time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life - brian andreas

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Ever since we moved into our new apartment, the downstairs living room wall has been bothering me.  It's large and currently houses my green credenza, arc lamp, and sunburst mirrors.  Even though all those things are large, they only fill about 1/2 the wall. 
And since I'm not a minimalist (although I wish I was), I've been searching for something I could put in the remaining space. 
I was discussing the problem with my creative and generous aunt Kim.  She always has unique decorating ideas and is the BEST at repurposing items/space.  She offered to gift me a HUGE black frame that she had...
I accepted.
She delivered.
She's the best.

I'm pretty sure she found it in a dumpster. 
I said she is awesome.
Point proven.

It is 26" high and 55" long (inside the frame, which is another 6" or so). 
Because my house is like a giant kalaidescope- full of random colors and patters going every which way- I decided that I needed to fill the frame with something neutral.
At one point I even considered leaving in empty.  Which I did for about 2 weeks. 
But it was boring.
And tragic.

So I set out on the hunt for a tan/white chevron print fabric.
I decided that a chevron print would add some visual interest, while not competing with this (which shares the same wall):

That picture sucks, but that's because the lighting is awful.
And I was croutching on the back of the couch to get it...my apartment really IS that small.

I began my search for the perfect fabric.  I looked high and low...it became an obsession of sorts...
I COULD NOT find a chevron print fabric for less than $20/yard (plus shipping).  I was going to have to order it online...because I live in the middle of nowhere and we have no stores here.
Except JoAnns, which had a shockingly horrible selection.
Also tragic.

I needed 2 yards of fabric, and decided that the $40 + shipping was too much to spend...especially since I change my mind every 5 seconds month about the decor in my living room.
And by living room, I mean entire house.

Since I couldn't find what I wanted for the price I wanted, I decided to attempt making it.
2 words:
bad. idea.
Unless you love spending hours and hours trying to get straight lines.
And then freak out over and over and over when they look crooked.
And waste this much tape:

That was only part of it. 
Additionally, I wasted this:

For the project, I started with a tan flat sheet and tape.  All of these things also proved useful:

Tan flat sheet, masking (or painters) tape, tape measure (isn't that one cute?!  It's from my 'do it herself'' tool kit, which I inherited when my Grandma Dorothy passed away), rotary board, rotary cutter (you could use scissors...I found the cutter much easier though...and I found out the hard way.  So just trust me and use a rotary cutter...if you're dumb cheap desperate brave enough to try this project), iron if your material is wrinkled....which mine was because it was wadded in a Wal Mart bag for 2 days.
I'm organized like that.

Here's what I did:
Iron the material.
Lay it on a flat surface...again, not wadded in a bag.
Decide width of chevron stripe.
Cut lengths of tape.
Use a ruler (if you're smart.  if you're stubborn and controlling like I am, then just eyeball it and waste tons of time...and tape...see the above pictures).
Attach tape in chevron pattern.
For 4 hours...
Seriously, that's how long it took me.  Luckily Millionaire Matchmaker was on Bravo...so the time went quickly. 
Sort of.

my chevron stripes after the tape was secured.

Don't worry if you make 8,000 mistakes.  And end up frustrated.  And eat an entire bag of Spicy Nacho Doritos whilst you try to get those wretched stripes straight.

After the Doritos stripes were done, it was time to spray paint.  And since I don't have a designated spot to do this, I took my material out to the porch and anchored the corners with cans of beans.
I used kidney and pinto.
Any variety will do.

Prime the fabric stripes with Kilz Original primer (or your favorite primer)...this step is important!  I tried to do it without, and the material just soaked up the paint.
Make sure to let it dry thoroughly.
I chose Krylon Ivory gloss.
And applied 2 coats to be sure it was all covered.
Mine was not totally even, but I wanted it to look more like a screenprint....not perfect.
Or maybe that's just what I'm tellingh myself so I don't get so depressed that it's not perfect.

After I let it dry (overnight), I removed the tape.
It was so exciting...it was like childbirth...
Work, wait, work, wait, work, wait.
And then at the end you get to see the fruit of your labors...
Get it?  Labor. 
I know, I'm witty.

It is exciting though:

Now that it's up on the wall, I think a tone-on-tone ivory might have been better.
But it is staying as is...for now.

And when I get sick of having it downstairs, I would love it above my bed as a headboard of sorts.
Overall, I feel like the time, money, and effort spent was worth it.

Because it cost me less than $10 and fills a significant space on the wall.
fabric (flat sheet)-$2.99, clearance at Wal Mart
primer-free (I had some from another project)
total: $9.85

Oh, and today at the Goodwill I found this AWESOME clock:

I love how it hangs on the diagonal.
And brings some subtle orange into the room.
It's perfect.



  1. You're nuts! Where do you get your energy? and when do you do these things? I absolutely love how it turned out though! I do. It looks perfect.

  2. I think it looks great! Nice work! I am too lazy to spray my new tray. Maybe tomorrow ...

  3. LOOKS SO GOOD!!!! come do my house

  4. I love love love the chevron piece! Have you considered going into interior design? I'd hire you. xoxoxo

  5. LOOOOve it! It looks fantastic! Reminds me of some projects that I've spent hours on in the past. The longer it took, the more I started doubting my sanity... But I just couldn't give up, even though I was wondering the whole time if it was gonna be worth it in the end. It's so satisfying when it actually turns out to vaguely resemble what you'd envisioned, isn't it?

  6. You should have your own HGTV show Tracy! Looks so great and you're so hilarious describing how you do things. You have really inspired me to check out some thrift stores and see what treasures I can find and make better!

  7. We had a kite clock on our wall when I was growing up. I remember staring at it a lot. It wasn't as cute as the one you have. PS I am Dylan's cousin.

  8. I love the way your chevron wall hanging turned out!!! So impressed...don't think I could pull off keeping all those lines even. My hat is off to you.