Crafty stencilled bathroom floor.

We’ve lived in our current home since November 2013. During this time the living room has been decorated three times, the kitchen & girls’ bedroom twice, and every other room once. Except the bathroom – its never been touched. Bare walls and an awful blue rubber flooring, hardly the relaxing retreat in which I want to take a soothing bath.

A few weeks ago Sam had a window of free time, and as he set about wall papering I got on with the fun stuff. -Planning my dream interior.

I’m a huge lover of Victorian interiors, to me nothing says luxury like a beautiful Victorian inspired bathroom.

victorian

 

Every one of them have the same beautifully unique thing in common. The flooring. With their  bold, geometric shapes & intricate patterns, every floor from that era really finished each room perfectly.

Of course my first plan was to just buy tiles. but A. This sort of style is expensive! and B. at some point our bathroom will be being ripped out and replaced, I didn’t then want to have to replace the (expensive) flooring once the floor space has expanded.

So I came up with a plan B.

Floor stencilling.

I originally heard about it when reading one of my favourite interior/diy blogs  Young House Love.   And you can find their amazing floor stencilling blog post Here

It seemed to be the perfect way to start our Victorian inspired bathroom.

I started on Pinterest (naturally) and found the perfect image of the type of stencil I wanted.

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I got sam to use his photoshopping skills to crop it down to just one tile & then blow the image up to the printed size I wanted. I then printed the image off on to a card, and set out cutting the white out with a Stanley blade. This was so time consuming, but precision is key.  I skipped the centre star and as you could probably guess once the white has been cut out that means the centre grey patterns will have to come out. Not that I was bothered, it was still such a beautiful pattern.

So now the stencil had been cut out I needed to prep the floor, I swept, and scrubbed with  Brillo pad and some warm soapy water, clearing the soapiness with clear warm water afterwards & leaving to dry.

This was the bathroom floor before, as you can tell it was the centre of my DIY projects, I’d ignored the need to cover the floor when painting skirting boards and such as I expected to redecorate the room long before last month.

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I started with one coat of the light grey. I used a normal matte wall emulation – you can buy actual floor specific paints… but i’m a cheapskate and I already had the paint colour I wanted in, why buy it again for the sake of putting it 3 inches below where it ‘should’ go?

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I then painted another coat of grey and left to dry.

Once it had dried, I placed a piece of masking tap along the top and bottom of my card stencil and stuck to the floor in the position I wanted to start. I dabbed it gently with a ivory furniture paint (again  another paint I had just laying about). Once finished, I lifted the stencil, lined it up next to the previous one, pressed the tape gently to the floor and repeated the paint dabbing. I continued this over and over until I had to start making dinner.. I was reluctant to leave my project half finished!

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That evening I continued, until I had finally finished the entire floor.

 

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As you can see, they’re are lots of little mistakes, lots of areas where I struggled to match the stencils up perfectly – thank you very much whoever built this house, there isn’t one single wall, floor,  door or window that is straight!

I left the floor to dry completely over night and set out doing some touch ups with a small paintbrush the following morning.

Once that had finally dried I used a small roller to paste a Yacht varnish over the flooring. I picked Yacht varnish as its extremely durable to water – perfect for the bathroom. but as its not oil based it won’t yellow, which was one of my main worries with a normal polyurethane based varnish.

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Its been around three weeks since I finished the flooring and I still love it just as much as I did when I first finished.

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Since finishing I have covered the radiator wall with a custom built radiator cover,

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And fixed some beautiful pictures up

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(bargain frames £2 for both from the car boot, spray painted in black matte. top picture hand painted in a left over gold tester potI had in, bottom picture printed out using a quote I found)

‘There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them – Sylvia Plath’

My next interiors project is for the bathroom, i’m about half way through but with the awful rainy weather we’ve been having i’m finding it impossible to get out to do the required sanding. I can’t wait to show you all though! Its super thrifty, but If done right will look amazing!

I still have a lot to do with the bathroom until I finally have my luxurious, bath time retreat. But with a lick of paint and a bit of creative courage I’ve managed to transform the entire room on a tiny budget.

beforeandafter

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

Super easy, elastic waisted full skirt.

first

I haven’t been around the blog or social media much over the last month, but I have still been busy doing projects. One of those projects was making up this adorable Midi- skirt for Izzy. I love this fabric and used it last year in the shop, making the most adorable ‘Indian Summer’ Kimonos (A tutorial for these will be put up at some point.)

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Now that I no longer make up things to sell, I’m able to use my little bursts of creative-ness to make pretty things for my girls. First up is skirts, mainly because these are just so easy!

So heres what you’ll need.

