From Craft Kitsch to Cool


CRAFT: Home Sweet Home
From Craft Kitsch to Cool
By Jessica Wilson

Kitschtocool Step5B
I’m a big fan of color. In junior high it was all about red, black and white. In high school, I lived in the Tweeds catalogue and pined for pine, teal and mustard. In my early twenties, it was all about eggplant and forest green, and in my later twenties it was red and aqua. I’m still a fan of all those colors, but now I can’t seem to stick with one favorite. To make it easier, I painted my bedroom a south seas color and the living room is a sonic lime. To tie in some nifty collections and to streamline the visuals a bit, I have been collecting funky shaped, kitschy thrifted objects to paint and display. Making them all one color takes the kitsch away and turns into something cool and a wee bit modern, like something you’d see in a fancy schmancy catalogue. You know, the ones you can’t possibly ever throw away? Here’s a quick way to take an odd assortment of thrifted items and make them super spiffy.


Collection of smallish thrifted items
Spray paint (I like the floral craft paint, it has more matte than gloss)
Splat mat
Outdoor space for spray painting
Super fine sand paper (optional)


Kitschtocool Step1A
Step 1: Gather your goodies and decide what color you want each item to be. Hard items work best. If an item is too slick, you may want to sand it a touch with a super fine grade of sandpaper. This will help the paint stick.
Kitschtocool Step2
Step 2: Shake up your can of spray paint and apply to your object. You will want to do short left to right strokes about six inches away. Get too close and too frenzied and your paint will gather and drip. I speak from experience, spray paint and I only “sort of” get along.
Kitschtocool Step3
Step 3: Once you finish the front side of your object, allow to dry a bit before applying your next coat. Some objects may only need one coat while others will need many. I turn it into an all day process. I spray, spray, spray and then go inside to wash dishes, clean, or run errands. I return to spraying every thirty minutes or so.
Step 4: Repeat the process with the backs of your items and visualize where you will arrange them.
Kitschtocool Step5A
Step 5: Gather and enjoy! Different items will take to the paint in very different ways. Some items may still feel a bit tacky to the touch, Let them dry for another day. This is not recommended for anything you may wish to eat off of or for anything your children may wish to play with. Just pop them onto a shelf, add some flowers and enjoy!
Kitschtocool Finalb
About the Author:
Author Jessicawilson
Jessica Wilson is most happily known as ‘jek in the box’ and spends most of her time crafting it up and taking pictures. She can often be found standing on benches over on Flickr and creating all sorts of kiddie crafts on her blog scrumdilly-do! She lives a life of scrumdillydilly and loves to share.

36 thoughts on “From Craft Kitsch to Cool

  1. Kat says:

    I am kind of in love with that hoot-pink owl.

  2. Jacque says:

    I love this way of making something old new again, reusing is such a great way to craft. So much better for the landfills. And the colors used here are fun.

  3. intheforest says:

    fantastic post and giving me great ideas to re-do some old objects I have lying around. that little whale and rabbit are the best!

  4. MYOHO VIE says:

    What a neat Idea. I love penguins and for the most part they come in the usual black and white, BUT now I see purple people penguins in site. Thanks keep crafting

  5. Sarah Ennals says:

    Cool. Sort of reminds me of living in a dollhouse (the kind kids play with, not the realistic ones made by hobbyists) – oversize knick-knacks cast in bright, single-colour plastic.

  6. Marisa@make*happy says:

    Amazing. Who knew it could be so simple? I, too, adore the pink owl. I have a whole new perspective now as I search thrift stores and crap sales…
    Linked on my blog today. Thanks!

  7. Sherry says:

    Where did you find the owl?? I have been looking for an owl like that and I love that you painted it a bright color!

  8. jek says:

    Oh! the owl was a stoneware planter found at a thrift shop. it was brown and spotty and a nit dull in that 1970’s macramé way. i was surprised to find it sooo happy after painting it pink…you never know what can be transformed! thank you!

  9. Adriana says:

    LOVE IT! Found your blog via Pinterest. Its great and has great ideas. Congrats.
    See u around!

  10. Cerrah says:

    I love this idea! Too bad I don’t have a lot of space to decorate. However, It would be a keen way to make up some bookends! I probably have more books than anything. ;P
    (that babydoll is a bit creepy. lol)

    1. Amy says:

      I have also seen using items like these and gluing to booksends for super kitschy useful items. I was thinking that about the baby too :-)

  11. Enn Cee says:

    What a creative way to recycle!!! *luvz it*

  12. Geri Sue (@franklygeri) says:

    I’ve seen some things at the dollar store that would look great with this treatment! Such as figures that have a good shape but a poor paint job.

  13. Caramie says:

    Where do you get your floral craft paint? We only have Walmart and Home Depot around here, wish there was a craft store!

  14. ateamdiy123 says:

    love the idea but the baby doll was kinda

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