April 26, 2011

DIY: Chevron Art.

Most of y'all are probably (more than) aware of The Great Flood of 2010 and the "redecorating" that followed.  Ten months later, we have finally entered the home stretch.  We have few big purchases left to make (I swear we ARE going to finally buy some dining room chairs), but mostly we're on to the details like new lamps, curtains, and of course, artwork.  

I've been wanting to do something about the space over our couch for months.  We had a placeholder print up there, and it was a total snoozefest.  So when I saw this DIY for chevron paintings on Makeunder My Life, I had to try it.  Jess's tutorial is great, but I tweaked it a little bit to make it work for me.  Make sure you read her post too, and use whichever way works best for you (or make up your own way).

Ok, first, gather your supplies.  I used:

*2 18 x 24 canvases
*Stencil (print it out several times to get the right length for you canvas)
*Painter's tape
*Acrylic paint (your preferred color(s) + white)
*Paintbrushes (thick + fine)

Second, some general tips:
*I worked outside on the porch (first my friend Laura's, then mine), but this really isn't a messy project, so just put a bit of newspaper or plastic over your kitchen table and you should be good to go.
*Once you get the hang of how long to cut your pieces of tape, cut off a bunch at a time.  Also, make sure you cut as straight as possible, so when you're lining up your tape on the canvas, you get a nice sharp point on each chevron.  Whatever you do, do not tear the tape by hand.
*You can use whatever size canvas you want.  Laura got 4 12 x 12s to make a big square.  Figure out what size works for your space, and go with that.  You can easily customize the stencil to fit.
*I used acrylic paint, but I think that you could definitely use spray paint.
*If you notice bleeding under your tape once you peel it off, use the white paint and the fine paintbrush to carefully touch it up.

Now, let's get started.  I didn't like the method of using pushpins to mark where the chevron points should be because I am severely spatially challenged, so I decided to doctor my stencil like this:

And just taped around it, like this:

The taping is BY FAR the hardest part of this project.  Don't freak out if the pattern doesn't end up being exact.  Use the stencil as a guide, and I promise, you won't be able to tell when if you end up off by an inch or two by the time you get to the end of your canvas.

When you're all taped, it will look like this:

This next step is really important.  Before you start painting, make sure you really go over your tape to get it pressed down tightly.  I had issues with the paint bleeding underneath it and messing up the look of the lines.  Then you paint:

Two pieces of advice here.  If you mix your own paint color, which I did for the green (not shown), be sure to mix up more than you think you're going to need.  It's fairly impossible to mix multiple batches of paint in the exact same shade, and I had to put two coats on each canvas.  Expect to use about a half a tube of paint per painting.  Once the paint is dry, it's time to peel the tape off:

Do your touchups if needed, and you're done!  The canvas is so light, you don't even need any hooks to mount these to your wall.  J hung them up in about 10 mins using just regular nails.  

I think we're going to buy some frames for these, and eventually that couch has to go too, but I love the immediate difference in the room.  What do y'all think?

PS - Laura had a great idea if you're interested in adding a little something extra to your chevron.  Many craft stores sell kits that allow you to make your own stencil.  The chevron would be a really cool backdrop for incorporating on a design motif that you already have in your house by stenciling, for example, a palm tree on top.  Or a monogram.  Or anything else your little heart desires.

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