Projects for a rainy Wednesday afternoon.

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Burlap and twine are always great, cheap items to decorate with.

We Texans have been dealing with some pretty significant rainfall over the past two days due to the remnants of good ol’ Tropical Storm Bill trudging their way northward through the state. I’ve been feeling the need to be productive as of late — more than likely because I’ve been trapped indoors wishing desperately for something to do — and today I decided to put my creativity and DIY skills to use with four simple projects.


1: The {Circle} Mirror Transformation

Er, sorry for the bad theatre pun…

I’ve had this $5 Walmart mirror hanging in my bedroom for three years now and until today I had done nothing special with it. I’m moving into a new apartment at the end of the month, and along with changing locale, I decided that changing some of my decor might not be such bad idea. This plain black frame was definitely in need of a simple, trendy update, so I began searching Pinterest for some inspiration!

I ended up finding lots of examples of people painting only the corners of mirrors on Pinterest, which is largely why I ended up going with it. It would add some color to a rather dull frame, and give me a little bit of preppy sophistication to offset the rest of my boho-chic decor.

Using masking tape, I first taped off the angles where I wanted to paint the frame so as to maintain crisp, clean lines. Rather than measuring the angles themselves, I followed the natural corner cut of the wood to make things a little easier. I then taped off the glass inside the frame to keep any brush strokes from accidentally grazing the mirror.

I then set about painting the frame. Fortunately, the mirror was painted matte black so I didn’t need to sand down the frame or use chalk paint. I actually bought an acrylic paint in bright teal from Michael’s and ended up needing to lather on about 4 coats to make sure the original black paint could not be seen. Once dry, I brushed on a matte clear coat (from Michael’s) which gave the frame a smooth finish and should hopefully keep the paint from chipping in the future.

As you’ll come to find out, I’m a huge fan of little trinkets and ornate antiques — so why not give my mirror a little bit of the same treatment? Buttons and twine are staples in my crafting kit, so I grabbed my hot-glue gun and my baggie of buttons and fake flowers and set to work. I didn’t want the burlap flower I’d settled on to seem like it came out of nowhere, so I remedied this by hot-glue-ing twine around the frame to tie it all back together. I originally bought the giant burlap flower at Hobby Lobby several years back for a different project but never ended up using it — turns out that was a good thing in this case. On top, I layered three flower petals in green, pink, and multi (also from Hobby Lobby) and placed a vintage button in the center to finish off the look.

Somehow I feel like it still needs something more…but I’ll save that for a later date!

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The finished product. {You can’t see me!}


2: Hoe-lder of Utensils but not the Gardening Kind

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#1 aaaaaa…

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…aaaaand #2 

I spotted these these two on sale for $2 each in the gardening section at IKEA, believe it or not. Maybe they were intended for outdoor use, but I thought they’d make great writing utensil holders for my desk. They were originally very plain: bright white with no special details at all. But with the help of my handy-dandy crafting kit, I was able to turn them into something adorable! Each holder took two coats of paint and a final coat of matte clear coat (all from Michael’s). I then tied the twine in a knot around the back of each cup and hot-glued it in place to keep the twine from slipping. I then layered four flower petals for each cup and topped each creation with a small crystal (purchased in bulk in the scrapbooking section at Michael’s). I chose to use something smaller in place of one of the larger buttons to keep the holders simple and dainty.


3. A Light in the Dark

Updating this lamp has been a work in progress over several years…guess the gods of inspiration were waiting until now to strike! I bought the {functioning!} $3 lamp base at a thrift store two years ago and it was a terribly dull hue of baby blue. I loved the shape but wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with it. With the addition of a $10 lamp shade from Target, I suddenly found I didn’t mind the boring blue as much, and thus the lamp has sat on my desk in that same boring state until today.

The dark teal latex paint which has since replaced the baby blue actually came free from the TCU scenic studio. Someone mixed too much of a color we decided not to use, and instead of letting it go to waste I brought some home with me…where it laid unused in its plastic bowl for a year…until two days ago. It took two coats of teal to make sure that baby blue didn’t show through, but the good news is that latex paint dries fairly quickly and I moved on to the next step within 10 minutes. I was then able to apply the matte top coat from the previous two projects which gave it that same smooth protective finish. Afterwards, I looped twine around the lamp base three times to ensure it wouldn’t slip (no need for hot glue this time!) and tied it in a bow at the front. Once I attached the always helpful flower-button creation at the center of the bow with hot glue, I put the lamp shade back on. I’m rather satisfied with the outcome — I think it’ll really brighten up the room!

IMG_4625The clear-coat even gave the lamp base a light crackle-effect. Unintentional but cute!


4. So Vase-ic

Eek, the puns are strong with me today.

Today’s final crafting project was a little update to a cheap vase I bought at Michael’s two years ago. Originally, I was inspired by the vintage-looking flowers I found on another aisle and intended to buy, but, in my opinion, every flower needs a vase, so I purchased this guy because he was on sale and I was sensing creative potential.

I used the same dark teal latex paint and clear coat as on the lamp, but had a bit of a harder time with the decorative touches. Eventually I decided to tie twine around the base three times to give it something extra and then hot-glued the ever popular flower-button creation to the front. Simple, but much better than the original!

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 You can’t see the twine from the front view, but I like it anyway!

That’s all for today’s post! Keep checking back for more fun things later this week.

~Marisa

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