racing 100mph.

A couple of weeks later, with only $14 invested in the project, I ended up with this.


A giant shower sized "grain sack!"  :D  


I love it so much!  
And it will most definitely keep this bathroom from looking too modern.



I even put in my own grommets, a first for me!



Here's a little comparison of the before and after.  Quite the change, huh?  It took me 5 tries before I got the paint color on the walls right, but finally settled on Benjamin Moore's Rockport Gray at 50% (although it's actually a different brand of paint, just their color.)  You can see we put up beadboard on the left wall, we still need to get the baseboard up as well as the chair rail on the top.  Eventually I want to replace the vanity and flooring as well.  But all in good time.  One project at a time.  :)

So, if you're here just to see the pictures, then feel free to move on to the next blog at this point if you want.  But if you're curious as to how I accomplished this DIY farmhouse shower curtain, then stick around.  I'm about to explain the details.


I started with this 6' x 9' canvas dropcloth that you can pick up from Walmart for about $9.97.  


I followed Miss Mustard Seed's directions for bleaching it since I wanted it to be a lighter cream color versus the tan color it was originally (if you follow the link to her blog, the directions on bleaching are in step #2 I believe).  
On the left you can see how it looked straight out of the package, and on the right is after being washed and bleached.

I kept the width of it the same, but cut quite a bit off the length and sewed a wide double layer tab/seam along the top where the grommets would be placed.

Next I had to come up with the image I wanted to put in the center.  I Googled "grain sack images" and "feed sack images" and came across {this one} that I loved.  Of course, theirs is for sale and I didn't want to steal their image, so I redesigned it and made it more personalized for us.  (The Suwannee River is nearby, and we actually lived less than a mile from it for about 6 months before we bought this house.)


Once I had the image designed, I had to figure out how to get it onto the fabric.  Image transfer methods with freezer paper and such weren't going to work because I needed it to be on such a large scale.  I knew I was going to need an overhead projector.  I remembered that a long time ago I came across something about a DIY homemade projector so I went searching, and sure enough, you can make your own!


I used a cardboard box and cut an opening on both ends.  I didn't have any transparency sheets, but I do have a small laminator that I use for homeschooling so I ran a laminating sheet through the laminator to make it clear.  Then I put that in my printer and printed the image directly on it and taped it to one end of the box. (The curtain was nailed to the wall.)  I used the flashlight app on my iphone as the light source.  We tried a few other things for the light, but nothing worked as well as the app did.  So we propped up the phone to be sure it wouldn't budge even a centimeter, and made sure it was plugged in to a charger.  The setup wasn't as strong as a real projector, and it had to be very dark in the room for it to work, but work it did!


If you look close you can see my pencil tracings on the fabric.


Once I had the entire image traced onto the fabric, my next step was to put in the grommets.  Walmart had these, and the setting tool as well, in the sewing section.  The grommets were about $4.47 for 10 (I needed 12 so I had to buy 2 boxes), and the setting tool was $3.47 I think.  I didn't include these in the price of this project because I had Walmart gift cards from a rebate a couple of months ago, so I essentially got them for free.


I measured out and marked their placement and pounded them in.  (I made sure to put a sturdy wooden cutting board in between the fabric and the floor to protect my purdy floors.)   : )


Once the grommets were in it was time to start painting.  I was SO nervous about this part!  I was so afraid I was going to drip paint or smudge it or somehow mess it up and have to start all over.  But, I just took my time and worked very carefully and it was all just fine.  The painting part of it took me about a week, working on it little by little.  That canvas is actually a little difficult to paint on.


Once I had the image completed it was time to add the grain sack stripes.  This was the most aggravating part of the whole project.  This fabric has so much "give" to it that it was incredibly hard to get them lined up nice and straight.  And even though they looked really straight on the floor, once I washed it and hung it up they looked absolutely drunk.  They were so crooked I was ready to cry.  But then I remembered the "give" factor and started tugging the fabric this way and that and got it all straightened out.  I hung it up damp so the tugging was easy and it allowed it to dry how I wanted it.  

 I actually used different shades of gray and black, but once it was washed they all kind of look the same. I just used regular craft paint for most of this.  I tried adding a textile medium to the paint, but it didn't seem to make any difference when I did a test swatch and ran it through the washer.  So I just stuck with straight craft paint on everything except the words at the bottom.  On those I used an oil based Sharpie paint pen that I already had from my Sharpie mug project.  The final washing served to set the paint as well as give the whole thing the faded aged look I was going for. 


Here's a breakdown of my costs:
Dropcloth canvas - $10
4 bottles of craft paint - $4 
Grommets and setter - $12.50 
(I got these for free with gift cards).

My cost was only $14, much more affordable than $40, and now I have an absolutely unique and original shower curtain that I love.



So what do you think? 
 Is it a little over the top, or is it fun and quirky and perfect for a farmhouse bathroom?  
I'd love to hear from you!

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Here's a set of 10 grommets with the setting tool included.


                                                                   
    (Affiliate Link)

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47 comments:

  1. I have been missing your blog posts! WOW...I am so impressed....that shower curtain is AMAZING! It is perfectly "farmy" I love it! You should be PROUD :) WHAT A HUGE savings.

    Happy Thursday!

    ~Sherri

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  2. What a great idea! Good job on your shower curtain.

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  3. Love it! I've been missing your posts as well! I'm inspired!

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  4. Love it! And the DIY projector idea is awesome. That is something I will definitely be trying. What kind of craft paint did you use...and you say it washes with only some fading? I am so impressed with this shower curtain! :) You did a fantastic job.

