Don’t overlook those old cake pans at the tag sales this summer! Dress them up to look great in any room of your home!
Enjoy your weekend!
Aluminum screen guards – look at all those pretty scrolls! You may want to keep your eyes open for these my repurposing friends, they’re a treasure, and have so many possibilities, used whole or cut into smaller pieces. I’ve had a small pile of them hoarded in my garage for sometime now and recently pulled them out when I was making for the market event last month.
My first thought was to cut them into separate scroll pieces and make brackets by trimming them with thin wood pieces as in the finishing step of my last post. I haven’t found time to follow through on that yet, but did get them used in a couple other ways.
For pieces, we used a hack saw to cut the guard in half before grinding off the head of the rivets with a cutting wheel on a die grinder. Thank goodness my husband is much handier with a cutting wheel than I am. He got the job done smoothly and didn’t leave hardly any marks on the aluminum. After grinding, tap the rivet out with a punch if needed.
Scroll pieces were attached with small wood screws, in the holes already provided, to quickly dress up old boards for indoor/outdoor decor. If more holes are needed, I would suggest using a drill press. The one with the hooks is my favorite. The top board can be hung with the scrolls up or down, away or against the wall. The scroll piece on the bottom board is from an old mailbox; wouldn’t it be fun to personalize?
Two guards, with their side ends cut off, fit nicely into a couple empty window panes to make a flower box and decorative wall panel. To achieve an iron finish, one guard was first spray painted with Rust-oleum gray hammered paint, let dry, brushed with a black glaze, then burnished with #1 steel wool. The aluminum guard pieces each ran a different direction on these two projects. With no rule of thumb to follow on how to secure them, I did what was easiest for me. E6000 was used to glue short lengths of 1/4″ wood into the notch of the flower box guard, held tightly in place with tape until completely dry, then painted.
A notch was cut from a very thin piece of wood to fit over the painted guard on the wall panel, glued and nailed in place with a brad nailer, then touched up with paint.
Anyone eager to go scroll hunting yet? I know I’ll be toting home more if I come across them while out gathering this summer. Don’t limit your search to door guards, give those old picnic tables and awning legs a good look over too!
I’ll be back with an update on those brackets ……..
I’m still working like mad to get ready for the upcoming June 2nd Vintage Market. It’s been crazy around here trying get ready in such a short period of time. I’m very excited to go though, and hope all the hard work pays off.
I came up with a new bracket idea to take to the market, and also offer in varied sizes and designs, in my shop “out behind the house” this summer. Chicken wire inserts were added to give them just the right touch for some fun vintage farmstyle/country decorating. They take a little time, but I think they are worth the effort.
I traced my bracket pattern on to 1/2″ plywood. The plywood was only finished on one side, so the pattern was traced 2 face up, 2 face down, making sure the grain was running the same direction on all, then cut out with a scroll or band saw.
The insert pattern was centered and traced on each bracket.
Drill several large holes inside the drawn lines of the insert tracing. Cut the insert openings out with a scroll saw. I found it easier to connect some of the holes first, removing small chunks of wood from the center, then get a clean cut on the traced lines.
Sand to smooth all the rough edges before painting with exterior primer and paint so they can be used indoors or out.
Cut two pieces of chicken wire to extend over and cover the insert area, matching the pattern in the wire.
With a bracket finished side down, place the wire over the insert opening. Brush a little paint on the wire that extends on to the wood. Flatten the painted wire with a hammer. Staple the wire to the wood. Flatten the staples with a hammer so they are as flat as possible.
Apply some wood glue, and cover it with a matching bracket, finished side up. Clamp together tightly to dry. My brackets were large. I ended up using twice the amount of clamps that are shown in the picture below. It looked like some sort of a torture device when I sit it down to dry. Make sure to wipe away any glue that squeezes out when tightening the clamps.
After the brackets are dry, they can be sanded to smooth any uneven edges, and touched up with paint.
The brackets are done and can be used at this point, or, the outside edge can be trimmed with 1/4″ thick wood strips, which is how I choose to finish this pair before repainting.
So, what do you think? Think they’ll catch someone’s eye at the market?
A quick post to share a new rustic poppy design.
