- Arts and Design»
- Crafts & Handiwork
Shabby Chic Crafts
Crafting with Shabby Chic
I love everything about Shabby Chic. I love the colors of the creams, pinks, and aquas. I love the worn look and when I find something Shabby Chic, I usually buy it. However, I am making gifts for my secret sister in the quilt guild and she also loves Shabby Chic. The problem is that although I know what it should look like, I have never tried to create the look myself. I consider myself a crafter but this is new.
Before I could even start, I needed to understand Shabby Chic which sent me searching on the Internet. I found many inspirational pictures but I wanted to decorate wooden crosses and found nothing to help. This is my journey and I am inviting you to follow along with me.
Where did Shabby Chic come from?
In the 1980s, the term was coined by "The World of Interiors" magazine. Shabby Chic became highly popular in the US in the 1990s, especially in the metropolitan cultural centers in such places as LA and San Francisco. The style is reminiscent of the large country homes in Great Britain where the elegant furnishing were worn and faded. This was a departure from the very formal Victorian era although the styles tend to cross over. With the unstated elegance, shabby chic came to mean softer pastels, worn wood, and cotton or linen fabrics. Roses play a large part although other flowers are used as well.
Suggestions for supplies
These are some of the things that I have purchased to decorate items for the Shabby Chic look.
Can't go wrong with this assortment.
My inspiration picture - From Schlaflos NRW
How I arrived at the decoration of the crosses
Originally I bought two undecorated crosses, planning to stack them. The more I looked for inspiration, the more it became clear that I would need to decorate them separately. This works for me on another level. Each month we give our secret sisters a gift. If I do two crosses, I have two months covered with beautiful items to delight her.
I wanted both crosses to be decorated in the Shabby Chic style but did not want them to be even close to the same. I had already made fabric flowers that now were too big for the small cross. That wasn't a problem because they would still look good on the larger cross but I was at a loss for how to turn the smaller one into a work of art.
Even with the inspiration picture, each item takes on a life of its own - The small cross is finished
The small cross - This is where I admit I had no idea what to do
I found the scapbook paper and the rose stickers. I knew that I wanted those for the smaller cross but wasn't sure how they would work. I finally decided to paint the cross white and then another coat of a very light pink. I bought crackle medium to make it look older but if I covered it with the paper, it wouldn't show up. So I decided to check out all my pictures again to see what I might be missing.
Shabby Chic is soft colors and worn looking. If I painted the cross and then added the paper, I could tear the edges to expose the crackled finish. That served two purposes. It would give it the worn look while still showing both mediums. I like the idea of showing some of the painted areas while still using the paper that I think is gorgeous.
How to accomplish that was another story. I finally decided to do the painting, crackle the paint and then apply glue to where I wanted the paper. When it dried, I tore the paper at the glue line to make it appear more natural.
Steps to creating the small crossClick thumbnail to view full-size
Shabby Chic is not for everyone
In our house, we have one who likes the more contemporary look and brighter colors. Then, there is me who would decorate everything in Shabby Chic. Fortunately, we have spent almost 30 years working on it and have finally come to a happy solution. Christmas is mine and everything about our decorations are Shabby Chic and Victorian. He has the rest of the house to play with although I am finding that more and more of my decorating items are creeping in.
Do you and those who live in your home agree on styles?