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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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