Friday, April 24, 2009

Sheer Beauty (window treatment tutorial).....

Sheer ~ diaphanous: so thin as to transmit light; "a hat with a diaphanous veil"; "filmy wings of a moth"; "gauzy clouds of dandelion down"; "gossamer cobwebs"; "sheer silk stockings"; transparent chiffon"; "vaporous silks" Way down here in the sunny south were have gone from frigid to fryin' in the span of one week! We were granted one glorious week of spring like temperatures and have slipped into a sweltering summer like state. This rise of the thermometer has me thinking of light and airy, cool and breezy in the decor department. Time to stow away those woolly winter throws, dark rich warm pillows, and perhaps add a sheer to touch to the windows as well, just enough fabric to filter the sunlight and billow in the stifling breeze.
My tiny writing cottage is decorated in soft tones of sand, barley there blue, rich cream, and super soft green. I find these tones soothing to work in and they reflect the most relaxing times to me, time spent at the beach. I have turned my attention to the windows in this space. While I have blinds with canvas drop cloth liners I am thinking that I might want to add a little softness to the windows using sheers and I am thinking of customizing them.

Here are a few interior before photos of my tiny cottage, as you can see, I have very little wall space and mostly windows. At times the sun can be quite bright or the views distracting while I am working. I can let down the blinds but since they are lined it can be quite dark so a sheer would cut down on the glare and still allow soft filtered light into the space and remove some of the distraction.Several years ago when my daughter was in her Hemingway~esque (British Colonial Style) phase of decor with dark rich wood tones, natural materials, hints of travel, and a fairly neutral color scheme of green, rust, and cream, she wanted custom window treatments. She chose a dark matchstick blind to begin with, layering hand stamped sheers over the blinds on faux rust finished decorative curtain rods. I might mention here that I was the stamper/faux finisher on this part of the project and even though I put hand stamping sheers on my "things I will never ever under any circumstances ever do again!" list, I am entertaining the idea. I thought I would share the simple yet time consuming technique with you.



*Sheers ~ I purchased four white sheer panels at an inexpensive dollar store on sale for $4.00 per panel.
*Rubber Stamp or Stamps of your choice. ~ I purchased two stamps of my daughters choice for half price at Hobby Lobby
*Paint, latex or acrylic ~ I used the latex paint that she painted her walls with. If you desire you can also purchase a textile medium to mix with the paint but I found it not necessary because so little paint is used it does not stiffen the fabric at all.
*Foam Brush
*Cardboard ~ I used poster board, cutting enough squares to used under each place I would be stamping.
*Low Tack Painters Tape
*Plastic Zip Bag
*Old Toothbrush
*Press Cloth ~ any cotton towel or a piece of muslin will work.


NOTE: In the sample photos below, I am using paper to demonstrate the technique. I traced the fold lines with a pencil for better viewing, do not mark the lines on your sheers.

*Remove sheers from packaging but DO NOT iron!

NOTE: If you are using sheers you already own you will need to fold and iron your panels as follows to create a stamping grid:

*Fold sheer in half lengthwise and lightly press the fold line, fold in half again and press fold line,
fold in half once more and press fold line.
*Fold sheer in half width wise and iron fold line, continue to repeat this process until you end up
with a small rectangle of fabric.
*When sheer is unfolded you should have a grid of rectangles to use as stamping guides.

*Lay the sheer right side up on a firm surface and secure the edges with bits of low tack painters tape.

*Under each block of the grid on your surface, slide a piece of cardboard slightly larger than your stamp.

*Using a foam brush lightly brush paint across your stamp. Do not press paint into stamp. Do a practice test on a scrap of fabric or paper to ensure that you are using the right amount of paint and to get comfortable with your stamping technique before beginning.

*After you are comfortable begin stamping your sheer. You will stamp in the center of each block of your grid. Center stamp, place down, and gently press. DO NOT rock the stamp back and forth or side to side, this will smear the print. Lift stamp straight up.

This is what an oops looks like if you get too much paint on your stamp!
*Stamp as many rows as your surface allows, brushing stamp with a light coat of fresh paint in between stamps to keep the stamped image uniform, then allow the print to completely dry before moving on to the next section.

NOTE: I only stamped every other grid with the large stamp and random stamped a few of the open grids with the small stamp. This kept the pattern less busy.

*In between stamping, store your foam brush in a plastic zip bag to keep it moist between uses.

*Thoroughly wash your rubber stamps with soap and cold water after each section is finished and drying. You may want to use a toothbrush to get any paint out of fine details. Use cold water because the heat from hot water will actually set the latex or acrylic paint and ruin your stamp. Allow stamps to dry before moving on to your next section, any water on the stamp will cause your print to bleed.

*Repeat the stamping process, moving and taping your sheer as needed, using the cardboard to protect your surface and absorb any excess paint. Once the cardboard is dry, it can be reused on other sections but make sure it is dry before reuse.

*Once an entire panel has been stamped and is completely dry, using a press cloth and warm iron, set each stamped image. Press your sheer free of the grid pattern and hang!

These panels are totally washable according to the manufactures instructions. Do not bleach. Hang to dry rather than tumble drying. Don't be limited to white either, experiment with colored sheers and paint hues.

I am thinking of doing this technique on white panels with sand colored paint in starfish and shell stamps. The only draw back is I would need to do ten panels for all the windows! My only concern is that the room not look "tented" when I am done. This is a super simple project, as I stressed before, it is time consuming, but the beautiful results are worth the effort!

To see how others are inspired to living beautifully, visit Melissa at The Inspired Room. Have a great weekend!

Miss Sandy


Lady Farmer said...

Oh, Miss Sandy ~
What a lovely idea! You have "inspired" me. I will be on the look out for some inexpensive sheers now. Thanks for the terrific window dressing idea!

Vee said...

Oh that's a lovely idea and a much different techinique for stamping than I've used before. (Mine involved dipping the stamp in the paint and blotting until the right amount of paint was was always hit or miss.) I love the "diaper" pattern used, too. That was inspired teaching using that piece of paper to show us! Your creative space is just lovely, Miss Sandy. I can't imagine why you'd ever get distracted by those lovely views. ;>

Anonymous said...

How very delicate and beautiful Sandy. I love your idea for your work space. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Vee said...

technique...why is there no edit feature for commenters? I need one so much!

LiLi M. said...

Very clever Miss Sandy! Thanks for sharing.
Have a nice and sunny weekend!

Caroline said...

I love your cottage with all the large glass windows. That is a dream for me! Beautiful. Thank you.

SharDon Exclusives said...

I made my sheers the same way and I love the look. However, I just did the somewhat "random" pattern design. I then took painters tape and added one large two smaller lines on the sides. It worked well enough that I made some shower curtains that I made out of a heavier sheer and then cut around the paint for a scalloped edge on the topper. I love yours best but mine will do for freebies. Thank you for sharing with us. Your ideas are wonderful!!

Susie said...

I know what you mean about summer temps. I think it was close to 90 today.

Becky K. said...

I am so impressed with the delicate results here. Love this!

Vicki Page said...

Thank you Miss Sandy for the great tips on stamping. Love your room and you will be one busy lady if your going to be covering all those windows in this fashion. Vicki

Bonita said...

First of all, you have a writing cottage??!! Look at all of those gorgeous windows! If I had that place I'd never come out of it!

Those sheers are so pretty. I had never heard of this before. So beautiful and unique!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

That is very clever and inspiring, thanks for sharing with us!

xo Have a great day!

lorhen82 said...

Thanks for sharing this idea! It's a great way to put your own personalized touch on sheers. ~Lori

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