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    1. Great question! I went back and added in the info about the paint. But yes, it was just regular craft paint. I did a test swatch first and ran it through the washer to be sure, but it held up fine. I tried adding textile medium to the paint, but it didn't seem to make much difference.

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    2. How awesome and easy is that!? :) Thanks so much for the additional info!

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  5. What a clever kid, you are!! LOVE IT!!!
    Been wondering what had you all worked up!

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  6. Oh my goodness girl! You HAND-PAINTED that?! I don't think I'd have had the patience but it sure is awesome! I was hoping you had some mad method of large scale iron-on transfer. HA! :) Love it!

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  7. Absolutely DARLING!!! Good job!!!

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  8. I have missed your posts too.....and OH MY GOODNESS I LOVE YOUR SHOWER CURTAIN!!!!!!......im not artsy, so im a little afraid to tackle this one....lol

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  9. You are amazing! Surely you know that, right?
    This project turned out totally adorable and 100% Farmhouse Style.
    I'm going to Pin it so maybe others will be inspired to try it.

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  10. I'm in absolute awe of your ingenuity and creativity, Stephanie. I LOVE the idea. Pure genius.

    And please don't stay away from the blog so long again. I miss your Fun Friday Finds.

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    1. Hopefully I can get the Fun Friday Finds going again once I get my Etsy shop up and running again (which hopefully will be soon). I haven't been doing much shopping since I don't have my shop open and have a way to move the inventory out. : )

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  11. I'm in love with this shower curtain!!! Amazing job!!

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  12. Bravo! What a great idea and so perfect! I am going to almost copy you with this one when we renovate our master bath! Thank you for sharing instructions. :o)

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  13. This is the most awesome shower curtain I've seen, you did a fabulous job and I want to make one just like it!!! Thanks for taking the time to do a tutorial for us.

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  14. I think that it is very neat what you can do. Looks very professional.

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  15. So cute and so very creative too! Well done!

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  16. I love it!!!! You did an awesome job, it's beautiful!!!

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  17. This might be a dumb question (everyone probably knows the answer except me) but how do you remove the background color on the image when you print it to the transparency. In other words how do you only print the cows and wording?

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    1. Not a dumb question at all, I'm happy to try and answer it. Printers can't print the "color" white. Anywhere you see white on an image it will just be an absence of color (ink). So I designed the black image on a white background so that when it printed only the black image would be printed. Hope that makes sense to you. : )

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  18. Love your shower curtain...you did a great job and it is perfect for a farmhouse bathroom!!
    ~Cindy

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  19. You are AMAZING! I cannot believe all you do with ALL you HAVE to do! Do you sleep? It is a beautiful curtain. I am so happy for you that you now have your own home to re-do like you all are doing. Thanks

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  20. I love this. Its amazing to me how you did all this. You are so creative! I Love your blog ! :)

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  21. I love this. Its amazing to me how you did all this. You are so creative! I Love your blog ! :)

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  22. Super cute, I love it. You should make them to sell.

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  23. You are a genius !!!!!!!!! This is the cutest shower curtain I have ever seen. I want to make one for my bathroom.
    I love your blog. You are so talented and creative, I wish you would post more so I can glean your ideas. Stephanie, you rock !!!!!!!

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  24. That is GREAT!!!!! I love the idea AND the cow and calf!!! You did a wonderful job, and the bathroom is looking very inviting.
    Blessings to you,
    J

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  25. PS: I meant to tell you I just finished 3 plain tablecloths and a runner
    and a square topper with fadey red stripes........all made from Home Depot drop cloths, not bleached! They look great and sew, wash and dry like a dream. NO IRONING!!!
    The "griegish" color they turned after I washed them two or three times (before cutting and sewing), is perfect with my red and white transferware.......score!!

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  26. I am amazed at your creativity!

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  27. You should be very proud of this. You put in a lot of hard work and ended up with such a unique product, and exactly what you wanted. Bravo. Thank you for explaining your method. You gave me a really good idea.

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  28. Wow! That turned out great. Your idea for a makeshift projector was ingenious.

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  29. Wow such a cool idea!! You did one amazing job painting..way to go! I would love it if you would come join us for Centerpiece Wednesday on my blog and share your creativity with us. http://thestylesisters.blogspot.com/2014/03/centerpiece-wednesday-115-see-and-share.html Hope you will come and party with us.
    Karin 

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  30. Love this!!!!! Thanks for the projector idea and details on how you painted on the fabric! It's wonderful!
    Adina @ Simply Country Life

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  31. Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments. I had so much fun making this and sharing it with you all, and I appreciate each and every sweet comment you've left me! : )

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  32. I highlighted this post tonight on Centerpiece Wednesday!!
    Karin
    Www.thestylesisters.blogspot.com

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  33. I am SOOO impressed with your talented self....this is just darling.

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  34. I love this DIY! Did you paint 2 stripes on each side? About how wide are they? Thanks!!

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    1. Yes, there are two stripes on each side. One is about 1 inch wide, the other is probably about 1/2 inch wide I'd say.

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  35. I absolutely love your shower curtain! What program do you use to design your images?

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    1. I just have a simple Printmaster program that I got at Best Buy or someplace like that. Nothing too fancy. : )

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  36. Stephanie - this is so incredible. I just can't get over how awesome it is. I really do need to talk to you about this! :-) I can tell that it would take a TON of patience to paint it so perfect. Wow. (And what a difference it makes in your bathroom.) - Dori -

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  37. Want to make me one!? :-D

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    1. Sure! :D They are now for sale in my Etsy shop. You can find the link up in the sidebar.

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  38. Would you make this shower curtain to sell?

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Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you!

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