02 June, 2014

rolling up the walls, or maybe everything but the walls?

If you've received a package from me in the last year or so, it's quite likely that the envelope was decorated with a patterned roller. I am a little obsessed with these things, and since a few of you have asked, I figured I'd share my experience with them.

These paint rollers are made of some rubber-like material, and they work such that you attach them to an applicator handle along with a foam roller brush, then once the foam roller is loaded with paint, you roll the patterned roller across your surface and voila, you're left with something pretty fancy! (*Note -- in the above photos, I'd just "charged" the foam roller with paint, and then not yet attached the patterned roller onto the applicator.) Also note -- I use the top of a Walker's Shortbread Tin as my palette, which I've been doing for years. Works great!

By this point, I've built up a little collection. I've gotten them all from Etsy from a few different sellers.

My first order was from The Painted House, which seems to be maybe one of the original shops to sell these things on Etsy. I had seen this deer print somewhere (probably an Etsy home page feature) and I HAD TO HAVE IT. Since this was my first order, I had to get the applicator and a foam roller as well, and as it was shipping from the UK, I opted to get more bang for my buck by adding on another roller. I forget which one I tried to get originally, but it was sold out, so I went with this one. In my opinion, The Painted House is the best shop to order from. It is pricey to have items shipped here from the UK, but the quality of their rollers really is superb. I didn't know there would be such a difference until I ordered from some of the other shops; there is. The Painted House also offers good youtube tutorials, which were really helpful in figuring out how to best to get started with using these things. (I found it super helpful that they recommend you add a bit of water to your paint to make it the consistency of heavy cream -- it does make a difference!)

I love using the deer print around the winter holidays - it feels festive and warm and old-timey classic.

I've used it to make patterned wrapping paper and gift tags:

You can use just about any roll of paper and go over it with the roller. Earlier in the year (or last Christmas?) I used a roll of thinner Ikea wrapping paper, and it worked great. This year, I used thicker kraft paper, which I love.... (I also used tea towels for a lot of my holiday wrapping this past year - love a multi-use eco-friendly package!)

And I used it on my holiday craft fair display boards:

The boards I use are that thin wood stuff that you can get at Home Depot type stores; they're lightweight and look polished enough on their own. I've had so many of these through the years of doing craft shows; painting them, repainting them, drilling holes, and more holes and more.... They come in handy for product photos, too.

And I love using the deer print to pretty-up my holiday orders. Since I started decorating my envelopes so many years ago (remember these and these and these and these?) I hate sending out a plain envelope!

We even used the deer print to fancy-up our Washers set.

Do you know this game? Ha - I think it's a Jersey thing, but heck, it's fun!

And here's the other pattern printed on kraft paper:

And then in the same colors but here on those wood panels:

By the time I was ready for my second batch of rollers (new designs! I wanted new designs! I wanted MORE!), some other sellers had started offering them on Etsy. (I gotta say, I'm not quite sure how these qualify to be sold on Etsy -- they're not hand-made by any of these shops... but maybe because they're a supply to make pretty creative things?)

My second order came from Not Wallpaper, which seems to no longer be on Etsy. It looks like they're selling from their own site now. And I *think* that they're based in the US, which is good, because the shipping charges are lower. I got the Sea Roses roller from them and I love love love it.

We rent our apartment, and my landlord is a little particular about the walls and wall colors, so I couldn't just go nuts and start rollering the whole house.. but I did create a wall of temporary wallpaper for a Spring photoshoot last year. I turned our bedroom upside down for a few days - it was fun!

See what goes on behind the scenes?! Smoke and mirrors, my friends - smoke and mirrors. :) I'd rolled the designs onto a wide roll of white paper -- it worked just like wallpaper, actually, except that I was attaching it to the walls with lots and lots of masking tape which I was mostly able to hide out-of-frame. After the shoot, I used the paper to wrap up packages that got sent in the mail.

I've also used the rose print for regular packaging materials, both the envelopes and the inner wrapping paper:

And I used it to make washi-tape for wrapping up a batch of my home-made sea salt caramels:

Note -- washi tape, both commercial and home-made, does not stick so well to parchment paper.. But it does look pretty!

The last order I did was from Paint and Courage, which is based out of Slovakia. The designs that they carry are fantastic, and I found their prices and shipping charges really reasonable, so I went ahead and ordered another two rollers -- this one and this one. It was actually really hard for me to narrow it down to two -- they have so many good ones! Shipping was quick and customer service was great, but I was a little surprised to see that the quality of these ones was not the same as the other orders I'd placed. They're still *good* -- still great for so many projects, but just not quite as clean as the others; there are some seams and bumps that ideally wouldn't be there.

This was my most recent order, so I haven't done too much with either of these yet, but they have shown up in some of my product shots, and I've used both on batches of shipping envelopes:

I'm definitely feeling about ready for some new designs, but I haven't been able to decide yet which I like best. Oh -- significant to note, maybe, is that the rollers and applicators from these three shops have all been interchangeable - they're all the same width and depth, or at least really close. I know that there are other shops out there that carry these things, but these are all that I can vouch for... Have you tried these at all? Or something similar? If you've got any tips or other sources, I'd love to hear about them!

1 comment:

Jen Lindsay Design said...

i never thought of any of this - so cool!!