April 28, 2010

Transforming Thrift Store Candle Sconces into Crystal Beauties

Don't pass up these ugly dated $1.91 candle sconces.  

I always look for candle sconces or candle sticks that have an edge on them that is just begging to have a chandelier crystal dangling from them.  Get out your Dremel!

Now mark a tiny spot for you to drill a tiny hole

Grab Mr. Dremel and drill a tiny hole from the bottom, oops, this was really to big a hole, but I will make it work.

Now give it a nice coat of paint, and it is time to hang the crystal.

There is many ways to hang the crystals, I usually use something that looks like a straight pin, I got in the jewelry making department, but since I made the holes to big, necessity is the mother of inventions!  I am going to use pearl head straight pins.  Drop the straight pin through the hole from the top and then curl the pin underneath with your needle nose pliers and hook on the crystal.

It looks kind of cute with the pearl, or so I am trying to convince myself.

You can get crystals at many on line stores, even the big box home improvement stores have them in their lighting department.  I have a few in The Polka Dot Closet 

There you have it, already for your home or shop!

The same thing could be applied to thrift store light fixtures, you could make a lovely chandelier. The next time your out bargain shopping give another look at those ugly outdated sconces.

Happy Crafting 


The Dremel, a wonderful tool for crafters

I just wanted to do a quick post on the Dremel.  Besides a glue gun this is a tool I could not live without.  I use it for drilling tiny holes for chandelier crystals, grinding the edges of vintage china for mosaics, sawing off screw heads,  sanding delicate objects, etc etc..  As you will see in the picture, you can get an inexpensive attachment kit to save money on brand name attachments.  I will refer to my Dremel in many posts, so I wanted you to know what I am referring to.  

Happy Crafting!

How to repair gesso (Decorative boarder) frames

For a more extensive repair please see this post

You often find wonderful gesso frames, but since they are antiques most of them have some of the gesso (Decorative boarder) damaged.  Don't pass them up!!
Here is my $9.00 find, a wonderful heavy mirror, but it had damage to the decorative boarder and outside corners.  Now since I love the shabby look I paint everything white before I put it in my antiques booth to sell.

I am sorry I did not take a picture of the missing gesso, this was after my repairs started, but you will still get the idea.

This is where I did the repairs, this is soooo easy you are going to love it!  First get some epoxy putty at any hardware store.

This dries rock solid, you can paint, sand, or drill it.  It has 2 parts in it that have to be rolled together in your hand like regular putty

Ha!!!  This looks really bad!!  I wanted you to see that the center is a different color and you slice off a hunk and then mix the putty together until it is all one color.

OK so this doesn't look much better! I have to quit laughing or I can't type......Deep breath!
Now roll it into the shapes you want and put it on your fame it sticks on, no glue needed.
Look again

Now put some little grooves in it, I am not an artist, but you people that are could make it a perfect replica of what was missing.  Now wait 45 minutes and paint..TaDa!!

Look closer

My $9.00 frame just went way up in value!

Now, don't limit yourself to frames.  I had a heavy antique plant stand that was disintegrating at the bottom of the legs and I repaired it with epoxy putty.  You could use it to fill it gouges and broken corners in furniture.  I even used it once to rebuild a broken handle in an antique wooden serving tray and it sold in the blink of an eye.

Oh, I can tell your minds are swirling with ideas so
Get creating!

April 27, 2010

Free Porcelain Flowers for art projects

Enter Giveaway for a free mosaic serving tray until 5/29/10

 Free, well almost! I will show you how to chisel porcelain flowers off from nick nacks from the thrift store or tag sale.  Here is a couple examples.
This was a plain mirror dresser tray that I painted white and added a porcelain rose

Here is a spoon or hanky holder (Spoon holders are great for displaying vintage hankies) note this flower is glued onto a brooch. This is available at The Polka Dot Closet

One last example.  This is available at The Polka Dot Closet

Soooo, are you intrigued, heres how.  The first thing you do is gather all of your nick nacks, now I pick these up for $1-$2 at the thrift store, look for the ones marked down because there is a chipped flower or cracked base, no one wants these, but us!

Now grab your goggles or glasses because the porcelain is about to fly! You will need a chisel (I have never tried it, but maybe a standard screw driver would work?) and a hammer.  Then really pad your work surface with a towel or bubble wrap.  The first thing I like to do is wrap the adjacent flower with a little bubble wrap so you don't damage it when you chisel the one next to it off.

 Now, lets get this party started!!

Look at all of those luscious roses, do you have a project in mind yet?

Were on a roll now!

Sometimes they practically fall out, if the stems are to long for your project you can just use tile nippers and clip the stems off.

Here's just a little tip, you need nick nacks that are the real deal, not the ones from the dollar store, they just won't chip off.  Don't use something like this:

Because it will end up like this:

Trust me on this, they just don't break off.

You need something like this:

 Look $1.91 but it gets better, it was 1/2 price day .95 Yippee

Then you get this:

Now take all of your flower treasures and put them in a drawer lined with bubble wrap
To attach your flowers to your project you will need either Weldbond or E-6000.  Weldbond, I ordered on the internet, but E-6000 is available at all craft stores.  You also might need painters tape to hold your flower in place while the glue dries

Now don't limit your self to flowers, chip off those angels or birds, I can tell your creative brains are already in action.

Happy Creating!