1

-Fabric of your choice (we’ll work out how much in the next step)

-Fabric shears

-Tape measure

– Pins & a safety pin

-1 inch wide elastic.  (again we’ll work out how much in a moment)

 

I’m giving this a difficulty rating of.. Easy. And wether you’ve just started to sew or have been sewing for years, I guarantee you’ll always come back to this super easy way of making pretty summer skirts.

 

Heres what we’ll do.

 

First, we need measurements. wether this is for an adult or a tiny baby, the method is exactly the same, the only thing that will change is the measurements. For this pattern you’ll need two measurements.

1- The waist – simply wrap your tape measure around the waist, not to tight, not too loose. I’m making this one up for Izzy so i’m using her waist measurement of 21″

2- The length –  this depends completely on how long you want your skirt, I’m choosing a midi- length, I wanted full length but not in this fabric.. and I really wanted to use this fabric.  Izzy’s is 13″

So now we have our measurements we can work out how much fabric we’ll need.

And this is the trick. The more fabric the fuller the skirt. If I was to use her waist measurement of 21″ the skirt would have no give, it would be straight up, straight down.  So I like to double the measurement, It seems like a lot, well it is a lot of fabric, but I promise it is more than worth it when you’ve got a fluffy full skirt.

Here’s what I cut out,

Width – 42″ across – this is double the waist measurement, it doesn’t have to be exact. for example if double your waist is 50″ but you’re fabric is only 45″ just use 45″. it won’t make that much difference in the scheme of things, as long as you remember the less fabric the less fullness.

Length – 15″. the length I want is 13″ but I have to remember this is an elastic waisted skirt & I am using a 1″ elastic. I need just over 1″ excess on the top and just under 1″ at the bottom for the hem. bringing it to 15″

You’ll need to cut this pattern out twice, so work out your fabric needed before you go shopping.

example

 

So we have our fabric cut, we’re now ready to sew.

2

 

First we’ll place both pieces of fabric together, pattern on the inside. Line up the edges and pin together.

 

3

Sew down the pinned edge, fixing both pieces of fabric together. Switch sides and do the exact same to the other side. Use your shortest stitch for this and remember to secure your stitch when starting and finishing with a simple back stitch,  See Here if you’re unsure how to do that.  You can use an overlocker to finish your seam – if you have one!- or you can follow the steps Here to finish using just your sewing machine.

4

 

By this point you should have a large hoop of fabric. Now we need to hem. Again if you have an overlocker, use it before top stitching (using your largest stitch length) or you can simply double fold and top stitch like you would if you was securing your seam.

5

Next we need to make the ‘pocket’ for the elastic to slip into. So using your tape measure, mark just over an inch at the top of your skirt, fold over and pin – you can overlock first OR remember to fold a little extra fabric under before pinning.

6

 

Now you can sew along your pin line (going back to your shortest stitch length), this bit will take a while, especially if your making an adult skirt. But your patience will pay off. keep going!

You need to finish just over an inch away from where you started. If you don’t leave this little gap open you’ll have no way to thread your elastic.

7

 

Next, turn your fabric the right way round, and sew a top stitch along the top. This isn’t a must, but I think it gives a better finish to your waistband.  The top of your skirt should now look like this.

8

 

Now its time to cut your elastic. I don’t have a set way to measure this,I probably should but  I usually just wrap it around and see what fits the best, I cut it at 16″ for Izzys 21″ waist. If I was to cut it at 21″ it would have no hold, nothing to grip the body and keep it up, just the same as if I cut it too small it would be too tight to wear. have a play around, see what is most comfortable to you. Once you’ve cut it, you’ll need to attach you’re safety clip to the end.

9

 

Now you can push the safety pinned end through the gap in your waist.

10

 

Push your elastic through the entire waist, making the fabric gather as you go. This is definitely the most time consuming part. But it will easily pass.

11

 

Keep a tight hold of the other end of your elastic! Do not let it go or you’ll have to pull your elastic out and start again.

 

12

 

Once you’ve pulled the pinned end of your least out the other end, you can pin both ends together.

 

13

 

And sew them together. Using a combination of your back stitch lever and forward stitch on the shortest stitch length, go back and forth a few times. This part of the elastic will take the most strain, so its important to have it properly secured.

 

14

 

Now, give your waistband a little stretch, pulling all of the elastic inside the skirt. Finally you can sew the little gap shut.

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Elasticated waistband. Done!

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And for the very last step, simply pop your iron over your skirt, giving a nice crisp hem and smooth seams.  Super easy, elasticated full skirt. Finished.

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I did try to get a picture of Izzy wearing her new skirt, but she hates the camera.  I chased her round the garden for a good fifteen minutes, in the end I realised this would be as good as it gets!

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Thanks for reading, I hope this tutorial can be of use to lots of you, as always you can message me on any of my social media sites with any questions regarding this or any other of my tutorials OR email me directly at info@thelittlewomanpretends.co.uk.

And please do send me pictures of your skirts, I love seeing your hard work!

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.