Trash to Treasure Mirror – Monthly DIY Challenge

Well, folks!  It’s my favorite time of month again… Monthly DIY Challenge time!

For any newbies, this is a monthly challenge where several bloggy friends and I are assigned a theme or item and must simply make something of it.  And in honor of Earth Day (which was on April 22nd), we chose….

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Trash to treasure!!!

Before I get into my project, let me give you a little background on the space where this project will go.  Our master bedroom “atrium” as I call it, is an area that I’ve had some difficulty with on the decorating front.   This little hallway-ish area of our bedroom (which leads to both our closet and bathroom) looked like this when we first purchased the house…

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Very purple and very dark with VERY little natural light.  Our master bedroom is pretty large and has only one window. Since our backyard is so shady, it’s often a darker space anyways.  Which makes the atrium REALLY dark.

After we moved in, I painted the bedroom a soothing grey color and I relocated our vintage Bassett tall-boy into the space to try and dress it up….

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Clearly, it wasn’t finished, but even knowing this, something was still bothering me.  The space was dark and lifeless.  It just wasn’t doing it for me.  I tried painting the mirror white, but never ended up taking pictures because it still didn’t jam (Plus, I really wanted to use that quatrefoil mirror in our hang-out room instead anyways… post to come).

Then, out of nowhere, something random (and totally awesome) happened.  If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen this post about it….

#dumbanddumberforever

And the stars began to align (as evidenced by this grainy iPhone shot that I excitedly sent to Joey as I danced with glee — which, in my head, was the most graceful thing ever, BTW 😉 )….

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The mirror was the perfect size and shape for above the dresser.   The curved top was a great way to add some softness and interest to contrast all of the straight lines that were happening.  Plus, the huge size really helped bounce light around the room.   And all of the sudden I could see it.    A vision of a cool chandelier which reflected off the top of that curved mirror.  A linear, light-toned fabric brightening the wall behind it.   It ALLLLL started coming together in my head.

Boo-Yeah.

So, now that I’d decided on a location for the mirror, next came the question of color.   Obviously, I wasn’t going to leave the mirror as it was.  I’m personally not a fan of the sorta-matches-but-not-really-thing.  Which is exactly the description of this wood tone.  And I knew that I didn’t want it to be a light color as this would emphasize the braided detail seen below….

So, a darker color.  I wanted to tie it into the other side of the room (Which looks like this now minus that off-balanced bench in the corner… still lots to do.  pleasedontjudge)…

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And I decided that navy blue was totally the way to go since I already had some navy accents going on around the space.  So, I purchased a can of this spray paint…

I taped off my mirror and elevated it on a few scrap pieces of wood, then applied several thin and even coats of spray paint…

This was taken after about two thin coats… there were many more after that. Once everything was dried and cured, Joey helped me hang it. Which left this…

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Notice my little mirrored planter from last month?  Still going strong!

And here’s that entire wall now…

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Still far from finished, but a step in the right direction.  I really love how the mirror turned out, though I do think it could stand to be hung a little higher.  We’ve actually been meaning to do that but ran out of time before today’s challenge.

It just never ceases to amaze me what a little spray paint will do to change up a piece, though.  That’s what I love the most about DIY… it doesn’t necessarily have to be hard or time-consuming to be effective.  It just took a little good luck in finding the mirror and $5 worth of spray paint to take our little atrium from this…

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To this…

See how much more alive the space looks now that the mirror is tall enough to reflect the lighting fixture?  Me-OW.  And speaking of light, you can see that another easy trash-to-treasure hack that I employed in this space was adding an old drum shade to our existing boob light…

I actually followed the same process that my bloggy friend Mary Beth used in this post (which includes the genius use of a simple rubber band).  I’m sorta jealous that I didn’t come up with that little tidbit on my own.  Lol!  I’m not gonna go into details, but you can read her post if you wanna see how I did it.

In any case, I’m so happy that this area is starting to come together.  I still want to add a light-colored, patterned fabric to the wall behind the mirror to brighten up the space and add interest.  It’s really just a matter of finding the fabric.   And then I want to change the lighting fixture out for more of a chandelier-type aesthetic (The drum shade is a great way to camouflage the boob light in the meantime, though).  And I would LOVE to get that weird outlet in the middle of wall beside the dresser (aka: The zit on the nose of our atrium) moved to a normal location behind the dresser.   I have no idea why it’s so high.  It makes me wonder if there was once a built-in against that back wall or something.