Not too many supplies are needed for these fun flowers; salvaged thin metal sheeting, fiberglass window screening, thin wire, small flat bead, 8 to 10 mm glass bead, and paint. I went back to Lowe’s and bought one of those cute 8 oz Valspar paints again, this time “Oh So Red”.
Like many faux poppy patterns, stacking three layers of petal pieces makes this easy. The base piece is the largest and the other two get smaller in diameter as you go up. My base was about 2 3/4″ diameter.
Before getting started, some fiberglass window screen had to be painted. This was my first experience painting screen and it took me some time applying the paint and getting all those itty bitty squares to stay filled in; when you brush over them, they open back up. I painted in layers, drying with a fan, and discovered laying the paint on was more productive than brushing most of the time. If anyone out there has a secret or helpful hints for painting screen please do chime in.
Flatten a piece of scrap metal sheeting (as in The Spirit of Christmas). Trace and cut out the base petal piece. Paint it red. Dry. Sand lightly with fine grit sandpaper to reveal some of the metal.
Hold the top two petal pattern pieces in place on the painted screen and cut around them.
Cut a small circle, a little larger than a quarter, from the window screening. Darken it with black paint.
Sand the screen petal pieces with fine sandpaper to reveal the texture of the screen. Do not sand the black center piece. This is a good time to put a light black speckling on your pieces, and let it dry before spraying all the pieces with a clear matte sealer, front and back. I forgot, and didn’t speckle until my flowers were done, then had to respray them.
Trace three poppy leaves on the thin metal, flipping your pattern to trace one face down. Cut, paint green, sand, speckle, and seal.
On a board, drive a finishing nail through the stacked flower petal arrangement. You can shape and bend the flowers first, or keep the petals flattened and shape after. Remove the nail.
Center and twist a glass bead on a length of straightened thin wire. Thread the black screen circle on to the wire stem and shape it around the bead. Add a small flat bead with a dab of E6000. Slide the other petal pieces in place, applying a small amount of glue between layers near the wire. Arrange and form the flower to your liking before pushing firmly into a piece of thick foam to dry. You can do more gentle bending, shaping, or trimming on the petals after the flowers are dry if needed.
I think this makes a cute, versatile little flower to have some fun with. Change the shape of the petal a bit, the color, and the bead, and you’ll have a whole new look. Another layer of petals could be added for a larger flower.
I wired my poppies to a basket for a pop of color, then glued on the leaves, but they could easily be wired, or glued, to wreaths, canvas art, frames, or wood.
It makes me feel good to find uses for salvaged, and reclaimed materials. Keeping anything out of the landfill is a plus. Hearing from my readers makes me feel good too, please leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. Enjoy your week!
The heat and humidity has us spending much of our time indoors lately. That’s not all bad though, the AC feels real good and there’s always an area in my house that could use a little attention; like the large catch-all area in the basement. It actually turned out to be quite fun to take on that task. I found things I’ve been looking for, things I forgot I had, and most of all, figured out I definitely need to get better at putting things away.
It made my day when I pulled a container of rocks out from under a table. Here was a garden project that I had been wanting to do for a couple years now, and never took the time. It could be done indoors, and in small steps. Alright, I could multi-task!
A couple years ago I made a big mosaic rock with some polished river rocks. It was meant for a show, but, found a welcome home in my garden instead. I thought a grouping of them would look cool, so I bought more rocks with the intentions of making some, but never took the time. Well, now, was the perfect time.
I picked out three smaller rocks I liked the shape of and washed them with hot soapy water. Then gathered my rocks, painters/masking tape, bowl of rubbing alcohol, a work rag, and some E6000, clear or white. I found my bags of rock in the floral department at Hobby Lobby. I think they were about $3 each. They weren’t as shiny as my original ones, but would do.
After washing the rocks, they were sorted by the colors and sizes I wanted to use, swished in a bowl of rubbing alcohol to remove any oils on them, and laid out to dry.
using a liberal amount of glue, begin gluing on the rocks you like, leaving a small space between them, 1/16″th to 1/8th”. Use a piece of tape to hold them into place until they dry. This takes some time. You may even have to use tape and a rock as a prop while drying. If you don’t wait for the rocks to dry firmly enough, they may shift as you move the rock around.
