Move-In Ready Closet Part 2

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…and that is why a woman’s closet never seems to be big enough! Space is always needed because we never have something to wear, or we can’t find the right shoes! Designing my closet was rather easy because I was under the illusion that I didn’t have much clothes and I was going to have plenty of empty space to add to my wardrobe later. A soon realized I had way too many clothes and a shopping spree is totally out of the question! Here is my closet:

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byLisandra

I went with two Billy Bookcase (the same one we used in my husbands closet) which I used for jeans, shorts and tank-tops, I decided not to stack them because I wanted as much hanging space as possible.

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I have tons of sandals and no matter how I organize them, it’s never a clean look. Hanging sandals in a closet rod never occurred to me, here are two similar ideas I found:

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Using infant size hangers

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Using wire hangers

I loved the first idea but decided for regular adult size hangers instead, it seemed more cost efficient since the package brings 20 hangers for $1.18. Aesthetics are important if you are looking for a clean designer look, a standard white rod will work and look perfect.  Don’t waste your money on heavy duty or wooden rods, since you are hanging sandals weight is not an issue, of course, if you happen to run into a sale go for it! Hanging your sandals on a rod not only keeps them visible and organized, it also makes use of that empty space underneath your clothes without making it hard to vacuum or clean the floor! Here’s my take!

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So how about my other shoes?! Remember the ClosetMaid Horizontal Stackable Organizer I used on my husbands closet? Affordable and nice looking solution for any flats, sneakers or small boots.

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And of course, what is a girls closet without heals?! There are cool ways to display your heals, some require space and some make good use of space:

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Use a Bookcase (by withloveveronique.com)

Use Crown molding

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Both are great ideas. If you have the space: a bookcase would work, if you have the cash to spare: molding looks awesome! In my case I loved the idea of the molding but I wasn’t trilled about buying a plank of molding for $25 for shoes (if you have some left-overs go for it!). I decided to go with good old Brass-Plated Cup Hooks. At $4.46 for a pack of 25 it was a reasonable price that worked for me. My dad (my always on call and hands on handyman!) had the great idea to open up the hook a bit more to make it easier to hang all sort of heals. We used anchors to make sure the hooks would stay put on the dry wall, you really don’t want your heals falling down on you! He even made me, my own reach pole with an old wood broom stick and a brass cup hook! I don’t really use my heals all that much so putting them up on the wall was a great way to use the other wise empty space, it’s kind of hard to keep up with a two year old when you are wearing 3 inch heals! They are also great to hang beach totes on top of the closet door!

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Scarfs falling all over the floor are a thing of the past with an Ikea Cable Management rack! It’s all about shopping with an open mind!

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Our laundry came with a single shelve, we took it down (I have other plans for that space stay tunned!) and re-used it as a second shelve for my closet. All I had to do was get new wall brackets and for $10 I had another shelve for purses and beach wear. Diaper boxes are great for organizing and I will be covered them with fabric later on. I finally found my fabrics among all my bins but I’m tackling bigger projects first.

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So there you have it! A tour around my closet!

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Remember that at the end of the day, you can take any idea out there and make it work for you and your budget, shop with an open mind and you’ll be surprise with what you can achieve!  I’ll see you next week: A Toddler’s Room to Grow!

Move-In Ready Closet

It’s been almost a month since our last posting, and I will say it’s been a very long and exhausting one. Long story short: our closing got delayed, we had a fully loaded U-Haul truck parked for 8 days and it  wasn’t until yesterday that I was able to actually put some of our clothes in our dressers! It’s been a tough couple of weeks but we are here to stay and ready to share with your our projects! Here’s our new home!

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Now, called me naïve but I had this idea that since it was a brand new home it was just a matter of a few personal touches here and there. For me, “Move-In Ready” meant exactly that! Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way complaining but it was sort of a surprise that most new houses don’t even bring towel or toilet paper racks! And so there went our first couple of days in the house… The closets in all the rooms came with a single ClosetMaid shelve, as sturdy as they are, one shelve is definitively not enough and can totally rob you from precious space. Take my husbands closet for example:

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It’s an ackward space to take pictures of, and it looks a lot bigger on paper than what it is in person, but I needed to make sure it fitted all his stuff so he wouldn’t invade my closet, that meant we had to use every wall and empty space in the closet. There’s many things out there that can work as closet organizers that won’t break your budget, it’s a matter of having an open mind and “looking” around before you buy. I found that internet web searches didn’t help much with this, simply because in-stores sales usually don’t end up in the web.


