Tuesday, September 22, 2015

DIY Gold Glitter Mercury Glass Pumpkin

I'm sure you've all seen at least one of the numerous do it yourself Mercury glass tutorials. This isn't just another one to add to that silvery mercury glass list. Well, not exactly. I decided to do some experimenting because I wanted to make a gold (not silver) glass pumpkin to put out with my primarily gold toned autumn decorations.

I read numerous tutorials on DIY mercury glass. I also took a peek at an awesome gold mercury glass post by HMH Designs which was definitely gold, but not as shiny or sparkly as I was looking for. The standard silver mercury glass is made using Krylon looking glass spray paint or Rustoleum Mirror Effect spray paint which is silver and makes glass look just like a mirror. The gold mercury glass tutorials usually use metallic gold spray paint which is no where near as shiny as the looking glass paint.

I had bought a fairly large clear glass candy dish pumpkin at Walmart for $6 so I just needed to come up with a way to make it the mercury glass gold color I wanted. I decided to try using Krylon looking glass spray paint and to try to create the gold pumpkin I would incorporate glitter. Lots and lots of glitter :).

I decided to test out a few different mercury glass methods on some small glass votives I had hanging out with my Halloween decor. I didn't think these guys would mind if I jazzed up their votives a bit ;). I gathered up all my other supplies to get started.

Gold Glitter Mercury Glass Supplies:

  • glass pumpkin or object you want to turn into a glittery mercury masterpiece
  • Krylon looking glass spray paint or Rustoleum mirror effect spray paint (I found this at Home Depot for $8)
  • gold, orange and/or brown fine glitter
  • spray bottle with 1/2 water 1/2 white vinegar mix
  • paper towels to blot
  • painters tape and newspaper to cover outside of glass

Just like with all the other tutorials out there I used a spray bottle with water and vinegar to try to help me get the true mercury glass effect. I taped off the outside of two of the votives so I could spray the inside of those and I left the other two to spray the outside.

I was so eager to make my glittery gold pumpkin that when Jackson fell asleep early I jumped at the chance. Since it was dark out I headed on down to the basement to my makeshift spray paint booth er box ;).

I had 4 votives so I tried 4 different approaches. I started with the inside technique. First I sprayed a fine mist of water then I sprayed the spray paint. While the paint was still wet I sprinkled the 3 colors of glitter I wanted (I also had red handy but I decided red wasn't very pumpkin-y) on top of the paint and swirled the votive around to spread the glitter out. I repeated this process three times.

For the second inside technique, I sprayed the water, then I sprinkled glitter and after the glass was pretty much covered in glitter I sprayed the paint. I again repeated this process three times.

For the third votive, I sprayed the water on the outside, sprayed the paint and then kind of threw the glitter on the outside of the votive while the paint was still wet. I repeated this process three times also, trying hard not to touch the votive.

On the last technique I decided that since I was making such a huge glittery mess I would try to use up the glitter by rolling the votive in my glitter pile. Yes I had a pile. So I sprayed the water, the paint and then rolled the votive around in glitter. I only did this process 2 times.

I then took paper towels and gently blotted all the votives in different spots and moved the glitter around to create areas where you could see through the glass to give it more of the mercury glass look.

After that I was done for the night. It looked like a glitter bomb had gone off in my little basement area. I highly recommend doing this project outside where your mess can blow away.

The next morning I took a long look at my votives to decide which one turned out the best. Here's the results.

I also had to see them with fake tea lights to make my final decision.

I decided I liked the inside, water, glitter then paint look the most. The inside techniques received bonus points for being less messy during and after the whole process which made them clear winners in my book and the glitter first before paint showed more of the gold/orangey color I wanted so those are the ultimate reasons I chose this technique.

Thank goodness it was a beautiful, sunny day. I brought everything outside and taped off the outside edges of the pumpkin and got to work.

I did the top of the pumpkin first. I sprayed water, then sprinkled on glitter and then sprayed with paint. Here's how it looked on the second go around before I sprayed the paint.

After the third application I waited for the paint to dry a little and I gently blotted and pushed the glitter around to create see through areas indicative of mercury glass.

