May 4, 2014

DIY Lilly Letter

Have you ever had those things around your house that you can't seem to get rid of? Because for some reason, every time spring cleaning comes around, you make a reason to keep it. Well. . . I had one of those moments. And it was with a wooden letter that I have had in my room for ages. I got it when I was probably in second grade, and I have always loved it (monogramming starts at a young age ladies). But seeing as I am about to turn 20, I wanted to revamp the color scheme and pattern a bit. The first go around didn't pan out quite like I wanted it to. I painted it a solid pinkish color with polka dots, but just wasn't satisfied. So then I had the grand idea to paint a Lilly Pulitzer pattern on it! I then decided on my all time favorite pattern, "First Impressions," which is always a classic. Here's a before/after shot:

Side-note: I don't want this blog to be like so many others in that I just put pictures up and you watch me live my life. I want this blog to be relatable and helpful, wether it be in stirring your creative or fashion juices.

 If you don't have the artistic gene, don't let this scare you! This pattern looks complicated, but it is truly not. So if you want to paint something with this pattern (or anything else for that matter), give it a shot! Heres how I did mine:

What you'll need:
- Whatever you're painting
- Paints

1. I started by painting my E white because I didn't want to paint it blue a million times. It took about 3 coats to get it as white as I wanted. 

2. Next, I painted the base light aqua. This layer took more coats than the others because it was a light color, plus I'm a little impatient. 

3. Now to start painting the flowers. This is a very important step and probably the most daunting. First, I pulled up my Lilly Pattern that I wanted on my iPhone so that I would have a guide. (Just Google "Lilly First Impressions" and a million pop up) 

Let's paint the base flower layer. You're thinking, "How am I supposed to do this?". But here's the low down: for this pattern, you want it to be kind of messy and whimsical. See, the first layer I did looks nothing like the finished product. So just start drawing some squiggly circles and you're on the right track. Remember, it is called "First Impressions" for a reason, it's not supposed to look perfect.

4. Now let's get to layering! This part is easy, so don't get bogged down if it's not looking like you want it to (because honestly, I was getting worried it was gonna look awful). You're gonna start mixing the red/white or pink/white to get the lighter shades. This was the first layer I did, just brick laying squiggly lines in a circular motion.

5. Now layer like you mean it! Keep mixing lighter and lighter shades until it is almost white. At this point, it still does not look like the real deal. But just keep putting those lighter layers in the squiggly motion getting slightly smaller as you move to the white shade. 

This is also where I started the leaves. In a leaf like shape I painted the first layer in the lightest lime green shade.

6. Now I know this is a big jump, but I got so caught up in my layering, that I forgot to take pictures in between. Butttt, you get the idea. Make sure to fill in the white layers, because that is the one that makes the rose really pop.

Also, put the finishing touches on the leaves, just adding some shadows and veins.

Voilá! A refurbished wooden Lilly Letter! It turned out better than I expected for my first Lilly pattern. I put it on my door inside my DIY-ed burlapped wreath for a springy feel. Good luck! Show me your projects and comment with any questions!

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