Sunday, February 13, 2011
DIY CRAFTS PROJECT: paper bunting for the kitchen
The other empty wall in the kitchen, the one above the stove, has always been confusing for me as I try and decorate. Since there are no upper cabinets, the space is kind of awkwardly broken into two parts horizontally by a rail where traditional upper cabinets would sit. In the center is the stove, and the hood above the range visually splits the space into 3 parts vertically. When I consider what to do with this space, I am baffled. Do I try to work with the look of the top 3 vertical sections by placing a large piece of art in each? Do I put something large in the middle only? Should I work against those visual divisions and put something off center, or two pieces? It may not seem like such a big problem, but somehow I couldn't get my head around it. Everything I tried looked either too symmetrical too off balance.
Basically, when I look at that wall I see this:
Since the general feeling we are going for in our kitchen is fun, whimsical and casual, I started thinking about creating some basic crafty art for that wall myself. I had seen a lot of interesting buntings (you know, those strings of triangular cloth flags?) on both Etsy and featured in house tours in design blogs I read, and I started thinking maybe that could work. In some odd way buntings are kind of in right now, which is funny, because I think most people think of them in terms of party decorations or dated "country" decor. Turns out, not all buntings are lettered to say something along the lines of "It's A Girl!" or are made of red gingham or American flags.
Since I don't have access to a fabric store, I decided to make mine with paper. I headed down to Paper Source, picked up several sheets of 12x12 patterned paper, and as soon as I got home I got to work. The entire project took less than an hour, and cost me about $10. I am still planning to cover the flags with contact paper to protect them in the long term, so probably in the end the project all together will have taken me under 2 hours, and cost $13. I can live with that.
What I used:
different patterned sheets of paper
white ribbon from drug store
pencil, straight edge, scissors, staples
First I laid out my paper, cut one piece to the size I wanted, and then used that piece as a guide to trace and cut the others. I looked all over for my ruler, but it seems to have gone missing. I used a paint stir stick instead.
Once I had all my triangles cut, I had to do a little math (the horror!) I decided I wanted lots of extra room to drape, since I hadn't decided yet if I was going to hang the bunting in 3 swooping curls (in googling to try and find the proper words to more clearly describe that concept, I stumbled onto this hilariously specific tutorial for how to hang crepe paper at a party.) or simply straight from end to end. Basically I wanted to make sure that whatever I choose I had more than enough rather than less.
Since the length of wall I was using this on is 10 ft, I cut my ribbon to 19 ft (why not 20'? It just seemed like too much). I had made 21 flags, each of which was 6 inches wide at the top where they would attach to the ribbon. Some random futzing around with a calculator led me to decide to put roughly 5 inches of spacing between each flag. From there I just attached each one properly spaced apart, with 2 staples at the tops. I alternated the papers randomly, trying to keep it looking good, but without a specific repeating pattern.
After that I just had to hang it. A bit of trial and errror and hemming and hawing led me to decide to hang it in one arch, not multiple swoops like I mentioned above.