Saturday, 6 October 2012

A Starchy Affair

       When i was still staying at my mom's place, i wanted to makeover my dark and totally uninviting room but didnt want to do anything major or something that is permanent because it aint my place after all. So i googled a bit here and there and found out that a lot of house renters out there (probably not in singapore though) do something which is called fabric wallpaper. Technically, it shouldnt be called wallpaper because its not even paper. Its the act of pasting fabric on the walls, such that it replicates the look of a wallpaper without the cost and commitment. I was about to say labour but decided not to, because i did in fact, sweat out a bit while doing it. But it was fun! :) Here are the products of my 'labour' :p

My kitchen was supposed to be cath kidston inspired so i was so glad i managed to find a fabric which was similar to one of their designs but at a much cheaper price.
My feature wall in the living room

 I have to say i splurged on my bedroom.. i gave in because i was so in love with this heligan floral fabric by Laura Ashley.
 The kids wardrobe was actually my 'guinea pig'. I 'wallpapered' it way back before Nilou was even around. I was still at my mom's place then. I added the resin applique for that shabby chic look which I bought from a few online shops. This is one of them, you can check it out-Do It Yourself Chic

      A few asked me how i made the adhesive paste. There were a number of 'recipes' online but i just tried to make do with what was easily found. I experimented and i guess it works just fine. The fabric at my mom's place still sticks like magic. And its been slightly more than 2 years. Here is how i made the paste:
1. one part corn starch flour/tapioca flour (i tried both and it works the same) mixed with one part water at room temperature.
2. boil 4 parts water separately, and turn off the heat upon boiling
3. add in the flour/water mixture and stir.
       What you should get is a thick gooey mixture. Most of the sites will recommend adding in glycerin which apparently they could easily buy from pharmacy (so many things they could get easily trust me) but really, i couldnt find any in Singapore. Im not sure but i assume its to keep the mixture stay that way longer before it goes 'bad'. So in my case since i didnt add it in, i made sure the mixture is made just before i embark on a 'project'. I will also make it in small quantities because i know my project would normally last for only a while before i have to stop and work on it again another day. It cant be used again say next 2 days because if i leave the mixture around, i do notice the consistency becomes runny and it doesnt really work well as an adhesive paste, especially not on the thicker fabric.
       Im so in love with starch now because of the fact that it can make fabric stick so strongly yet it can be removed so easily-just wet/soak it and the fabric can be used for other purposes. Most importantly, you can work on even the cheapest form of fabric and the look can still be pretty. Recently, i saw some abandoned lace from my mom's pile of remnant fabric and came up with an idea of decorating my Billy bookcase from Ikea. The lace was beautifully 'vintage' looking as it was already stained over age. I made some starch mixture and pasted it along the shelves. I think it really made a difference to the boring bookcase. So sweet! :)

 Here's a sneak peak of my upcoming project- giving this $20 rocking chair i bought from Craigslist a new look. I thought of doing a slipcover and painting it duck-egg blue. In case you're wondering why i keep using this white striped fabric, its supposed to be another one of my wallpaper plan which was not approved by my dearest hubby. He said i was going overboard-and i agreed! :p  He also said it pained him to see me doing all the hard work (this one i wasnt convinced).
Slipcover making in the process

        And before i go, here are some gorgeous photos of spaces that made me a bit dizzy-they are so lovely! Its from a book, 'The Feminine Home' by decorative Artist Jo-Anne Coletti, and founder of Vintage Rose Collections. Im saving up for this book i hope its still around when i finally save up. :)