I’ve had these ornate candlesticks for a while now. I originally found them at one of my local antique malls for only $12.00 for the pair. I not only loved their style but I also adore anything with crystals so I just had to get them! I find that since it is so dark here in the winter, crystals add a wonderful sparkle and light to my home, which is a necessity for me.
When I purchased these candlesticks they were actually a dull silver in color and I found them a little too plain for me. Last summer I decided to pretty them up with a couple of coats of Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. As you can see, they actually looked quite nice in that color but I still thought they needed something more to help show off their details. It was Rub n’ Buff to the rescue!
If you are a regular visitor to my blog you may have seen my previous tutorial on how to use Rub n’ Buff to give brass an aged patina. I had used Spanish Copper Rub n’ Buff to tone down the brightly-colored brass on my vintage globe and give it a time-worn looking finish.
Rub n’ Buff is actually one of my favorite products for transforming something from boring to fabulous in less than 10 minutes with only a cloth or a fingertip. No other supplies needed! Another reason why I love it so much is because it can applied to many different surfaces such as metal, wood or even plastic without having to prime or sand. Check out all of the gorgeous colors to choose from too!
Although Spanish Copper is my favorite color to use so far, I had been dying to try out my recently purchased tube of Patina Rub n’ Buff on my candlesticks.
Here’s a close-up of one of my candlesticks after using the Patina Rub n’ Buff. I love how all of the details just “pop” now!
This photo shows the ‘before’ and the ‘after’ so you can really see the difference. Depending on the lighting, ‘Patina’ rub n’ buff can read as a lighter turquoise blue like the photo below or more of a deeper blue as shown above.
In these photos, I also had to include my vintage picture that you can see in behind my candlesticks. Its frame was also updated with Rub n’ Buff and you can read more about it further down in my post.
It only took me about 10 minutes to apply the Rub n’ Buff on to the raised areas on my candlesticks and then buff them to a beautiful shine. What a quick and easy transformation!
As you can see I used very little of my tube on this project. This $6.00 tube of Rub n’ Buff goes a very long way. There’s enough there for many more projects in the future!
Here are my candlesticks with their jewelry added back on. Just the way I like them!
It’s strange that in this photo it looks like each candlestick is a different color. I can tell you that in real life they are exactly the same color. They received the same finish so they have to be. I’m blaming this one on the weird lighting in my living room.
This is my favorite photo because it shows the aged finish close up. Where I have applied the Rub n’ Buff a little heavier in spots; lighter, highlighted areas were created. This helps to add more depth to the finish and bring out the details even more.
Of course I had to also show you a close-up of the “bling” too!
While I had my Rub n’ Buff out, I found this picture (below) that I wanted to makeover. It always seems to happen that way. I end up walking around my house looking for other potential “victims”. This stuff is so addicting once you start using it. You’ll want to Rub n’ Buff everything too!
This vintage picture was one of my finds from the The Elizabeth’s Antique Collectible Show & Sale this past spring. There was just something about the image that drew me in. The handwriting below the drawing says “Munich” as in Munich, Germany. I’m really not sure how old it is but I thought it would be a nice one-of-a-kind piece of art to add to my collection.
I didn’t really care for the color of the original gold frame though so I applied one coat of Spanish Copper Rub n’ Buff to darken it. I wanted my frame to look like brass that had gone through years of oxidation.
After applying the Spanish Copper, I left my frame to dry for a few minutes and then I used a soft cloth to buff off any of the excess. Next I added a tiny amount of the Patina color on to my cloth and used it to apply highlights to the raised edges of the frame here and there. In person it looks a lot like the finish on an old tarnished penny. So pretty!
Have you used Rub n’ Buff before? If you have what are your favorite colors to use?
What do you have around your home that could use some Rub n’ Buff ?
Since sharing my How To Guide for Transferring Photos to Canvasmany months ago, I have received quite a few comments and e-mails asking if the transfer method that I use would also work with images printed from an inkjet printer. Honestly, it’s been hard for me to respond with a definitive answer as I only ever use laser printouts and photocopies for my transfers. I have had such amazing results when using laser images, so why mess with a good thing?
Well, my curiosity got the best of me when I purchased an inexpensive inkjet printer for my office about a month ago. Why not use my new printer to try out an inkjet transfer or two? Then I would know for myself whether or not inkjet transfers actually work and I could share my results with you.
Below, you will see the French art canvas that I ended up making using my inkjet printer. Now I have my proof that inkjet image transfers really do work!
Read on to find out how I made this piece of art and how you can make your own too.
I have written this tutorial specifically for transferring images to canvas using an inkjet printer but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make this piece of art using images from a laser printer. You totally can! To use a laser printer, just follow the steps below until you get to my photo with the white star on it that reads “Inkjet Transfer Tutorial”. Then click on over to my laser transfer tutorial HERE to finish off your canvas.
Whether you use an inkjet printer or a laser printer, I would suggest that you print out a small test image from your printer first and then try transferring it onto a piece of cardboard before moving on to the large-sized canvas in this tutorial. This way you can make sure that the image from your printer will transfer properly and that you are also comfortable with the transfer process.
