i heart glitter: Repurposed Mason Jars

when we got married, i borrowed close to 100 mason jars from my coworker for our centerpieces.

you may be wondering how a guy could end up with all of those jars. so, here’s one of the secret benefits of living in a small city adjacent to large swaths of still rural areas. people have family farms. these mason jars were used by his grandmother for canning. crazy, huh? mason jars actually used for canning!

in the end, i cleaned them out and gave 95% of them back. let me tell you – that modpoge/food coloring combination really works out well. jars stay blue until you wash them and then the glue comes off easily. HOWEVER, when you have 100 jars, it still takes a while.

i had a hard time parting with all of them, though. so i asked to hang onto a couple – he was cool with it. they were just sitting on my sewing table – plain glass. then i got this inspiration:

inspiration

these jars look cool no? and i heart glitter. who doesn’t?

supplies

  • spray paint $5
  • glitter $1.50
  • jars $FREE

total: $6.50

and to note – i did not use up any of the materials i bought. so add that spray paint and glitter to your craft drawer/closet/room. oh man.. craft room… drool.

tools

  • mod podge

true crafters consider modpodge a tool

  • sponge paint brush
  • something to dump glitter all over, collect and return
  • dropcloth

helpful hints

  • those people over at Lilyshop weren’t kidding that these things are delicate. i dinged up my paint job before even putting the glitter on.
  • don’t even try to use painters tape or anything of the like to delineate where you want the modpodge/glitter to stop. it will rip off the spray paint. yes, i know from experience.    lilyshop mentioned it and i didn’t listen. oops.

directions

i’m not even going to list the directions. follow theirs. they do a good job of explaining!

however, you always need to see how they actually come out in person. one set of photos is never enough.

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finished jars – in place – holding a lot of stuff
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see that center one? it already has a scratch. too lazy to fix it.
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one of them is turned backward because i totally scuffed up the front. oops.
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Match it up: Bookshelf Update

when you pictured the place that you’re living as an adult, you think of [insert your favorite furniture store here]. mine was a cross between crate + barrel and design within reach.

then you realize that life doesn’t really work like that. furniture is expensive. you have to hang onto the crappy furniture for much longer than you realized. case in point: laminated wood bookcase.

  • do we need extra storage? yes.
  • do we have a bookcase that works? yes.
  • should we buy a new one? no.

and that’s the end of my adult dream of a catalog-worthy place.

inspiration

funny enough, my inspiration came from previous changes to the bookcase. when i first bought the bookcase, i knew i needed some color – so i painted the backing orange.

before: notice the painted back?
before: notice the painted back?

supplies

  • fabric
  • staples
  • tape

tools

  • staple gun
  • ruler
  • scissors

time

super quick! it took me less than a half hour.

helpful hints

  • i thought about just painting the back, but it’s easier to match the rest of the decor with the same fabric!
  • you only need a piece of fabric that’s just a couple of inches larger than the backing.
  • i used staples instead of using the existing screws, but if you can use them if you prefer.
  • the tape is used to hold the fabric in place temporarily.

directions

  1. measure and cut the fabric for the backing
  2. fold the fabric over the edges and secure it in place with tape.
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i used electrical tape – it stuck to the backing well. the fabric? not so great.

3. staple the backing to the edges of the bookshelf.

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you don’t need too many staples to hold the backing in place

done and done! pretty easy huh?

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the fabric matches the bench!
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gotta minimize the number of books to show off the fabric
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the end!

Super Cheap Table Runners

one thing i didn’t realize until i actually started participating in the whole wedding thing is how much it’s not just about the two of us. i mean – i knew. all of these people were going to be coming in town to join us. however, it’s totally different when it really happens. you’re overwhelmed with love, joy and excitement. and you’re so incredibly grateful for all of it -for time with people you don’t normally see – for time with the people you’re closest to – for a couple of private moments with your (future) spouse.

with that said – it’s all a huge whirlwind. it’s amazing to do all of this planning for a wedding, go through said wedding (in a blink of an eye, mind you), go on your honeymoon, then come straight back to reality. while it is incredibly exciting to start your real life with your spouse, it’s also so darn sad that it’s all over. i will never have all of those people in the same room again. i know that’s a terrible attitude, but it’s true.

luckily, i have amazing pictures commemorating the event. another thing that’s going to help me through this transition being able to talk about all of these wedding crafts. it’ll remind me of all the work that went into one day. it was a lot of work (and not just for me).

so without further ado, i bring my first wedding craft post: super cheap table runners. like the look of burlap, but don’t like the cost? here ya go.

table runners + mason jars = cute decor at a low cost

inspiration

Cake Vintage Table Runner

as you can see – these table runners go for $34 for 50 ft. i would’ve needed at least 3 of these for (12) 72″ round tables. and i didn’t even like the silverware – at least for the wedding. it really didn’t go with the decor.

supplies

  • 24″ wide kraft paper roll – $33 for  1000′

yes, you see that correctly. i purchased a 1000′ roll of kraft paper off of amazon. i could’ve purchased less, but i know it’ll come in handy later.

