Faux Mercury Glass Experience

I wanted to create some votive candle holders to double as décor and wedding favors, so I gathered my DiY wits about me and went after a beautiful vintage mercury glass look.  There are tons of tutorials out there on how to do this, and I read several, devising a plan that worked!

My ingredients included 72 small votives purchased from amazon.com for about $36.  What a deal!  Add to that some painters tape, a squirt bottle, and metallic silver spray paint, and you’re ready to go.

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Since the votives came neatly packaged in these boxes, I opted not to cover them entirely in tape.  The cardboard shielded the bottoms just fine from extra overspray!

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The key here is to spray the insides of the glasses with water to achieve an antiqued look, before spraying the paint.

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On the porch with my tools and paper, so as to not continue to paint the concrete, like we’ve already done.  Squirt and spray, and then leave them for a while, of course.

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I also purchased some LED tea lights because, hey, it just seemed safer.  No worries about kids or relatives lighting themselves on fire.  Also, LED tea lights?  Just kind of awesome.  Here’s the look, along with my sample table centerpiece (and some other stuff that I have on the dining table).  I love the soft, glowing look; I think it will really suit our reception location!

Did I mention this was ridiculously easy?  It only took me a few hours to complete 50 votive holders (I’ve reserved 24 for other designs, mwah ha ha!), plenty for the decorations and our attendees.  Next I will be creating the copper tags (saying “B & N”) to add to the votives, as a personal touch!

Made or seen any great DiY décor or favors?  Share them!

thing-a-day nine: blue roses

I made this cute headband accessory by wrapping coils of felt into flat rose forms.  A little glue and ta-da!

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A Perfect Paper!

Okay, a break from wedding stuff!  Ha!  Mostly.  I came across a delightful post from Dollar Store Crafts today in my reader, featuring these amazing and gorgeous dresses.

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The best part?  They’re made of PAPER.  Can you believe it?  I didn’t even realize until I read on further.  I really felt drawn to these after looking at… here it comes… wedding dresses this weekend!

Tomorrow begins thing-a-day, in which I hope to create something new every day of the month!  What an exciting challenge!  My theme will be wearables, buuuut, I might have to stick a few wedding things in here and there.  I’ll be back tomorrow with my first “thing” and since tomorrow is a snow day here in frosty Colorado, maybe it’ll be something BIG!  See you then!

A Forest of DiY

I have about a million DiY ideas for the wedding (ARE YOU SICK OF THIS BANTER YET?  NO?  I DIDN’T THINK SO), so I’m going to take a minute to record them!

image1. Faux mercury glass votives with letter-stamped copper tags (just like my wordspell tags).  This brings in the grey and brown in our color scheme (okay, copper is NOT chocolate, but it’s the closest of the metals).  Best thing about this?  Decorations that double as wedding favors.  Needed?  Votives, mirror spray paint, copper sheeting, glue, and an ampersand stamp.  Expected total?  $50.  I can get about 72 of the votives with candles included for $40.  Spray paint will be about $10, copper I have (or can get cheap), glue and/or epoxy I have, and I have several sizes of ampersand metal stamps (and if I didn’t, sets can be purchased for as little as $10 at places like Harbor Frieght, including numbers!).  I think this is a delightfully classy item to give to friends and family in memory of the event, especially with the handmade touch of the tags.  So this is what it should look like in theory… Photoshop, ahoy!

image2. Centerpieces of dark chocolate bamboo in paper-wrapped ‘vases.’  Remember these bamboo reeds from the wall feature project?  I have TONS of them left.  I really wanted the pretty bunches of branches in vases as a decoration, but manzanita or other branches can be expensive to buy (and for some reason, the park behind our house is always mysteriously clean of any laying around…), and why waste those great bamboo reeds?  They are so perfect, and so FREE.  I also still have the dark brown paint left that we used on the box, and that serves perfectly for our chocolate.  The best part? The vases will not actually be vases, but sections of PVC pipe.  For pennies each, wrapped in old book paper and glazed with our robin’s egg blue color, they’ll be a feature that’ll cost us nearly nothing. Similar to the photo, it’d be a lovely, economical way to decorate our dinner tables.  I hope to add some decorative large letters to the head table – a B, &, and N, of course.

3. Antique book ring holder.  Since Nick and I are voracious readers (we got each other e-readers for birthday and holidays this year) I suggested we go the route of having a book instead of the traditional pillow for the ring bearer.  I sought out Ebay as a good source for vintage and antique books with that pretty, aged look and prayed for the right color… and I think I may have found it (bidding is in process, so I won’t link to it!)! We also went the direction of choosing specifically a Jules Verne book, since we both love sci-fi and fantasy and those make up the bulk of our reading habits.  Loads of blogs have instructions to DiY this project, and hopefully a small splurge of $15-20 won’t be stretching the budget too out of whack.

image4. Super simple baby’s breath bouquets.  This is the SIMPLEST bouquet I’ve ever seen, and I immediately fell in love with it.  It’s simple to create, can be done ahead of time – even with fresh baby’s breath – looks gorgeous, and will be really inexpensive.  This photo from the Sweetest Occasion really illustrates how beautiful, elegant, and timeless this look is.  I’d like to add just a few navy flowers of some kind to my bouquet (probably silk, as navy flowers do not exist in nature, according to the internet!), as navy is the color that Nick chose.