Supplies You’ll Need:
an inkjet printer containing regular 20 lb. photocopy paper (not glossy paper)
a 16″x20″ artist’s canvas (fits image template below)
a wooden frame to fit (optional)
the Lovely French Label image from The Graphics Fairy HEREor my modified image below
I found my this gorgeous French label image on The Graphics Fairy’s blog that I thought would be perfect for this project. I loved the look of this image but I wanted the colors to be a little more subtle so I used the Eye Dropper and Flood Fill tools in my Photo Impact program to change its colors.
Below you will find my modified image for your use. It has been saved as a “mirror image” so that when you print it out and transfer it to canvas, the text will be facing the proper direction. The only thing that I ask is that if you use or share my modified image that you provide a link back to this tutorial. Thanks so much!
(Original Graphic from The Graphics Fairy)
Right Click Photo to Save Full-Sized Graphic
In order to print out your image so that it will fit your 16″X20″ canvas, you will need to print it out in Poster mode. This means that your image will be scaled to fit your canvas by printing it onto four separate letter-sized pieces of paper which you will then piece together to make one large image.
Here’s how to print out a poster-sized image using Microsoft Paint.
First, open up your saved image from this tutorial into your Paint program. Then click on File—>Print—>then Page setup.
Click on Portrait, center it both horizontally and vertically and also fit the image to 2 by 2 pages (this will give you 4 separate printouts). Also, make sure you have selected letter size paper on the top right. Then click on OK to save your settings.
To preview how your print out will look, click File—>Print—>Print Preview.
Click on Next Page and you will see that your image has been split into 4 separate parts. Before printing, check to make sure that you have selected color for your printer. You may also want to set your printer to Best Quality printing.
Next print out your image. Leave your printouts to dry for a few minutes before moving on to the next step.
Carefully cut off the “inner” edges of your printouts exactly on the edge so that when you put them all together they will line up properly (see photo below). I like to use my handy, dandy Fiskars paper trimmer (I can’t cut a straight line no matter how hard I try), but you could also use a pencil, a ruler and an Exacto knife if you don’t have a paper trimmer.
Assemble your printouts on the floor face-up. Try to match up the design as closely as possible. Use a low tack painters tape such as Frog tape (as shown above) to help hold the pages in place well enough so that you are able to flip your image over onto its back side without anything shifting out-of-place.
Then flip your image over and use small pieces of tape to tape your image so that it is sturdy enough to be turned over again without shifting (see 2nd photo below for an example). TIP: Don’t over tape because you will need to remove all of the tape during the transferring step.
Check the front side of your image again to make sure that everything is still lined up correctly and then carefully remove the tape from the front of your image. Leave the tape on the back side of the paper.
Next, use a pencil and ruler to mark off a 1/4″ border of white space all the way around your image and then cut off the excess with your trimmer or exacto knife. Be sure to erase any pencil marks on your image or they will show up on your finished picture.
Paint your canvas with a fairly dry brush using the steps above. Let the canvas dry in between coats. When I say paint “randomly and vertically” I mean that you will be brushing on the paint vertically on the canvas and randomly (here and there). You want to end up with a striated look (different shades of painted lines running vertically through the canvas).
Also, if you don’t have on hand the colors I have mentioned. No sweat! Just use what you have. This paint finish works best with similar colors that have different tones to them, (light, medium and dark) so that there is a subtle contrast showing between the striations.
Transferring such a large image to a canvas can be a little awkward because the large-sized paper can flop all over the place. I am going to share with you the best way that I have found to easily line up an image onto canvas. This step requires a few more minutes of preparation but it will give you great results and help avoid a lot of potential frustration.
The first thing you will want to do is to center your image face-up on the top of your painted canvas. Measure from the black edge of the outside border of your graphic to the outer edge of your canvas. Do this on all four edges to make sure your graphic is even all the way around and completely centered on your canvas.
Next, add a strip of painter’s tape to each side of your image leaving up to a 1/4″ of space between your image and the painter’s tape. Try to keep your border as straight as possible. (see above photo). Basically what you are doing in this step is making a frame of tape around your image so that you can easily line it up inside this taped frame. The frame helps to keep your image straight and prevents gel medium from getting all over the rest of your canvas.
Usually when I do my canvas transfers, I add my gel medium to the printed side of my image and then place it face-down on my canvas. Because this image is so large, what works best is to add the gel medium directly on to the canvas and then place the image face-down on top of it.
Using a large paintbrush, coat your canvas with an even coat of gel medium. You need to work quickly because the gel medium needs to be wet for the transfer to work. If it starts to dry in one area, quickly go over it again with your wet paintbrush.
Line up your image face-down over top of the painter’s tape frame that you made on your canvas. Quickly place your image down onto the wet gel medium and use your hand to smooth out the wrinkles. IMPORTANT: Once your image has been placed down onto your canvas it cannot be moved.
Next, use your brayer to roll back and forth over the back of your image, smoothing it out. Go over your entire canvas 2-3 times in both directions.
Wipe off any excess gel medium immediately with a damp cloth or paper towel and carefully peel off the painter’s tape frame around your image and any tape on the back of your image. Leave your transfer to set for a few minutes.