As I glued, I realized I was going to need tiny rocks for a few small spaces around the rounded tops and bottom edges. I picked out a big handful from a pea rock pile behind my house, and gave them a wash, so I’d have something to choose from.
Once the rock is completely covered, let it dry 24 hours.
I used gray sanded grout left over from a bathroom tile project. Grout powder settles and should be re-stirred before mixing with water. ALWAYS WEAR A MASK AND GLASSES when stirring or mixing grout powder. You do not want it to get into your eyes, lungs or nasal passages.
Grouts may differ, follow the directions on the grout package for mixing. I started with 1/2 cup of water, and stirred in about 1 1/4 cup to 1 1/2 cup grout powder. Stir until lumps are gone and it has a consistency of thick oatmeal. Cover in an airtight container and let set for 15 to 20 minutes, before grouting.
I used an old shower curtain to provide a waterproof surface to work on. You’ll also need a pair of rubber or disposable gloves, a bucket of water, old rag, and maybe a putty knife.
Re-stir the mixed grout. Spread the grout across the rocks, pressing it into all the crevices. You can spread the grout on neatly with a putty knife, or just lay it on with your gloved fingertips, which is the method I prefer. Make sure you cover the edges of the rocks on the bottom as well.
Once the rocks are covered with grout, let them set 30 to 40 minutes. Squeeze out a wet rag and wipe them down to expose the rocks you glued on. Let set another 10 to 15 minutes, or sooner, depending on how fast your grout is drying, then rub firmly around the rocks to remove any excess grout, and smooth the grout lines. Wipe lightly with a rinsed dampened rag. Rinse rag with clean water and wipe lightly again. The rocks should be pretty clean but still have a slight hazy look. Let dry 12 hours. ALWAYS DISPOSE OF DIRTY GROUT WATER OUTSIDE – NEVER POUR IT DOWN YOUR DRAIN! Using an outdoor faucet works best for rinsing and washing grout buckets, rags, and tools.
Spritz the rocks lightly with window cleaner and use a soft bristled toothbrush to give the exposed rocks a very light scrub and remove the haze. Use a ceramic tool/dental pick to remove any glue residue or unwanted grout. You can wipe it down with a damp rag again at this point if needed. Let dry another 12 hours. Brush the entire rock with a light coat of grout sealer, wipe and buff it dry. Follow recommended curing time on grout instructions before exposing your mosaics to saturation.
My grout instructions recommended waiting three weeks. Keeping that in mind, I arranged my rocks in the garden. I do have my dumb moments once in a while, so, I really thought I was on top of my game when I remembered to move them inside when there was a threat of rain, and before the 3 weeks were up. I didn’t get to revel very long, I’m embarrassed to say. After getting no rain, I moved my rocks back, and turned on the sprinkler to water the garden, duh? Oh well, it didn’t look like any damage was done, I guess time will tell. 🙂
Friendly reminder – mosaic rocks should be stored indoors during the cold winter months and returned to the garden after temps maintain over 32 degrees in the spring.
Oh My Gosh, I sure have missed my blog. I didn’t desert my post; things have just been busy and I needed to take a little unplanned hiatus, I guess you could say.
Our household occupancy increased by three, in February, for the summer. Us, and our daughter, have been preparing to finish up some remodeling projects in our homes, and begin some new ones. There’s been a lot of sorting and organizing, purging and purging, and lots of double duty grandma and grandpa time going on. We’re gearing up for a very busy summer, but very thankfully, all is good, no, great!
Its not all work and no play though. In May, a group of us checked out the awesome shops along the @https://www.facebook.com/LincolnHwyJunkathon/. I scored big at @sweetbettylous in Paton, Iowa, finding some great pieces for making old world style and salt shaker garden stakes for the https://www.facebook.com/BackRoadsJunkItTrail/.
Getting back in the swing of things, I thought I’d share some pictures of more garden stakes made using the basic steps from my Aug 2016 posts. I have so much fun making these.
I’m itching to get started on some new projects. I’ll be back soon!
