Ciao, friends! I just got back from an amazing trip to Italy this afternoon. I had the pleasure of staying in Rome and visiting Tuscany vineyards, Tivoli, Florence, Vatican City, and Orvieto. Unfortunately my grandfather passed away the week before I left (there will be more about him soon) and I’ve been spending a few nights a week in PT for a herniated disc. With all that in mind, I have several unfinished projects lying around my place.
So to ease my way back into my Pinteresting, and because I’m still on Rome time (so while it’s 6:30p here, my body thinks it’s past midnight and is begging for sleep), I finished the project that required the least amount of work. I found this project here, a fabulous blog with tons of DIY projects. Check it out asap! The problem is, Rachel Mahan of 52 Projects is actually talented while I’m clumsy and not the slightest bit artistic. That being said, I’m still proud anything I create and I’ll proudly display my beautiful disasters despite their numerous imperfections.
Straight to the point: To complete this project my own
destined for disaster way, I picked up clear vases of varied sizes at one of my favorite new hangouts, Michael’s. Despite the fact that I keep notes for upcoming projects in my always present iPhone, I still forgot to get twine. Left to improvise I realized that, because I’m a teacher, I always have rubber bands. First I set the rubber bands around the vases, using bands with varying widths. I’ll get to the problem this caused later. You may notice that the middle-sized vase is smaller in the before pics than the afters. Yup – I dropped it. 5 years playing catcher in softball and I can’t keep my hands on a vase with rubber grips. Luckily I always get at least one more than I need – That way I can use it for something else if I magically avoid the inevitable.
To help the spray paint stick to the glass, I first treated the vases with a spray-on primer. Once that was set and dried, I sprayed a few coats of white spray paint on each vase. This was more than likely a huge issue when it came to the problem with the rubber bands. If you try this, I recommend using only one coat – Just cover as much as possible.
I intended on letting the paint dry overnight. Instead, the vases waited patiently for several weeks as I lost my grandfather the day after I started the project and that was followed by my vacation. When I came home, I took to the vases with a pair of scissors to cut off the rubber bands – If they weren’t dry and ready by then, I’d have bigger crafting problems than I’d expected. What I hadn’t anticipated, and why my project ended with much less beautiful vases than Rachel’s, was the paint clinging in some places to the rubber and peeling off in chunks. This was most likely amplified by the thickness of the paint. Less really is more – I should’ve stuck with one solid coat.
Since I’m pretty used to screwing up my DIY projects, I simply turned the vases so you can’t see the missing chunks and love them with all of their imperfections. Now the next thing I hadn’t anticipated was the difficulty I’d have lighting the votives I placed inside. The larger of the two vases were fairly simple using a long lighter. However, the thinnest vase was a bit bratty. The lighter refused to light at any angle when placed by the candle at the bottom of the vase. If I lit the lighter before putting it in the vase, it went out by the time it got to the wick
but not before sending up a nice little fireball that burned my fingers.
To solve that problem, I’ve decided to use those little battery-powered votives. I find them to be a little cheesy when placed out in the open, but I think the painted sections of the vase will hide them just enough, and I love the way these vases look when lit.
The moral of the story is this: If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably get fairly frustrated when you finally try a DIY you swooned over done by one of your favorite bloggers. But, imperfections can remind you that (as the name implies) you really did do it yourself. Now go screw up a project and proudly display it in your home.