Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sunday Project

Last year our local Kansas City Gift Mart was closing so I scurried through one day looking for some final mark down items. What I came away with was the best bargain in the building: two heavy duty rolling walls! At $10 a piece I had to have them and even rented a U-Haul to get them back to the store. These two 8' x 8' plywood walls, secured on steel plates with casters was what I needed not only for picture hanging but to divide the store into departments. For months now they have been floating around the store, not looking very special as I was waiting on our wallpaper makeover to be finished. Last week, I got around to giving them my twirl.

I ordered brick wallpaper to compliment the real brick we already had in the store and covered one rolling wall with it, front and back. Then I took a salvaged window and glued our cloud wallpaper to the back of the glass and hung it in the center of the wall. This was not only to use for our summer display as you enter the store, but eventually I knew this would be great to display curtain panels by just adding a curtain rod over the window. My final touch was to trowel a concrete compound over the edges to appear like grout.

We use the second wall in the stationery department so I wallpapered all the maps we sell to it in random form. These maps are printed on good paper but not nearly as thick as wallpaper so I had to work fast as they adhered quickly. Gluing smaller portions like this was much easier than those 8' sections of rolled paper which I found myself buried under a time or two!

The back of this wall faces the kitchen department so I wanted something more generic to attach to the backside. I had a bunch of scrap burlap in the workroom and a couple of old coffee bags so I spent a few hours cutting all of these apart in square shapes and fringing the edges just a bit. With a bucket of thick wallpaper paste I rolled a thick coat of paste to the wall, stuck the burlap to it and rolled over each section with more paste. Later I squeegeed the fabric smoothly trying to get the paste soaking through the fabric.

Now that I have tackled this once, the key was to get the burlap really wet so it would flatten out and adhere. After I was finished I went back and took my trusty Elmer's and added more glue to the fringe where needed. After this was dry I decided to use tacks to the corners of each piece of burlap for a more industrial feel and because I was sure customers might touch and pick at the texture and I wanted it to stay secure. Finally, to finish the edges, I cut and tacked old yardsticks to the side.

I have one other project up my sleeve I have always wanted to try, upholstering with crochet scraps... stay tuned.