Okay, I couldn’t help myself, just one more. I don’t want to run a good thing into the ground, but this one is just so quick and easy I had to do it! I promise to move on after this …. really!
As I was cleaning up some of my latest messes, I came across this small pair of shakers. I picked them up at a garage sale somewhere along the way, thinking at the time that they would be cute on a small plant stake. So, since I had them in my hand, well, you know …..
Nail a pilot hole in the lid. Drill a 1/4″ hole. Use small pliers to straighten out or bend jagged edges, just until a length of 5/16″ threaded rod will fit through it easily, you don’t want the hole any bigger than it has to be. My rod was a scrap piece, 20″ long, so I just left it that way.
I like to experiment quite a bit, and have a habit of throwing odd little pieces of glass in a kiln to see what they will do. It was in some of my trials that I found a wonderful pale green bottle spout, PERFECT! I got to thinking about all the bags of pretty round, resin napkin rings I often see at sales, they might work in something like this. Might have to start giving them a second look.
Find two nuts that fit the rod threads, and run one a couple inches down the rod. On the rod, stack and arrange your gathered pieces as we did in my last two posts, until you have something to your liking.
I found an awesome new glue last week. It looked like it would work great on a lot of the projects I do, so I grabbed a tube to try. Otherwise I would have used E6000 or another silicone glue.
Stack your design loosely on the rod. Stand the rod in a heavy bottomed bottle or a bucket of sand. With a toothpick, apply a liberal amount of glue inside the shaker lid tip and around the nut. Push the shaker lid up firmly over the nut.
Apply more glue to the threads of the lid and screw the glass shaker on solidly. Gently push the rest of the pieces up to the shaker and tighten the nut. Leave to dry overnight. Don’t worry about getting everything lined up perfectly at this point, the important thing is for the glue to dry. After it’s dry, you can loosen the bottom nut a bit to center things up if needed.
There! Enough of the garden stakes, for this year anyway. Thanks for bearing with me as I worked through my obsession.
Just a reminder, glass and metal expand and contract at different temperatures, so please store them indoors during cold winter months. I stand mine in a bucket of sand, in the garage, through the winter so they don’t get iced over.
Now, moving on …..
There’s no doubt about it, the old world charm of the crystal garden chandeliers has me totally captivated! I’m not sure if its the beautiful results or the fun of making something so unique and striking with reclaimed and repurposed materials, but whatever it is, I’m hooked.
After last month’s post, I was anxious to try a chandelier garden stake. After laying out all of my glass and lamp pieces to see what there was to work with, I noticed several glass pieces were votive/candle holders, small saucers, and odd pieces without a hole. Playing around with stacking the pieces is the funniest part of this project, so I decided to grab the drill and 1/2″ diamond core bit to drill holes in pieces before getting started.
There’s a bunch of videos readily available on You Tube or Pinterest about drilling holes in glass. It is pretty simple really, just a little time consuming. Besides being very mindful of safety issues with water and electricity, the most important thing to remember is to keep the glass wet and cool so it doesn’t overheat and break.
Although the pieces are different, the garden stake is stacked and made on a lamp pipe following the same steps as in last month’s post, with one exception. Instead of marking it with tape and cutting it off, mark it with tape, add 8 inches, then mark it with tape again for cutting. The added length will fit into a piece of conduit.
Because of the crystals dangling, I wanted the stake to have some height, so I cut a piece of scrap 1/2″ conduit, four foot long.
Approximately 1 inch from the top of the conduit, mark a spot for drilling. With a center punch, make an indentation on the spot. Drill a hole through the conduit with a 5/32″ bit.
Insert the 8 inch added length of lamp pipe into the conduit until you meet the hex nut. With the lamp pipe and conduit held firmly, drill through the conduit holes again. This step works best with two people, one to hold the conduit and one to hold the lamp pipe, as you drill through the second time. Run a small bolt through the holes and tighten on a nut.
I noticed the hex nut didn’t cover the opening of the conduit pipe completely. I could have left it, but, didn’t like the look, so I added a flat, rounded edged lamp piece between the hex nut and conduit opening.
While holding the conduit in a vise, cut off the excess bolt length. Remove it from the vise, lay on a solid surface, and hit the cut bolt end with a hammer a few times to rivet it on.
