So You Think You Can Decorate…Renee’s Corset

So you think you can decorate…

renee-so-you-think-you-can-decorste-Actually, I didn’t. I love crafts but I don’t consider myself to be a crafty person and while I’m creative, crafting is not where my creativity lies. But, after seeing some really great creatively decorated corsets that customers had done, I came up with this seemingly fun idea to have the OC team give it a try and see what we could come up. And, I’ll be honest, I surprised myself with it!

My corset choice was the easiest part of this competition. I have a pretty natural hourglass figure so my favorite corset is the CS-426 with hip ties. And, I chose to use the satin version as the canvas for this challenge. After that? I was at a loss for awhile. So, I did what most people taking on a DIY project do these days- I hit Pinterest. I started looking at corset designs and unique looks people had created. My creative juices started flowing and I started to concept something in my mind. I was all ready to design a simple, elegant, black and red look on this corset. And, off to the craft store I went!

But, like all good intentions, that kind of went to hell when I got to the craft store and fell in love with some fun, teal and purple bead strands I saw. They reminded me of Mardi Gras and were very much NOT black and red. Whatever, I’m adventurous. So, original plan scraped, I started to think of other mediums I could use to create a PhotoGrid_1434745120624look with these beads and stick within the $15 budget we had set. After about 30 minutes (there’s a lot of stuff to choose from!) I finally decided on fabric paint in teal, gemstone/bead glue, silver sequins and some other small multi-colored beads. Great…but now what? I had no idea how I was going to actually use any of this. I was completely flying by the seat of my pants. And, I had about 3 days to figure it out.

Which, I eventually did. Like, the week our corsets were due.  A group of us of worked on our corsets together one evening. I looked at it. And, looked at it. Finally deciding I would color alternate panels of the corset with the fabric paint. Leaving the remaining panels black for a bit of a fun, whimsical look. I set out, painted my corset, part of the table, my fingers. And, left it to dry over night.

Now, again, let me remind you that I don’t craft often and when I do, I’m not sure I would say I do it well. So, I was  mortified to check on my corset the next morning only to find the paint had nearly completely soaked into the corset fabric leaving funky (and not in a good way), unevenly colored panels. I’m sure a crafter would know this is normal and had been prepared for it. I did not. And I was stressed! But, I picked it up and threw another coat of paint on it. And let it dry. And, nearly cried when I came in the NEXT morning to find nearly the same situation. Fortunately, the third time was a charm and I did not have to tear my hair out from frustration! lol

Three coats of paint later and the night before the corset had to be turned in for judging, I spent the evening gluing PhotoGrid_1434745120624the beads on. I mirrored the look on both sides of the front of the corset but really didn’t have a pattern in my head. I just…started gluing. As I looked at it, I thought it would be fun to do a few rows of sequins along the bottom, alternating with large silver beads. Sadly, that took much longer than I had anticipated (around 3 hours) so I did not have time to decorate the back of the corset.

Looking to finalize that Mardi Gras feel, I wanted to add some extra brightness and what better way than to add  purple satin laces. So, I hopped over to our lacing station and made those, as well as new hip ties in the same color. I may mix that up and eventually add some gold laces in the back as well for a two-toned look; that’s the best thing about colored satin laces, you can do so much and it changes the entire look!

I would say, overall, my corset took about 5-6 hours of work. And, once I got started it was relatively easy and fast moving (with the exception of waiting for the paint to dry). If I had to do it over, I would likely use a cotton corset though. I’m not sure, but I think the paint might be easier to work with on that. I would also start a bit earlier just to give myself time to have finished the entire corset. Fortunately, ‘do it yourself’ lends itself the ability to alter and add, so I will be doing that in the future.

So, back the initial question. No, I didn’t think I could decorate. But it turns out, I CAN. And I’m pretty darn good at it too!

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2 Responses

  1. Crystal

    You did a great job! I’m inspired to do something similar for a costume. What kind of fabric paint did you use? I’m afraid to get the wrong stuff.

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