3 easy ways to paint glass jars & bottles

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It is so nice to finally ease back into the swing of things! I have several upcoming posts planned, sharing some of the (many!) DIY’s I did for my wedding. I promise these are not all wedding specific, and will work beautifully for any other event or party, or just as well for your home or room decor.

I have been seeing these beautiful painted jars everywhere on Instagram and Pinterest, with styles ranging from matte rustic, to glam metallic. They are an affordable way to add style to any space, and the ways you can use them are endless! As an added bonus, these fit perfectly with my preferred path of crafting, to reuse or upcycle existing supplies! There are so many different ways to paint glass containers like jars and bottles, here are some of the ways I’ve done it:

First, getting your jars and bottles ready:

You can save any glass container that you bring into your home, anything from jam jars, to syrup bottles and tomato sauce jars / bottles. You can also find these in thrift stores or garage sales, and they are normally very affordable- I picked up a whole bunch for $0.20 each! Make sure your container is clean and dry, and doesn’t have any glue residue from labels. One trick I learned from my sister to clean up sticky leftover glue is to use a dish detergent tablet and scrub with a bit of water- it dissolves the glue, and provides abrasion to scrape it away. If your container has a “best before” date stamp on it, use rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover on a cotton pad to easily remove it.

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Method # 1: Painting the inside

This is by far my favorite method, as far as the result it gives. You can use any kind of opaque paint, I have tried regular wall-type latex paint, as well as craft acrylic paint, and they have both worked well. There are 2 approaches, depending on the type of container:

Wide-mouth jars: Use a paint brush to paint the inside of the jar. Depending on your paint, multiple coats may be required to achieve desired level of opacity. Leave jars upright to dry between coats.

Narrow-mouth bottles: Pour a small amount of paint into the jar, and swirl and spin your bottle so that the paint evenly coats the inside. This works best with less viscous paints, so you may need to dilute if the paint you are using is too thick. Turn bottle upside down to drain out remaining paint. Leave bottle upside down on a newspaper to continue to drain as it dries, and move it to a clean spot every few minutes.

Pros: Glass exterior retains its durable and glossy finish, highlighting any design elements in your jar like raised decorative bumps. Minimal brush strokes are visible.

Cons: pretty time consuming, especially when multiple coats are needed. May not be waterproof, if you are planning to use your container for real flowers in water.


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Method # 2: Painting the outside

Same kind of paints work well here, the more opaque the better! This method works regardless of the shape of your container. Simply use a paintbrush to cover the outside of your glass container with thin coats of paint, being mindful of the direction of your brush strokes. To minimize the look of brush strokes, alternate direction with each new coat of paint.

Pros: Super easy! Allows you to choose the finish, depending on the paint you use- matte, chalky, textured, glossy, even sparkly!

Cons: In most cases multiple coats are needed. Visible brush strokes. Depending on the type of paint, may rub off easily if not sealed with a top coat.

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Method # 3: Spray paint

This was the first method that came to my mind when I thought about painting glass jars and bottles. Unfortunately, since we live in an apartment with no balcony, I had to find an alternative outdoor space to test out this method!

I do feel that my spray painting skills (or lack thereof) affected the outcome here, so I would definitely recommend having a “practice” piece first, before painting the rest of your jars or bottles.

Follow the steps on your can of spray paint- they are not joking when they say to use multiple thin even coats! Otherwise you get drips and bumps- not good!

Pros: By far the quickest method. Huge variety of colors and finishes available.

Cons: Skill dependent. Need outdoor space. May rub off easily if not sealed.

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I hope you try these techniques with any jar or bottle you may have laying around! If you do, make sure to share and tag me on Instagarm @throneandthimble so that I can see!

Do you have a different way to paint glass containers like jars and bottles? Any tips or recommended products? Please let me know in the comments below! I always love reading your experiences and learning new crafty secrets! 🙂

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Paint Chips Wall Art DIY

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If you are like me, you may try to avoid going to craft stores when you are on a budget. The endless aisles of temptations, and those prices! But rest assured, you can still craft with a minimal to non-existent budget, and still create beautiful projects!

Inspiration strikes anywhere- even at the hardware store! I love looking at all the different paint chips on display, especially ones with ridiculous names- “blooming persimmon”?! I’m guessing that’s a shade of orange?

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Even better is that you can usually sneak away with a handful of paint chip samples without anyone giving you a dirty look- yay! Free crafting supplies! These are a lot of fun for any kind of paper crafting- you can cut them up and use them in cards, scrapbooks, journals, basically any kind of paper project!

I grabbed my handful of paint chips and cut them all out into a rough leaf shape using a made up template. You can use any shape you like, working around any writing on the sample cards. If you have a shape punch or a small die-cut available this would come together very quickly! But scissors and a few minutes of concentration work just as well!

