DIY Faux Mercury Glass Vases

You’ve probably seen the popular mercury glass accessories out there as well as the DIY tutorials. I have been waiting to try this out, and it was really fun!

I made these for a party we have coming up, and – excitement!! – I am also helping a friend plan wedding decorations, so there will be more to come. Enjoy some tips and pictures:

I found quite a few different variations in instructions, which I will discuss a bit.

  • Types of paint: the most popular seems to be Krylon Looking Glass. It took several coats to get this finish, and I think I could actually have done even more, but I want to be able to put votive candles inside and still have some light shine through. I also added one coat of gold paint in the middle to warm up the color a bit.
  • Spraying water-vinegar mix before painting or after painting: I preferred to spray the water-vinegar mix on before spraying, which blocks the paint from sticking to the glass. I did still rub it off a little after, but I think you would have to rub a lot harder, if you sprayed the water on after the paint.
  • Spraying inside or outside: Looking Glass paint is intended to be sprayed on the inside, so the glass itself adds to the reflective finish. However, to make the vases more useful (ie able to hold things inside), I chose to paint on the outside.

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Here’s how one of my vases looks in front of some mercury glass candlesticks I bought from Pier 1. It makes me want to warm up my colors more next time by adding more layers of gold paint.

I’d also like to try again with some rose gold or copper paint!

“Jewels”

DIY Gold-Painted Vases

One of my favorite partners in craft-crime recently hosted a bridal shower for one of our coworkers, and I offered to make some decorations. First, I made giant paper flowers for a photo backdrop, and next up were these gold-painted vases.

DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

Materials:

  • Empty glass jars (pasta sauce, peanut butter, mustard, etc.)
  • Goo gone
  • Painters tape
  • Gold spray paint

Instructions:

  • Clean your jars thoroughly. I peel my labels as much as I can and then use Goo gone to remove the adhesive. Then, I run them through the dishwasher.
  • Mask off the area you don’t want to paint. I did a few variations: simple horizontal stripes, uneven edges (tape some torn paper around the vase), elastic bands, and geometric angles. You could get creative with round stickers for polka dots, etc.
  • Spray with gold spray paint and ta-da!

DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

I love how this textured jar turned out. I think it was a sauerkraut jar.

DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

At the shower, I grouped vases together, so these small arrangements made a big impact.

DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

From “trash” to treasures!DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

I gave most of the vases away as party favors, so the is the only picture I have of one of the diagonal geometric designs (far right).DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

Of course, now I am seeing beauty throughout my pantry and already have plans for another set of vases!

“Jewels”

 

“I Love You” Collage

Here’s a fun DIY art project that you can customize so many ways. I added names to ours.

And for my sister-in-law’s wedding, I put the bride and groom and their wedding date:

You can get creative and use not just letters but pictures of objects or patterns. Can you spot the keys I used for the letter “I” or the clock for the letter “o”? Depending on the space, I switched up the wording. Variations include:

  • I love you
  • Love you
  • Love
  • I love u
  • etc.

What other ways would you customize this?

“Jewels”

Ideas for Handmade Romantic Gifts

So, it was just Valentine’s Day and we’re going to Steve’s sister’s wedding in a few weeks, so I’ve been busy searching for the perfect romantic gifts with a handmade touch.

Here are my favorite ideas. I’ve tried some of them and can’t wait to try the rest!

1. Printed pillowcases

pillowcases

I love this and all the other whimsical designs from ZCreate on Etsy, and how perfect that this business is run by a couple!
2. “I love you” collage

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I made this collage for our family a few years ago. It took a lot of time and work, but it’s not technically difficult, and it’s almost free! You could customize this with a wedding date or other details.
3. A year of dates
This is what I actually ended up giving Steve for Valentine’s. One activity for each month, some at home and some out on the town, including some local adventures I have been waiting to try!

4. Personalized wine or bar glasses


I love these vintage monogrammed glasses I found for our Mad Men party a few years ago. You could also make your own with Glass Etching Cream.

5. Personalized wine labels

winelabels

What a fun way to personalize a gift of wine, with these milestone labels available from Label the Occasion and other sellers on Etsy. Or design your own and print on blank labels.

7. Message written with paper mosaic


I used Chinese characters (love, double happiness, and family), but you could do this with an English phrase, too. I printed out the template in reverse, glued one inch squares onto the back side of the paper, then cut out the template and glued it on a background.

8. String art heart

string art heart

You can buy this from Etsy or make your own with some wood, nails, and red embroidery floss. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while!

9. Personalized luggage tags

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I made these luggage tags and other art projects out of wedding invitations. I found the self-laminating tags here.

10. Framed wedding invitation art

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You could also do this with a birth announcement. It’s  special way to preserve your friends’ favorite images.

