Sunday, July 14, 2013

Consider the Dishtowel

Because a lot of the people I work with are in other non-San-Francisco offices, in future time zones, I spend a lot of time on early morning phone calls, which sometimes turn into all-day phone calls, which often means I work from home.

Here's a shot of my at-home "office." (It's really the breakfast room.) I try to keep the table relatively clean (doesn't always work, but I try).

The gorgeous orchids are courtesy of my buddy Sherwin. Thanks Sherwin! My kitchen-office suddenly feels so posh. It's amazing what flowers can do for the spirit.

And this, dear friends, is my office's view.

Yes, I could sit on the other side of the table, and have a view out my kitchen window. But for some reason I prefer sitting this direction. I really don't know why. It makes no sense.

I am weird.

But you already knew that and that's also really not why we're here today.

See those posters on my wall of my at-home office space?
They aren't posters. They are dishtowels.

Proof I am not a perfectionist - the canvas is definitely not stretched evenly!

If you've been with this blog since the beginning, you will see other examples of my love of using dishtowels for tasks beyond dish-drying. This is another sneaky use for them.

I ran across these two towels at Sur La Table a couple of months ago. Turning them into fun, cheap wall art is easy; here's how.

A piece of fabric. See below for tips. 
A staple gun and plenty of staples. Just your basic one will do. I have one like this.
4 canvas stretcher bars that are an appropriate size for your fabric/desired finished piece. You can find these at art supply stores. They will have two kinds, the cheap ones and the expensive heavy duty ones. If your piece of fabric is less than 4' square, get the cheap ones.
Two picture hanger screws and picture wire
A tape measure or ruler

Bonus Equipment: DIY frame from the art supply store. These come in metal and wood. If you get the wood kind, you will also need a touch of super glue to join the pieces. You don't need glass for this project.

1. I was going to type out instructions but then I found that the internet had already solved this problem for me. Instead, please enjoy this video.

2. Try not to get too annoyed as this lady is super nice but oddly bouncy.
3. Frame if you wish, then add the hanging hardware and hang your art.

So easy!

Tips for choosing fabric for this project:
Think outside the bolt on this - you can use dishtowels, napkins, old tablecloths, pillowcovers (taken apart at the seams), even old favorite pieces of clothing. Thicker and woven fabrics are easier to use; but super-thick and very thin fabrics can be challenging. Stretchy fabric is practically impossible; don't use it if you've never done this before.

A note: if you are framing something that you need to protect because it's an heirloom or whatever, take it to the professionals to get it framed. This project is more about doing a quick change on what's on your walls and creating some "cheap art" for yourself. Otherwise, if your fabric is iron-able, iron it as best you can.

Some other examples from around my home:

My motto. In the kitchen, of course. This piece also began life as a dishtowel.
A Marimekko "Lokki" panel atop a bookcase.
More Marimekko panels. Previously in my office, now adding some color to a quiet corner of the living room.

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