Broke-Ass Category: Shannon

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Affiliate Disclaimer NewIf you’re anything like me, you’ve been mad crushing on all the gorgeous agate and geode details popping up in wedding and home decor lately. With a little investigation, you probably found that lots of these pieces aim to break your budget super-fast, so that’s why I’m hear to share the fruit of my trial-and-error labors. A word of warning: this project calls for Mod Podge super glossy and that comes with a four-week curing time (!!!), so if your wedding date is fast approaching, get started quickly so you have plenty of drying time!

To get these pretties going, grab a square or rectangular glass candle holder, pick out 4-5 colors of polymer clay from the same color family. You’ll want plenty of contrast with lights and darks. You’ll also need some glossy Mod Podge, a rolling pin (or empty wine bottle!), gold craft paint and a fine paint brush, coarse salt like rock salt or sea salt and a regular metal spoon.

agate geode DIY step oneStart by rolling each of your clay colors into individual snakes. For reference, a 4x4x4 cube takes about 2 1/2 total blocks of clay to cover. Twist all of the cords together into one and roll them into a ball. Let the colors get marbled, but don’t over-mix them. While you can still see the individual colors, roll them out into one flat sheet.

agate geode DIY step two

Wrap your clay sheet around the four sides of the candle holder, pressing the seams down with the back side of the spoon. Seal the top side down, making sure there is no air between the clay and the glass. You can save the extra clay for future projects.

Agate geode DIY step three

Choose a side to add your “crystal” and dig out an organic shape with the tip of your spoon, following the lines created in your clay for the most natural shape. You can see where I had a big spot that over-mixed and created an ugly, muddy color; this is the perfect way to get rid of something you don’t like! As you dig out the clay, make sure to press the edges down to seal it to the glass. Pop your candle holder in the oven according to the clay’s directions (usually about 15 minutes at 275). Your piece will be hot for about an hour, so this is a great time to practice if you’re hoping to make a large batch for your wedding!

agate geode DIY step four

Once your candle holder is cool enough to handle, take the gold paint, and trace around the edges of the hole you made. You can also add gold “veins” along some of the naturally occurring lines in the clay for some added sparkle!

agate geode DIY step 5

Once your gold paint is dry (which should only be a couple minutes), take your spoon and carefully drizzle a little of the Mod Podge into your cavern, but only fill it about half-way up.

agate geode DIY step six

Now we get to make the faux-crystal using salt! I had the most success by using a super-coarse rock salt around the edges, then sprinkling a coarse sea salt throughout and finishing with a more finely ground sea salt to fill in any gaps. Use your fingertip to press the salt into your Mod Podge and if anything still feels loose, you can drizzle more to set it. Once you have the crystal portion created, leave it flat and allow it to dry overnight.

agate geode DIY step seven

Once the crystal portion is sufficiently set, you can finish the entire piece with Mod Podge to give it a polished, shiny look. Just be aware that it takes about four weeks to cure and will need to be stored in a sealed container to keep it from accumulating dust. The best part is, these not only make gorgeous additions to your wedding tablescapes, but beautiful gifts, or even home decor to give you that sweet reminder of one of your best days ever!

agate geode DIY display

Have you tried this DIY? What colors did you use? We’d love to see the results in the comments below!

This DIY was originally posted on Little Wedding Extras and happily shared with BAB readers!

  • 7/26

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewAh, the craft store … for the DIY couple, it can start to feel like a second home. There are paints and paper, ribbons and trim and if you really start looking, you may start to realize that a lot of this stuff is really expensive.

    When it comes down to it, craft stores and the supplies therein are usually marketed towards women. If you’re a lady — particularly one who is new to the whole creative makers movement — it can be comforting to be surrounded in all of the pretty and greeted by female employees who probably get all excited to show you where to get started crafting your beautiful day, but the insidious reality remains that you’re likely to get stuck with what many economists are now recognizing as the “Pink Tax.” Craft store products usually offer top-notch quality, but smaller quantity and useless specialty packaging frequently leads to less bang for your buck, so when it’s time to get creative, there are several things worth a trip to the hardware store. Your wallet will thank you!

    Spray paint

    Silverware Box Customized with Chalkboard Spray Paint

    Specialty spray paint can run a pretty penny at the craft store … as in over $10 a can for certain types. I used Valspar’s Chalkboard Spray Paint to resurface this old silverware box  for about 30% less than other brands in my local craft store. An added bonus of most home improvement stores is that they sell paint by the case for an additional savings if you have larger projects. Plus, the selection is amazing!