NOTE: If you are transferring a laser printed image please refer to my laser transfer tutorial HERE. The steps that follow are for inkjet transfers only.
You can see (above) that with inkjet transfers, the image comes immediately through the paper when you are rolling over it with a brayer. Unlike laser transfers, where all you can see is your white piece of paper with a faint image coming through.
And the missing spot above? This is where I carefully tried to remove the painter’s tape on a spot wet with gel medium. To my surprise, the inkjet ink had already transferred to the canvas after only being attached for 2 minutes.
Next, to expose your image you will need to immediately peel off the paper while your transfer is still damp. Use the pad of your finger (preferably wearing gloves) to gently rub across one spot on your image. Then find an edge of paper that is lifting and peel it away. Continue over your entire canvas peeling off the paper while the transfer is still damp.
To remove any residual bits of paper you can use a soft rag to gently rub them away. Don’t do like me and use your hands to rub off the paper unless you want your hand to be stained purple like Barney. Oops!
My purple stained hand would not come clean despite thorough and repeated washings, but by the next day it finally faded away. I would suggest that you use gloves as inkjet toner ink is probably not the healthiest thing to absorb into your skin!
Ha! I did not realize until after I had taken this photo of my purple-stained hand that I managed to create a little friend in the photo. My daughter said it looks like a dog. Me, I think it looks more like a giraffe.
My final tip for you is that whatever you do, DO NOT wet your canvas with water like you would when doing a laser image transfer. Inkjet printer ink will run if it gets overly wet which you can see in my final canvas and closeup in my photo below. Don’t do as I did! As long as you remove the paper backing from your image while it is still damp from the gel medium you should get a fairly clean image.
I should also mention that sometimes especially near the edges of your image, some of the image may rub off (see the bottom of my image below). This is the nature of inkjet transfers, which just adds to the aging of your canvas in my opinion.
Once you are happy with how your canvas looks, leave it to dry for at least an hour. When it is dry, your image will look hazy and you may see residual paper fibers. At this time you can use your gloved hand to lightly rub in a circular motion over top of your canvas which will help to remove any remaining fibers. Don’t worry about the residual paper fibers too much! Once you clear coat your canvas almost all of the residual fibers will disappear and your image will be crisp and clear again.
To seal your canvas, spray it with 2-3 coats of clear sealer such as Krylon’s matte spray sealer (my favorite sealer) or coat it with a few layers of matte Mod Podge.
I don’t know about you, but I have an abundance of wooden picture frames in my basement from years of thrifting. I ended up finding the perfect sized frame to fit my canvas. I love when that happens!
This frame was originally a dark teal which didn’t really go very well with my new canvas art that I made, so it too got a makeover. Sorry, I totally forgot to take a before photo of the frame to show you.
To age your own frame, first lightly sand it with 400 grit sandpaper to give your paint some tooth. Next, paint it with a coat of white gesso. Follow with a coat of a medium or dark gray craft paint. Leave it to dry, then add another coat of white gesso over top.
Next distress your frame randomly with your 400 grit sandpaper exposing some of the original color and gray layer underneath.
To protect what you have done, either coat it with two coats of Mod Podge or a paste wax.
Your French art canvas is now done! You can sit back and proudly look at the beautiful large piece of art that you have made for your wall for very little time and money! Or you may be like me and have all of the supplies already on hand. In that case this art won’t cost you a penny to make!
Now that I have done an inkjet transfer myself, which transfer method do I prefer?
If I were to choose my favorite method, I would have to say that laser transfers still win hands down. Inkjet transfers are a much quicker method of transferring but laser transfers give a much more vibrant, flawless image. Inkjet transfers will give you more of a subtle, aged image.
Have you tried both inkjet and laser image transfers before? Which do you prefer?
I picked up this little storage chest about seven years ago from one of my local fabric stores and since then it has been put to good use! It has provided me with some great storage for my sewing supplies, art supplies and most recently some of my scrapbooking tools.
It’s hard to tell in the photo below, but this organizer has six long drawers which give me loads of storage space for all of those itty bitty things that are easily misplaced around my house. Don’t you just love it when storage pieces are not only functional but also look beautiful at the same time? I know I do!
Well unfortunately, I didn’t find this chest beautiful to look at anymore. For the past few years I had kept it hidden in my craft room closet because it was not something that I wanted out where everyone could see it. It wasn’t really ugly; I just found its finish a little boring. Time for a makeover!
The one thing that it did have going for it was the decorative handle on the top. Amazing!
Here is what my storage chest looks like now after its makeover.
What do you think?
I really am in love with it and the French vibe it has going on!
To transform this piece, I first painted it with a light gray whitewash, transferred images to the top and then gave the brass hardware a white and gray aged finish.
Did you know that you can transfer images onto wicker? I wasn’t sure it was possible before I set out to work on this piece. Actually, I have transferred images to many surfaces before, but never to wicker. Why? Because I just couldn’t quite get my head around how I would transfer onto a textured surface. I decided to give it a try anyways and as you can tell from my after photos, my experiment was a success!
