Marble-painted Christmas Ornaments

So, with this being a low-key Christmas, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do new craft projects – I mean, other than the pastel Christmas village I made way back in January (dorky!) But blame Pinterest, I got the idea for these pretty marble-painted ornaments!

I used the tutorial from the Creativity Exchange as inspiration, and I adapted it to some clear plastic ornaments I already had.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Clear glass or plastic ornaments. I had these two-piece ornaments in the house already, but if you are starting from scratch, this style with the opening at the top will be easier to use and give a more polished finished product
  • Craft paints. You’ll need the most of the white color. I used three different colors for each ornament – white, a color, and a metallic paint
  • skewer or toothpick to mix the colors
  • Ribbon or ornament hanger

Here’s how to do it:

  • Squeeze a small amount of paint into your ornament (I put some in each side of the two-piece ornaments) – mostly white, with a bit of a color and a bit of metallic paint
  • To create flecks of color, you can splatter some paint (mine happened naturally, when I was at the end of a jar of paint, and it came out in small amounts) and let it dry a couple of minutes before starting to swirl the paint
  • Use a wooden skewer or toothpick to swirl the paints gently – don’t overmix, as the colors will continue to marble in the next steps
  • For the two-piece ornaments, I closed the ornament and slowly rotated it to let the paint marble. To let the paint slowly fill the open areas, I rested the ornaments on top of my paint bottles, with the open area at the bottom. For the one-piece ornaments, after rotating a few times, you can rest it upside down over a paper cup to let the extra paint drip out
  • Once my two-piece ornaments were completely painted, I opened them back up to let the paint try, careful to keep the two matching halves together
  • Once your paint is dry, you can reassemble your ornaments and add a hanger!
  • I love that this is one of those projects where every result is different, and you can’t go wrong!

Here are some pictures of the finished ornaments. Looking forward to putting together our pastel-and-metallic Christmas decorations soon!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Pastel Christmas Village

So, I actually did this project in January, being the Christmas decorating nerd that I am. It’s strange to think of all the things that have happened this year since I started planning our Christmas decorations. It will be our … Continue reading

Nightstands with Faux Bone Inlay Stencils

Here is the third and final (for now) installment of my dresser painting trilogy. First was the mid-century dresser; next came the faux campaign dresser; and last but not least is this faux bone inlay project! If you are thinking … Continue reading

Faux Campaign Dresser Makeover

I’m on such a furniture makeover kick right now! Even as I was still finishing up my mid-century dresser makeover, I was already planning my first attempt at a faux campaign dresser! I had my eye out for an actual … Continue reading

Mid-Century Dresser Makeover – How to Paint Laminate Furniture

Do you have a DIY bucket list? Finding a vintage dresser with mid-century details has been on my list for years, and finally, the perfect project came along! It started when I was browsing NextDoor and came across a dark … Continue reading

Anthropologie-Inspired Vintage Mirror Makeover

This project combines so many of my favorite things: vintage furniture (I have an extra weakness for chairs and mirrors), DIY, and Anthropologie! I’ll link to some of my other favorite mirror projects at the bottom of this post! I … Continue reading

Propagating Fiddle Leaf Figs by Air Layering

I fell in love with fiddle leaf fig trees a few years ago. I bought three plants that first year, and since then, I have propagated SO many. Most went to new homes with my friends, and a few were added to my collection. A few of my trees have gotten SO big, that I wanted to try propagating by air layering. I’m excited to share this technique with you, and I’ll also put links at the bottom of this post to all my other posts on pruning, propagating, caring for fiddle leaf fig trees!

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When I have previously propagated new plants off my fig trees, it was by cutting off 2-3 leaves at a time and putting them in water until new roots formed (all the details in this other post). This works quite well, but you can only make plants from small cuttings, because they need to survive until the new roots form. Air layering is great for propagating larger branches, and while it takes a little patience up front, you end up getting a mature new plant much faster!

The principle behind air layering is that you set up conditions for your plant to form new roots, while it is still attached to the original plant.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • sharp knife or vegetable peeler
  • rooting hormone
  • thick plastic wrap – I cut open a one-gallon ziploc bag
  • sphagnum moss
  • string or rubber bands cut open to use as ties
  • patience (this process takes about two-and-a-half months)

Here’s how to do it:

Choose the section of the plant that you want to eventually cut off for a new plant. I tried this with approximately 2-foot section of my biggest plant – it was hitting the ceiling! It went really smoothly, and I’m now trying with a 3-foot section.

At the base of what will be your new tree, remove a leaf or two to create an open section of stem. Use a knife or vegetable peeler to remove the top layer of the stem – you want to remove the bark and the darkest green layer, but leave a little green and the white section of the stem. This will allow nutrients to continue to flow up into your plant, while it forms roots from the outside of the stem. See the picture on the left below:

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Next, spread some rooting hormone on the bare stem.

Wrap your plastic around the bottom of the bare stem and secure with string or elastic.

Pack wet sphagnum moss into the pouch you have formed and secure the top with string or elastic (see right picture above)

Right around two months, I saw the first roots inside my ball of moss. Within three more weeks, the moss ball was full of roots!

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Once I started seeing roots, I did check the moisture level of the moss and add water every week or so.

When the roots are filling up the bag of moss, as shown in the last picture above, it’s time to cut off the new plant and plant it in soil. It helps to stake the new plant, as it is top heavy. Here’s how my new plant looked, when I first planted it – much bigger and healthier than the new plants you can get by cutting and rooting in water!

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A couple of months later, I passed this plant on to a friend as a housewarming present. As I was repotting, it I found that the roots had quickly grown to fill a large pot (see picture below)!

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I’m so excited to keep trying this technique for creating healthy new plants while keeping my jungle in check.  Here’s how my “mother” plant looked, hitting the ceiling, before I made a new plant from the top section.

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And here’s how it looks now, starting to come back into shape. You can see that a new bud formed where I cut off the new plant, and the branch is starting to grow back. I’m already working on air layering that back branch, so that will get trimmed off soon, too. My favorite stage of this plant was when the two big side branches arched together into a heart shape, so I am hoping to get back to that in a few weeks.

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Looking for more information on fiddle leaf figs? Check out these other posts:

If you have a big plant, I definitely recommend trying the air laying. I’m sure I am not the only one who feels that time is moving slowly being at home during the pandemic, and watching these new plants grow has been a silver lining.

Happy plant vibes!

Julie aka “Jewels”

 

 

 

 

My Sunroom Home Office – with a Fabulous Vintage Find!

This post is brought to you by this weekend’s fabulous vintage find! If you know me, you know I love finding vintage furniture – it’s even better if it’s mid-century bamboo or rattan – and it’s best if it’s free! … Continue reading

Noodlehead Trail Totes

As I started making bags this spring, I have learned so much from Anna Graham’s patterns. My first bag was her 2-4-1 tote, and next, I discovered the trail tote pattern! Following these patterns taught me a lot about bag- making, and it has allowed me to try some of my own patterns, like the origami bento bags 1, 2, and 3, and panel tote.

I made the small size of this pattern, and I omitted the exterior zipper pocket, partly because I wanted to really feature the fabric, and partly because I am intimidated by zippers – but I have a feeling, I will learn somewhere along this bag-making adventure! This pattern did inspire me to make my own piping for the first time, so I am not a total wimp!

This is a free pattern available on the Robert Kaufman Fabrics website. I made it in two versions – from a gorgeous turquoise vintage kimono and a bespoke version for my friend Stephanie, who loves cartoon birds – a perfect fit for this cute fabric I had collected years ago!

Happy trails!

Julie aka “Jewels”