April 5, 2010

Antiqued Smokey Moroccan Mirrors

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I wanted to make decorative wall art for the walls of the arch that divide our dining and kitchen areas…something fun and inexpensive.  When I ran across these Four Mirrored Moroccan Panels from Horchow, well… first I scoffed at the price tag ($2,250), but I thought how easy they would be to make.  I wanted mine to look older and not so polished, more like aged plaster.

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I started with basic frames from the Dollar Tree.

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And cheap 8” mirror tiles with the plastic frame.  Two mirrors per  picture frame.

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I taped off the mirrors, putting a piece of paper in the center.

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I hot glued the mirror frames directly to the glass.  (I am sure there is a better glue for this, but it’s what I had, and I didn’t want a trip to the store :))  In between the mirror frames and the picture frames I filled in the gaps with caulk (DAP Alex Acrylic Painters caulk…it’s about $1).  I used my fingers to smooth over any empty spaces and ended up rubbing it over both frames to make it look more cohesive.

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I primed the caulk with spray gray primer, painted it with Folk Art acrylic in black and gave it a subtle wash of Folk Art Antique Gold.  After they were dry, I used a box cutter to score the areas around the tape and pulled it off.  I used a brush with black paint to touch up any areas that were white.

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I primed the mirrors with Delta CeramDecor Perm Enamel Surface conditioner for glass.  (OK, I probably would have never purchased this product before, my Aunt D gave it to me, but it rocks!)  I made a stencil in Adobe and cut it out with an x-acto.  I used a small part of a sea sponge to fill in the stencil with antique gold and black acrylic.

8 After the stencil work was dry, I began to work on the smoky antiqued effect.   I first used the sea sponge and lightly and randomly added small sponge marks in a combo of black and brown (mostly in the corners for the super worn effect) . I then took a toothbrush and flecked watered down grey paint in small amounts all over.  I used two colors of grey (Anita’s Charcoal, and Anita’s Grey from Hobby Lobby).  The key was to keep the paint drops as small as possible to mimic the smokey mirror look.

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There are a lot of really neat techniques out there to distress and age mirrors that I would love to try sometime.  Most involve lots of chemicals to strip the backing off and age the silver.  They are very cool with some stunning results.  But for the time being I am trying to keep our house as chemical free as possible for Hannah, so I am going to stick to a faux surface technique with water based materials.

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Here they are right before I hung them up.

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A close-up of the frame texture. 

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A close-up of the stencil paint finish

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(I also used double sided industrial strength tape to insure they stay put.)

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A view from the entry way.

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I decided to space them out, but I also think they would look cool if they were made to look like one long mirrored piece.  You could glue the backs together (on a piece of cardboard or wood) and then caulk and paint.

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The other side, facing the entryway.

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If you wanted them to look  more like the ones at Horchow, you could not add texture and paint straight on the mirror frames.

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These next two photos are my favorite, they are actually both taken from the same angle and perspective.  The first gives you a view of the reflection from the mirror.

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And the second gives you a view of the smokey antiqued mirror finish.

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I am linking up to these fun DIY parties:

The Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before and After Party.

Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday.

The DIY Show Off Project Parade.

Just Something I whipped Up

Making The World Cuter

Make It For Monday

Made By You at Skip to My Lou

DIY Day at A Soft Place To Land.

Please visit them!

April 4, 2010

Lettered Eggs

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This was simple and fun to do.
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I started with the basic paper mache egg.  ($0.80 at Hobby Lobby)  I painted it Robin’s egg blue.  Tutorial here.
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I painted some plain terra cotta pots a verdigris finish.  Inside the top rim, I added a thick line of hot glue and immediately stuck some moss on it.
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I set the eggs on top while the glue was setting.
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I tied black and white gingham fabric around the top and into a bow.
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The scalloped circles are actually bolos (don’t laugh!), the old-school western kind.  I glued some chip-board letters on top to disguise them.
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The bunny silhouettes were another thrift store find.
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The lanterns are filled with painted chocolate bunnies,
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painted eggs, and toile wrapped votives.
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Dining Room For Easter

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Here are a few last pictures of Easter.  Our dining room buffet.

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I wanted kind of an earthy garden feel.  I already had everything.  The bunnies I painted white last year.  Much of the other was from different parts of the house and Christmas.

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This Quails egg wreath I made last year.

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I used the plastic painted eggs and glued them to a Spanish moss wreath frame.

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I added a little extra moss in and wrapped it with grapevine.

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  I (temporarily) glued the birdcage in the candlestick to give it a pedestal.

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Here is our dining room table.  I used the base of the burlap table cloth from Christmas.

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White feathered birds in a nest in an antique flour scoop.

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Another Christmas ornament :)

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More painted eggs.

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Hope you have had a joyous Easter!

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Living Room Easter decor

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I could have also titled this post “Yet another topiary….”  I made this egg one last year.
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And another bunny topiary.
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The egg topiary started as a kids bouncy ball from the dollar store.  (because I couldn’t find a Styrofoam ball form there) I wrapped in in masking tape and hot glued painted plastic eggs and moss to it.
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Hannah painted the large pink egg.
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The plaster rose was another dollar store find last year.  It was super neon pinkish red.  I painted it cream and added a wash of soft blush.
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My Aunt gave me this neat wood crate.
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I started with a small grapevine wreath, unraveled it and added burlap threads to the center.
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Some painted Robin’s eggs.
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Here’s a before of the bunnies. 
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I painted them chocolate brown and gave them a quick spray with a glossy clear coat.
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I filled in with a glittered feather, a baby chick, moss and an antique tile.
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Pebbles, moss and white birds fill a simple hurricane.
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A bucket filled with faux eggs in candy colors and a paper mache bunny.
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