**Update: Wanna see our atrium area now?? Click on this post!**

So anyways, that’s my Trash to Treasure story, now check out the other awesome projects created by my other bloggy friends…

Easy Mirrored Planters – Monthly DIY Challenge

Howdy, guys!  It’s that time again!  What time???

Monthly DIY Challenge time! Woot!

For those who don’t know, this is a monthly challenge that I participate in along with some other mighty talented bloggers.   We’re simply assigned a theme (or an item) and must make something with it.  Easy peasy.  And this month’s theme was….

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The dollar store!

I’ll admit, I was pretty excited about this one.  Not only is the dollar store close to my penny-pinching heart, the possibilities are endless!   So, I headed right around the corner to our local 99 Cents Only store and got going.   After corralling the aisles for a while and being pretty impressed with their selection of plants (which ranged from $1.99-2.99), I decided to personalize some planters for these sweet viney guys…

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 Aren’t they charming?

I’m totally picturing them channeling the pansies from Alice in Wonderland right now (The cartoon, not the creepy Johnny Depp version.  Seriously, though… doesn’t Johnny Depp make creepy look good? Just sayin’. 😉 )

Now, I must profess that there is imminent danger when shopping at the 99 Cents Only store.  You will end up buying much more than you planned on. It happens to me every time.   And this trip was especially dangerous since I literally circled the store four times, just making sure that I didn’t miss anything.   And I missed nothing.  Trust me.  This was halfway through shopping…  

I literally got all of the plants that I needed for my covered back patio for under 20 bucks.   It was magical.

Anyways, what I ended up choosing for planters were these glass candle vases, which I purchased for (you guessed it!) 99 cents each!

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I loved how sturdy and stout they were, and their low profiles had me at hello.

Now, for what to do with them…. I’ve seen “dipped” vases all over Pinterest for some time now (and even created my own version here a while back).  I’ve always adored the simplicity and elegance of them.  How that simple band of color lends so much to whatever item it’s adorning.   This time I wanted to replicate that effect on my candle vases with this mirrored spray paint….

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I’d purchased it about a year ago.  Then it sat, completely ignored and neglected, up until now.   After reading the label, I learned that the shiny “mirror effect” happened when you painted the reverse side of the glass, but I actually wanted a slightly duller effect.   Shiny, but not quite mirror-tastic.  I wanted it to look like old, aged chrome basically, so I decided to paint the outside of the glass instead.  Plus, I figured it was better for the plant to not have spray paint fumes infusing the soil.

I started by cleaning my vases well with vinegar to remove any oils or dirt, then I taped them off with painters tape…

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See those wrinkles and bubbles in the shot above?  I made sure to press all of those down flat before painting.   Then, I set them upside-down on some cardboard…

IMG_8936Yeeeeeaaaahhh…. I didn’t even remove the labels.  I figured they’d be hidden anyways.

And gave them three thin, even coats of spray paint…

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I was sure to remove the tape while the spray paint was still wet to avoid any sad tragedies involving peeled-off paint…

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I immediately loved the imperfection in the finish.  The little dots and dimples.  It was exactly what I was going for and another reason that I’d wanted to use the mirror spray paint as opposed to plain silver spray paint.  After allowing my planters to cure in the garage for 24 hours, it was planting time.   I simply stole some pea gravel from Lucas’s play area out back…

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Then, added my plants with some potting soil…

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And here they are chilling on my patio along with some cute placemats, which I also found at the 99 Cents Only for (say it with me now) 99 cents a pop….

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Call it nepotism, but my new children vases totally steal the show, right?

Haha!  None of my other planters stand a chance. 😉

I love that they’re sophisticated with a touch of glam.   And the texture of the soil peeking through the glass makes me happy.  Plus, those bright, viney leaves are such a welcome contrast to that sexy, sleek vase.   Me-OW!

I did some googling to figure out what these plants are (since they didn’t come with a tag or label), and I think they’re Heartleaf Philodendrons.   Thus, I plan to move these guys indoors for a little air filtration action.  Apparently, they’re little beasts when it comes to attacking many types of nasty VOCs (like formaldehyde which is used in certain types of particleboard and such).    So, BONUS!   This challenge has gifted me with cute planters AND cleaner air.   I call that a success.  (Fistpump!)

Now, check out the other awesome projects created by my bloggy friends.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed…

TDC Before and After