Replace your stacked pieces to the top of the lamp pipe, tightening when you screw on the finial. Once together, I found it helpful to stand the stake in a bucket of sand when adding the crystals. Pretty! Pretty!
No crystals? No problem! Garden Stakes can have a character and style all their own without the bling!
If you like this post or found it helpful, please click on the “like” button below, or leave a comment. I love hear what readers are thinking.
Thanks for visiting glassic touch!
Whoa! This summer is going by way too fast! Between enjoying Grandma/Grandpa daycare activities, a couple of week-end road trips, and participating in a few market events, I must admit, I’ve selfishly been neglecting my blog a little. Okay, maybe more than a little ..
I haven’t been totally sloughing off though, so, while relishing in an unusually quiet week-end, I thought it would be a great time to try to catch up and get back into the swing of sharing in the blogging world.
Pretty reclaimed crystals, dangling on small garden chandeliers, seem to be popping up all over lately. They’re so darn cute!
Of course, I had to give one a go!
I had plenty of crystals. I remembered a blue faucet handle in the garage, then, sorted through a box of old lamp parts to find a couple small, clear glass pieces, a brass base, and all the nuts and washers I thought I’d need. I chose a finial with a hole in it so it would be easier to add a wire for the center crystals.
What I didn’t have was a long threaded lamp pipe. You can find them in a home improvement store for under $3.00. Sweet!
Larger holes had to be drilled through the faucet handle and some of the washers to accommodate the rod. Holes were cut bigger in some cloth pads too.
In preparation to hang the crystals, small holes were drilled in every other petal of the brass globe lamp cap. Sand, or grind the holes smooth after drilling.
I stacked the collected pieces in an arrangement I liked, then, removed each piece, laying them in a line, in the order they were stacked.
Run a hex nut down the threaded pipe. Put on the brass lamp cap, upturned, with the petals down. Add the faucet handle and other pieces in the order you have them laid out. If you happen to run out of rod before all the pieces are on, just run the hex nut a little further down the rod for more room. Hang on to the finial and screw the hex nut up on the rod to tighten things up. Once tightened, mark the rod with a piece of tape. Remove your pieces, once again laying them in order, and cut the rod to the length you need. Sand, or grind any sharp edges on the rod. Reassemble the piece.
I like to use small 19 gauge, black annealed wire when working on projects like this. It can be hard to find in craft stores. I have my best luck finding it at Theisen’s. Other Farm & Home stores may have it, or a hardware store.
I was able to cheat a bit when it came to wiring the crystals. Most of mine were already attached together with the original head pin wires. If not, I robbed a wire from another one.
I wrapped a tiny silver bead on the end of a length of wire, and threaded it through a larger silver bead that was bigger than the hole in the finial, so it would not slip through. Insert the wire down through the finial. Trim the wire off leaving enough length for a small loop to attach your crystals. A rectangle and large teardrop crystal were used in the center.
Large octagonal and teardrop crystals were used around the outside edge. I first tried jump rings to attach them, but didn’t like the way they looked. I ended up making a kind of “s” shaped hook, leaving the loop of the hook visible on top of the brass cap.
I hope I’ve inspired a few of you to do your own garden chandelier making. If so, I hope you’re willing to share a picture or any helpful suggestions in the comment section, Thank You! I love hearing from readers!
After replacing several last spring, I was very happy to find all of my perennials up and thriving when I took a little meander through my garden a couple weeks ago. It felt so good being in the garden again and thinking of plans for yard and garden projects.
There’s a big sand pile, with climbing rocks, in one corner of the garden. While a garden hose trickles, my grandson enjoys creating rivers, and mixing faux cement in a wheel barrow during warm summer months. And, like every other youngster, he’s very curious, and notices every bug and worm too.
Many wonderful Pinterest posts on bee and bug houses have peaked my interest lately. I thought it would be fun to make one so we could observe what settles in and maybe learn something in the process.
I was able to rummage up everything I needed except for the bamboo, which I found in the garden center of a couple Home Improvement Stores, making the total cost of this project about $5.00.
