Mirror, mirror

A few exciting things have happened to me recently. First, I found Krylon Looking Glass Spray (a US product) available for sale in Australia (yay) and second, I resigned from the job I’ve had for the last 3.5 years as a PA/secretary to start life as a temp and have a bit of an adventure. As one of those people who doesn’t have a really super specific career direction, I figure temping in lots of different roles will expose me to different industries and ideas and I might find that thing that really gets my motor running (besides being crafty which, at this stage, is not going to bring home the bacon). I’ve kind of thrown myself in the deep end here and I hope this decision pays off but sometimes you just need to take a risk.

Right, now I’ve covered that, let’s get back to the excitement of the Looking Glass Spray…

Krylon Looking Glass Spray is applied to the back of glass and will give it a mirrored look. According to everything I’ve read, there is no other product on the market that will do the same thing so you must get the Krylon brand. I got mine at Caswell Australia.

These are the beautiful Pottery Barn glass hurricane lamps that have inspired many a mercury glass DIY’er!

I am a big mercury glass fan but really only started seeing it when I started reading design and DIY blogs. I have managed to find 3 mercury glass candle holders at my local op-shops but I definitely wanted to try making a replica version of these gorgeous Pottery Barn Hurricane Lamps I’ve spotted a number of times. Lots of other bloggers have done DIY mercury glass tutorials and so after reading many of those I felt ready to tackle my own version.

I also had a gold frame on the fireplace mantle (I’ve changed the mantle AGAIN and both Dave and I are hoping this is it for a while as I seem to have a slight obsesssion with rearranging it every week or so…) that I wanted to turn into an antique mirror. I’m not 100% thrilled with the mirror but it doesn’t look too bad.

For my first attempt at a distressed mercury glass look I used an old coffee jar and began by spraying a light mist of water to the inside of the jar. I then applied about 6 coats of the spray, pausing to wipe some away with damp paper towel while it was still wet. After the five coats I sprayed some black paint over the wipe marks. I used the same method for the mirror. While they both look ok and the mirror is ‘antiqued’ it’s not what I was after so the below instructions are for the hurricane lamp, my second attempt, after reading a few more tutorials.

To make faux mercury glass you will need:

Krylon looking Glass Spray

Spray bottle with white vinegar

Masking tape

Paper towel

Glass Hurricane Lamp (mine was $4 at the reject shop) and/or glass from picture frame, both clean and dry

An old toothbrush

Black spray paint if you are making a mirror

Begin by taping up the outside lip of your hurricane lamp so no paint gets on the outside or rim. I also made a skirt with the paper towel for extra protection.

Spray a very light coat on the inside of the glass as the paint is very thin and will run easily as you can see from the photos. Wait one minute or until the paint has dried (you will know because it will suddenly become mirrored) and then spray some vinegar on a scrunched up paper towel and put on a section of the paint and drag slightly to lift it off the glass. Do this randomly all over the inside of the glass avoiding the ‘lip’ area (having a solid ring of paint around the lip helps recreate the Pottery Barn look). I used a toothbrush sprayed with vinegar for the harder to reach places.

Be careful not to scratch the paint in other areas inside the glass and if you do just use the paper towel technique on the scratch and do the same with drips. Do this spray and paper towel thing about 4 times but remember less is more and you want a decent amount of transparency. And that’s it! Wait for it to really dry for a few hours before putting a candle in there or do what I did and use a battery operated candle until a few hours have passed.

If you are making the antique mirror then leave more solid paint areas and only lift the paint off a small area of the glass. Spray over this with black paint. On my mirror you can see it has a real aged look because I sprayed it with water before applying the paint but in hindsight, I wouldn’t use the water at start because it interferes with the ‘reflectiveness’.

Enjoy!

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How to make a cute cupcake stand

What do you get if you cross two plates and a candlestick?

A cupcake stand! Or possibly a romantic dinner. In my case, I chose to make a stand. This is one of those brilliant ‘why didn’t I think of that’ ideas.

I first came across the idea of a tiered stand made from plates and candlesticks on this lovely blog and I’ve seen it in several places since. The idea is great because who wants to spend a fortune on a ready-made rarely-used item? Plus, by making it yourself you can choose the style and colours you like, use other things such as glasses or vases for the stand and make use of odd plates. You can leave them as they are, paint them or, like me, Mod Podge them!

This was my first experience with Mod Podge and can I just say: I am in love! For those unfamiliar with it (I have only really seen it on US blogs, hardly ever in Australia) Mod Podge is a glue, sealer and finish all in one little tub. And its really fun to use (find more awesome Mod Podge projects at Mod Podge Rocks).

I found the plates and candlestick in The Reject Shop which is the Australian version of a Dollar Store (find more awesome dollar store projects at Dollar Store Crafts). While I was trying to decide if I would paint them or leave them as they were I found some lovely old paper I had once found stuffed inside some new shoes. It’s thin, but thicker than tissue paper. I would say about a newspaper thickness. I really like the pattern on that paper so I decided to Mod Podge it onto my plates. It worked really well and took 3 coats plus the first coat I used to glue the paper onto the plate. It kind of reminds me of the willow pattern.

Once it was dry all that was left to do was glue the candlestick to the plates. (I actually haven’t glued mine yet because I wanted to show you how it looks as a single tiered cake stand too).

Materials you will need for this project:

2 x plates (one small, one large)

1 x candlestick

Strong glue for ceramics and glass

Patterned paper

Mod Podge (I used gloss)

Paint brush (I used my pastry brush!)

Scissors

Wash and dry your plates and candlestick.

Cut out your paper shapes and glue them onto the plate using the Mod Podge. Be gentle but try to eliminate any air bubbles. Mod Podge over the plate surface and leave to dry. Once dry, add another coat and leave to dry. Continue until you have 3 top coats.

Then just glue the bottom of the candlestick to the centre of the large plate and glue the small plate onto the candlestick. And there you have it – one pretty cup cake stand for next to nothing. This isn’t dishwasher safe so once used, just wipe clean with a damp cloth.

I think it also looks nice with fruit if you want to go with the healthy option!

P.S. I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking ‘where did Maddy get those white chocolate heart-shaped cake toppers? I have to have them!‘ Well stay tuned and I might just tell you!

UPDATE: here is the tutorial for the delicious heart-shaped cake toppers.

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