Now that I have shared this with you, just think of all of the wicker items around your home that you can give a makeover to!
How about using this technique to transform a tray for the top of your dining room table or a basket for storing towels in your bathroom? You could even add some text to your transfer to personalize it. So much fun!
Now some of you may ask me, what is the best type of wicker to transfer to? For a successful image transfer onto wicker you will want to use something that is tightly woven and is fairly even in texture. If you were to transfer to a piece of wicker as shown in the photo below you most likely wouldn’t get good transfer from it. Why? Because this type of wicker is not flat. It would be impossible to have your transfer stick down firmly and evenly and you may lose some of your image in the process. We wouldn’t want that now would we?
Do not use this type of wicker!
Here’s how I did it:
Supplies You’ll Need:
your wicker item.
a laser photocopied or laser printed image. I used the Engraved Roses printable from the Graphics Fairy found HERE.
white acrylic gesso.
acrylic craft paint in the color of your choice. I used DecorArt’s Americana “Driftwood”.
Golden Soft Gel Medium. I used semi-gloss.
OPTIONAL: Rub n’ Buff in the colour of your choice for the hardware. I used Antique White.
Krylon Matte Finish clear spray sealer or Mod Podge.
fine grit sandpaper. I recommend 220 or 400 grit.
medium sized paint brushes for applying paint and gel medium.
a spray bottle and tin foil.
ruler, pencil with eraser and scissors.
a plastic cup and a plate/tray for paint.
rubber brayer or flat spreader.
paper towels and/or a rag.
plastic drop cloth or newspaper to protect your workspace.
Step 1: Preparing and painting your wicker
Determine If your piece has an existing topcoat. If it does give it a light sanding prior to painting and wipe off the sanding dust. If you have unfinished wood then give your piece a wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any dust or grime.
For a white-washed paint finish, mix up about 90% gesso with 10% Driftwood acrylic paint in a plastic cup. Make enough for 2 full coats of paint.
Paint 2 coats of the white-wash mixture on your piece. Let it dry between coats. You will find that the finish will look somewhat uneven when everything is dry. This is exactly how you want the finish to look.
To age your piece further, mix up some of the driftwood craft paint with water on a paper plate until it has a very watery consistency. Brush it on randomly, working on one section at a time while lightly wiping it off while it is still wet. Leave the gray wash layer heavier in spots.
Finally, you can age your item even further by sanding off some of the paint on the raised edges to expose the undercoats and original finish.
Now we come to the next step (my favorite part!); image transferring.
While writing up this tutorial I have tried to be as brief as possible as I have shared how to photo transfer in several other posts. Honestly, I find it hard to be brief when I want to make sure that I don’t leave any important information out. That said, if you would like even more information about transferring, you can find my original tutorial, How to Guide: Transfer a Photo to CanvasHERE.
Measure the space where you would like to put your image. Re-size your image to fit using your graphic editing software.
Print out your image on a laser printer or print it out on your inkjet printer and bring it to a Staples to have it photocopied with a laser copier. If you plan on using text in your transfer you must print your image “mirror image” mode. Both color or black and white images transfer well.
TIPS FOR CUTTING OUT YOUR IMAGE: First draw a box around your image using a pencil and a ruler leaving 1/4″ of white space around the edge on all four sides. Then trim around all of the details (leave 1/4″ border) but leave a small straight edge on each side of your image (see image transfer photo below). Having a slight straight edge on each end of your image will help you to keep everything straight when you place it face down to transfer. Also, be sure to erase any remaining pencil marks.
Once cut, figure out if your image will fit on your piece or if you need to do any further trimming.
Step 3: Transferring your image
Place your image face-up on a piece of tinfoil. Open your gel medium container and have your paintbrush, brayer and a damp rag close-by.
IMPORTANT: If you have “holey” wicker like I did, you will need to add on a layer or gel medium to fill in the holes prior to adding your image so that there is a flat surface for your image to transfer to.
Using your paintbrush, apply gel medium to your wicker in the general area where your transfer will be applied. You want all of the holes to be completely filled with medium.
Immediately coat your image with a even layer of gel medium all the way out to the edges. Carefully pick up your image by the edge and place it face-down exactly where you would like for the transfer to go. NOTE: Your image cannot be moved once it is stuck down so work quickly and carefully.
Use the palm of your hand to smooth out your image then use your brayer and roll over your image in all directions with some pressure so it is stuck down firmly. Wipe up any excess gel medium with a damp rag.
Leave your transfer to dry overnight.
Uh ohhhh! For some reason, a few of the holes where I had added a thick layer of the gel medium ended up turning yellow. Definitely not the look I was going for. If this happens to you then you can easily paint over the yellow spots once they are dry with your gesso-paint mixture. Phew! All hidden now!
Step 4: Revealing your transferred image and touch-ups
To reveal your image, lightly spray your dried transfer with water. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
Using the pad of your pointer finger, lightly rub back and forth over your transfer in one spot. The paper backing will start to roll up and your will see your image coming through.
Work over your entire image removing the paper in one section at a time until your image has been completely exposed. Keep the section your are working on slightly wet.
