DIY mercury glass lamp with burlap shade

Mercury Glass Lamp 3Lamp shade 3

Well, after some interweb troubles I am back online! Feels like it’s been ages since I’ve blogged and in that time I have scored myself a new job. One that is permanent (seems my little leap of faith into the temp world paid dividends by putting me in a fantastic company who happened to have a vacancy in their legal & external relations team. YAY!) and one that is keeping me pretty busy.

Working longer hours than I used to makes my free time all the more special and so I was really happy to get this lamp done over the weekend, as well as decorate the house for Christmas and make a few homemade baubles for the tree. I still haven’t got around to my annual Christmas baking but seeing as I am munching on a bag of Pfeffernüsse and I just saw a recipe for them on foodgawker (thanks Abby!) I think the universe is trying to tell me something. I must make these biscuits! Plus, Dave is at the pool and is looking forward to one of these spicy little beauties when he gets back. If I manage to polish off the whole bag before then I might owe him a batch… Oh nein!

So lets get to this lovely little lamp! As I’ve said before, when I go thrifting lamps are one of the things I always look out for. They are such a good way to add atmosphere to a room and they come in all kinds of interesting shapes and sizes. And you can never have too many. Unless you are Dave, who actually said to me “haven’t we’ve got enough lamps?”. Enough lamps? He may as well have stolen my new bike on Christmas day. No Pfeffernüsse for you Mister! (Ok, ok I’m joking. You can have one.)

before & after

When I saw this glass lamp at my local Savers (a chain of second hand shops) I knew it had potential but I didnt think it would turn out quite as good as it did. You see, like most people I was drooling over these Pottery Barn Mercury Glass Lamps. Who wouldn’t? So a lamp base made out of hollow glass was the perfect find.

The glass was made from 3 separate parts and to get them all free from the lamp I had to take the actual light fitting apart. Don’t try this on an expensive or treasured lamp in case you can’t put it back together again but I would say, this is not the first time I’ve done this and it really is quite simple as long as you’re handy with a screwdriver and can remember the correct order of the parts. I took photos for back up! I am by no means encouraging anyone who isn’t qualified to start mucking around with electrical things and then plugging them back in the wall – at your own risk my friends! For reals.

Lamp base 2

To fake mercury glass there is one thing you must have and that is Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint. I’ve mentioned it here in my first mercury glass post, including where to purchase it in Oz (thank you Caswell Australia, the one and only place I found!).

For this project you will need:

Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint

Lamp with glass base

Spray bottle with 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar solution

Masking tape

Screwdrivers

Drum shade

Burlap/Hessian

Spray adhesive

Glue gun

Ok, first things first. Whenever I revamp a second hand lamp the very first thing I do is check to see if it’s working. Imagine proudly inserting a bulb in your newly finished project only to discover it won’t turn on and the lamp is broken. Boo.

Take a good look at the whole lamp to figure out how it is put together (where are the screws, joins etc). This will tell you how to take it apart. If you can just remove the light fitting from the base and easily paint the glass you are a lucky duck. If not, you may have to take apart the light fitting itself like I did. I’ve only ever tried this when the switch is part of the light fitting and not part of the cord so I can’t say whether the latter is doable. The old lamps usually have the switch in the top so look out for those.

Like I said, I’m not qualified so I won’t give you a tutorial on how to take apart and reassemble a light fitting but one handy hint is that there are some small loose fitting parts inside that are hard to keep in place when you’re connecting the two white parts together because they want to succumb to gravity and fall out. To get around that, simply wrap some ribbon over the loose parts and hold it in place while you put the two white parts in place then just draw out the ribbon. Trust me, it will make sense at the time and you can look at the photos for reference.

Glass before painting

To get a good mercury glass effect (this attempt was even better than my last one) you need a spray bottle that will give you small droplets, not a superfine mist. I used an empty window spray bottle.

Inside of glass after painting

Clean and dry your glass and tape over any edges, lips or surface area you don’t want to get the spray on. In a well ventilated area give the inside of the glass a light spray of the vinegar solution, and two very light coats of looking glass spray (it is very thin so runs easily). Let it dry for a few minutes and then tap or ‘burst’ all the water droplets with your finger – the paint that was on top of the water droplets will lift off onto your finger and that’s how you get that nice mottled effect. Repeat this process about 4 times or until you have the desired result. Let it dry thoroughly.

I also had great success painting the gold coloured metal base with the looking glass spray to turn it to silver. It looks fantastic.

Painted base

For the hessian/burlap shade cut the hessian to the size of the shade with a 1 inch overlap at the seam and a 1 inch border on each side. Spray the shade and the inside of the hessian with spray adhesive and on a flat surface with the adhesive side up, put the shade on one end and roll up. Use the hot glue gun to secure the seam. Wrap the border around the edge of the shade and use the hot glue gun around the inside of the edge to secure the hessian. I did realise after I had finished that I need to get a thick ribbon or trim to glue over the top of the over-lapped hessian to make it prettier and cover up the rough edges on the inside so as soon as I find the right ribbon that’s what I’ll do.

Taking light apart 7

For an $8 lamp I am seriously impressed with the result and love the look of this shiny beauty on my bed side table!

Lamp in the evening 1

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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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It’s all white

No, it’s better than all white! Being on holidays has meant I’ve finally been able to make time for some crafty things around the house and these three projects are ones I have been eyeing off for a while. They’re all really simple and rather than posting a tutorial myself, some other more dedicated bloggers have already done so, so I have included their links instead!

I picked up the doilies and glassware on a few trips to my local Savers, along with a brass candle stick, some ready-to-hang curtains that I have put up in the kitchen (finally!) and two gorgeous summer dresses for my divine little Niece, baby Rose, who is 3 days old. I’ve never seen anything sweeter than that little girl, with her peachy cheeks and wisps of fair hair.  Things are pretty good in this neck of the woods at the moment.

But back on track now, the three projects were a table runner made from vintage doilies, a doily bowl and some faux milk glass vases.

The doily table runner was super easy (see tutorial at Under the Sycamore), although mine is not so ‘runner’ like in length, and needed only stitches at the joins to hold it in place. The doily bowl (see  tutorial at The Thrillz of Hillz) was also easy, requiring only fabric stiffener, cling wrap and a suitable mould and the faux milk glass (see tutorial at Antebellum Collections) needed only the glassware and some white gloss spray paint. The round object which is actually a ceiling light cover was already white so I didn’t even need to paint that one, bonus!

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