IKEA vs ClosetMaid Cubes

  • Yes, IKEA furniture can sometimes be time consuming to assemble, but their “cubes” took me literally 20 minutes to put together.
  • ClosetMaid units can be found pretty much everywhere you go and they are very inexpensive. They come in different sizes and can be found anywhere from $9.97, one thing to keep in mind is that they are stackable so one might not be enough.
  • They are both made of composite wood yet IKEA’s is way stronger and durable.
  • ClosetMaid stackable units are design to fit most closets but their inner shelves only have a nice smooth finish on one side. It might not be a deal breaker for some people but it’s hard to miss the unfinished composite wood side on the upper shelves.
  • Price wise IKEA is a bit more, but you are getting a stronger more durable unit. It also depends on which furniture line/style you choose. We went for the BILLY Bookcase because it was on sale ($24.99) and it was sturdier than cubes.

Our first stop was creating more hanging space. We carefully removed the “half shelve” (not to damage the wall) and installed two rods with a separation of about 45″ apart, my husband is 5’11” so it was perfect for him.

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There was still a good amount of space between the original shelve and the roof, so we added another shelve rack of six feet ($8.97) right above it. P.S. All folding and hanging was courtesy of my husband!

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Though you could stack IKEA units, we needed the hanging space so we decided to just use one BILLY Bookcase. I found some really nice fabric boxes at the dollar store and used them to store socks, they add quite a manly elegant touch to the cubes! We also bought two ClosetMaid Horizontal Stackable Organizers (each $9.97) and used them to organize some of my husbands shoes. You will notice the Overnight Huggies box on the top shelve, diaper boxes make great sturdy organizing “baskets”, all you have to do is cover them up with a fabric of your choice. For now they’ll remain like that because my fabrics and supplies are still boxed up, we’ll be doing this later!

What is a men’s closet without a tie rack?! I saw this Pin and fell in love with how organized and elegant all the ties looked!

Look closely though, it’s mainly a piece of wood with nails and plastic “tips”. I already had wood and paint in the garage, and we had plenty of nails, I bought ClosetMaid Caps for $0.97 and a rubber coating spray ($3.98) to coat the nails prior to glueing the caps on. The spray safeguards your ties incase the nails rust, plus it makes for a smooth surface for delicate fabrics. Then I painted it with a Semi-Gloss white paint I had, once it was dried I glued the caps with E6000 (steal and rubber might reject other glues). 

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They whole project literally cost me less than $5 and it looks awesome!

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byLisandra

Closets are one of those places you can’t avoid in your house! A well organized closet will save you grieve later on, and the best part is you don’t have to pay top dollars for somebody to make it for you! Here are two other great ideas that I wasn’t able to incorporate in the closet but they might prove usefull to you!

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Jeans on Shower Hooks

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Next stop my closet!

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The Wonders of Moving!

After months of showings, staging’s and endless cleaning we finally Sold our house! We are on the verge of Closing on our new home but I wanted to briefly share with you where we’ve been and where we are. Moving with a two-year old is no easy task, but it’s definitely an experience I’ll always remember! Who knew a two-year old could have so many things, I swear it felt like he had more things than both my husband and I together!

That being said, I will tell you that under no other circumstance would my house ever look like this! It was a complete disaster! Even my son would wake up in the morning asking to leave and go to “Abu’s House” (grandma’s house)! But then again, when is moving a neat affair?!

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Presently all are stuff is still loaded on the truck, but at least we are half way there, I have no intentions on going crazy to unpack everything as quickly as possible. We’ll start with closets first and then one room at a time, stay tuned for lot’s of projects to come! If you or someone you know will be moving anything soon, here are some helping links to some awesome tips!

33+ Helpful Moving Tips Everyone Should Know

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A Quick Tip on Painting and Patching Walls

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And of course:

The 10 Commandments of Moving!

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See you next week when we tackle our closets!

Have a great weekend!

Canister Up’Do!

As the Holiday Season comes to an end, I have to say that I’m glad its over.  20150106_110443We didn’t sell the house before the end of the New Year like we had hope for, but it turned out to be pretty busy and hectic all the same. Now we are up to our ears with packing, clearing, fixing and staging, hoping to get this selling down pack in no less than 2 months, since our new home will done by mid February. Needless to say, time for any other projects is very scarce, but I’ve delayed the packing of some of my supplies just so that I can share with you a few small projects between here and there. Our big projects -like building a dining bench and a shared office area (among others)– will come later!


Our current canisters have become sort of an eyesore for me, we’ve had them for what seems like forever and though they work, there’s only four of them and we need six.20150105_094936

I love Yankee Candles and I had collected six empty jars with the intentions of using them to store and organize crafts supplies (like you see in almost all craft room pictures), but as it turns out I didn’t like how it looked, if you ask me, it still looks messy. These jars are great because they seal perfectly, can hold heat and are dishwasher safe, plus with very little effort you can match them to your kitchen or house décor!