Let your transfer dry slightly and then rub the palm of your hand across it to remove more of the paper fibers. Rub gently and be careful near the edges!
Remove any remaining paper fibers by lightly rubbing over your transfer in a circular motion with a damp kitchen scrubber. Use your hand to feel for more fibers. Repeat as necessary until your transfer feels smooth
After it is fully dry, use your gesso-Driftwood paint mixture to touch-up any areas of your wicker that have yellowed, are too shiny or are too distressed for your liking. You can also put a very thin coating of this mixture over top of your transfer to age it slightly as long as you wipe it away immediately with a damp cloth.
The above photo shows the transfer while it was still wet. The photo below shows the transfer after it has dried and I have done the final touch-ups and aging.
One thing I should mention is that there may be a opaque (hazy) layer of gel medium surrounding your image even after you have removed all of the remaining paper fibers. The gel medium does not dry perfectly clear. If this bothers you then you can coat the wicker with a semi-gloss topcoat which will help to disguise it a little more. I was going for a matte finish on this piece and the haziness didn’t bother me so I decided to leave it as is.
Step 5: Painting and aging the hardware
Make sure your hardware is clean and work in a well ventilated area.
Rub on the Rub n’ Buff with a rag or gloved finger leaving some of the original finish showing through in spots.
Leave it to dry for 20-30 minutes.
Buff off the excess. Reapply as needed.
Dab your finger into your Driftwood gray craft paint and rub off the excess onto a paper towel. Apply a light layer to the hardware randomly to give the appearance of age.
Step 6: Protecting your hard work
After everything is dry, protect your painted piece with at least two to three coats of a clear spray sealer such as Krylon’s Matte Spray Sealer or a Matte Mod Podge.
Leave it to dry overnight before use.
Well there you have it. It’s so easy to transfer to wicker!
This project took me only about 30-45 minutes to finish (not including drying time) and didn’t cost me a thing as I already had all of the supplies on hand. Too bad I didn’t do this years ago!
Of course I had to take a photo of the message that my Mom had left me on my chalk board when she stopped by the other day. It says “Je T’aime Beaucoup” which means “I Love You Very Much” in English. Awww… wasn’t that sweet of her?
While you are here, I hope you stick around and check out some of my other previous tutorials. Also shown in the photo above is my Large Picture Frame Turned Chalkboard tutorial which can be found HERE and myMilk Painted Lamp tutorial that can be found HERE.
Hello friends! I am here today to share with you my latest DIY project; this easy, inexpensive and super cute lace flower vase.
Have you ever seen these tall, slim containers at your local thrift stores, flea markets or garage sales? Did you know that you can make them into beautiful flower vases with a little lace fabric and some paint? This project is so easy even my 11 year old daughter could do it if the spray paint that I used wasn’t so smelly.
I recently picked up these two rather boring containers at our local Salvation Army thrift store for a couple of dollars a piece. I decided for this particular tutorial that I would like to work on the terracotta wine cooler on the left-hand side, so please ignore the container on the right for the time being . It will be getting a makeover soon, which I hope to share with you in the near future.
Here’s how I transformed my terracotta container into a flower vase.
Supplies You’ll Need:
terracotta wine cooler or tall paintable vase
dark gray craft paint
white acrylic Gesso
Martha Stewart’s Sharkey Gray latex paint or a light gray-taupe paint color of your choice
Mod Podge or clear acrylic spray
white spray paint (I used Design Master Color Tool spray paint in Vanilla-This is the best spray paint EVER!)
ruler, scissors and papertowel
400 grit sandpaper
painters face mask or respirator, old clothing with long sleeves/pants, goggles and latex gloves
glass canning jar, empty pasta sauce jar or clear glass vase
paint tray or paper plate, newspaper, cardboard, and paint brushes
Give your container a wipe-down with a damp cloth before painting or run it through the dishwasher and leave it to dry thoroughly. If your container has any gloss to it you will want to give it a light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper before painting to give the surface some “tooth” so that the paint with stick. If your surface is very glossy you will want to paint it with a bonding primer before proceeding with the rest of this tutorial.
Mix up an even amount of dark gray craft paint and white gesso in a paint tray. Paint your container with two coats of your paint mixture allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before re-coating.
Mix up some Sharkey Gray paint with gesso in a 75/25 ratio. Using a slightly damp paper towel, dab lightly into your paint and then wipe the excess off onto another paper towel. Pounce your papertowel randomly over your entire vase leaving some of the dark gray paint showing through. A thin, light coat of paint will look the best. REMEMBER: You can always do touch-ups with more dark gray paint to cover up any problem areas.
Now for your lace fabric. You should easily be able to find lace fabric at your local fabric store or thrift store. Maybe you even have a piece of lace clothing in your closet that you will never ever wear again. Why not use it to make flower vases, pillows or art for your home?
So where did my lace fabric come from? It’s hard to tell in the photo above but this lace fabric is actually a pair of sheer, crop lace leggings. No, they aren’t mine! I wouldn’t be caught dead in them!
