Marble Furniture Transformation on a Budget

My apologies for being MIA! Before we get into the nitty gritty of today’s project, a personal update: I’m expecting! My husband and I are thrilled to be welcoming our first baby this fall. Since I have been a bit distracted and lacking in energy, even my favorite hobby had to be put on the back burner. However, I am excited to share some of what I have been working on in the meantime! More updates to come later 🙂

Ever since we moved into our current home, I have fantasized about having a marble top dining table. However, since we are on a budget, splurging on one was just not meant to be. In the meantime, I made do with a hand me down glass top dining table that I hated (see my previous dining table update here!). We have since upgarded to an IKEA one that I love! It is glossy and white, and we already had white bent wood chairs to go along with it.

However, with that ugly dining table out of the way, our hand me down bar was now very much out of place. It was a matching dark wood and glass set, and I know it had to go! So off to IKEA we went, but could not find something that we both liked, that was functional, and pretty, and under $50- am I asking for too much?

During a quick thrift store stop to drop off donations after some spring time de-cluttering, I poked my head in to see what’s new. I came in with the expectation that I will probably not find anything that fits our home, but had a few minutes to spare. I ran across this white bar with perfectly proportioned cubbies in my go-to white. Ummm sold! The $29 price tag didn’t hurt either 😉

The furniture piece was fairly solid, but once we dragged into our apartment I gave all the screws a little tightening, just in case. I then wiped down every surface with sanitizing wipes, and gave some of the scuffs along the legs a little scrub with a magic eraser. It was already looking better!

The top surface of the bar had some water damage, with some areas scuffed right down to the particleboard. I know I was going to cover the top, and I also knew just the right way to do it- contact paper from the dollar store! My local dollar store, Dollarama, has a good selection of sticky back shelf liner and contact paper in a variety of colors and patterns. I picked up 2 rolls of marble printed contact paper for $2 each and got started as soon as I got home.

After wiping down the surface one more time, I smoothed on the contact paper. It is forgiving enough that if you have to lift it and try again you can, as long as you do it right away before really pressing it down. I find it easier to go slowly and squeegee the bubbles out of the way as I go along. I wrapped the paper around the beveled edges and smoothed it down around the corners, trimming as needed.

If you do end up with some bubbles during your application, you can poke a small hole with a safety pin, and smooth it down to let out the air. You can also smooth out bubbles towards the edges to get an even surface. Once it is all smooth, burnish your surface gently to adhere it securely. I find that the stickiness is enough to hold it down well, no additional adhesive is needed! I have done this project a few months ago now and it is still holding well, no peeling at all!

Unfortunately my contact paper roll was a bit too short to cover the entire length of my bar top, so I lined up my next roll to finish it off. There is a seam, as the random marble pattern is not made to be repeating / matched, however it is not too obvious in the finished piece. Here is a close up, judge for yourself!

This “marble” top bar definitely satisfied my craving for a classy and polished piece to complete our dining room. Total damage done = $33. However, you can definitely do this for any piece of furniture you already have. It is such an easy makeover, I am thinking of trying it with one of my living room side tables!

Since I finished this project, several friends who visited us commented on it. The consensus: none of them could tell it was not real marble by looking at it! many of them assumed it was pricey and heavy, and were shocked when I told them it was one of my dollar store projects 🙂

If you are needing a bit of marble elegance in your space, give this project a try! It is so affordable, quick, easy, and (so far) durable, and will easily transform even the most boring pieces in your home! The contact paper sticks to any smooth clean surface, so will work with laminate / IKEA type furniture, glass, metal, and I would assume even wood, as long as the grain is not too prominent.

Quick note- keep in mind this contact paper is removable! this means you can try a different style and take it off if you change your mind without damaging the furniture.

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Glitter Easter Eggs- MESS FREE!

Now, I love glitter as much as the next girl, but as a crafter I am also no stranger to the phrase: “glitter is the herpes of the craft world” LOL! And from experience, it is definitely true- once you start to play with glitter in your crafts, you will be finding flecks of the stuff in your hair and between your toes for the next few months! So here is one mess free way to add some glitter to your life, and add some bling to boring cheap plastic Easter eggs!

I bought these plastic eggs all strung up as a garland, so I cut the string so that they can be used individually in my décor. This left the holes in the eggs (like beads!) which is actually a good thing! I poke a skewer through the holes to give a good grip on the eggs, so its easy to get at all angles and turn it without actually touching it!

If you are using the type of plastic eggs that open in half, you can still get a good grip on the eggs by separating the halves, and holding each side from the inside of the egg.

For mess free glitter, I am using glitter nail polish! I love the look of glitter polish, and have a few bottles in my stash, but I’m not a fan of actually wearing it on my nails as it is a total nightmare to remove! 😛

So just glob on the glitter nail polish- and I really do mean GLOB! No need to get caught up in making neat strokes, as glitter nail polish doesn’t work that way! I have also seen a nail artist use a makeup sponge to dab on glitter polish for maximum coverage, but that seems like work, so instead I just layer on thick swipes of polish until it looks like the glitter is evenly distributed.

