Sunday, July 12, 2009

Toy Box Redo: Plain to Punchy


I had this really great vintage toy box from my childhood nursery, but the stark white seemed too blah. I thought about painting it, but they don't make no-VOC spray paint, so that was kind of out. Then I remembered reading about applying fabric to walls with liquid starch and thought why not try it on the toy box?


It worked like a dream! Super easy to apply and virtually goof-proof, since it's easy to adjust when wet.

Here's how to do it:

- Get some liquid starch (available at any grocery store)
- Apply with a paintbrush directly to the fabric and then apply wet fabric to hard surface.
- Smooth it out with your hands to remove any wrinkles or air bubbles and adjust position if needed
- Do another layer of starch over it with the brush again.

The best part is that it's easy to remove without damaging either the fabric or the item underneath.


I loved how it worked out so much I took the leftover scraps and carefully cut out the shapes and applied them to the wall to add some design to my new peach paintjob. I didn't like the positions of a few of the shapes on the wall, so I just peeled them off and reapplied the same way - no mess or damage at all! You can even wash the fabric to reuse for something else later. The ultimate recycling project;) I wish I'd have learned about this trick years ago when I fiddled around with messy stencils and stamps as wall art - they never turned out half as nice either.

Why would anyone want to mess with damaging decals, wallpaper or glue when you can easily do this and save a lot of time & headache in both the applying & removing? If only we'd had this on the walls instead of the nightmarish wallpaper & layer upon layer of glue that was in every room when we moved into our house!

11 comments:

  1. I would like to feature this idea my craft blog because it is awesome. I was wondering if you give a little more explanation about how you applied it and exactly what you used. I'll check back to see. Thanks.

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  2. Thanks so much! It is super easy to do - just some liquid starch (available at any grocery store) applied with a paintbrush directly to the fabric and then applied to hard surface. I smoothed it out with my hands to remove any wrinkles or air bubbles and then did a layer of starch over it with the brush again. I didn't like the positions of a few of the shapes on the wall, so I just peeled them off and reapplied the same way - no mess or damage at all! You can even wash the fabric to reuse for something else later. The ultimate recycling project;)

    If you'd like more info or pics, just email me and I can provide more. I'd love to link up with your blog!

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  3. Cheryl, is there anyway you could add to the actual post what you wrote in the comments? That way when I post to it, everyone will read it. I check back again.

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  4. I'm back and I am featuring it. Check it out at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com. Grab my "featured" button. This is an awesome idea!!!

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  5. Hi Cheryl! I love your cute blog! I've been researching starch as an adhesive for a decoupage project I want to do in my house. Do you think starch would work with PAPER? Or does it have to be fabric for some reason? All I ever see online is starch as an adhesive for fabric on walls...
    Many thanks!!

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  6. That trunk and the wall turned out so cute! I love this idea :)

    rue

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  7. Nice project! Love the design you used on your wall.

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  8. Hi-- I know this post is somewhat old. Just wondering , do you have a before pic available. We bought a vintage vinyl toy box that has some tearing that we'd like to restore with fabric.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry I don't, but this toybox is all wood and had no damage to it so no repairs were required. As long as you can create a smooth base surface, this technique should work fine for you.

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