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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