Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tiny Nursery: Potato Print Curtains!

The windows in the tiny nursery are tricky, since they are very tall and include both a window and a functioning door that leads onto the sleeping porches (and the new office-ette).  I determined that the best looking way to cover them would be to run a curtain along the whole wall.  But after weeks of Internet and in-person shopping, I hadn't found Exactly What I Was Looking For, and the time to hang them was nigh.  In a fit of pique (and energy!) I decided to make my own curtains from canvas drop cloths and paint.

I first bought two large canvas drop cloths, then washed and dried them in case they had any kind of sizing or other treatment on them.  I next carved some simple triangles into three potato halves, using regular kitchen knives and a couple of chisels.

Potato stamps!
I wanted a simple pattern that would be forgiving of mistakes and variations, and easy to cover a large surface with.  I decided to use the same paint for both curtains and wall to keep the scheme in the nursery streamlined and not too busy.

Potato stamps and Benjamin Moore Natura paint, to be used for both curtains and walls.

Before working on my drop cloths, I tested out some printing methods on scrap fabric.  I poured a small  amount of paint into a roller try, donned some rubber gloves, and experimented with brushing on the paint vs dipping directly into it.  I needed to figure out how much paint was sufficient to get a good print, and how much would just turn into a blob.

After figuring out a strategy, I stretched my first drop cloth onto one of the big painting walls in my studio.

And I started to print!

After several hours of work, I produced this thing of beauty:

One finished curtain
Each curtain took me about a day to fully print, including breaks to do other things and rest my hands.  I learned the hard way not to just leave my potatoes in the tray with my paint: rotting will occur, oozy grossness will ensue!  If you try this at home, and your project takes more than a day, wrap up your potatoes and stick them in the fridge!

Finished product, in place.  Those happy smiles are worth my couple hours of oozy grossness.

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