Broke-Ass Tag: DIY or DIY

1/26

My friend Shannon is planning a super-budget wedding in the fairly expensive market of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and she’s been sharing her little nuggets of broke-ass wisdom with me, but it wasn’t until she told me about this amazing DIY for mercury glass centerpieces that I decided it was high time for her to share it with y’all, too. Guys, I love this so much. Mercury glass can definitely be a pricey addition to your wedding budget, but Shannon nailed this DIY in totally Broke-Ass fashion. Have at it, lady!

My long-time love affair with vintage vessels began as a kid in my grandmother’s house. Aged, but elegant mercury glass peeked from behind lamps and picture frames, leaving me with a sense of nostalgia for an era I never experienced. It was so wistful, so romantic, that started planning my wedding to a man who gives me that warm and wistful feeling, I knew I wanted to decorate with it.

DIY or Die Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

Then price tags shot me straight back into reality. Searching for “mercury glass compote” yielded beautiful pieces — that cost $30, $50, even $75. “Ok,” I thought, “I can have two flower arrangements.”

Being the personification of “champagne taste on a beer budget”, I’ve learned to compromise, but since I’ve been insisting “I’ll do it myself!” since the days of pigtails and Pampers, I decided to do a little (OK, a lot of) scouring of the Interwebz before throwing the towel in on my vision. Dozens of DIY tutorials promised faux mercury glass was easy to create with the right supplies, and — no lie — it’s not that hard at all! My goal was to keep the cost of vases under $10. All supplies included, these came out to less than $4 for 15 compote-style bowls. Broke-Ass score!

Your one non-negotiable, have-to-have-it, don’t-cut-corners supply is the paint. If it isn’t Krylon’s Looking Glass spray paint, you’re going to be disappointed. Because I wanted a gold finish to my pieces, I went with Krylon’s Foil Metallic spray paint to back the silver. One can of each provided more than enough paint for 15 finished compotes.

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

I picked up my glass pieces (candlesticks and bowls) for a buck a pop at Dollar Tree, but you can use any clear glass for this technique. You’ll need an adhesive that is specifically made for glass-on-glass, a spray bottle with a “mist” setting filled with 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water, some rubbing alcohol and a handful of paper towels. Make sure to cover your surface to protect it from rogue spray paint and wear gloves to keep it off of your fingers.

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

Remove any price tags or stickers and rub the candlestick with rubbing alcohol to get rid of any lingering stickiness. Give it a generous mist with the water/vinegar mix so you see runny droplets.

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

Spray the gold Foil Metallic paint in short, quick bursts, leaving some of the glass exposed. This uneven application gives you an antiqued look when the process is complete, so don’t worry if the paint pools in places and doesn’t cover others. If you just want a silver finish, skip this step entirely.

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

The foil paint dries quickly, so immediately blot the surface with a paper towel. The paint will crack and shift leaving exposed patches where your water/vinegar left droplets.

Spray the candlestick again with the vinegar/water solution and using the same short, quick bursts, apply a thin layer of the Looking Glass paint.

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

This paint is much thinner and runnier, so rather than blotting immediately, give it about 5 seconds to set, then gently blot. Through some major trial and error, I found the best technique was to fold the paper towel, hold it at one end and just sort of smack the glass with the other. This absorbs those drops of water, but doesn’t smear the paint or take too much off. If you’re looking for a more silvery and reflective finish, mist, paint and blot again.

The bowl portion needs to be painted from the inside, so you’re going to start with the Looking Glass paint.

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

Use the same technique of misting, spraying and gently blotting on the inside of the bowl. I used two coats of Looking Glass on mine before adding the gold. The color will look transparent, but once the gold is added, the finish turns much more opaque. For a silvery mercury glass finish, eliminate the gold paint and add coats- alternating between misting with the spray bottle and applying the paint until you achieve your desired finish.

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

Mist your bowl one last time with the water/vinegar mixture and lightly spray the Foil Metallic paint, blotting away the bubbles. Again, an uneven application leaves you with a more antiqued look, so imperfections are actually, well, perfect. From the outside of the bowl you’ll see silver, gold and clear spots. Admire your work; you’ve done a bang-up job!

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

Run a generous ring of glue around the top of your candlestick. You want enough to form a good seal with the bowl, but not so much it squishes out. Let that glue sit for about two minutes, then attach the candlestick to the bowl. Leave it upside down to set for 20 to 30 minutes, or according to your adhesive’s instructions.

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

Give the candlestick a little tug to see if it’s sticking to the glass. If it stays, flip the entire piece over and let it sit for a day to make sure the glue has really cured and you’re left with one solid piece of DIY delightfulness!

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

If you plan on using a floral arrangement that needs water, line your compote with a disposable picnic bowl to keep water from ruining your paint. This way you can also transport the vases to your venue wrapped safely in a box with the flowers waiting in your liner bowl.

DIY or DIE: Fancy Mercury Glass Centerpieces

Now you and your guests can enjoy your budget-conscious decor that’s both on-trend and timeless. And it’s one of those items that’s perfect to use in your house after your wedding!

christen
  • 1/19

    Guys, I’d like to cordially introduce our new DIY and style guru Whitney, who blogs over at A Touch of Whitney. Homegirl has a way with setting up super pretty designs and by awesome luck, she loves budget goods, too. Whitney will be posting new ideas for weddings every couple of weeks and sharing how she makes it happen on a broke-ass budget!