That’s just a short list… I think a lot more things will come up in time, but I also want to keep things simple.  I plan on making my own jewelry, as it’s such an important part of my own life, for one thing.  DiY for me isn’t just about saving money, after all, it’s about expressing who I am and doing what I love: creating.

What are your favorite wedding DiYs?

It’s true… love, that is!

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I expect to be perusing a lot of books and blogs like this one over the next year… that’s right!  Nick and I are engaged, and planning on a wedding in late spring of 2012.  Given my penchant for all things handmade, cobbled, frugal, and DiY, you can bet this is going to be a big time craft love fest!  I’m delighted about that aspect of personalizing our wedding, and looking forward to the event planning portion, as well.

Look for lots more wedding and reception planning in the future!

Oh, and what are your best recommendations for resources?

Thing-a-Day 2011

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Thing-a-day is a yearly creative sprint where participants commit to create one new thing a day, every day of February and post it on the collective blog.

Sign up now to get inspired and fight the mid-winter blues!  Registration opens Jan 21st and ends at Midnight on the 1st.

I hope to complete this challenge this year!  It may not be a big thing every day, but it’ll be a thing!  Hope to see you creating there, too!

Crafty Roundup!

I saw so much cool stuff on the blogosphere this week, I just need to share it!  Here goes!

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Remodelista has a great tutorial on an instant gold painting!  It’s gorgeous, bringing light and sparkle to any room.  What a statement!

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Fantastic DiY on how to make faux Depression glass, beautiful ruby colors!  Great for holidays or just everyday décor!

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And your dose of fashion, a great DiY on the stud cuff, a versatile and classic wardrobe statement!

I love all these projects and hope to try them soon!  What’s popped out at you this week?

A Fancy Package

I have finally had the opportunity to create an heirloom version of my Anne Boleyn replica necklace, and I’m delighted beyond words about it.  I put together a sterling silver charm and Grade A freshwater pearls traditionally knotted on silk thread for a perfect treasure to share.  I decided that such a beautiful gift needed a lovely package to arrive in, so I fashioned a little pouch to hide the main event, attached to a simple recycled-paper card.

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I hope the giver and getter both enjoy the surprise!  Also… finally took some photos with Nick’s fantastic DSLR!  I could get used to this!

What’s your favorite way to package up a gift or handmade product?

Anytime freebie craft: fabric cards

Finding myself with a little extra time over the break, but no money, I decide to take the path less traveled this year regarding our holiday cards to friends and family.  I pulled out my collection of scraps, ribbons, baubles, and Wonder Under, and proceeded to make a collection of hand crafted Christmas Cards!

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The fabric set for my sister’s family.

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Starting on Nick’s family’s card.

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Wonder Under-ing a base fabric.

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Fabric and decorative supplies.

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Several finished cards.

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The inside of one card.

This is a very individual endeavor!  Feel free to use any resource or technique you like best; I focused mostly on the fancy stitches on my new sewing machine and strengthening fabric with Wonder Under.  I used several techniques for messages.  In some cards I simply used double sided tape to secure a paper message.  In others, I sewed in a pocket or corner catches.  Any of these options make these cards totally reusable!

Everyone seemed to love their unique gifts!  What were some of your successful holiday projects?

A copper Christmas

Copper is one of my favorite materials, both as a jeweler and a decorator.  It’s warm, glowing, and rosy, and can compliment so many palettes, from equally warm colors to bringing a sparkle to cooler choices (give me a copper and amethyst necklace any day!).  Gold and silver are the traditional Christmas metals, but what about this versatile color?  Let’s see what’s out there!

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Adorable copper cookie cutter from Sur La Table.  Talk about multitasking; make a few tree cookies and then hang this little guy on the real tree!

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Other-than-green Christmas trees are all the rage this year, so how about this glittering copper beauty (best buy at Amazon.com).  It’s also prelit, saving you precious holiday time.

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These punched copper gingerbread men (running, of course) from Etsy seller tinworks are a staple from my own childhood as well!  I recall creating these as a very young child, and my own still grace my tree to this day.  DiY with some copper sheeting and nails, or pick these up from tinworks!

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Even though Hanukkah is over for this season, the menorah is a delightful decoration in copper as well!  This lovely woven metal version is available from Traditions Jewish Gifts. What glitter and glow are you enjoying this holiday season?