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After all your shapes are cut out, you can play around with creating a pattern that you like. You can go with a more geometric and structured look, or a more organic flowing one- your call.  Once I figured out a pattern that I liked, I backed my leaves with double sided tape. You can also use foam tape for a more dimensional look.

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You have a few options on how to turn this into a wall art / décor piece:
– An empty picture frame
– A blank canvas
– Painted wood plank
– Foam core / craft board

I went with the last option, I remember using lots of foam core board in my days in design school, and to be honest the material is very finicky to work with, but at $1.25 I figured it would be worth the trouble!

Glue your pieces down according to your pattern, and proudly display it anywhere in your home! This fun and thrifty craft project is very budget friendly- the paint chips were free, and the board was just over $1 and I have leftovers for future projects!

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I hope you try this affordable craft, to inject some fun summer color into your space! ❤

Wallpaper- take 1 and 2

I have always loved the look of wallpaper, and how it can give a space so much style and personality. Now, I’m not talking about your grandma’s flowery faded pastel kind of wallpaper. My taste in patterns is a lot more modern, leaning towards more geometric shapes and neutral colors.

When we bought our place in the summer we had some renovations to do. Nothing major, just changing the floors from carpet to laminate, and some painting. One of the design elements I wanted to include in our place is some wallpaper. Thus began the adventure…

Take 1: Textured paintable wallpaper
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The wall above our fireplace had some icky “popcorn” texture, and also a giant mirror glued to the wall that I wanted gone. Once we removed the mirror (it took lots of duct tape and 2 hairdryers… don’t ask) we realized that there is a recessed part of the wall behind it. That area was looking pretty gnarly- lots of leftover mirror glue and some tearing in the drywall. We decided to cover it up rather than patch it, so we got a small piece of drywall from the hardware store. We measured and cut it to fit the recessed area, the drilled it into the studs using drywall screws. We patched up the “seams” with some filler. The next dilemma we faced was- how do we make the wall texture even? The one patch of new smooth drywall was surrounded by areas with the “popcorn” texture. My solution was: Textured wallpaper!

Since no stores nearby us had textured wallpaper, we ordered it online. The pattern we picked is called “Shatter” and you can see it here and here. We bought some regular wallpaper glue from the hardware store, and I got to work! Now, I have never done wallpaper before, so through some trial and error I figured it out. Here are some tips:

1. Take your time to line up the pattern and generally pre-cut your strips, one at a time.

2. I found it much easier to put the glue on the wall, rather than on the paper. Walking around with a giant soggy piece of paper that keeps sticking to itself felt very counter productive.

3. What I ended up doing is putting the glue on the wall in sections, and squeezing out the bubbles / adjust alignment for each section. Much easier than doing the whole strip in one go!

4. To trim the wallpaper once it is covered in glue, resist the urge to use a knife! using scissors might not give the most even and straight cut, but using a knife often rips through the wet paper leaving a ragged edge 😦

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The wallpaper we picked did a great job camouflaging the difference in textures that was going on underneath, and we also painted over it in the same paint color as the rest of our walls. We ended up mounting our TV on that wall, which works perfectly. This textured wall gives a great subtle interest to our living room focal wall.

Take 2: chevron print wallpaper
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I love chevron print, but could not imagine myself painting a pattern on the wall myself. Even with lots of painters tape and painstaking measurements, I could not see myself being happy with the results, especially with such a clean geometric pattern. So wallpaper it is! This one was for our dining room focal wall, but it is also a “hallway” wall, since you have to pass through our dining room to get to our living room. Whenever we have people over, whether it is for a meal, or tea, or watching a movie, everyone passes by it!

I do not remember the exact name of the pattern we chose, but we ordered it through our local Benjamin Moore store. They were great about letting us borrow book after book of wallpaper patterns until we found just the right one! This white and grey pattern works great with the wall paint we picked, and the subtle lines of shiny texture add interest.
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Putting this wallpaper up ended up being a 3 person job! This wallpaper was a lot thinner and so much more delicate than the previous textured one I experienced. It was also much more important to make sure the pattern lines up just right at the seams, since it would be very obvious if it was even just a little bit off.
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Overall I am very happy with how it turned out. You can see the rest of my dining room in my previous post here (even though I ended up replacing the photo on the wall- update will be coming eventually!). I will probably not be tackling wallpaper again in the near future though, and if the budget permits hire a professional to apply it next time.

Have you tried putting up wallpaper yourself? How did it work for you? I would love to hear your wallpaper success stories (or disasters!) 🙂

Painting Laminate- My First Experience

Do you have an old, tired looking piece of furniture at home that you would love to make useful and pretty? Do you need to add an extra piece to your home, but don’t have the budget to splurge on the bright and modern piece of furniture you dream about? Well, this might be a good solution for you!

