Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hanging the Laundry Out

I had an idea for some laundry room art.  I decided I wanted to make some upholstered letters to hang from a pseudo-clothesline on the wall in there to add a touch of color and whimsy. (Yeah, I just said whimsy)  It took me a while to decide what word to hang.  I thought about 'clean' or 'fresh' or 'clothes,' but ultimately I decided on 'laundry.'  I headed to New Bern with my grandma and we spent some quality time in a fabric store.  I sort of knocked out 2 birds with one stone there.  I was test driving some fabrics for an upcoming project. (Aren't you just on the edge of your seat now?)

Anyway, back to the project at hand.  I needed to make letter forms, so I started by printing out the letters in a basic font so I didn't have to worry about as many curves.  Then I cut them out as a template.

Notice that workbench?  I finally got around to checking out the Base wood shop.  It has everything I could imagine and I'm thrilled to be in there knocking out projects instead of just dreaming them.  I traced the templates onto some 1/4 inch oak (I would have used the cheaper poplar or pine but I need some wide boards for another project and oak was the only one that met the criteria...yep, another project) and used the band saw to cut them out.  I had to use a skill saw to cut out the middle bits of letters like the R and D and A.  Then a touch at the sander and I was ready to upholster.

I traced the patterns upside down on some light weight batting and cut them out.

Then I laid out the fabrics I had picked and figured out which fabric would go on which letter.

Then I cut around each letter so I had about an inch and a half all around. (I will caveat here that I am no upholsterer, I just did the best I could)

Anywhere there was an inside corner, I marked it so I could cut at an angle to the corner to get a good fit.

Then I wrapped the fabric over the wood and batting and used a staple gun to attach it to the back.  Then we had a problem:

See how high those staples are?  Nothing I did seemed to help either.  I messed with the torque on the staple gun, I made sure it was good and horizontal.  Even when it was flush, the staples were all messed up (notice I switched to a scrap piece of wood and fabric while we worked out the kinks):

But that was pretty low at least, and it wasn't going to show, so we went ahead. I ended up buying an electric staple/nail gun for the later letters.  So I basically wrapped each letter in fabric and tacked it down.

Not bad, huh?

For the interior areas, like the A below, I cut a line on an angle to each corner.

When they were done, I used the glue gun to touch up all of the edges to make sure everything was down nice and tight and the edges wouldn't fray.  Then I hung a string up on the wall and used clothes pins to clip them into place.  I was worried they might be too thick for the clothes pins, but it worked out fine.

I still plan on painting in there, and I want to replace the white twine (that disappears into the wall) with a more substantial burlap twine.

So what do you think?  Did I pick the right word?  Any of those fabrics stand out to you?  Do you have a favorite?

1 comment:

  1. How creative! I like it. To me the N fabric stands out the most but I wonder if it's not partly because the N is in the middle?