Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 110 - Gimp

While walking through a model home once I noticed an extraordinary bathroom.  It had a cornice board in the bathroom over the shower curtain.  I was once an Interior Designer for JC Penneys and I knew this was a neat way to dress up the bathroom.  I inquired as to the cost of such a cornice board.  I was told it would be custom made for my shower for $500.  Woaahhh that's a lot of money to have a bathroom "look good."  So I looked at it all over.  A simple 2x4, some quilting fiber,2 pieces of foam core, fabric, roofing tacks and a glue gun would be all that I need.  I set out to make my own.  For the total price of $65, I made a fabulous cornice board that still hangs in my old house.  I made two more after that, one for each of the boys bedroom.  They too still hang in my old house.

When we redid the front room in the "basketball motif," I told Steve, just believe and we will find one at  yard sale. He thought I was out of my mind.  We looked around and sure enough we found a cornice board with the EXACT measurements needed for  the 60" window! I recovered it with some new fabric with small round pebble color circles (like a basketball) and some black gimp.  Simply Maaaarvelous.

Cornice Board at Yard Sale refurbished with Gimp
So I set out to make one more for our bathroom.  We currently have had the "under the sea" motif in this bathroom.  It was ok, but it wasn't "my style."  I'm a little more "sophisticated." So I knew the right thing to do was to make another cornice board as Lord knows I couldn't afford it to be made for me.  And after having four under my belt, this one should be a piece of cake.  The 2x4 was $2 at Lowes, the fabric 50% off at Walmart was another $6, the quilting fiber was $6, and if the gremlins hadn't lost my glue gun, I wouldn't have had to pay the $20 for a brand new glue gun and glue sticks.  I had even wanted a staple gun and believed I would find one and bought a brand new 1955 staple gun still in the box at a yard sale.  To add the "sophistication" to the cornice board that I desired, I needed some Gimp.

Gimp is the fringe at the bottom of twisted cord
A strange word, not most people know about but I learned it while studying interior decorating at JC Penneys. Gimp is a Dutch word that means 'twisted, reinforced material used in upholstery trimming' and others have used it in the saying to someone who tries to move fast with a limp, just "gimping" along.

When I redo a room, I start with the fabric, then build the design around it.  The fabric I chose had an Asian motif with colors of cherry blossoms and bamboo; Dark Brown, sage green, Burgundy, salmon pink and white. My first hurdle came when I first realized my fabric was only 44" in width and the cornice board needed to be 58."  I went to our seamstress, Lucy to see how much she would charge me to sew one line of fabric after cutting the fabric in two.  $6 was her price and I told her that was more than she charges for the  two pant legs of a pair of pants to be hemmed.  Being loyal customers for over two years, I was surprised that it was more than $2 if not free.  I told her I would do it myself.  This project was on a budget.  And it was clear I was gimping along on it.

stuff from other areas in the house
The cost to sew the fabric together was too much, so I improvised with a piece of additional remant I found for $1 and ironed it in pleats and glued it over the seam.  Second hurdle came when the new 1955 staple gun that was really over fifty years old didn't work, and I couldn't find roofing nails so I bought upholstery nails. $2 more dollars. Ok, now for the splurge, I brought home three different kinds of gimp and placed them with the fabric and chose the best one that made it "really look special."  The colors were sage and cream and the total price of the Gimp was more than everything else $20.  We moved other decorating items from other parts of the house into the bathroom.  This is the right thing  to do when we're on a budget or in some case have no budge, move your knickknacks to different rooms, it can create an entirely new look for the house without spending any money at all.  So for $65 we have a new bathroom.

Now when people walk in they can say "Wow! That is nice!" The best thing about the "WOW!"  is that it is a $500 Wow! After selling the left over Under the Sea bathroom items at a yard sale, it was essentially a free WOW!  Not bad for gimping along, being twisted and holding things together. 

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