    Winter Photo Blog Shoot

    What if I told you instead of just a small simple centerpiece for your wedding to save money, you could have all this … and it still won’t break your bank account? Stick with me. I’ll show you the ways.

    I had so much fun doing this centerpiece design and putting together this shoot with Danielle Angell Photography. There are a good number of items on the table, but they’re all very easy to score for practically nothing.

    Winter Blog Photo Shoot Close #1A winter theme was obviously where my head was at. I began thinking of what reminds me of winter, and nature was the first thing that popped in my head. Wood, antlers, pine, holly berries, snow, fires … oh you get the idea. Here are the key components:

    THE WOOD LOGS:

    I unexpectedly hit the jackpot that sent me to my full design:  I drove by a house that had trimmed back their crape myrtle tree. And they had cut the tree into these perfect log sizes to put by the road with all the branches. They were there for the taking — read: free — and I did not even have to chop them. The even better part: they favor the beauitful birch wood that is so popular in design.  I know you all won’t luck upon free logs on the side of the road, so think about who you know. Do you know anyone who lives on a decent amount of land or anyone who has many trees on their property that would not mind trimming some tress for you? Be creative with your resources.Winter Blog Logs Close

    THE MITTENS AND HAT:

    After I piled the wood in the back of my car, I noticed my mittens on the seat. I knew at home I had a matching toboggan … score! (Side Story: my dad just told me recently only us southern folk call a winter hat a toboggan What??!! {Eds. Note: True Story. I never heard that term until I moved to Kentucky — and I’m from wintery Wyoming where EVERYONE wears hats.}) These items cost nothing to use, since I already owned them and were a perfect add to the winter theme. I love the soft texture they add to the design. Hit up Goodwill, thrift shops, yard sales or band your friends together and borrow their old less-often worn items.  Keep it cheap, use your resources, and never be afraid to phone a friend.Winter Blog Shoot Hat

    THE ANTLERS:

    Thank the deer on this one. They shed these beautiful pieces right off their body, free for the taking (check local regulations). Got some hunter friends? They’ll come in handy: They can grab these for you or may already have some just lying around,  or Pinterest has several how to’s for DIY antlers.Winter Blog Antlers

    THE LANTERNS:

    Being in the wedding business and having a stockpile of awesome stuff, I get to cheat and walk into my attic to my storage area for supplies and poof! Out I come with three lanterns. Check Goodwill or local hardware or gardening stores for some great options and plop a votive inside.Winter Blog Lantern

    Winter Blog Lanterns

    THE PINE TREES, PINECONES, HOLLY AND BERRIES:

    Well this was easy, My clippers and I got the job done. Keep in mind pine trees are sappy, so either were gloves or consider your hands and clothes warned. As for holly bushes … ouch! they will poke you. Those gloves may come in handy again. These limbs are a bug’s home. Rinse everything off to avoid creepy crawlers coming as your unplanned wedding guests.

    Winter Blog Shoot Snow Close

    Winter Shoot Blanket

    THE BLANKET:

    Few things are more romantic than hanging by the fire snuggling with your baby and your favorite blanket, so naturally a cute fleece fabric is a great addition. I got this piece at Hobby Lobby and got a discount from a coupon spending $9  I got roughly 60 inches cut, then I added slightly more to make sure I had plenty.  And I wanted long enough to become a blanket for my home after the shoot.  Winter Blog Candle

    THE FIRE:

    Ok, ok there really wasn’t a true fire … but, there were candles. The candles give you a flickering flame, light, and the feeling of warmth on the table, which just adds to the ambiance.

    Winter Blog Shoot Snow Close

    THE SNOW:

    No, I did not pay someone to come blow snow for the shoot. That would not be budget-friendly at all. And no I did not get lucky enough to get free snow falling from the sky … I made the snow! However, this is a story for another day … stay tuned.

    So a quick list to sum it all up:

    1. The WOOd: Free

    2. The MITTENS: Free (bought long ago, so Free for the shoot)

    3. The TOBOGGAN: Free (bought long ago, so Free for the shoot)

    4. The ANTLERS: Free (borrowed)

    5. The LANTERNS: $5 a piece (bought long ago, so Free for the shoot)

    6.  The PINE, PINECONES, HOLLY, & BERRIES: Free (thanks nature)

    7. The BLANKET-$9 total yardage with a coupon

    8. The CANDLES: Average $10-$12 for at least 12  (overall price varies by store, coupons used, and sales)

    9. The SNOW: $3-$4

    I hope you find this helpful and just know this “discount winter wedding design” tutorial is not over!! I have two other possible designs to come and more on the candles/snow.  Can’t wait … TO BE CONTINUED

  • 8/19

    BABs, I'm so excited about how rockin' the DIY or DIE projects have been lately, and today is certainly no exception. Nodlaigh, aka Daydreaming Bride, is in da hizzy to show us how to make super easy (and cheap!) personalized bunting. Guys, this could work for anything from your engagement party to wedding decor to a banner for a thank-you card photo to general home…

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