Actually, my daughter got these pants as a part of a $5.00 Surprise Bag from Ardene’s (a jewelry and accessory store) a couple of weeks ago. I told her that there was no way that she would be leaving the house in these see-thru lace pants! I quickly tossed them into the Goodwill bag and forgot about them until a couple of days ago when I happened to come across them again. When I saw them a light bulb went off in my head. What if I used them for my spray painting projects? Hey, why not?
Just so you know, when my daughter came home last night I asked her what she thought of my new lace vase. She said that she really liked it. You should have seen the look on her face when I explained to her that I used the pants that she got in her Surprise Bag to paint my vase. Haha!
Moving on…Next, measure around the entire width of your vase. You will want this measurement to be fairly exact. You do not want to have any overlap of your fabric otherwise your pattern will not be consistent. In my case, my lace fabric was stretchy so I cut it a little short knowing that I could stretch it across to fit around the vase.
Then measure the height of your vase. Here you don’t need to be as exact as any excess can be easily tucked into the opening or underneath the vase.
Cut out your fabric rectangle and wrap it around your vase to make sure it fits. Trim as necessary.
Take your fabric and spray adhesive outside and also put on your latex gloves and a painter’s mask. Lightly coat your fabric on one side with your spray adhesive. Wrap your fabric around your vase smoothing it as you go. NOTE: If your fabric is not lined up how you would like it to be, you can easily reposition it or start over.
You are now ready to spray paint!
Here is my list of 10 spray painting tips. These are tips that I have found to work well for me. They are by no means the only way to spray paint an item.
Prepare your spray paint can by giving it a good shaking for at least two minutes.
Protect your work surface by covering it with a large piece of cardboard.
Elevate the item you are painting by raising it slightly off of the cardboard with scrap pieces of wood or old boxes.
Put on your safety gear (painter’s mask/ventilator, long sleeves and pants, goggles and latex gloves). Be sure to work outdoors or in a very well ventilated area. Your health and safety is the most important thing when spray painting!
Optional: Attach your spray paint trigger handle to your spray paint can (make sure your spray can nozzle is pointing outwards). I use Rust-Oleum’s Comfort Grip Spray Painting Tool. It makes painting so much easier and saves your fingers from cramping up!
Give your paint can a shake again right before use and then test out your paint color on your cardboard to make sure it is the right color and that the spray can is working correctly.
Keep your spray paint can at least 12-16 inches away from the item you are painting.
Squeeze your paint handle while moving your arm back in forth in a uniform motion coating one side of your item evenly before moving on to the next. Preferably work from top to bottom and shake your paint can in between coats.
1-3 light even coats of paint will give you better results than one thick coat of paint. It will also prevent runs and drips from occurring.
Leave your project to dry for at least 10-15 minutes before re-coating or handling. If it feels dry to the touch it is ready to re-coat. Preferably leave it to dry overnight before coating it with two to three coats of topcoat for protection.
The photo above shows my lace fabric after 2 light coats of white spray paint and right before I removed it from the vase. As you can see the Design Master spray paint is very fine in consistency. Had I used regular spray paint my lace fabric would have been a lot more opaque at this point.
Once you are finished painting your vase, let it dry for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing the lace. Smile to yourself at the great job that you did!
To finish off your vase you can sand any raised edges with your 400 grit sandpaper to give your vase a distressed look. You will also want to coat your vase with at least 2 coats of matte Mod Podge or clear acrylic sealer for protection.
NOTE: The outside of this vase should be spot-cleaned only. I would not advise you to submerse it in water. For my particular vase, the inside was not glazed so I chose to add in a separate container to hold my flowers and water. I ended up finding the perfect-sized canning jar in my cupboard. You could also use a pasta jar or a tall glass vase which can be found in any floral department of any major department store. The great thing about adding a separate container to the inside of your vase is that it can easily be removed for cleaning without ruining the finish on your vase.
Your lace flower vase is now ready for use. All you need to do is add your favorite flowers, sit back and admire how great it looks.
I just love how my vase turned out! What do you think?
Have you ever used lace and spray paint before to transform something in your home? If you have I would love to hear about it. If you haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, I hope that you decide to give this little DIY project a go sometime.
Hello friends! I have been promising for a while now that I would share my raised stenciling technique with you after receiving a few e-mails from my readers asking me about the raised stencils on myvintage sewing storage box. Well…I am excited to share my latest DIY project with you this evening. This project combines the use of raised stencils, image transfers, aging techniques and vintage books all into one!
I found the vintage books below at my local thrift store for 10 cents each. Yes, you read right; they were only 10 cents each! For that price I couldn’t pass them up.
What also caught my eye, besides their amazing price, was the ribbed indentations that were on the spines of the books. To me they looked similar to old antique books that you might find in a library in England somewhere.
As much as I loved the shape of these books, there was no way that their original burgundy color was going to fit in with my decor. They just had to have a makeover!
Here they are all prettied up! What a great improvement, don’t you think?
I really love how they turned out!
If you would like to make over a set of your own books to put on display in your home, I have included the full tutorial below.
