Saturday, January 29, 2011

Television prettification DIY

They sell skins for your ipod and covers for your cell phone. A utilitarian lamp can be beautified with a pretty lampshade. Windows, beds and floors can all be personalized with curtains, sheets and rugs. And yet televisions are universally sold in either black or gray (I lucked out finding a white one, albeit I had to resort to buying off-brand to do so.) They don't sell clip-on tv covers or special tv-paint to spruce up the giant ugly black THING sitting in your bedroom corner. Unless you have a cabinet in which to tuck away the hideousness, it sticks out like a sore thumb in your living room.

This problem has annoyed me for years - ever since I first got a television when I was about 14 years old. My parents gave me the old living room tv when they upgraded, and as thrilled as I was to finally have one of my own, I was super peeved that it didn't match the rest of my room. It was silver and black with wood-grain paneling on the sides. Being oblivious to things like fire hazards at the time, I covered the whole box in a faux-textured acrylic paint and made it look like a giant block of cement. It lasted me at least 6 years before I had to get a new one, believe it or not!

Now that my previous tv kicked the dust, I had to start from scratch yet again. Not wanting to paint this time, I sought advice on how to personalize my tv on twitter. The ever-ingenious Casey from Noir Girl suggested contact paper! I zipped over to etsy and found a roll of vintage 60's contact paper for only $6. Score!! My mom and I covered the tv today, and it only took about 40 minutes. Granted this particular pattern is not for everyone (once finished I asked my mom how she liked it and she said "well... it's definitely YOU." I took it as a compliment.) but the results are endless depending on what kind of design you choose!

We measured how tall my tv was, and how much of a lip we wanted on the sides. Then we cut that out using the grid on the back. Then we measured how far in we had to go on the top & sides, and cut that out as well, creating an open box in the middle for my tv screen. The rest was done using an exact-o knife, running along the plastic ridges on my tv box. Only pressing lightly I was able to cut the paper without even really touching my tv.

Since the paper is really old, I reinforced the edges with a little bit of clear tape to make sure it wouldn't unstick. I finished by cutting out designs from the remaining scraps to cover my cable box and dvd player, too! Now I have a whole matching entertainment console that blends in with the rest of my room, instead of sticking out like a sore thumb! :)