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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Tutorial: Pretty Piggy Bank Makeover

A few weeks ago, I was in Target. I try to stay out of that place, because we would be living on beans and rice if I went in there too often, and I really hate beans and rice. I was having some serious fun, scoping out pieces for my new living room (wherever it turns out to be, we will probably be moving one way or another by summer).

I was totally charmed by these piggy banks:

Look, argyle! Now, in the interest of full disclosure, one of these little guys will only set you back $9.99. Not too bad and I was really tempted to bring one home with me, but I didn't. I am so cheap that shelling out ten dollars for a piggy bank just seemed like too much.

You might remember that I found this little guy at the thrift store and rescued him for the low price of $1:
He's so cute, but a not as chic and funky as the pigs I liked from Target.

I went to work. Here are the steps I took to give him a whole new look.

Step 1: Remove anything you don't want painted, like the stopper. Rough up the finish with some steel wool or medium sand paper. I didn't do this the first time and it made a big difference after I did (some of the paint started to peal up the first time around, so I scrubbed off all the paint and burned the tips of two of my fingers using water that was way too hot).

Step 2: After you've roughed him up, give him a good wash and let dry (somehow that sounds so dirty). Although it didn't not occur to me, I would recommend a primer coat of spray paint.

Step 3: Lightly coat with spray paint. I'm the worst at this. I really want to just spray the heck out of it and be done with it, but it really doesn't look good if you do that on such a round, smooth surface. I used Krylon paint, which I don't really recommend. I did a lot of spray painting that day and the Rustoleum was much better, stuck to my surfaces better and I didn't get nearly as many drips or have to do nearly as many coats. But, the color I wanted was only in Krylon, so there you go. I'm a spray paint newbie, so I apparently have a bit to learn about the different kinds. I probably did six or seven very light coats to get the finish and coverage I wanted. It only takes a minute to do the coats, then I did a bunch of other things (like watch TV) while I let it dry between coats.

After about 4 coats:

All the way done:

Step 4: You can be done at this point (yay!) or you can dress it up a little more. I picked out some Basic Grey rub-ons that I already had to decorate his (cough cough) backside. I'm obsessed with paisley, and I was hoarding and guarding these with a shot gun saving these for a special something and this little piggy is it.

Again, make sure your surface is clean and dry. Work in small sections and cut out your rub on from the sheet before you apply. Find where you want your rub on to go, then start in the center and rub in small circles with a stylus.

You are applying something flat to something with curves, so go slowly and keep the rub on pressed around the pig as you go, which will help smooth out placement. I also wouldn't recommend doing a rub on that had a lot of solid surface area, as you are going to get wrinkles if there are bigger solid areas. Also, if you are applying a colored rub on over a darker paint, you might want to do a test area first, because it might not look so good after it's applied, as colored rub ons tend to be a little on the translucent side.

I was super tempted to bling him up and add little jewels or flowers, but I'm refraining (for now). I don't want him to look too busy.

Step 5: Coat with a clear top coat. Let dry, then find a special place for him in your house. He's going to look too cute, in my dream living room someday. You remember, this, right?

Price Breakdown:
Piggy Bank: $1
Spray Paint: $3
Basic Grey Rub-ons (I used the whole sheet): $4

Total Cost: $8

Yeah, so if I bought everything from scratch, I only saved $2, but since I already had the rub ons and spray paint, the total cost to me was $1. I'm totally going to be on the look out for more friends to add to my piggy collection, and I will probably end up doing one for each of the kids (Xander was especially indignant that I didn't purchase the piggy for him and he wasn't sure I was serious when I told him I was keeping it for myself).

You don't have to limit yourself to piggy banks--how cute would this be on some vases!? Just make sure it's not something you eat off of, because it won't hold up to repeated washing and I'm not sure how safe all those chemicals are.

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  1. The little piggy is so cute! I have 2 piggy banks that I have somehow inherited over the years and lately I have noticed these little banks everywhere, like Target. And I think your little project is so relevant to "hot and current items". So cool and cute! Great job!

  2. The Target piggys are cute - but your piggy is much cuter! I love him - great job! And thanks for showing me how to do one for myself!

  3. I am totally impressed by that makeover! I had no idea you could use the rubons in that way and I sure do have more than enough of them to give something like this a shot!!!

    Thanks for the great idea!!!

  4. Wow! I can't believe how well that turned out. Amazing. What a cute little piggy.

  5. You should go to work designing for Target! Your little piggy is very cute. I'll be back - I'm now following :)

  6. So cute! It even looks better than the ones from Target. I will definitely have to try this!

  7. That little piggy is SO cute! I love the color and the rub ons... way cuter than the ones at Target! :)

  8. Cutest Rub on selection, love the "poppin" turquoise color!

  9. Your little piggy is so cute... I just love him. :-)

  10. You had me at "beans and rice." ;)

  11. Goodness... my girls would LOVE that pig. You may have only saved $2, but yours is WAY cuter.

  12. Your piggy is WAY cuter than the Target ones. Really, he turned out brilliantly! I love it. (ha ha, my word verification starts with 'ham')

  13. Fantastic job! Love the piggy now!

  14. Anonymous11:20 PM

    He's the cutest little piggy! I'm totally going to have to go make one (and love him), I think they would make the cutest little gifts - especially if I customize him a little to the gift receiver. Thank you for sharing!

  15. My son recieved this very piggy bank when he was born last year and I never liked it. Now I know what to do with it! Thanks! Where do I get the rub on stuff?

  16. Amanda, you can buy rub ons in the paper crafts department of most craft stores. They are usually mixed in with the scrapbooking things.

    How funny that you have that exact piggy! I think he's so cute painted.

  17. Omg, loving that cute little piggy! Filling this away and on the hunt for some rub-ons!

  18. That is so cute! My girls are even wanting to make one!
    ☺ Celeste

  19. That is so cute! I love the color you chose! What a clever idea! Thanks for linking.

  20. This little piggy is adorable! I love the rub ons you chose.

  21. I just found your blog and have to know where you found your teal spray paint. I have looked everywhere for some and can't find teal!

  22. I got the spray paint at Walmart. It's Krylon and I think it's called Bahama Sea. For sure Bahama something.

  23. Hi Kara! So cute! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity in the DIY Project Parade. I'm including a link to your post in this week's party. :) Feel free to grab the "I'm Featured" button.

    Have a great week!

  24. Just fabulous! I love it and I'm doing it...thanks for sharing!

  25. I love your piggy! He's great!

  26. Those rub-ons are SO cute and just makes the pig amazing. I love this.


  27. I saw those pigs at Target also and thought they were so cute. I like yours better. I am off to find a pig to decorate. LOVES!

  28. This is so darn cute! omg... I don't have any rub ons... but already added to my list!
    and love love love a paisley! It's my logo! I'm following you and looking forward to more great ideas! {no pressure or anything}! :)

  29. love this! saving because my kids need nice piggy banks!

  30. Fantastic little piggy. I thing I will have to do something like this for my daughter.

  31. Anonymous9:57 PM

    Love it!


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