Why not make over a set for display on your mantel, your bookcase, or your coffee table? You could also use this tutorial to transform a hardcover journal that’s a little on the boring side or to make over a wedding registry book to give as a gift for a bride-to-be.
small paint brushes, 4″foam roller and a spray bottle
ruler, pencil, tin foil and scissors
painter’s tape (optional)
plastic plate/tray for paint
rubber brayer or flat spreader
plastic trowel/spatula or old credit/debit card
plastic drop cloth to protect your workspace
Start by wiping your books down with a barely damp cloth to remove any dust or grime. Then give them a light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper and wipe away any sanding dust.
Coat the outside of the book covers with two coats of white acrylic gesso using either a foam brush or a 4″ foam paint roller. Once dry, sand lightly to remove any rough spots.
In your plastic paint tray, place a medium-sized amount of Martha Stewart’s Sharkey Gray paint on one side and the same amount of white gesso on the other side. Scrunch up a paper towel and dip it into the Sharkey Gray paint. Dab off the excess onto another paper towel. Pounce your paper towel randomly onto your book covers leaving some of the white gesso showing through as in the photo above.
NOTE: If you don’t have Sharkey Gray paint, don’t worry! Just use what you already have on hand. Sharkey Gray is a great neutral taupey-gray color so if you don’t have a paint color at home that would work you could easily mix up some acrylic craft paint to create a similar color instead.
Next with a clean piece of scrunched-up paper towel, pick up a small amount of gesso from your tray, dab off the excess and then lightly pounce over top of your book cover leaving small amounts of Sharkey Gray showing here and there. This technique will give your book cover a great aged marble look.
Mix up equal amounts of Storm Cloud Grey (medium grey) craft paint and gel stain medium. Paint a light coat on your cover working in one section at a time. Before your gel stain has a chance to dry, wipe off the excess with a damp cloth. Gel stain medium gives your paint color more transparency and more working time, much like a glazing liquid would.
Again, if you don’t have the specific paint color I have mentioned above, any medium grey paint will suffice. As well, if you don’t have gel stain medium you could instead use a glazing medium or just dilute your paint with water.
In this photo you can see how the paint stays in the crevices when the gel stain/paint mixture is wiped away.
What’s next? Photo transfers.
I recently found Graphic #1 (below) on The Graphics Fairy’s blog HERE. I knew that I wanted to use some vintage handwriting for this project and The Graphics Fairy’s site is the first place that I go when looking for images to use for my projects. Did you know that all of her images are free? I know, awesome!
I downloaded her poem graphic and then prepared it for transferring by removing the aged background, flipping the image to “mirror image mode” and reducing it to fit on to the front of my book.
To save and print this image for your own project, click on the image below and right click to save it to your computer. This image has been sized to fit the front of my books. Please re-size it to fit your specific project.
This next image I found online a couple of months ago but for some reason I misplaced the source for this graphic. I searched all over Google for the source but didn’t have any luck finding it. If you happen to know where this graphic came from, I would be grateful if you could please let me know so I can properly credit the site where it came from.
To save and print this image for your own project, click on the image below and right click to save it to your computer. This image has been sized to fit the spine of my books. Please re-size it to fit your specific project.
To start, measure the spine of your books to make sure that Graphic #2 will fit the entire length of the spine once printed. Print out the graphic onto regular plain copy paper using either a laser printer or have it photocopied at your local photocopy center. Be sure to print off at least 4-5 copies of each image so you have extras. Also, if this is your first time transferring images, you may want to test your technique on a piece of cardboard at least once before working on your actual book covers. “Practice makes perfect!”
Using a ruler and pencil, measure and draw out the size of the Graphic #2 image needed for the spine of your book with enough to wrap around the sides as shown below. One print-out should be large enough for two book spines side-by-side. Be sure to erase any pencil marks left on your image after cutting it out or the marks will show up on your final transfer.
Place your image face up on a piece of tinfoil and coat it with a even layer of soft gel medium. Quickly and carefully lift up your image from the tinfoil handling by the edges only and place it face down on the spine of your book. Try to line it up as best a possible before you place it down because once your transfer is stuck down it cannot be moved without messing it up.
Use your fingers to push out the air bubbles and then use your brayer with a little bit of pressure to roll over your image in all directions. This will help to make sure your image is firmly stuck down. Wipe away any excess gel medium with a damp cloth.
Leave your transfer to dry for at least two hours, preferably overnight. The longer you leave your transfer to dry the better your image will come out. You can use a hair dryer to manually dry your image if you are short on time.
When your image is fully dry, use a spray bottle or a damp paper towel to wet part of your image with water. Wait 1-2 minutes and then use the pad of your pointer finger to rub away the paper layer of your image. Work in small sections and keep your image moist.
Try to get as much of the paper residue off of your image as you can but don’t rub too hard with your finger or you may rub away part of your image!
Once you have removed as much paper as you can with your fingers, dampen a kitchen scrubber (type shown above) and rub lightly over your image in a circular motion. Be sure to scrub gently especially around the edges of your image or it may start to rub away. Use your hand or a dry paper towel to wipe away any leftover bits of paper.
You will be using Graphic #1 as a transfer for the front of your book right above/below your raised stencil.
Print out the graphic provided and cut it out with scissors in a slightly larger size than the space you are wanting to fill. Tear away some of the edges of the paper to age the image further.