You can leave the glitter more spread out and sheer to let the pastel color of the egg show through, or you can keep layering the polish on until all you see is glitter- totally up to you and the look that you prefer, so have fun experimenting.

Since the egg is already on a skewer, it is easy to pop it into a cup or a container to dry without touching anything, while you work on the next one.

I did try using glitter glue for this project too, and while it looked pretty, it takes forever to dry in comparison with the nail polish. And since I’m all about instant gratification when it comes to crafts, I just went with the polish for my eggs.

You can string these eggs up as a garland, lay them out in a decorative bowl, glue them to an Easter or spring themed wreath, what other fun ways can you think of to use these fun eggs in your décor?

If you like this project, check out my Easter eggs project from last year, where I show how to water marble with, you guessed it, nail polish!

Wishing everyone a happy Easter! And keep an eye out for a personal update coming in the next week or so (all good, I promise!) 🙂

Pompom garland – easy DIY

This DIY project is so easy and straightforward, there is really not much to it! It is perfect for kids as well- no heat gun or sharp tools! So if you are looking for a fun way to bring in color and texture to your décor, keep reading 🙂

 

First, you will need pom-poms. How many would depend on how long you want your garland to be!

pom-poms-circle

My local dollar store had a medium bag of assorted pom poms for $1, so this was a very affordable craft! They also have sparkly ones in holiday colors- fun! I am sure you can order them online as well, if you are looking at sticking to a specific color palette.

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I used embroidery thread and a plastic yarn needle to connect my pompoms. Choose any color string you like! Using a thicker string like twine or yarn catches on the pom poms and makes it more difficult to slide them around.

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Poke the yarn needle through each individual pompom and pull the string through. String them along in random color order, or find a pattern!

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You can leave your pompoms tight together like a fuzzy rainbow caterpillar!

garland-complete-loose

Or use your fingers to space them out evenly. This is a more airy look, and makes your garland longer!

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You can add your pom-pom garland to your Christmas tree!

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Or hang it up with some washi tape as part of your colourful holiday décor!

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I hope you enjoy this fun holiday DIY! ❤

Pinecone Trees- Holiday Decor

I love to upcycle and use unusual materials, especially when it comes to holiday decor! (for an example, check my magazine trees from last year here). Here is another example of DIY holiday decor, using pretty much 90% upcycled materials! Bonus points for the cozy rustic feel 😉

First, you will need pinecones. Ideally, you would be able to collect these from nature if it is dry enough outside. If you get soggy pinecones, lay them out to dry in a warm spot, or pop them in the oven on a very low temperature (this also kills any creepy crawlies that may have tagged along!)

For the base, use a bottle cap! You can decorate it as you please- paint, stickers, gems, whatever you happen to have on hand! Or leave it plain, that works too! Use hot glue to attach the base to the bottom of the pinecone, and check to make sure it is standing up straight.

pinecone-tree-before

For the star at the top, and the ornaments, use beads, pom poms, even rolled up tin foil! You can also cut up a string of mardi-gras beads (you know you have a strand hiding in your junk drawer!) which makes the perfect metallic look ornaments.

pinecone-tree-after

You can stand these up on your mantel or along a window ledge as a little pinecone forest, or attach a loop of ribbon at the top to transform your pinecone tree into a festive ornament! It will look perfectly natural and rustic on your tree, or draped over a bottle of wine as a gift embellishment!

Feel free to make your tree your own- you can paint it, add glitter, or puff paint along the edges for a snowy look!

pinecone-pin

If you are trying this project with kids, a safe process is to encourage them to select the ornaments they like, and point to you where they would like each one placed, and you handle the hot gluing, to protect little fingers!

I hope you try this fun and quick holiday craft, these are great to make especially when it is cold and snowy outside! 🙂

Faux Flowers Bridal Bouquet

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One last wedding DIY before I switch gears into holiday crafting!

This is a more involved project, and the longest video I have made so far! But really it is a culmination of several other small projects into one large one! To preface- I have nothing personal against real flowers! It’s just that for my own bridal bouquet, I wanted to be 100% in control of the result, and I wanted to have one less thing to worry about the day-of!

Here are some perks to having a DIY faux bouquet:

  • You are in control of how it looks, down to the tiniest detail.
  • It is made weeks or months in advance, so one less thing to stress about on your special day.
  • Using upcycled and affordable materials is much more budget friendly- weddings are already expensive! The materials for my bouquet came to about $15 altogether!
  • It is durable- lasting through scorching heat, endless photos, hours of dancing, and bouquet tossing! Plus, you get to keep it afterwards to display at home!

