Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mirror Tiled Mosaic Bar

Now, when you think of two very crafty, very musical seventeen year-olds, do you think bar remodel? I do! Over the summer my dearest cousin and I decided that we hated the orange laminate on the bar, so we went into the project thinking that we were just going to cover it up.

BUT nothing ever works out according to plan when I'm involved with a craft project... So, you can guess that this project got just a little messy ;]

We found that it was a lot easier to work with a rough surface when you intend to glue mirrors onto a wood bar. We then proceeded to break the laminate with the nail-removing part of the hammer- *DO NOT DO THIS* it hurts and it's dangerous; you should most definitely find a better way to remove laminate if that it the case.

Once the laminate was removed, we called over my cousin's boyfriend, who proved to be a great asset, seeing as the two of us didn't have a mechanical hand-sander. He also helped us a great deal in replacing the edging of the bar (which we accidentally tore off during the laminate removal).

We then proceeded spending an annoying amount of time trying to find little mirrors that look like so:


You can find them at Michael's, Joann's, and online. I suggest ordering them online because the stores never really seem to carry a bunch, and that way you can order more of a variety than just having to rely on what the stores can supply.

While waiting until we thought we had enough mirrors, we sanded down the front of the bar (which is wood-paneled) and got a black stain. We would have stained it further, but my grandmother and aunt (they own the house) didn't want it any darker.

Here's the best shot I have of the stain.

If you look closely you can see the wood paneling on the wall that we didn't stain. The color isn't a HUGE difference, and when you're in the house you don't even notice that wall, but you can definitely see a difference. I still would like to stain it darker one day.

In the picture you can also see our replaced edging. Originally the edging didn't go all the way around the bar, when we redid it we made it continue all the way around, and painted it with a glossy black lacquer. It looks absolutely stunning on the bar. We attached the edging BEFORE we laid down the mirrors, and I definitely recommend doing it that way. I think if you tried painting it after you laid the mirrors down, it would be difficult to avoid painting the grout and mirrors.

When we finally found enough mirrors that we could finish the job, we began gluing them on. At first we were going to do all round mirrors, and then toyed with the idea of doing a mosaic of colored tiles (I.E. blue and green tiles, four tiles deep, alternating colors creating a checkered pattern). So, it would have been a colored border instead of the square mirror border, but in the end everyone decided that we liked the square mirror border the best.

We didn't use exact measurements, we said: "Okay, we'll leave a space at the edge that's three square mirrors thick... Okay, now use that same distance between all the square mirrors now."

And that's basically how that worked. We tested it first, using Scotch tape so that it would leave a residue (like Duck Tape would). The round mirrors really didn't have any set spacing, we mainly went off how much space we thought looked good.

We then glued them down, using Amazing Goop craft glue (works wonders). Let the glue dry at least 24 hours. Now time for the Spackle! We got white (? I believe if I remember correctly), but Ace Hardware has TONS of colors. We almost got black, but we didn't know if that would look good (does it look good?). Once your glue is dry, spread grout between the tiles with a spackle knife (which are also at Ace, very cheap in price). Make sure you get the grout in between each and every tile and near the edge of the tabletop, bar top, etc.

When the surface is covered with grout, get a sponge wet with cold water. This will help you smooth the grout in between the tiles as well as wiping off the mirrors. (Mirrors will have grout residue on them afterwards. But you can clean it off after the grout has dried. Don't worry if you don't get the grout to cover all the spots, you can always go over it a second time to cover those holes :]).

And TA-DA:

There's the finished project! This was an awesome project to work on. I learned a ton about how to do things, and most definitely how NOT to do them (taking off the laminate was a perfect example of that). This took us around three weeks. It honestly shouldn't have taken that long. I would maybe give it two, tops. If you don't mess up the whole surface area (like we did) it should take you two, three days depending on the size of your surface areas. Message me if you have any questions, I understand that some of this isn't exactly clear. Hope you enjoy it, please feel free to share!

- A Surface (table, night stand, bar, etc, etc.
- Mirrors (square, round, circular... You can even use colored mosaic tiles!)
- Amazing Goop craft glue
- Bathroom-tile grout
- Medium-grit sandpaper
- Spackle knife
- Sponge
- Cold water

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I wanted to type a quick blurb, wishing you a happy holiday season...

I'll be back soon with more posts!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Spicing Up the Christmas Tree...

So, my mother requested that I sew something for her, because she claimed that she "is the only one who I've never made anything for"... Which is so not true because she has all my crafts from who knows when, and I haven't sew/made things for several of my family members.

Anyways, she requested that I make a tree skirt for her- so here it is!

The skirt itself was simple, I think, however, that I probably picked the hardest materials to work with... Here are some detailed shots of them:

I used some beading on the edge too, which was a little hard to work with because the ribbon wasn't quite as wide as I would have liked it to be; and that made it difficult to sew on. I did use a pattern for this, as I usually do. But I generally only use the patterns to help me get a basic shape for cutting each piece, but one is definitely not needed for this project. I tend to never follow the patterns other than just cutting the pieces and material measurements.

Fun to do, I would love to experiment with it some more, other colors and materials. I really want to try a black satin with a white or cream lace over it. I think that would look awesome, but not very Christmas-y... :]

Hope you enjoy, please feel free to share your thoughts, questions, concerns...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Easy, Fun Picture Frame Earring Holder

Hello everyone!

As my first post to this blog I wanted to post my favorite and most often used craft/project:

The good thing about this project is it does not take any time at all. Well, it took me a year to figure out what I was going to do, and then actually do it... But I guess that's what I get for being a busy seventeen year old! :]

This craft is PERFECT if you're anything like me- which means you have numerous articles of earrings (my most frequented item in my repertoire). All you need is a desired frame (I bought mine from IKEA- it's called the UNG Drill, runs at about $29.99), screening material, a hot glue gun, and of course the glue to go with it.

The EASIEST way I found to attach the screening material was to lay it all the way across the frame and just cut it off at the width of the frame. I then proceeded to turn the little metal tabs (that hold the picture and glass in) backwards so that it held the screening material. Then I hot glued the rest of the edge down and then cut off the extra screening material.

It's best to work on a large area. I worked outside on my patio on a table, so to prevent my dogs from stepping on it or getting near the hot glue.

Minus my ages of planning time, the whole thing took about thirty minutes. It's really fun and really easy and it's good for teenagers, college students... I think my mother even wants me to make her one!

I got ribbon to wind between as a personal preference, and because it looked amazing with the color scheme in my room. The hanger I used is from Hobby Lobby (I went there for the first time TODAY, my mom found the hanger after I made the frame), and it's absolutely incredible! I will most definitely go back. I also looked at Urban Outfitters for hangers (I know, weird right?) and I found some cool ones, but I definitely like the one I have the best and advocate Hobby Lobby entirely. It's truly amazing in there!


Unfortunately, picture frames come with glass, and I determined to use the glass for another craft, I'm just not sure how... Any ideas hit me up!

I hope you all enjoy this craft and share your opinions on it! Like I said, please feel free to email me at the address provided in my profile. Thanks so much!