Monday 13 June 2016

The perfect painting rag container? by Claudia

Hi and servus!

Do you use old rags for painting too? If so - where do you store them? I usually cut old T-shirts into pieces and squeeze them into an old and ugly plastic container that I have close by on my desk, but when I lately browsed my Calico Craft Parts treasures and my left overs from my freak show shrine with Glenda, the bearded mermaid, an image of the perfect little painting rag containter popped up in my head! And this is what I came up with:

The Swooshing Seahorse LC-062016 washing machine ! Yay! (see the dirty laundry in there?!)

It comes with three different programs to (not) clean off stains of acrylic paints, archival stamping inks or cold coffee! And the three very modern control lights provide you with all-time safety so your work desk won't get flooded and you will always know when your rags are dry and ready to use!

It also makes me think of a song of Kate Bush, that I really love - "Mrs. Bartolozzi".

Calico Craft Parts used:

Ships Porthole MDF Wood Shape (small)
Sheet of Mini MDF Nautical Wood Shapes - Style 3
Feet pieces from the Fleur de Lis MDF Shrine Kit - Style 3 (see image below)

This is the left over from the shrine opening that holds the optional feet for the shrine (which I used for  this project HERE):

The box I used for my washing machine was an (ugly) IKEA writing desk container made from heavy card. I simply cut a hole into the front using a carpet knife and for the lid I cut a square from heavy card which I took from the back of a used-up sketch pad.

Next I covered the box with some old book pages, using matte DecoArt Decou-Page.

As I love to have my papers fit with the theme they are being used for, I chose a chapter from an old medicine book about "Flat and Contents" (German: "Wohnung und Hausrat"). The image below shows the already painted on book page I used for the washing machine's lid.

I glued the book pages right over the cut out opening and cut the paper that covered the opening into thin sections (like a pizza): 

The flaps were all bent inwards and glued in place like this:

Then I painted the whole washing machine with DecoArt Americana "Light Buttermilk" acrylic paint. 

Once that was dry I painted on the orange and grey water seals  and toned down the edges of the box and lid, using brown archival ink and a small sponge. 

After that had dried I gave the whole project a wash of DecoArt Media Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide to make my washing machine look a bit aged and more vintage. 

The "buttons", porthole and seahorse were then painted with Silver Spark DecoArt Metallic Lustre...

...and dry brushed with Carbon Black acrylic paint afterwards to age them too. ( can also see a bit of the acetate circle I cut out to glue behind the opening of my washing machine in the upper right corner):

I painted a red, orange and green dot on the three smaller buttons and applied a drop of DecoArt Media Liquid Glass on each to create the control lights:

The box and lid were covered with a good coat of DecoArt Media Gloss Varnish and the smaller pieces were stuck right onto the wet varnish so I wouldn't need additional glue. 

Once all had dried I used some sticky back fabric ribbon to fix the lid to the box. The ugly edge inside the container was covered with some colourful washi tape - et voilá: the Swooshing Seahorse LC-062016 washing machine! 

It now sits on my studio desk and makes my son giggle every time he comes by to spy find out what I am working on. He also asked if I was sure the machine would really wash my dirty painting rags (and then he gave me his famous rolling Well - at least it doesn't make them more dirty. That's me. 

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have enjoyed your visit and the short and easy tutorial!
Hugs and happy crafting,



  1. Love it Claudia!
    Can make one for the kids. Maybe there washing will actually go in to it rather than the boring old laundry basket??

  2. LOL! Genius Claudia, what a fabulous creation - funny, quirky and original xx

  3. oh my gosh, that is a brilliant idea!! I just love it!

  4. What a fabulous idea!It looks amazing and it's practical too!I love your reference to Kate Bush's song too! She's one of my favourite artists and - maybe this sounds silly - I can imagine your quirky, rather whimsical little washing machine inhabiting Kate's world in which she magically turns the ordinary into the extraordinary by the power of her imagination. That's what you've done - your desk with its array of dirty rags in this little washing machine must really look like a place where magic takes place. x

    1. Yes, I love Kate Bush too and have loved her ever since I was a young girl and heard and saw her "Cloudbusting" (with fabulous Donald Sutherland in it) or "Wuthering Heights". Her "Aerial" album is one of my favourites. Honestly I don't know how to react accordingly to your huge laud - I am deeply touched. Thank you so much! XXX

  5. This is hilarious and incredibly clever and well executed! Love it!

    Lucy x

  6. Love this idea and what a genius idea it is! I am fascinated with this entire design. So many awesome sauce knobs and details! Wowzers! ~Niki

  7. So fun, thanks for sharing:) Love this!

  8. Thank you all so much for the lovely comments, Lisa, Zoey, Tracy, Nikki, Lisa, Julie Ann, Lucy, Niki and Kristiina! They really mean a lot! Mwah! XXX Claudia

  9. Super klasse, die perfekte Waschminna, fabelhafte Idee und ausführlich erklärt, total genial!!