By Kathleen Neafsey
Summer’s here! Yes, I know it’s that time of year when we’re supposed to be spending more time outside, catching rays, doing … stuff. Unfortunately, the oppressive heat and the pale skin that I inherited from my Irish ancestors keep me indoors more often than not. And so: I decorate.
Being indoors, I get bored looking at the same old walls. I used to spend my summers painting my girls’ bedrooms — their rooms probably appear a good six inches smaller all-around than they used to thanks to all the layers of paint. In the rest of the house, I like to change things around too. I’m constantly switching-up accessories: throw pillows, candles, flower arrangements, etc.
A couple of summers ago, I thought it would be a good idea to paint my living and dining rooms a café au lait-ish color. Word to the wise: unless you have lots of windows and light in the room, the color is kind of blah. Hence, colorful accessories — for fall & winter I like to use reds and oranges, while in spring & summer I prefer blues and greens. You’d be hard-pressed to find any yellow in my house, the result of a bad experience in Kindergarten. But other than that I’m open to most colors.
Okay, enough about that. I wanted something new this summer, but didn’t feel like spending an arm and a leg to get it. So I made yet another trip to the craft store, in search of inspiration. This time I picked up some blank canvases. A coincidence? I think not. Instead of painting a whole wall, why not just whip up some new wall art.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Blank canvases. Depending on what you have in mind, and how many you’ll need, it may be more economical to buy the package of ten for just under $20, rather than individually.
- Acrylic paints. Pick your favorite colors.
- Wooden letter. I happened to have a bucket left over from an assignment that one of my girls probably had in grammar school. But you can also buy them individually.
Initially, I had planned to place white letters on a white canvas, but it didn’t look the way I’d envisioned it. So I decided to paint my canvases blue. Do your letter placement first and get a general idea of the layout. If you don’t know how to draw/paint a dandelion there are plenty of on-line tutorials. In the midst of painting mine though, I realized how truly tedious they are – and another idea was born.
If you have a stencil paintbrush handy, which I did not, that will probably work for your dandelion. Necessity being the mother of invention, I took a small strip of a crepe paper streamer and bunched it up; blotted it into a small pool of white paint and pounced it onto the canvas. You’re almost done; add some random brown dots within the flower and then give it a stem. Glue the letters in place and you’re all set.
While I was on a roll, I painted another canvas, this time adding a little white paint to the blue, just to make it a slightly different shade. Then decided on another phrase (taken from one of my favorite songs in “Singin’ in the Rain”) and painted my letters. I used a coordinating Sharpie to outline the letters to make them stand out more
I also used a leftover piece of scrapbook paper to make one big star and some smaller, random ones, and started gluing.
Now, have a safe and fun Fourth of July …. and don’t forget your sunblock!!!
Fabri-Kate is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. It is written by the crafty Kathleen Neafsey, who wields a mean pair of scissors. Follow her on Twitter @dbmomkat and look for a brand new craft next time.