Buntings: Threading Techniques for Spacing

BannerLove

Over the summer, I was asked to make banners for my cousin’s wedding. (When my day will come, I’ll never know.) So what’s with the blog entry on something that just involves cutting up paper, glueing letters on, and stringing them together? I found that multiple entries suggested running a string through each piece. However, you wouldn’t be able to space them out this way. This here provides brief explanations on how I created these banners with a focus on threading the pieces.

GLITTERY LETTERS
Print out the letters and cut them out. (I recommend Fontspace for a plethora of free fonts.) Spray adhesive is the glue of choice to evenly affix the glitter onto the letters without crinkling the paper. Depending on the coverage, you may want to add a second layer of glitter. Alternatively, you can print the outline of the letters onto decorative (printer-friendly) paper, and that will save you time.

POLYGONAL BUNTING
Essentially it’s a rectangle with the corners cut off at the bottom. (A fellow called them “teeth”, and my alter ego wanted to punch his teeth out and string them together with dental floss.) I used a pencil to roll the top of the each piece to the desired length, and secured it with tape. When threading, I did a variation of what sewers would call a “backstitch”. You thread the string through the tunnel, you just made, bring it around and thread it through the tunnel again. You may have to pull the string slightly taut to keep it from getting loose. It’s okay if the sides bend inwards to the tension – so long as you don’t go ham on the pulling and rip the banner. This gives you more control of the spacing between the letters.

Banner_Date

BUNTING
For this one, I just hole-punched the corners. I was in a bit of a pickle figuring out how to thread these pieces together and still be able to space them out. Crafty Ribbons had a really adorable idea to tie bows in between each triangle, but I didn’t think that this would be appropriate for the style of the wedding. We’re going to use the “backstitch” technique again, except that you do a backstitch on each hole before you connect the string to the next hole. Otherwise, if you simply thread it through, then the corners will overlap with each other, and you won’t be able to control the spacing between each sign. Another thing you can do is to laminate the bunting to protect them from potential water damage.

Banner_JustMarried

Special thanks to my cousin and her husband for giving me the chance to contribute to their wedding creatively and to their photographer for the images.

Distressed Vintage Corkboard

Corkboards make for great mood boards. You can quickly pin your ideas/ inspiration, shift them around easily, and remove ones that deviate from the current theme. However, they often come pre-packaged as a drab slab. On the hunt for ideas, I was quite drawn to framing it with an ornate frame. Installing an entirely new frame on the corkboard was going to set me back way beyond my budget. DeSerres had some for around $250, and vintage frames online were not that much cheaper.

Inspired by a vintage photo frame I ordered via The Painted Lady on Etsy, for a university graduation photo, I decided to glue decorative corner pieces onto the existing frame. I found mine at Home Depot, and each pack of 2 costed me about $8. The corkboard was bought, on sale, at Michael’s for $10.

Now for the grunt work. Shanty 2 Chic provided an easy, thorough, and cost-effective way to achieve the distressed painted look – with petroleum jelly. You can refer to this tutorial for images that take you through it step-by-step.

If you want to achieve this particular look, read on.

SUPPLIES
Corkboard
Wooden decorative corner pieces
Sandpaper
Dark acrylic paint
White latex paint
Paintbrush
Paint tray (Paper plates will do!)
Painter’s tape
Petroleum jelly
Superglue

HOW TO

  • Your corkboard’s frame may be treated, so you’ll need to prep the surface by sanding off the varnish. If you have a rotary sanding machine, that will make the job go by much faster. If not, you’ll just need a bit more patience to do it manually.
  • Start with the base coat. Acrylic paint is used because it is cheap and dries rapidly. Paint the area that you want to show through. I painted the frame and the corner pieces and used painter’s tape to prevent from painting onto the cork panel. Allow for it to dry.
  • Rub petroleum jelly on the areas that you want to show through the topcoat as this provides a buffer between the base coat and topcoat. Generally, you’ll want to apply it on the corners and edges.
  • Paint the entire corkboard and the corner pieces with the latex paint. Allow for each layer to dry before applying another. I had to use three coats for thorough coverage. Don’t worry if the corkboard starts to bubble a bit as you’re painting. It should lay flat once the paint has dried.
  • Glue the corner pieces onto the corkboard. Allow for the glue to dry and set completely.
  • Using a coarse-grade sandpaper, gently abrade the where you want to show the base coat.
  • Hang it up, and pin your inspirations and ideas! (Tip: Repurpose old stud earrings as pushpins.)

Reshaping A Straw Floppy Hat

With only four days left until a trip to Cancun, I encountered a dilemma with packing my straw floppy hat. It has been in storage for a couple years. Six bodies in a bitty bungalow leaves little space for adequate storage. I hung said hat on the door. One side of the brim would get squashed between the doorframe and the door and eventually became wonky. I didn’t want to buy a new one because it would most likely suffer a similar issue.

Then I came across brim-steaming in the classic British comedy series, Are You Being Served?. There was an episode where Mr. Humphries was reshaping a hat using a steamer and his expert wrist flicks to mould the brim just right. From that, I drew a similar idea in reshaping the straw floppy hat. Not fancy wrist flick required since this brim is flat.

  • Set the iron to the lowest setting possible but one that will still permit the steam function.
  • To protect the hat, place a press cloth over it. 
  • Add some steam to the area and gently press with the iron for a few seconds.
  • Allow for the hat to cool to help retain the desired shape.

The Garden of Ugly

My mom loves to garden. Once the snow has melted, you’ll find her outside tending to what she thinks is a garden and what I classify as a jungle. (Either that or you’ll find her marathoning through her favourite Korean dramas.) I never understood how she can be okay with the lack of careful planning that goes into this landscape. She’ll just throw things anywhere and everywhere and expect life to grow. I’ll admit that she has a green thumb. She can garden, but why does it have to be so darn hideous?

This is what it looks like. I’m surprised that the municipal garden gnomes haven’t sent a notice regarding her handiwork in depreciating property value. Years of nagging to get her to tidy it up, beautification attempts, and threats to poison her plants proved fruitless unless you wanted to unleash the Dragon Lady. You do not want to see the Dragon Lady. 

Year after year, the state of her garden bothers me a little less. Gardening is her thing, and I know how therapeutic it is for her. That still doesn’t help me to appreciate it for what it is – until she encouraged a change in perspective. This summer, my mom has asked me to photograph her flowers, and I was surprised to see how beautifully the images turned out. Beauty can indeed be found in this mishmash. It just needed a closer look. With this project, I hope to showcase the value in her jungle and to put a smile on my mom’s face when she needs a little green therapy during the unforgiving winter months. Below, are my favourites from this year’s display.

Mom, if you’re reading this, I still expect you to follow through with cutting your inventory of indoor plants by half. Our window looks like a grow-op!

marigoldWM

mauveWM

Here’s a Start

A befitting feature on Oprah in 2009, this is a testimony about Khadijah Williams’ resilience and determination to rise above and not let her circumstances define her.

You start exactly where you are.

– Oprah Winfrey

Financial struggles have a stronghold on me, and I feel like I am at a disadvantage because I do not have the money to meet the expenses involved in pursuing a fashion design career. Consequently, it puts a damper on my ability to think creatively and crippling my ability to maximize my potential.

I am apparently where I’m supposed to be. It just takes one step to move forward. Even a baby step will make just that bit much more of a difference, and I need to be okay with that.