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First you need to remove any wax residue. Your candle is finished once the candle wick turns off by itself.d0504d03e96db96c7d6d89a1a36d85a5 Place the jar with the remainder of the wax in the freezer and let it sit for a day (some people say a couple of hours, I leave it and come back the next day), the wax will pop out completely and leave your glass jar ready for use. I’ve found that it works quicker when you place the jar in the freezer while it’s still hot and the wax is still in liquid form,  the heat and the cold react together almost instantly and it makes it pop out faster. Don’t worry, the glass will not crack! If your wax has already harden, just place the jar upside down on the freezer.

Next, it’s time to get rid off the labels and the messy glue residue they leave behind. If you have tried this before, I’m sure you’ve realized that this can be frustrating, they must not really want you to recycle glass containers because they make sure those labels are really hard to come out! I mean, have you ever tried to re-use a wine bottle?! It’s like the use cement on those labels!… IMG_2490The good news is that I found a method that actually works in getting rid of that unwanted glue residue no matter how messy it is! You can find the original post on my Pinterest Techniques Board; you pretty much mix equal parts Baking Soda and Vegetable Oil to create a paste, place it o top of your glue residue and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Then scrub away with hot waters! I’ve tried other methods and this one has works the best for me.

Once your bottle is clean, just wipe it with alcohol to remove any oil residue (always do this before painting any glass surfaces).

You can either use a store bought stencil or create your own. The best way to ensure sharp edges when creating your own stencil is to use contact paper. Just remember to flip (mirror) your image and remove any air bubbles before painting or the paint will leak through. I used my die cut machine and cut out some vines, then I drew the words and cut them out using an X Acto Knife.

Now you are ready to paint! When choosing glass paint you might be tempted to head straight for the Martha Stewart Glass Paints section, they have so many awesome colors it’s hard to resist, but you’ll be surprise to know that you can find equally good quality paint for half the price. Maybe with a more limited assortment of colors but sometimes you just need the basics.  Depending on the brand, some are labeled as “Multi Surface”, read the back of the label, you are good to go if it says it’s good for glass surfaces and that it air cures in 21 days or could also be baked.

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It is important to remember that when using a stencil, less paint works best. I know it is tempting to just add a thick layer to get it over with, but take my word when I say it usually makes a mess out of a simple project! You end up with messy edges you will need to clean up later, so avoid loads of paint. If you need to layer to get a more solid paint color, add a thin layer and let it dry, then reapply. Usually when painting glass one layer will do. If you choose to buy Martha Stewarts Glass Paints, double check to make sure whether you are buying the opaque or translucent kind.

Now dab away with a sponge!

Here is the final product! I used the same design in two different colors since I couldn’t really use white for “Flour” or “Sugar”! If you are wondering why two “Sugar” jars? The turquoise one is for brown sugar!

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One last thing, any time you paint glass you need to cured it. It won’t look permanent right away but once it’s cured, it will be. You usually have two choices: bake it in the oven or air cure it. Since I’m moving within the next month or two, I’m in no rush to bake it, I’m letting it air cure. I will post some pictures of them in our new kitchen once we move!

See you next week and…

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A Metal Journey!

You must be wondering why I choose the word “Journey”, the truth is that when I first started this project I didn’t really know what I was getting into. I will confess that a couple of times I felt like I had bitten more than I could chew, but I stuck to it and I LOVE it! Originally I thought it would take me 1 week to finish the project; one week turned into 1 month, but I didn’t touch it for a whole week while my son was sick and I only worked on it during “breaks” so it’s really hard to pin point an exact time frame. I will share with you my process but there might be a few tricks I missed since this is my first “mosaic” experience! So let’s get to it!


I had bought this vase 6 years ago, it worked then (we had 2 small puppies that loved to run around and we needed something that wouldn’t break), but we outgrew it and hid it in a corner. I thought of giving it away but then I realized that a was only going to end up buying a new one for the new house. I looked for ideas and though I like mosaics, I don’t like the “busy look” most of them have. I like clean looks with pizazz, hence the reason why I’m going for a Coastal look for the new house. I figured; “I can do a mosaic! but I’ll do it my way! less tiles, more grout, it’s be perfect!”, and by looking at a couple of DIY picture tutorials (yes, I did not read the instructions!), I decided I was ready and equipped to handle the task like a pro! …Silly me, I didn’t know what I was getting into!