So now that I have you convinced:

You will need:

Styrofoam ball– 3″-4″ is a good size, keep in mind it will be much larger once flowers are added! I found this at my local dollar store for $1.25
Toilet paper rolls– Free! Or, you can use paper towel roll, or gift wrap roll.
Felt– about $0.30 a sheet at a craft store (like Michaels’).
Ribbon– Great chance to upcycle old gift ribbon, or use ribbon from the thrift store. In mine I also layered in strips of fabric from my MIL’s wedding dress.
Flowers / stems / foliage– You can use any plastic or silk flowers of your choice, or better yet, make your own! I used my coffee filter flowers for the bulk of it, filling in the gaps with cupcake liner flowers, as well as ribbon roses for accents! Leaves and other green elements are from the dollar store.
Your tools– hot glue gun and scissors!

Ready to go!

Start by constructing you handle: Cut two toilet paper rolls length-wise to open them up, and glue them end-to-end to create one extra-long roll. Glue your roll closed, adjusting the width by rolling it into itself. We will be adding a few more layers on top, so the result will be thicker.

Close one end of your roll by gluing a piece of cardboard, or leftover toilet paper roll, to cover it completely.

To attach the handle to the styrofoam ball, score the area using the handle, then use your scissors to dig up and deepen that score line, so that the handle can slide in about 1/2″. Glue liberally to create a secure hold.

Cover your handle with felt to smooth over any seams, and glue the bottom for a clean finish.

Wrap your handle with your choice of fabric or ribbon. Add any elements you choose to personalize your bouquet handle- interlacing ribbon in different colors, bling like pearls or rhinestones, lace or bows- make it your own!

Start adding your flower stems to the styrofoam ball. Start with the largest flowers, and work your way down to smaller elements like leaves or small flowers. If your ball is dense, the stems should hold on their own, but you can always add a bit of glue to make it more secure. Distribute your flowers evenly around the ball, stepping back and rotating your bouquet frequently to view it from all angles.

Finish your bouquet by adding flowers or leaves to camouflage the connection between the ball and the handle.

Sit back to admire your work, and get ready for “You made it?! No way!!” 🙂

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Cupcake Liner Flowers- 2 minute DIY

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Keeping with the theme from last week of making flowers from kitchen pantry items (see my coffee filter flowers here) this week I am making flowers out of cupcake liners!

These are very economical, I got a pack of 80 cupcake liners at the dollar store for $1, and since you only need 3 liners per flower, that’s like… 26 flowers for just $1!!

supplies 1

You will need:
– Cupcake liners
– Scissors
– Hot glue gun
– Skewer or stick

*** QUICK TIP: I cut up a wire hanger into 4 pieces to be used as stems. This makes the flowers bendable to different angles, and is a great upcycling opportunity! ***

3 cupcake liners stacked

Grab 3 cupcake liners, stack them together, and flatten them out.

cupcake liners taco fold

Fold your liners in half like a taco.

cupcake liners quarter fold

Fold your liners in half again, into a quarter circle shape.

cupcake liners petals cut

Cut out your petals. You can keep them rounded, or spiky, or scalloped, or really wide, or really skinny- the possibilities are endless! And each different type of petal shape results in a different looking flower.

cupcake liners petals cut opened

Open up your folded cupcake liners. Take a moment to fix any petals if needed.

cupcake liners on stick

Push your stick through the centre of all cupcake liners. Now you are ready to start gluing!

cupcake liners on stick glued 1

Put hot glue in the centre of the cupcake liner, and bunch it together at the tip of the stick. Your petals may get a bit bunched at first, but that is ok, that is the centre of your flower, so will naturally look more dense.

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Keep gluing your liners one at a time, making sure the glue comes in contact with both the previous liner and the stick itself.

cupcake liners flower round petals

You can add silk leaves, or green ribbon along the base of the flower. Play around with different petal shapes for a different result!

cupcake liners flower spiky petals

These are fantastic to use in centrepieces for events and weddings. I have experimented and tried coloring it with different methods, but since the liners are water-repellant I have not yet found a method that works! If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

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You can use different colored liners- pastel ones look great! Patterned liners are fun too, but not as realistic looking.

Here’s a full recap of all the steps, feel free to pin it and save it for your next event!

Cupcake Liner Flowers- instructional pin

 

Sneak peek- upcycled and thrifty DIY’s coming up!

If you are following me on Instagram (@throneandthimble) you may have already seen some of the sneak peeks I have been sharing over the past few weeks, pictures like these for example:

ribbon flower 1 bunch of flowers 1 3 bouquetsrose petals

 

These are little previews of some of the fun DIY’s I have planned for the next couple of weeks! I will be sharing with you all different techniques to make beautiful and realistic flowers out of upcycled and thrifty materials, like coffee filters and ribbon. These are perfect little project for spring, and bring light and color into any room they are in. If you have an event like a wedding coming up (like I do!) these are also great budget-friendly alternatives to expensive floral centerpieces and bouquets, and are a great solution for those of us with allergies too. I will be sharing one flower per week, focusing on the different techniques and different results you can get with very humble supplies- think dollar store and thrift store, rather than big-box craft supply stores! I hope you come on this floral journey with me, and stay tuned for all the fun projects to come!

❤ Shay