Here's how the pumpkin looked when I finished, and of course the mess I made which wasn't even half as bad as the night before!

After the pumpkin was dry, I immediately put it inside to create a fall vignette in my living room. I have tons of after pictures since the pumpkin seemed to change how it looked throughout the day!

Here's a picture at dusk. I have a battery powered candle inside that is much larger than a faux tea light and puts off a little bit more light.

Last one, a night shot. I can't believe how different the pumpkin looks throughout the day!

I am beyond thrilled with how my glittery gold mercury glass pumpkin turned out! My pumpkin seems to look different every time I glance over at it and it changes color throughout the course of the day, like it has a mood/mind of its own. This has made me love it even more than when I first saw its sparkly orangey-goldness.

Not only was this a very easy DIY but it was very affordable too. FYI the Pottery Barn small mercury glass pumpkin is $25...Just saying.

Until the next time,

-Sherri :)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Easy DIY Fall Leaves Potted Topiary Tree from a Tomato Cage

Now that it's September, fall decorating is in full swing at my house. While I'm not happy about the cooler temperatures I do love decorating for the fall season. I'm sure I have enough decorations to keep any decor enthusiast happy but I just couldn't help myself when I saw a picture of a tomato cage fall tree on Judy's wonderful crafty Facebook page, My Heart Beats.

I'd been brainstorming how to use two urn planters in front of my fireplace for a fall decoration project. I was pretty set on using some kind of pumpkins and fake leaves but really this crafty project looked way too easy to pass up. Plus I already had almost everything I needed. 

Fall Leaves Tree Supplies

  • tomato cage (or 2)
  • fake fall leaves garland (enough to cover your tomato cage)
  • urn planter (or 2)
  • clear Christmas lights 

First I brought in 2 tomato cages from outside. I have about 10 tomato cages outside to protect newly planted shrubs and trees from our (apparently starving) dogs who have a taste for any kind of greenery that is invading their yard. Last year I planted 6 infant arborvitae bushes and used the tomato cages to protect them from our ravenous dogs. They worked for the dogs but my black thumb struck again and only one lonely fellow made it through the winter. So now I have a ton of tomato cages being neglected in the corner of the yard just waiting for me to use for some crafty project or to try killing growing another bush or two.

I set the cages on the urn planters and noticed they were super tall and the bottom hoop was a little too large and slid past the lip of the urn. I immediately came up with an easy fix. I knew these tomato cages weren't the highest quality because a couple of the hoops had come off just from me pushing them in the ground. I brought in one cage that already had a missing hoop and asked Cory to pull one off the other cage. He bent it and pulled on it but couldn't get the hoop off. So I set it on the floor and stepped on it and pulled on the top and the hoop popped right off :). I then bent the bottom spokes in to rest on the planters because they were so tall that I would have had to spend a small fortune on fake leaves to cover them sufficiently. I also bent the spokes together at the top to help create a tree shape.

After all the bending and breaking I set the tomato cages on the urns to see how they would work. They did indeed resemble topiary trees which was the look I was going for.

I then gathered up some fall fake leaves garland. This was the only part of the project that I didn't have on hand. I have a ton of fake leaves garland, just none to spare for my the sake of my new decoration. So I splurged a little and bought 12 sets at Walmart for $36. Totally more than I wanted to spend but I figured if I didn't use them all I could return them and I really wanted to have full leaf coverage on my trees.

I then started wrapping the garland around the tomato cage.

This is how it looked after wrapping one garland. I tucked the ends in so the leaves would not unravel.

I kept wrapping and tucking...

When I was finally done I trudged on down to the basement and stole a couple of strands of clear lights from the Christmas lights tote, grabbed my assistant for encouragement and snacks, (all this wrapping was making us hungry) and started winding lights around my leafy trees.

After I was done winding lights I decided to tuck them under the leaves to create a softer look and to hide the wires.

Here's a few pictures of the finished trees.

Since I had most of the supplies I ended up spending less than $20 a tree. I could have spent even less but I didn't want any open space in my trees.

I just love how they turned out! They have created a wonderful, warm autumn atmosphere in my home :). Hope this has inspired you all to get to your fall decorating!!

Until the next time,

-Sherri :)

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