  • bottles of acrylic paint – $3 for 4 bottles
  • sponge paint brushes – $1.50
  • plastic cup for paint – $0
  • newspaper/tarp/whatever – $0
  • tape measure – $0
  • rubber bands/paper clips – $0
  • stencil – $15-17

i used a Martha Stewart stencil i already had, so this cost me nothing. you can really use anything as a stencil. 

total cost – $53.50 (if you have pretty much none of the supplies listed above)

time

i’m not going to lie. this wasn’t quick. i think it took me 30-45 minutes for each table runner. i watched a lot of hulu+ and netflix while doing these runners.

helpful hints

  • test out your paint first. i thought i was going to use one color and ended up with another. it looks different on the brown vs. typical white paper.
  • let the paint dry to get a true sense of the color.
  • a little paint goes a long way. you really don’t need a lot to stencil. in fact, more will create bleed and make your stencils look messy.
  • if it does bleed a little on one or two, ignore it. no one’s going to notice at the wedding. they’re going to be looking at you two, or their dates, or the dinner and drinks. certainly not the slightly messed up stencil.
  • it’s better to have too long of a table runner than too short.
  • it’s better to have too many table runners than not enough.

directions

  1. cut all of your table runners. for a 72″ table, i cut mine to be 100″ long – a little more than a foot on each side.
  2. find a long flat surface – dining room tables work really well.
  3. lay down newspaper to keep fiance from freaking out, thinking you’re going to ruin his dining room table.
  4. mark the spacing on your stencil.

in my case, i had to place two markings – two below the stencil, parallel to the edge of the plastic. when you flip the paper around, you’re going to have to stencil in the other direction and you’ll need a second set of measurements. see pic below.

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there should be 4 marks – 2 marks along the “bottom” and 2 marks along the “top”

5.  start at one end – in a way where your stencil won’t overlap what you’ve already painted and stencil your way to the other end.

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align the bottom two markings with the edge of the paper

6.  spin the paper around and stencil the other side.

7.  wait for it to dry (it might be already dry – the paint dries really fast).

8.  roll it up with the stencil facing out and use a rubber band or paper clip the top and bottom.

Close Up: Table Runners/Mason Jars
the final look: a close up

 

IKEA hack: Besta Bench

i helped my then boyfriend – now husband pick out his place in atlanta. there are so many things that you look for in a place that it’s sometimes hard to decide what items are most important. upon permanently relocating down here, along with a truck’s worth of stuff, i discovered the good and bad of the place.

his place here has some great perks that my apartment in raleigh didn’t, such as a garage and nice carpet. i don’t want to even know how old the carpet was in my place.

one thing that it doesn’t have is storage. whenever they laid out my place in raleigh, they were super smart. there was 5 good size closets for a 2 bedroom apartment. pretty awesome huh?

not so much here in atl. not even a linen closet. and the owner did not install useful closet organizing systems. so we’re struggling with where to put all of this stuff and we’re not pack rats. in fact, we have very little compared to many.

so with that said, i’m trying to figure out any way to add more storage. here’s comes the IKEA “hack” – quotes because i didn’t really change the furniture at all. i took my BESTA tv stand and changed it into a bench. so what? well… it’s got two extra shelves to house all of those linens i have NO CLOSET for.

inspiration

when i lived in raleigh, i got rid of my tv. it was pretty liberating, until you count the fact that i still have both netflix and hulu+, but whatevs. so, i’ve got this leftover tv stand… what to do? what to do?

ah yes…. definitely this.

supplies

  • staples – $3
  • fabric – $1.50
  • 2″ foam (or batt if you’d prefer) – $2

i used two layers of 1″ foam.

  • ceiling tile/plywood – $4

total cost: $10.50

tools

  • staple gun
  • box cutter/xacto knife
  • scissors
  • tape measure

time

this was super duper easy. i got it all done in less than an hour.

helpful hints

  • if you have a Habitat for Humanity Restore near you, check it out. they have a lot of stuff, sometimes even the tools you’re looking for.
  • think outside of the box for your base. i originally was thinking plywood or osb, but when i saw a 2×4 ceiling tile, i realized it would be way easier to cut.
  • another shout out to Scrap Exchange – i got my foam there for way cheaper than it would be at the typical craft store.
  • the inspiration glued the batt to the board. i didn’t really need it, so i skipped that whole part.
  • when you’re stapling the fabric to the edges, work on opposite edges at the same time. this keeps the fabric aligned on both sides.

directions

  1. measure your bench.
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the base: ceiling tile!

2.  cut your base to the same size as the bench

3.  cut your foam to fit.

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you can’t tell that these are separate pieces of foam with the fabric on

4.  measure your fabric. you want to at least 1-2″ on each side for stapling to the base. make sure to account for the 2″ height of the foam.

5.  cut the corners on a diagonal. this eliminates how much fabric is coming together at the corners. staple the corners first.

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stapling the corners first helps with making the corners look neat.

6. staple the fabric along the edges.

you’re done!

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the fabric is from IKEA. on sale!
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side view showing the thickness of the bench.
matches the rest of the room pretty well, doesn't it?
matches the rest of the room pretty well, doesn’t it?