Over the last month, I’ve been scrubbing dried gourds in preparation for a Farmer’s Market event, so I chose one of them as the structure for my first habitat abode.
My gourd measured 7 1/2″H x 6 1/2″W. Rubber gloves provided grip while sawing off the front with a hack saw. Dried pulp and seeds were scraped from the inside. Sand the inside lightly to remove attached debris. Always wear a mask or bandanna over your mouth and nose when sanding gourds or cleaning out dried pulp and seeds. The dust and dried particles can irritate nasal passages and lungs.
Seal the outside of the gourd with Thompson’s Water Seal. Let dry. Drill five holes in the bottom of the gourd, at the lowest points, for drainage. Try to keep the holes within a 2″ pattern. Seal the inside of the gourd with a good layer of thinned interior/exterior wood glue. Let dry.
Fold and cut a hole in a piece of heavy paper, slip over stem to make a roof pattern. I extended the roof out a bit in front so it would cover the bamboo openings.
A few more holes may be needed for ventilation.
I have an old piece of burnt aluminum siding that I like to go to when I need a rustic piece of metal sheeting. Cut off the approximate size needed and flatten with a car body hammer before tracing and cutting out the roof pattern. My roof measured 10 1/4″W x 6″Deep with a 2 1/8″ dia. hole.
Small files worked well to smooth the sharp edges of the roof, but I found a large round file to smooth and shape the hole so it fit easily over the gourd. The roof has to be flat to fit over the gourd, then bent to shape. With the roof in place, lay the gourd on it’s back and trace the roof line on a piece of heavy paper. This pattern will be used to cut a small piece of wood as a brace under the roof peak when a shelf is made.
Initially, I planned to hang the gourd with a wire, or dowel, through the stem, but I read that Mason bees preferred a stable home over one swinging in the breeze, so it will go on a barn board shelf, which I think actually adds a lot of character to the piece. My board was 5 1/2″W. The back was cut 15 1/2″ long. A 2″ dia. hole was drilled in the 5″ long shelf and it was screwed on from the back. The roof line pattern traced earlier was used to cut a small triangular brace for the metal roof. Hold the roofed gourd on the shelf to determine where to place the brace. Use finishing nails to attach brace to board. Seal shelf with Thompson’s Water Seal.
An extra set of hands came in handy for stapling the roof. Hold the gourd firmly with roof resting on the brace. Staple roof to the top of brace. Drill a hole in back of gourd and secure it to the board with a screw and fender washer.
Adding the bamboo was a little tricky and took some time. I used a small tabletop scroll saw to cut the bamboo and drilled through any closed bamboo joints. Save all the trimmins! They’ll make cute little beads or embellishments for future projects.
Start in the middle with a bundle of 5″ lengths wrapped with rubber bands. To make a more level surface, I cut old corn cobs lengthwise, broke them in half, and surrounded the base of the bundle.
Mark bamboo and cut to surround the bundle. Hold in place with tape. When nearing the side, tuck in some small pine cones to fill in the curves, and maybe provide shelter for a few ladybugs. Things started to shift a bit as I added more bamboo, so I stuffed a cloth in the empty side and top to hold the bamboo in place. Pull the cloth out, a little at a time, as you fill in with bamboo. (Sorry, didn’t get a picture of this).
Scrap bamboo pieces quickly filled in as I neared the top, go back and cut them to fit. Dried Teasel stems were inserted into gaps to keep the bamboo snug and secure. You may want to wear gloves or use tweezers when working with Teasel, they are stickery. If bamboo pieces slide down, use small pliers to gently pull them back out flush. Trim off Teasel stems.
I felt a little something was needed, so I made a simple bee with a couple glass beads, leaving a couple inches of wire at the bottom to wrap around a Teasel stem, before pushing it in.
It’s ready for permanent occupancy as soon as I round up a post to attach it to and get it set in a patch of Bee Balm in my garden. Or, I could wire to one of my apple trees in the grove, Hmm?
It’s recommended that the house faces southeast for the warmth of the morning sun, be at least 4 feet above ground, and protected from wind and weather. Mud is also needed for bees to seal in their eggs. I think all the water activities in my sand pile address any mud concerns. 🙂
What new spring projects are you working on? Please share ……