Sunday, October 23, 2011

From Kitsch to Kitchen

 Sometimes when I stroll around the store, I find myself meandering over in the direction of the clearance aisle. Most days I sift through the unsold, marked-down items only to find a bunch of junk that no one needs and even fewer want. Occasionally I strike the jackpot. Sometimes it takes a little imagination to see the potential in these things, but hey, that's my specialty.
Summertime luau beach chair inspired candle holder. A little too kitschy for
my taste. This item will never grace the top of my table... but, it's kinda perfect
to go around a table of a different sort.
 I found these candle holders on clearance, marked down to $0.75 each from $2.00. They came in three colors: blue, yellow, and pink. Unfortunately, there weren't four of any given color, so we couldn't buy a matching set. My kid has decided that pink, once his favorite color, is for girls, so we picked up two blue and two yellow. These are the perfect scale for his G.I. Joes. And they just happen to have a table that needs some chairs.
We recently built a chair with a hole in the middle (otherwise known as a toilet)
for the G.I. Joe house, so we didn't need any more holy chairs. No problem--
this is an easy fix. 
 I traced out a pattern for the seat cushion on a piece of paper, cut it out, and then traced four more on cardboard (of course). As you can see, this solves the hole problem. At this point, I asked my son if he wanted to cover these in cloth or paint them. He chose paint, but the fabric would have been pretty simple as well.

Ta-da! Presto chango, from floral toilet to garden party chair.

Eli chose red for the seat cushions. Not the color I would
have chosen, but it's his G.I. Joe house, so whatever color
pleases him is okay with me. I think he was concerned with
choosing a color that would hide blood stains....
 This is the part that I let my son take care of. Although I don't quite trust him with sharp scissors yet, there's not too much he can hurt in my sewing room with the paint brush and red acrylic paint... I mean, what's he going to do, ruin my PINK carpet by painting it a different color? You may as well know, I HATE pink, so a few splashes of red might be an improvement.
Well, whaddaya know... the red seats match the red "mosaic tiles" on the top
of the table perfectly!
Barbie seems pretty comfortable in these flowery chairs. Not sure how "manly" they are, but they are sturdy and a proper fit, and maybe now that the Joes have some dining furniture, Barbie will visit more often. And hopefully if an epic battle breaks out around the dinner table, as these things do, no bloodstains will show up on the seat cushions. After all, this furniture belongs to a bunch of men, what do you want to bet non of them carry around Tide To-Go?


So, in typical Cardboard Crafter fashion, I squirted out WAAAAYYYY too much red acrylic paint into my "palette" (read: egg carton). No problem--no reason to let that paint go to waste. I had a grouping of canvases that I had haphazardly painted a few years ago to add some color to my chalk-white apartment walls. Well, these paintings achieved the minimum desired result: they added some color to the walls. They weren't great paintings. They weren't even that good.

So I set these out on the floor in front of my 5-year old and told him to have at it. Along the way, I added a few more colors to his palette: gold, yellow, green, and more red. I encouraged him to paint the three canvases as if it was just one long picture. I suggested he cover up as much of the original painting as he could. I coached him to mix paints and experiment.

The original painting was a landscape with green water,
a red sky, and glitter gold sun with blue glitter grass. Color,
yes. Good taste? No.
After about 15 or 20 minutes, my kid ran out of paint. He was satisfied with his progress, so we called it done. This is the result:

Afterward I explained the concept of abstract art vs. realism. I'm pretty sure he
tuned me out about halfway through. His main concern was that he had done
a good job and the painting looked better than what Mommy had done. Yes,
kid, ya done good.
My plan is to hang these up in the living room. However, I'm still waiting on the final verdict from my husband on this. (When we moved into the house, we split it up: he got some rooms, I got the rest. We don't work together well, so we just divided it up, and the living room is his.) If it doesn't go in the living room, I might hang it up in the kitchen, which is MY room. We'll see. I'll post pics once they're up. (And if that's the case, then this project ALSO goes from Kitsch to Kitchen :)

1 comment:

  1. I love it!! What a great idea for canvases and cheap art! I'm going to try that!