 

Hope you’re in the mood to create something special for the ones you love!

“Jewels”

Playing with Paper: Custom Greeting Cards

Here’s a short post where the pictures speak for themselves. I love playing around with pretty papers, and I put these together recently as a gift for a friend.

I used the same basic idea I shared in this post on quick DIY cards, but I varied the papers and added some fun washi tape as well. The other addition to these cards was using a corner rounder to add some interest. Still a straightforward project, and I love how each card turned out so unique!

Playing with Paper: Custom Greeting Cards | Jewels at Home
Playing with Paper: Custom Greeting Cards | Jewels at Home

Playing with Paper: Custom Greeting Cards | Jewels at Home
Playing with Paper: Custom Greeting Cards | Jewels at Home

Playing with Paper: Custom Greeting Cards | Jewels at Home
“Jewels”

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Graphic Modern Fabric

Happy New Year!

I am feel super-stoked about work this year. I have my long-time work “family,” and we have added some strong new staff as well. We are moving to new offices, and I am part of building a new clinic, which is a bit daunting but mostly exciting. To help kick off the new year at work, I decided to make myself a cute laptop sleeve.

 

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home

I was inspired by this pattern from Mandi at A Beautiful Mess. I made a few adaptations, like a velcro closure, a sewn-in name tag, and a rectangular flap.

To make your laptop sleeve, you’ll need

  • half yard of outer fabric – I used this graphic modern print
  • half yard of inner fabric – I used dark red faux suede for extra protection
  • quilt batting
  • velcro
  • scrap fabric for label and reinforcement
  • bias binding – mine matches the red on the inside

Start by cutting rectangles out of all three materials. For the width, the fabric should be 1 3/4 inches wider than your laptop on either side. For the length, wrap the fabric around your laptop and add about 6 inches for the flap. I’m lucky the print on my fabric worked out perfectly to line up… I mean I carefully planned and lined up the pattern on my fabric!

I made a label out of scrap muslin and put my name and contact information on it, in case I should ever be so unfortunate as to lose my laptop by fortunate enough to have someone host find it… I sewed this onto the lining fabric, as show below.

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home

Next, I laid all three layers together and pinned them to keep them in place. I sewed quilting lines through all three fabrics for most of the sleeve, but I did want to sew across my name tag, so for the top section, I used some scrap fabric for backing and just sewed the outside fabric and batting to the scrap fabric, also shown below (folded over).

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home

Next, I added the velcro. For the velcro on the body of the bag, I sewed all the way through, since the velcro is on the outside fabric, and I didn’t mind having stitching on the inside. However, for the velcro on the inside of the flap, I didn’t want the stitching to show on the outside, so I used more scrap fabric for backing, and I sewed the velcro to the inside fabric, batting, and scrap fabric, as shown below.

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home

You can see the sleeve taking shape now! I finished one short end of the rectangle with bias binding (shown bel0w) and folded the entire piece to make the sleeve and trimmed some excess from the sides for a snug fit. I pinned the fabric in place to form the shape of the sleeve.

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home

I sewed the sides together with a zig zag stitch and then added bias binding to the sides of the sleeve and top of the flap.DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home
 This was a pretty quick and easy project, and I love how it turned out. I think Steve is eyeing the laptop sleeve, and I offered to make one for him, but he does work from home most days and so he has turned me down so far…

Here are some pictures of the finished product!

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home
DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home
Looking forward to many adventures both at work and “at home” in 2016!

“Jewels”

Rainbow Pom Pom Trim Scarf

Sometimes I get into little craft obsessions. For a while, I couldn’t stop sewing appliqués on things, and then there was felting… Ever since I made the pom-pom wreath for our retro mid-century Christmas, I’ve been obsessed with pom-poms. It feels like there isn’t anything that wouldn’t be improved by some pom-poms!

At K’s soccer game, I saw one of our friends had a cute scarf with pom-pom trim, and I thought it would be fun to make my own! Of course, it would not be a true obsession if I made just one… The first set of scarves I made were for my nieces for Christmas. These are pink wooly scarves with rainbow pom-pom trim. So cute! I have enough trim left over to make myself an infinity scarf after Christmas, if I’m feeling bold enough for these colors.

Living in California, I don’t need a lot of warm scarves, but the girls live on the East Coast, so I wanted to find them something cozy. After looking at a lot of different fabrics, I decided to buy these inexpensive solid-colored scarves to use as a base for this project.

The scarves are much bigger than I needed, and they’re also very thin, so I cut off the fringe and doubled the thickness. For the girls, the finished size is 6.5″x49″. Adding the fringe was pretty quick. I recommend using the zipper foot for your sewing machine.   

 
Off to add pom poms to something else!

 “Jewels”