Tutorials

How to Design and Sew a Slipcover, Part 1 – DIY Home Decor Tutorial

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So you’ve got a perfectly comfortable, functional couch… it just looks like hell. With a custom made slipcover, no one will know what evil is lurking underneath all that handmade awesomeness!

We scored a couch, loveseat, and chair set at a secondhand furniture store when we first moved in.  The upside is that it’s the most comfortable couch I’ve ever had the pleasure of napping on. The downside is that the couch takes quite a beating, especially from our two cats. It also doesn’t help that we’re total movie and tv junkies, so we spend a lot of time EATING on it. So even though it was in Like New condition when we bought it, five years later… not so much.

I’d been thinking about slipcovering it for a while, and once Spring Fever hit me, I decided now was the time to do it.

Step 1
I decided on the fabric first. Actually, I decided on the fabric, and then I started doing rough estimates of cost and started asking myself if it was worth it. I even decided I wouldn’t make my own. I started looking at some of the “cheap” slipcover options (meaning not custom made and under $200, which was my estimated fabric budget). I liked none and all had mediocre-to-bad reviews, so I made the final decision that DIY was the way to go.

I saw a commercial a few years ago that featured two women sitting on a couch that was covered or slipcovered in a sort of crazy quilt type patchwork. I fell in love. I was initially going to cover each surface with a different print (left side plaid, right side polka dot, one cushion in damask, another cushion in stripe), but after doing a few sketches I decided to scale it back. It was looking busier than I wanted, and would have required more extra fabric/expense to do it that way. I decided I’d do the base of the couch in one fabric, the cushions in another, and the back pillows in a third fabric.

Too busy.

To choose my fabric, I did a few sketches on the computer, inserting various Home Dec fabrics I found online, until I found the ones I liked. After I sketched it out, I decided to also do the backs of the pillows in a different fabric.

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Tutorials

How to do Relief Printing with Solar Plates – ScreenPrinting Tutorial

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Fun in the Sun: Greeting Cards with Solar Plates
by:  Curtis Taylor

This article will explain how to make fine art relief print cards using only the power of the sun. Unlike traditional printmaking methods that require dangerous chemicals or sharp tools and years of technical practice a solar plate uses the sun, some water, and a tooth brush to develop. This project will walk you through your first fine art creation with a solar plate avoiding years of art school not to mention the expense.

Solar plates are made with a special photopolymer that hardens when exposed to a UV light source. UV light sources can be purchased or made but I prefer to use a free source of UV light we call the sun. For our purposes solar plates are quite forgiving. You can work in normal indoor lighting conditions with incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs. There is no need for a darkroom. You just need to be careful to avoid direct sunlight until you are ready to expose your plate. Solar plates should be stored in a cool, dark and dry place until exposure. Solar plates are quite durable and will probably last a lifetime under normal hand burnishing.

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