    Woodburned Pallet Wood

    Pinterest made the pallet hot, and now you can find mini unfinished pallet wood for around $20, totally defeating the purpose of a cheap and unique find. If you’re looking for wood to stain, add woodburning touches, distress or otherwise transform in to perfect wedding day decor, try the carpentry department before the craft store. You’re more likely to find an employee who can guide you to the best purchase for your project and again, it’s so much cheaper!

    Hand Tools

    Kobalt 22-Piece Hand Tool Set from Amazon

    Kobalt 22-Piece Household Tool Set, $99.47 from Amazon

    Whether you just need a hammer or a full set of wrenches and screwdrivers, you’ll be better served in a hardware store. If you DON’T want pink, they’ll have plenty to suit you and if you do, don’t worry, they’ll have that, too!

    Craft adhesives

    completed mercury glass diy

    When I built my compote bowls for my reception, I needed a special glass-bonding glue to hold the non-porous surfaces together. Oh, I bought it at a craft store, but then I saw it was almost half as cheap at the hardware store! The world of clue can be an oddly meticulous place, but you’re almost guaranteed to find what you need on the wall of your local Lowe’s.

    Pots and Planters

    Susquehanna Outdoor Barrel Planter Amazon

    Susquehanna Large Cedar Barrel Planter, $34.98 from Amazon

    Do you need terra cotta for your centerpieces? A large tub for beer? Maybe just something funky and fun to hold favors? Head over to your gardening department and soak in the savings. The outdoor section will almost always offer up options loads cheaper than the home decor area of your local craft store, plus with plenty of plain or plastic things to choose from, you’re free to customize and DIY to your heart’s content!

    There are still plenty of times a craft store will serve you well. If you need regular art supplies, specific specialty items or, of course, glitter, you’re in the right place, but knowing where to save a few bucks adds up over time and that’s one of the reasons we’re here, right?

    Have you broken ranks and found better places to save a buck? What are you buying and where? Let us know in the comments below!

  • 7/7

    dinosaur centerpieces

    Continuing to work with couples long after my I Dos have been said, it's easy to get this feeling of, "Ah, damn! I wish I had done something like that!" From impossibly cute to just downright creative, I'm constantly amazed by how inventive and fun the couples I get to work with through Little Wedding Extras can be. Now that we've put away three weddings…

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    alternative guest book

    “Is that too weird?” Every time I hear the question I just want to reach over, squeeze the person’s hand and smile. In a word, nope. Listen closely here, friends: Weddings are all about celebrating who you are as a couple and we all have little things about our relationship that are weird. Some couples hurl insults at each other that just turn out to…

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    owning your wedding

    The thing with planning a wedding that gets to a lot of couples is that it feels like there are so. many. decisions. that, in the grand scheme of things, seem pretty inconsequential, but when it comes to the event that is your wedding actually make a big difference. It really is OK to waver back and forth between linen colors and wonder if you should…

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  • 5/26

    DIY or DIE 3D Geometric Paper Garland

    I cooked this fun little geometric garland project up for Little Wedding Extras, but this has all the makings of a great DIY or DIE project: A.) It's super easy. You trace, cut, fold and glue or tape. Painting is totally optional. B.) It doesn't have to be wedding-specific. I love a project that can be recycled for home use later. (Christen is using this for #babything's…

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    Photo by Shaina Sheaff

    So, uh, this is weird, even if it is really wonderful. It may not be weird for you if, say, your parents divorced in your childhood as many people's did, but after 36 years and a whole lot of hell, my parents called it quits. That's not the weird part. In fact, I'm about as happy about the situation as an adult kid can be. I…

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    Shaina Sheaff Photograpghy

    Newlywed bliss. Sunshine and rainbows. Honeymoon phase. Society likes to imply that getting married magically transforms life into this beautiful, perfect thing, but then you hear that sage nugget: “The first year of marriage is the hardest.” Wait. I’m confused. I rarely feel bliss when I’m dealing with something that isn’t just hard, but hardest. I love a good challenge, but I’m not typically twirling…

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  • 4/14

    real bride shannon news reporting

    Calling someone by their name is pretty difficult when they aren't even sure what is. I mentioned that we've now been married for six months, and there's that little lingering issue: I still haven't done anything about changing my name. I'm pretty good at procrastinating in the first place, but now I've reached a point where it's either severe laziness, severe indecision or both. It's…

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