Art At Its Simplistic Best

Beautiful artwork need not necessarily be expensive. You can paint or embroider curtains, or make wall hangings, and make the impression of a lifetime, says Radha Prathi.

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Who does not like to live in a well decorated home? Yet, there are many people who face economic constraints that prevent them from buying artefacts or paintings. There are several others who refrain from collecting curios and collectibles basically because they are constantly on the move. These practical reasons need not hamper your sense of aesthetics especially if you have a flair for painting or embroidery. Even if you fall short in the mentioned talents you can rope in someone who has the skill and some precious time to spare for you, to help you create easily packable, unbreakable, sensible and economical pieces of handcrafted décor.

Here is an idea that you can adopt to fill every possible nook and corner of your home with attractive artwork. You could paint or embroider covers and coverlets for your cushions, bedspreads, pillow covers, divan covers, back rest and headrest pieces of cloth for your living room furniture, curtains for your doors and windows, covers for your computers, televisions, telephones, gadgets and gizmos, among other things. You could also make foldable wall hangings, letter holders, tool holders, and footwear holders by incorporating some tailoring skills in the process.

It is apparent that you will be devoting a lot of time and energy to arrive at remarkable results, hence it is best to invest in buying the finest, washable, most durable and friendliest poplin material in the market, without burning a hole in your pocket. You will be heartened to know that your venture will just cost around one tenth of the price than if you choose to buy similar readymade pieces from the market. Choosing a colour of the fabric should not daunt you as the material is eminently washable and will not run colour or fade easily for years to come. Any colour will be fine. Yet, white or light pastel shades will prove to be an ideal choice because these colours will blend with any wall colour besides highlighting your handiwork.

Once you choose the colour of the cloth, calculate the length of cloth you might need, approximately keeping in mind the range of items that you are planning to work on. Do make it a point to buy at least a meter more than the required length of cloth at the first instance because there is every possibility that you may not find the exact shade or texture in the market once again.

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Once you procure the cloth, soak the entire length of cloth in water with a pinch of salt for an hour or so, so as to release it of the starch it contains. The salt will act as the colour guard. Once the cloth dries, iron the fabric and cut it out according to your requirements and plans. Make sure you leave enough cloth on the edges to enable stitching at a later point. Choose a design of your choice and get its photocopies in various sizes so that the motif can be replicated on the fabric according to the size. For instance, you could use the minimised designs for the cushion covers or pillow covers and the magnified ones for the divan spread or the bedspread.

Transfer these designs in the chosen materials with the help of a carbon sheet as and when you plan to work on it. This way you will avoid unnecessary smudging.

You could either paint or embroider on these drawings. Since embroidery takes a lot of time, you could choose to embroider the smaller motifs and paint the bigger ones. You could innovate by embroidering the outlines and filling in the interiors with paint. When working on certain items covers for electronic goods, you could try out various possibilities like fixing beads, mirrors, sequins, buttons or laces whenever you feel the piece needs to look a little glamorous.

Once the artwork is ready, you could wash the material again with plain water and a little detergent to delete any stains that could have formed during the time it was being worked upon.

If you happen to be familiar with using a sewing machine you could do the stitching yourself, otherwise you will have to employ a professional tailor to stitch the cloth according to your specifications. It will help to use canvas while sewing foldable wall hangings, letter holders, tool holders, and footwear holders in order to give them the required strength and firmness.

If you take up this project in right earnest, it may take anywhere between six months and a year to complete one set of all the requirements that you need around your home, but the rightful pride of doing up your home all by yourself in a thrifty yet artistic manner will certainly last all your life. You can rest assured that you have immortalised yourself through art that is so practical and yet so unique, hence do not be surprised if you find yourself working on the next set because the experience can be exhilarating, hence addictive.

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