#header-inner { width: 950px; margin: auto; }

Monday, September 10, 2012

My Porch Draperies

One of my favorite things about my home is my front porch.  We spend many wonderful summer evenings out there.  

Last year, after seeing ideas on the internet, I decided draperies would be a perfect addition to give us a little privacy and to soften the edges.  My husband thought it was a silly idea, however, once they were up, he loved them as did my neighbors and people passing by.  In fact, you wouldn't believe how many people stop and comment on them.

For the first ones I made, I used burlap.  At the top of each panel I ironed on bird images I had printed on burlap and canvas. (Images were all from the Graphics Fairy) Unfortunately, as burlap is not very sturdy and we have lots of wind, by the end of summer the panels had several holes and looked terrible.   Here's a photo of those drapes.

Since the burlap didn't hold up, this summer I decided to use drop clothes from Lowes and vintage french typography images from Graphics Fairy.  

Here is how I made my draperies using the CitraSolv transfer method.

First, I selected the image and downloaded it to my computer.  Make sure you use the reversed image Karen kindly supplies or import the image into Photoshop and reverse it yourself.  

Once you have the image, upload it to the site Karen provided (don't ya just love her) called Block Posters.  Here's the link:  http://www.blockposters.com/  The great thing about this site is its FREE and super easy to use.

Once you've uploaded your image and scaled it to the correct size, print it out.  

IMPORTANT:  You must print with a toner based printer.  I found that the older printers seem to work the best.  We have a couple new toner printers and they didn't work at all.  You can also take your ink jet copy to the copy shop and have it printed by their toner based copier.  Again, not all toner copiers work so only make one copy and try it out.  

Next, trim the pages and tape them together.  The fewer layers of paper the better.  I trimmed each page up to the image, lined it up and used a couple pieces of tape to hold it together, DO NOT put the tape on the image.

After the entire image is pieced together, I laid it over both drapery panels and cut down the center.
I then turned the image upside down and taped it into place.  Make sure you pay attention to positioning.

Below is my first image pieced together.

Once all is taped securely, lay your panel over the surface you will be transferring on.  I used my counter with a large piece of chipboard taped in place.  The best surface for transferring is neither soft nor hard, it's in between.

Next, pour a small amount of Citrasolv into a container.  Using a paint brush paint the citrasolv over the back of your image in small areas.  Then using a bone folder, spoon or whatever you feel works for you, rub and rub the image.  I find when words are involved, I trace around each letter and then rub the inside.  Sometimes I had to paint the citrasolv on two or three times before I got the right amount of toner transferred to the drapery. 
 (If testing to see if your toner will work, paint the citrasolv on and rub just for a few seconds.  If you don't see any transfer occurring, all the rubbing in the world won't make it work.  Find a different printer/copier.)

Because I taped the image down well, I was able to lift and check without moving the image.  Do this carefully. 

When I was happy with my image, (remember, this is a vintage look and will not get black black) remove the paper and toss.  If the image needed a little extra black, I used a permanent marker which I then heat set with an iron to make permanent.

Here are photos of the completed draperies on my porch.  I did four sets of panels, all different and I love each one.

Feel free to email or post questions if you have any.  I also did pillows which I have washed, the image faded a bit but still looks great.

Happy transferring!