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Keeping to the theme of reusing what I already have, I skiped the mosaic tiles from the craft store and used CD’s cut into pieces. Least expensive, more time consuming. I did learn a lot from working on CD’s: not all CD’s are created equal, cheap is really cheap (they crack and they peal: not good), and they are remarkably tough. I separated them into colors and decided on a design, luckily enough the vase was filled with those dollar store beads that are flat on one side, so I incorporated them into the design.

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I printed some sea gulls from my computer and traced them onto the vase, then I started placing my pieces. I used E6000 glue only because I was working on metal and other glues don’t grip as well. It stinks, it’s strong, it’s consider a carcinogen (if inhailed or digested) but it works fast and great! Do use it outside, it really does stink.

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I didn’t use any specific drawing to design the top and bottom of the vase, I just went with the flow! Since the bead are tinted clear glass, I had to paint the areas where the beads would be glued with acrylic white paint in order to hide the dark brown metal.

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Then after all the pieces where in place it was time to grout! The craft store does sell grout, I’m unsure whether is less “tough” than the hardware one. I simply got the one from Home Depot (in Pure White) because it had more for less. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking but I thought that grouting would be a breeze! well, it turn out to be the most time consuming part since grout needs time to cling to metal! I couldn’t take pictures of this process since my hands where all “grouty”! But it was something new, challenging but fun. Usually you use a flat spatula to work with grout, but that was not feasible in my case because of the shape of my vase. It was a lot easier to apply the grout with my hands, and it sort of worked like clay once it was moist. In order to let it set/dry, I laid the vase down and did one side, waited a day for it to fully dry, and then did the other side. This process is really not hard at all if you are doing a full mosaic, it was challenging for me because I was basically covering the inter vase in grout not tiles!

Once it was all dried up, I was totally overwhelmed! Grout can be messy, and all I could see was the clean up work ahead of me. I kept thinking to myself: “I hope this comes out or this was a waste of time”! This is when I realized I might had over estimated the project (you think!).

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After some good old grout cleaning, I finally saw the light! The beads and the “tiles” showed the design beautifully and it was coming together! It took me nearly 3 hours to clean it up, my hands were exhausted but I was razing against time determined to finish before Jaden woke up from his nap!

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After another full day of drying, it was up to the finishing touches: some twine for the handles and bottom of the vase. I was totally amazed how the twine gave it more life!

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This baby looks great! Yes it is “rough”, it has a lot of texture, but that is exactly what I was going for. I can’t wait to display it with curly willow branches in my new home!

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With only $15 dollars of materials this $29.99 six year old vase from Wal-Mart now looks like a work of art! What you think?!

Etching Glass Technique!

So far we’ve done six different glass projects, today I’m sharing with you a technique that can be used on any glass surface! After this post you will look at glass and think…hmm, what if I…?!

  • Glass Etching

Simple versatile technique that can make a simple glass piece into an expensive one. It’s great for personalizing glass as gifts or, branding yours. I will warn you, the main tool; Etching Cream will cost you anything from $12 and up, depending on the size of your container, but I think you’ll agree with me in saying it’s worth it. It is an acid, so handle with care and keep it away from pets and children, avoid contact with your skin (if any, just rinse thoroughly) and apply with something plastic and disposable. Don’t worry, it sounds worse than it is, but those are just the precautions on the label and since it is some sort of acid, it doesn’t hurt to follow the precautions. On that note I will tell you, I got it on my hands and nothing happened, so don’t worry, it doesn’t irritate your skin as long as you don’t let it sit.

The great thing about Etching Cream is that you can create multiple pieces and not repeat yourself! I love the fact that even though it’s an acid, it has no fumes and it barely smells, so working indoors is not a problem. I’m sharing with you the original tutorial but I’m listing my instructions rather than the original ones. Feel free to compare and use the instructions that best work for you!

Materials:

Contact paper (clear or colored one), Etching Cream & plastic knife


Instructions:

1. Choose your image. Any graphic or drawing will do, just remember that if you don’t have a cutting machine, you’ll have to do the cutting your self and a simple image would be best.

2. If you have a Cricut Machine (or other machine like that), just cut your contact paper on a sheet bigger than your image and let your machine cut it out.

If you don’t have a Cricut, just cut your contact paper so that it fits on your printer, flip your image horizontally (mirror your image) and print it. It is very important you print on the paper side and not the plastic side (that is why we are flipping the image). Be careful, some printers jam contact paper sheets. If your printer jams the sheet of contact paper, you will probably have to buy a mold and trace or draw the image. Once your image is on your contact paper sheet, your next step is to cut out your image with an X-acto knife. This step might take some time depending on how detailed your image is.

