Wednesday, August 28, 2013

d.i.why not?? vintage french seed label art

I feel like it has been a million years since I have posted a new DIY and, I don't know about you, but I think it is about time that I did!  Vintage French seed packet labels as artwork!  Oui, c'est vrai!

By the way, I really meant to post this beauty before presenting my new collection of furniture at the Dwell on Design Show but I got caught up in the excitement and work involved in that.... Oh, and by the way, in case you were wondering, the show was great in that I got a lot of attention and lots of folks were interested in my pieces (YAY!), of course there were some folks that are known for copying others' unique handmade designs overseas that were also very interested (my heart was breaking as I helplessly watched a man from the company Umbra spend a very long time photographing detailed shots of my Jacks cocktail table).  But all in all it was a good whirlwind experience that helped my confidence with this new endeavor.  And sending a big shout out to my fab booth neighbors that made the experience great.  Check them out when you have a chance because their products were super cool (Ensconce- with these amazing felt pillows and cool lighting.. and Urban Fidelity with these fab audio speakers surrounded by cool artwork that helped the days fly by! and Plyproducts with groovy diy plywood shelving)

Anyhow, speaking of my fledgling design biz, I have been nominated for a Martha Stewart American Made Award and would love nothing more than for you to take a moment to go here to this link and vote for me.  I love being able to say proudly that my entire collection is made in Los Angeles and I love Martha even more for celebrating American made products.  So this contest is all about audience votes and it takes 30 seconds to register to vote and it would mean the world to me if you do it.  Oh, and you get to cast 6 votes for me each day you click on that link until the voting for finalists ends in 2 weeks.  Cool, huh?

So, enough begging, back to the fun stuff... This DIY project lives in my client's dining room.    They had a lot of bright white walls when I started the job.  White walls are my favorite canvas for adding brightly colored art and accessories.  The thing I love most about this client is they are not afraid of bright colors.  Not at all.  It has been such a pleasure working with this family!  So, in their dining room they have two big white walls and I needed some large art pieces to fill them. 

While I was trolling Etsy one evening I found some really beautiful, colorful vintage French 1920's seed packet labels.  I was immediately inspired to turn them into art so I bought 96 labels.  Just like with my troll doll installation I love creating wall art from something unexpected and I am really happy with how this turned out!

Here's what you need:
  • foam core cut to whatever size you desire
  • fabric to cover the foam core (I used a beautiful natural linen in keeping with my French theme)
  • a stapler or U shaped pins
  • fabric glue (I used Sobo craft and fabric glue)
  • ball tipped pins (mine had yellow colored balls and were purchased at Michael's)
  • and of course those seed packet labels (I ordered 96 but there were a few extras in the package so I actually ended up using 98)

  1. cut your fabric to fit the foam core
  2. attach the fabric to the center edge of each of the four sides of your foam core using either u shaped pins or staples (I used staples, getting as close to the edge as I could, because I knew my frame would cover them)
  3. then, while pulling the fabric tightly across the foam core, continue stapling/pinning from the middle of each side out (If you have ever recovered a chair seat it is a similar process)
  4. I then laid my labels on the linen covered piece and arranged them how I liked with the color balanced throughout the piece.  I did not measure all 98 labels and arrange it perfectly perfect.  This was just done by eyeballing it.
  5. when I was happy with their placement I used a tiny dab of glue (really tiny) just to hold them in place in case the finished framed piece shifted in transit so they would not become crooked.  I really wanted the edges to look free and unglued.  Like they were just held in place with the pins
  6.  and then I pinned away
  7. after that I framed the piece (note that this had to be professionally framed because of it's large size - approx 30"x60" and this was the most expensive part of the project.  If you can find a frame that already exists and cut your foam core to match it you will save a lot)
  8. once it is hanging on your wall you can do as I did..... exclaim "Ooh la la!" and do a little happy dance

Oh, and if you are wondering about the art on the other wall in the dining room... Well, I decided to stick with the French theme as I found this fab vintage French school poster with a floral theme that I know would be the perfect compliment to my DIY art.

I spotted this beauty at the Rose Bowl and bought this fab piece from a great gal named Jill that runs a company called Le Trip and sells vintage French finds like these (Oh yeah, you can hire her to take you shopping a flea markets in France.  Someday I am totally doing this!!)

Hoping I won't be so long between posts next time!  Also, before I forget, lots of people have been sending me messages asking about the Ikea rug I have used in my many painted rug DIYs (they seem to be pretty popular on Pinterest).  Sadly, I don't know if Ikea has discontinued that Erslev rug but guessing that might be the case since I am being asked for alternates.  I am sorry but I don't know of anyone with a plain white rug exactly like that Ikea one but if you are in the market, you should look for 100% cotton in a flat woven rug for best results!

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and you can read about the start of my journey as an interior design intern here and if you didn't already know... I have a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern


  1. Cute, love the idea of repurposing seed packets. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. must say you had done a tremendous job,I appreciate all your efforts.Thanks alot for your writings......Waiting for a new 1..

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