We needed a small storage unit for our entry way, for things like keys, purses, scarves, etc. We wanted a modern piece, that will stand out from the gray walls and white tile (while I am a fan of monochromatic looks, I prefer more contrast in my own space). Our options were- a) get an expensive piece that we are in love with, but break the bank, or, b) get a cheaper piece and fancy it up ourselves.

We went with option B. After week of going through every thrift store in our area, and not finding a piece to our liking, we folded and made a trip to IKEA. After much deliberation, we picked the Brusali TV bench, as it was narrow enough to fit the space, and cheap enough to fit our budget. I assembled it without the backing piece, to save on paint.

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Our next challenge was- how to paint over the ugly dark laminate finish? Spray painting was out of the question, as we don’t have a balcony or any outdoor space, so it had to be something relatively clean and low-fumes. Painting with regular latex paint was an option, but has to be preceded by long steps of prepping the piece, and sounded a bit daunting. After hours of googling and youtubing, I landed on using chalk paint, as it saves some of the sand-prime-sand-paint process. According to what I was reading, chalk paint is self-priming, and can stick to pretty much anything, even completely smooth and non-porous surfaces like glass- sounds promising! I read a few personal accounts of people who successfully tried it, and figured it would be worth the shot. I picked up a container of Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint in Treasure.

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And let the painting adventure begin! I did not sand or prime the piece prior to painting, and just started to slather it on in long strokes using a synthetic paint brush. Here is a before shot:

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Some of what I was reading online recommended sanding between layers of paint, to even out the surface texture and minimize brush strokes. I was too lazy for that, and didn’t really mind the look of brush strokes. If I wanted it to look perfect I would have spray painted it! The chalk paint that I was using had pretty good coverage, but I still needed 3 coats to get an even finish. The 8 oz container I got was just enough for that! Chalk paint dries very quickly, and by the time I was finished the first coat, the spot where I started was already dry and ready for a second coat, which made the process go by very quickly. Here is what it looked like after the second coat of paint:

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Since Chalk paint is porous, it needs to be finished, or sealed, in some way. Most sources recommend applying the corresponding wax, but my local store was out of stock. I also wanted the finished piece to have a shiny glossy finish that is very durable, so I ended up choosing a polyurethane varnish in clear gloss by minwax.

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I did two coats of that with the same synthetic paint brush, straight from the can. Some sources recommended diluting it with water to make it thinner so that brush strokes are less visible, and to give it more of a self-leveling quality. They also recommend sanding between coats, and doing at least 3 coats. As you can probably tell by now I wasn’t following any of these recommendations anyways, and I think the end result looked perfectly fine. The poly dries very quickly too, but I gave it overnight to cure before touching or putting things on it.

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I am really happy with the color, and how it looks in the space! I also love the glossy shine that I got with the poly coat, and actually don’t mind the brush stroke look at all, I think it almost makes it look like a real piece of furniture made of real wood, rather than MDF covered in a thin film of laminate pretending to be wood.

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This process would be perfect to do over a weekend, and since it is fairly low fumes, was fine to do indoors. I can see this working perfectly for an old piece of furniture that just needs to be woken up a bit and freshened up, for a totally different look. Its amazing the difference paint makes! Do you have a piece that needs a fresh look? Or a thrift store find with great bones that needs to be modernized? I hope you give this process a try, and let me know how it goes! ❤

 

 

Home Office Transformation

A home office may not be a requirement for everyone, but for those of us who prefer a designated space for studying, catching up on paperwork, or even taking work home, it is essential.

When putting together a home office, think about your specific needs. What is the space going to be used for? What are your must-haves for the space? How much time will you be spending in that space?

Here are a few more things to consider:

Lighting– if it is possible to have your work space near a window for natural light it is preferred. However, for some it is a distraction, or creates too much glare. Think about the optimal lighting you would need for the type of tasks done in the space. Is the general light in the room causing you to cast a shadow on the work-space? Consider adding a desk lamp for more focused task light.

Ergonomics– this may not be at the top of your priorities, but if you are planning to spend a few hours a day in your home office space, it would be nice not to be sore afterwards. Make sure when seated your knees are at a 90 degree angle, and that your shoulders and elbows are not strained to reach for things like the keyboard or mouse.

Storage– try and have your essentials within an arm’s reach. It is fine to store other items separately, but for increased productivity keep daily use items quickly accessible and frequently replenished as needed.

The home office I am featuring next is mainly used for studying and doing work tasks on the computer. It needed to be functional and sleek at the same time, as well as keeping it within budget!

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The cork board / white board combo, pen cup, and stacking paper shelf were all purchased at the thrift store, for under $10 altogether. I decided to give the board a quick coat of paint (which I already had from a previous project) to inject some color into the space, as it would be rather monochrome otherwise.

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Let me know what you think, and what your home office must-haves are in the comments!