3. Clean your glass with alcohol and once it’s dry, place the adhesive part of your contact paper in your glass. Remove all air bubble and make sure there are no gaps. This is very important in order to obtain a crisp image.

4. Using a plastic disposable knife and apply sufficient Etching Cream to the areas that were cut out (to your image). You don’t want it to drip, but you want to make sure the cream completely covers the area. If cream falls on an area of the glass that is not part of your image, wipe away quickly as any drops where the etching cream sits in the glass will be permanent.

5. Depending on the brand you buy, some bottles don’t have waiting time instructions. I will tell you that 10 minutes didn’t do anything to my glass, by experience I would advice letting it sit for maybe 2 hours before rinsing. If it sounds like a lot of time, you can do what I did: I kept rinsing and reapplying until the etching effect was visible enough. Maybe it all depends on the thickness of your glass, of this I’m not sure, the good thing is you can rinse and reapply without having to remove the contact paper.

6. Once your waiting time is complete, take you glass and rinse it with tab water. Don’t be afraid of touching the image and removing the cream with your fingers, it will not hurt or dry your hands at all. The etching effects are permanent so rubbing the image will not harm it.

7. Once you inspect to make sure your image etched correctly, remove the contact paper. You’re finished! Feel free to wash as normal, your image won’t be going anywhere!


The truth is that this technique is quick and simple once your image is cut out of the contact paper. Anything from birds (which I did, I loved the simplicity of it!) to monograms will look expensive!

On another note, I needed a desert tray and decided to make one out of my extensive glassware, check it out! Ikea Tea Light holder and a glass urn glued together with glass water proof glue! Not bad!

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byLisandra

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A Glass Makeover Part 2!

Two weeks ago I shared with you, part  one of my “Costal Collection”/Glass Makeover. Today, we will take a look at part two of my glassware makeover projects. I wanted to create a variety of coastal colors but also a variety of textures. It is never a good idea to overlook texture as it can do wonders for your décor or  it can completely throw off your intents*. Remember the purpose of these Glass Makeover projects is to reuse what I have on hand. Here are some other techniques I have tried:

  • Sand Glass

This technique is a must for anybody doing a Beach or Coastal themed décor. It’s beautiful, extremely easy to make and affordable! All you need is Rust-Oleum American Accents Stone Textured Finish spray paint (about $7.97) and your choice of glass. You could use a plastic vase but I would use glass, even though it says “Fast Drying” on the label, my experience was quite the opposite. Even on a sunny hot Florida day it took about 24 hours to fully dry. No complaints here though, the results where worth the wait! I’ll give you some good advice; don’t try to cover your vase with one coat, it takes 2 to 3 coats to get a good even texture on your glass. Lastly, avoid doing heavy coats to cut out time. Since this technique will provide you with a fully opaque finish, you should take advantage of it and cover up those vases you are not too fond of! Like mine for example!

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  • Metallic Glass

I saw this tutorial on Buzzfeed.com, they where decorating Drinking Glasses, and I loved the effect! Funny enough I didn’t realized it was a drinking glass until after I had done my vase since it looked like I tall vase on the picture! Meaning: I didn’t read the instructions. Something I hate to admit I do often; but the good thing is, you’ll learn from my mistakes! You can actually use metallic spray paint or metallic glass paint, either way you’ll get a beautiful effect. Don’t like the metallic look? No worries, your choice of color or texture paint will do just fine!

Materials needed: Metallic spray paint and painting tape

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  • Mercury Glass

Now this technique requires a little more of hands on time. It’s beautiful and well worth your time and money; the paint cost is about $12 for a small paint can and I have to admit I wasn’t driven to pay that much for a 6oz can. But compared to buying a Mercury vase, I decided to bite the bullet and I’m happy I did! For $12 I now have 4 Mercury pieces all different shapes and sizes, and I still have some left over for some Tea light holders I plan to make from baby food jars! Follow the link attached to the Tutorial Image, it’s simple and detailed. You must use Looking Glass Mirror-Like Paint from Krylon, metallic paint will not provide the desire effect. Try it, you’ll love the effect!

Materials needed: Krylon paint, water and vinegar

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byLisandra After Staining Glass Technique

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After Staining Glass Technique

These are all less time consuming and labor intensive in comparison with our First Glass Makeover Post but they provide a beautiful texture and design to any room. *Texture can be anything from a pillow to a rug or a vase. Here are some good links to great articles about Texture and Decorating that will help you!

Make an Impact with Texture

Decorating with Texture

10 Simple Ways to Add Texture to Your Home

Next post…getting ready for Thanksgiving!