Almost Free Bird

Sometime last year I was browsing one of my favorite blogs -’The Art of Doing Stuff‘, when I came across a post where Karen took an inexpensive dollar store ceramic bird and transformed it with a quick spray of paint. I decided right then an there that I was going to do the same if I was ever so lucky to come across a ceramic dollar store bird of my own. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right?

It took a while, but eventually my local Dollarama had some birds I could try my hand at spraypainting. They had three styles, and when I first saw them I have to admit that I didn’t even remember my plan to copy emulate Karen’s idea. By the time my brain kicked in, all my local Dollaramas were completely sold out of birds, and I had to Google the store to find some locations in the far reaches of suburbia. Okay – it wasn’t that bad – I just had to travel about 30 minutes by bus. That store had one version of the bird left so I scooped him up, and brought him home where he resided wrapped in tissue paper for months. (I need to work on my idea/plan execution – this isn’t the only project that’s languished as I twiddled my thumbs – but that’s a different blog post).

Dollar Store Bird - Before

Anyways, after my successful first two forays (one, two) into the magical world of spray paint I decided to unearth the bird for his transformation.

Three coats of spray paint later, and a little white felt on the bottom and he’s been transformed.

Dollar Store Bird - After

What do you think? As I already had the white spray paint and felt from my bookend project, this little bird project cost a whopping $2.26 (Incl. taxes). Pretty good right? My bird wasn’t as cheap (cheep – Ha!) as Karen’s, but I blame that entirely on Dollarama switching from the everything for $1 pricing model, to a few things for a $1, and most at $2.

Linking to: {Primp}, Addicted 2 Decorating, Coastal Charm, Thrifty Decor Chick, Remodelaholic

DIY – Dollarstore White Lion Bookends

Earlier this year I was exploring the aisles of my local Dollarama when I came across some rather interesting garden decorations in the form of lions. I liked the shape of them, but since I don’t have a garden where they could sit proudly amongst the flowers I left them where they sat on the shelf. On my way home from the store I had what I consider a rather brilliant idea, and a day later returned and purchased two.

Dollar Store Garden Lions

For some time I’d been eying all those white ceramic animal book ends which seem to be everywhere recently, but hadn’t yet managed to bite the bullet and buy some. In particular this owl set at Chapters had caught my eye.

Chapters Owl Bookends – $39.99

Anyway, my brilliant idea was to transform those somewhat regal dollar store garden decorations into a set of bookends.

My first step was to fill my garden statues with the river rock that I also got at Dollarama.

Filled with Dollar Store River Rock

Once all the rock was inside I discovered that the rocks moved around a bit if I moved the lion, so I used paper towel to fill in some of the gaps and reduce movement. I sealed up the hole on the bottom of the lion with some thin cardboard from a box of frozen pizza.

Cover the holes with cardboard

Next up was painting. I decided that spray paint would be the easiest to apply. I mounted the lion on the painters pyramids I used during my first spray painting project. This allowed me to easily spray around the base of the lions. I did three coats of glossy white spray paint, letting it dry completely between coats.

Getting Ready to Spraypaint

The last step was to glue some white felt to the base of the bookends. This serves two purposes – it covers the unsightly cardboard, and it will also protect any surface I place the bookends on. I traced the base of the lions and then cut inside my pen mark to get pieces of felt that were slightly smaller than the base. I affixed it to the bottom of the lions with my glue gun.

Tracing the base on felt

I have to say that I’m quite pleased with the way that these turned out.

The Finished Bookend

Here’s what this project cost:

  • Two dollar store garden decorations: $4 at Dollarama
  • Two bags of dollar store river rock: $2 at Dollarama
  • White glossy spray paint: $5.49 at Home Depot
  • White felt: $1.02 at Fabricland – the location was closing, so it was 60% off $17/yd and I only bought 6.5″.

For a total cost of $14.31 (tax. included) I think I made a really nice pair of DIY bookends.

Fred and George – the Lion BooKends

I’ve decided to name them Fred and George – I’m sure you can guess why.

linked to: The Shabby Nest, At the Picket Fence, Remodelaholic, Addicted 2 Decorating, Making the world cuter, Coastal Charm, Polish the stars, Home Stories A2Z, The Kurtz Corner, DIY by Design, Savvy Southern Style, Decor to Adore, Beyond the picket fence, Chic on a shoestring, Addicted 2 Decorating, The CSI Project

Framing a Memory

For my birthday last March my aunt J sent me a small antique Limoges mirror that had belonged to my Great Aunt Margaret. I really liked it, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what to do with it – I’m not the type of girl who carries a mirror in her purse, and it was too pretty to be just tossed into my purse where it would disappear to the bottom and probably get damaged. That said – I also didn’t want to store it away somewhere where nobody could admire it.

My birthday present

It took me a while to figure out to do with the mirror, and once that was figured out, it took even longer to find a key component for my idea to work. The plan was to frame the mirror in a shadow-box type frame. Unfortunately I couldn’t find exactly the type of frame I was looking for – I was looking for one where the glass was spaced about 1/2″ away from the back of the frame – all the frames I found had no space, or they were true shadow boxes for mementos and the glass was a couple of inches from the back of the frame.

After some fruitless searching at all the big box stores (and some little box ones as well), I finally found what I was looking for in a thrift store. My new frame cost $6 which, let’s be honest is a little steep for a thrift store, but it was just what I was looking for.

Thrift store frame

I decided that I was going to hang my mirror in the bathroom, so one of the first steps after completely dismantling the frame, cleaning, and then re-assembling it was to spray paint it silver to match the chrome accents in my bathroom. This was my first experience with spray paint, and quite a bit easier than I had thought.

Getting ready to paint

I taped off the glass on the front a back, and set the frame on some ‘Painter’s pyramids’ I had bought for another project but not used. I set the entire thing in a big cardboard box to spray as I was doing it inside (I don’t have a garage or outside space that’s solely mine).

Operation spray paint was a success

I decided that I would back the mirror with black velvet, but I needed to figure out a way to mount the mirror on the velvet. Two sided tape was out as it could potentially damage the mirror, but luckily the mirror was framed with a rope pattern that was constructed in such a way to leave tiny holes around the mirror. Using a beading needle and some clear thread I sewed the mirror onto the velvet using the tiny holes in the rope pattern to secure the mirror to the fabric.

I sewed the mirror in place (my stitching talent is a little lacking)

I then mounted the velvet on some thin cardboard (from a frozen pizza) using spray adhesive and placed it in the frame. I then added a piece of thicker cardboard to ensure the mirror was positioned securely in the frame and anchored it all in place using the original nails. Using spray adhesive I glued a piece of brown paper to the back of the frame to neaten up the back, and also to help keep out any dust. My last step was to add a small label identifying the mirror.

Dedication Label (last names removed for obvious reasons)

Here’s the finished product:

Margaret’s Mirror (sorry the picture isn’t better – the glass was rather reflective and hard to photograph)

Here is the cost breakdown of the project:

  • Thrift store frame: $6
  • Velvet fabric: $6 – King Textiles – $14.00/yd. and it was 20% off
  • Needles and thread: $2.01  – Fabricland – the location was closing so it was 50% off
  • Spray paint: $7.19
  • Painter’s pyramids: $6.80

For a total cost of about $30 (tax. included) I think I got a pretty good result.

Linked to: Just a Girl Blog, Decor to Adore