Hello Blogosphere!

Welcome to Willful Design!  Many of my friends have blogs I enjoy following and I never thought seriously about starting my own until I was encouraged by one of my students.  Bear with me as I get the hang of it!  As they often say, getting started is the hardest part.  I’ve deliberated for weeks about how to begin.  Then, serendipitously, I received an e-mail today asking about one of the projects I did not too long ago.

So, in this new adventure I hope to share creative ideas for interior design, DIY projects, and share inspiration from beautiful things.  Most importantly, I hope to begin dialogue with a community of people who love making things and want to feed each other with inspiration and passion for good (and fun) design.

By request, I’ll begin with wall art!  …Make that wall art on-the-cheap!  I was looking for just the right thing for above my living room sofa for the longest time.  One day, down in Pittsburgh’s Strip District outside Prestogeorge, they were selling burlap coffee sacks for $1 each.  At that time I had no idea what I would use them for, I just knew that was a deal I couldn’t pass up!  (Most ladies I know would act the same!)  As it turns out, the colors and general size of the sacks inspired me to make my own art trio.


Should you wish to try something similar at home (I think it could be great with any fabric – and you could hand paint it too) here are the basics:

1.  Determine the approximate size for the area you wish to hang something.

2.  After you aquire your coffee sacks or fabric, measure the width and length.

3.  Purchase wooden canvas stretchers bars (I got mine from Utrecht online, but most art stores will have them).  This is where you determine the size of your final piece(s).  I did 19″ by 33″.  The beauty is you can customize it to any size/shape you wish as long as it is at least 4″ smaller on all sides than the material you are working with.

4.  Use a rubber mallet to attach the stretcher bars.  Once assembled into a frame, center the fabric to the positioning you like.  Then, with the front side face down on the floor begin stapling the fabric on the back of the frame.  I watched some YouTube videos on “stretching canvas onto a frame” to get an idea first.  You basically begin in the middle of each side first, then work outwards.

5. Trim off any excess fabric on the back to ensure it lays flat against the wall.  Nails, a hammer, and a level come in handy for hanging…and viola!  Custom wall art!

I’d love to hear about what you’ve done to personalize for your walls!