Transfer your image to the front of your book using the techniques described for Graphic #2.
Next is the raised stencils. My most favorite product to use when creating raised stencils is Golden’s Light Molding Paste. When you first open the jar of molding paste you will be surprised about how thin and fluffy it is.
I love this product because it is so easy to work with, it can be tinted to whatever color you want and it dries to a nice hard finish that can be sanded and painted. I find that it looks a lot like plaster when its dry but it has much more durability.
First decide where you are going to place your stencil on your book cover.
Sorry, I don’t actually remember where I found this damask stencil as I have had it in my stash for a while now. Michaels or any other craft supply store should have a similar stencil if you are wanting to use something close to this one.
When you are ready to mix up the molding paste for your stencil you will want to have everything set-up and ready to go as molding paste dries very quickly.
IMPORTANT: You will want to wash your tools and stencil immediately after using molding paste, especially in between stencil impressions as it will leave a residue and harden on your tools if you don’t. I wash everything up with water and a little bit of hand soap as I go which works really well.
For the mixture above, mix equal parts of burnt umber craft paint and medium gray craft in your plastic paint tray. Then add in an equal part of molding paste and mix thoroughly with your spatula.
Hold your stencil firmly with one hand and use your other hand to trowel on some of the molding paste mixture on to your stencil. I found that the easiest way to do this is to put on dollop of molding paste on the corner of your stencil and use the flat part of your spatula to spread the paste around lightly covering the entire stencil in an even layer. If you keep your spatula flat you will avoid digging into the stencil and possibly getting some paste underneath where you don’t want it. (see photo above). It is almost like icing a cake!
To remove the excess paste, turn your spatula on its side and lightly scrape across the top of your stencil putting the excess back into your paint tray. If you are using an old credit card as a scrapper, you can just drag it across your stencil lightly. You want a raised stencil that is at least 2-3 millimeters thick.
When you have your paste spread out in an even layer and you are happy with how it looks, carefully lift your stencil straight up. You should be left with a nice clear and clean impression.
The photo above shows what the raised stencil looks like when it is still wet. Don’t worry if there are some ridges and/or bumps on your stencil. Once dry, these ridges can easily be sanded away or left alone for more texture. FYI, you will see below that I sanded the ridges off my raised stencil once it was dry.
Next, coat your stencil with some medium gray craft paint mixed 50/50 with gel stain. Leave some of the original brown color showing through near the edges of the stencil. Once that is dry, mix up some light cream craft paint also 50/50 with gel stain and add highlights to your design as show above.
As a final step you can age your books even further by glazing over them with a mixture of medium gray craft paint, with a touch more burnt umber craft paint and some gel stain to make a glaze that will settle into the cracks and crevices on your books.
Just brush it on…
…and use a damp cloth to wipe it off. Continue this treatment over the entire book leaving extra glaze around the spine of the book and over the areas you want to look more aged.
Finally coat your book with at least two coats of Mod Podge for protection. Leave your books to dry for 1-2 days before displaying them side by side so they don’t stick together. Please don’t ask me how I know this! Haha!
I decided to change the placement of the raised stencil and transfers on the three books so each of them were different.
To display my books all together, I tied them into a bundle with a pretty piece of cream ribbed ribbon from the Dollar Store.
In case you didn’t know, these Readers Digest books are either burgundy or gold colored at the top of the books so I decided to paint out the book pages so that they would blend in better with the rest of the book.
If you have the same kind of books you can paint the tops of the pages by dry-brushing some white gesso on top of them. Then you can then age them further by lightly dabbing on some Sharkey Gray paint or some of your medium grey craft paint randomly.
To keep the paint from seeping down into your book pages, use one hand to firmly hold the pages together while painting with the other hand. Also, use a fairly dry foam brush or roller to paint with. If you do this you should have very little seepage onto your book pages. After you have applied your paint and the top of your book is slightly dry, fan the pages a few times to make sure the pages are not stuck together.
So instead of sending your old books off to the recycling facility or giving them to Goodwill because their covers are ugly and you plan to never ever read them again, you now have a tutorial to help you to turn them into a set of decorative books that you would be proud to display in your home.
You know what else you can do with these books to make them even more functional? You could cut one big rectangle out of the middle of each of your books to use as a “safe” for your keepsakes, jewelry and money. Place a small cardboard box that has been measured to fit inside and no one would be any the wiser as to what your books contain!
These decorative books only cost me $1.00 to make! That’s it! It was 0.40 cents for the books with tax, 0.60 cents for the amount of ribbon I used and the rest of the supplies didn’t end up costing me anything as I already had them on hand. Woohoo! I love projects that cost almost nothing to make, don’t you?
In other news…
I have a buffet cabinet that I am working on right now that is taking a little longer than I had hoped. Hopefully it will be done soon so I can share it with you. Also, later this week I am off to my Mom’s to finally finish off her buffet turned TV cabinet that I had shared HERE. Stay tuned for the final transformation coming soon!
Well it is way past my bedtime so I am going to call it a night. Thanks for taking the time to read my posts and for leaving me comments. I really appreciate it!