Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vintage Scarf Art

I had been wanting to fill in a space on a shelf that's very high in our master bathroom.  I have two large ceramic vases that I painted white and then sponged with a turquoise/aqua color paint on each end.  For years I had a large low and wide silk greenery arrangement in the area between them on the shelf.  However, not only was I tired of the silk plant, I hated the idea of cleaning it.  Whenever I want to do anything with whatever happens to be on this shelf, I have to drag the ladder in from the garage.  Even George has to use the ladder because the vaulted ceiling ends around 16 feet from the floor.  So...  I got rid of the greenery but wanted to add something to that big white space.  I thought about a large map of some kind because I've always been into maps and globes. 

The shelf before -- too empty.

Since the colors in the bath are a mixture of white and cream, my go-to colors are blues usually mixed with greens for the shower curtain in some sort of abstract pattern.  A bit of a mid-century look for a bath that's actually contemporary/modern.  I figured an old map would be 1) big enough to make a statement and 2) would probably feature some blue.  I started searching on eBay under maps and found a few that I bookmarked when I began coming across vintage ladies scarves that featured colorful maps of various states.  Apparently they were very popular for women to wear in the 1950's and '60's.  Of course I've seen fabric pieces framed before but it hadn't occurred to me to go this route.  I narrowed my search to scarves of Florida.  I saw quite a few that I liked but when I got to this one, I just knew.  It dates to the 1960's and is in beautiful condition along with terrific colors.  I love all of the aqua with the white background.  It measures 30" by 30" which seemed like the perfect size for a wall hanging.  I bid and I won!

Then I began looking up various ways that people frame scarves and found quite a bit of info.  Everything from double-sided tape (which I used) to pins and staples depending on the value and condition of the scarf.  I ordered a 30" by 30" poster frame with non-glare acrylic and a white foam core backing.  After giving the scarf a light pressing with an iron, I just carefully taped it to the front of the white foam core.  It held beautifully and I was able to slip it into the frame with the acrylic cover. 

The shelf with the framed vintage Florida scarf.

The hard part came next.  I had thought about just leaning it against the wall on the shelf but discovered that was too low and you missed out on too much of the scarf that way.  So... I ended up hanging it on the white painted wood bead board using 3 very long and thick nails although the scarf pic isn't very heavy.  It took a few trips up the ladder to get it straight but I was finally happy with it.  I'm so glad I went this route!  I wish the pictures were better but the lighting in the bath is weird because all of the lights are located over the double sinks.  However, I managed to do everything from frame the scarf to hang it this afternoon and I'm really happy with the results. 

Close-up of my new 'vintage' art.

By the way, just about anyone who grew up in the 'real' Florida prefers pieces that were produced 'before the mouse' or before Disney World.  I didn't really grow up here but my family visited at least once a year because my grandparents lived here.  This is the Florida I like to remember as a kid.


  1. Scarf art is beautiful. Love the old Florida stuff.

  2. Me, too! I looked at several different scarves before settling on this one. Beautiful colors.