Faux antique bust silhouettes

Try saying that 5 times fast.

This week’s projects have been inspired by two things. A gift from Dave and some bargain picture frames.

Dave bought me a beautiful framed vintage print for the lounge room which prompted some slight redecorating. I love how one new thing can make you want to redo an entire room! We finally moved the TV from above the fireplace mantle (the fireplace is now unfortunately a pretty ugly gas heater) so we could use that as a feature in the room, as well as the bookcase. Usually the heart of a room is where the warmth comes from and so I was never happy with the mantel being just a shelf for the TV and sound system (and subsequent power cords – my pet hate!). I decided to look online for fireplace decoration inspiration and Design*Sponge did not disappoint. Check out this Sneak Peek: Best of Fireplaces or search for fireplaces in the Design*Sponge search box for more recent ones. I even Google Imaged (is that a verb yet?) ‘design sponge fireplace’ and some were so gorgeous and chic I almost cried! I did what I could with what I had at home but I have big, big plans for my fireplace. I am even trying to brainstorm a way of temporarily covering the ugly brown brick work – we rent so can’t do anything permanent.

Inspiration number two came from a local homewares/warehouse type place that had lovely thick, black frames for $5.99. While finding my fireplace inspiration I came across a few framed antique bust silhouettes and mentally added them to my ‘Current Obsessions’ list (see below for the list of things I really want and hope to acquire by stumbling across them at a garage sale or junk shop). When I found these frames I decided to remove them from the list and try to make my own faux antique silhouettes.

First I thought about making my own silhouettes from profile photos of us but I couldn’t find any profile photos of me. Then I remembered why – I don’t like my profile! So I scrapped that idea and again sought the help of my trusty friend Google Images. I couldn’t find any royalty-free images that fit the bill so I found some photos that were taken of antique silhouettes and slightly altered them. I’m not sure if I have breached copyright here seeing as the silhouettes are from the 1800’s but the website they came from is not but in any case I’m not selling them so I don’t think it is a huge issue. (If any of my lawyer friends think otherwise – call me!)

Once I altered them I printed them out with a laser printer onto textured paper and then stained then in a mixture of 1 shot of strong coffee with about a cup of water for 30 minutes. As you can see from the photos it made quite a bit of difference to the colour of the paper. I then dabbed off the excess coffee with paper towel and dried the prints with the hairdryer. This caused them to kind of shrink and wrinkle ever so slightly which, I think, added to the ‘antique’ aged look I was going for. Excuse the photos – the lighting after dark is terrible in the house. I blame the energy saving globes.

So there you have it, my very own set of ‘antique’ busts to adorn my newly decorated fireplace mantle for the hefty sum of $11.98.

I bought 4 frames and only used two for this project. Stay tuned to see what I did with the other two. Excited? Me too.

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  1. Wait, so where did you put the tv?

    Here’s my list of current obsessions:
    floor cushions
    turkish decor, especially the tea/coffee sets
    indonesian furniture of dark wood, especially when combined with bright saturated colours
    kitchens with open shelving and lots of counter space (I think this one is cos our current kitchen is terrible)

    I’d never heard of Moroccan wedding blankets before! Very pretty.

    • TV is now on a computer desk thing with wheels, all set up so we just plug and play and then wheel away when we’re done. We don’t watch much TV so its not too tedious. Eventually we’ll come up with a better solution but for now, it works even better than before because TV is at a level we can actually see properly. We’re like “wow, our TV is actually awesome – look at the colour!”.

      Love your list! I am also a huge fan of Turkish (and Moroccan) tea sets.

      Re Moroccan wedding blankets…I’m toying with the idea of attempting a DIY. but the sequins put me off!

      • Hehe, glad for your new found appreciation of the tv :)

        Making one of those wedding blankets sounds like an epic project. I’m sure I’d never have the courage.

  2. Graeme Walker says:

    Mad I’m sure I have those old brass padlocks for you I have also made you a pressie to keep you warm on these winter nights, I thinks it’s great. Let me know when you see it….. Surprise … Surprise. I may have to borrow it back now and then hahahahahaha darn Indian Giver I know. ……I also have a couple of old mirrors beveled edge if you want them? You could also build a funky cover for the heater to hide it without any permanency. ….dad


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