• Robin Kee

Styling on a Budget: DIY chain, vase + lamp updates

Well friends, nothing like a #NoSpendJanuary to get your DIY juices flowing. Since I'm not shopping I thought it was a great time to try my hand at a few easy DIY updates in preparation for this dresser styling project. Now, you'll have to forgive me for not being a good DIY blogger...there aren't process photos here, but trust me - these are so simple you won't need them. I will, however, give you the supply lists.

First, I wanted to update these glass vases I've had sitting in our garage since we moved here two years ago. Vases are a great layering element for styling shelves, table tops and mantles so I figured it was a good place to start. If you don't hoard random items in your garage for years on end, you can easily find glass vases at your local thrift stores.

Supply List for DIY Painted Glass Jars:

  • glass vases

  • paint - I used leftover interior paint samples

  • paint brush

  • painters tape

  • baking soda

Lucky for me, I had all these items at home so this project came in at a total of zero dollars. (High five!)

I created too different versions of this project - one with a clean paint line and one organic paint line. For the clean line option, you'll want to start by wrapping your vase with painters tape.

Next mix a some paint with a small amount of baking soda to create a more chalky appearance to the finish. (I did not measure, but think around 1 cup paint to 1 tablespoon of baking soda to start.) I love this technique because it gives more texture to the piece and gives more of a ceramic look rather than a shiny paint finish.

Paint thin layers on the glass vase - letting it dry between each layer. It took about three layers to get the coverage I wanted.

Remove the painters tape and display that bad boy wherever you like. (Told you we wouldn't need process photos.) If wanting a more organic paint line, just skip the painters tape.

What's really great about this painting method is that you can basically turn any ugly vase or pot into a super cute ceramic decor piece. That's exactly what I did to update the ugly golden yellow lamp that's been filling in as a light source in our boys' bedroom. I thought I was just updating it for them, but now it looks so good I'm not sure it'll ever return to their space. Mama's got to show it off! #sorrynotsorry

*Jump over to Instagram to see the before of this lovely lamp.

After a little painting fun, why not get your hands dirty with some air-dry clay? This is another simple (and kinda relaxing) DIY project that I created with things I already had at home. Now again, no process photos, but I do have the really in depth supply list below.

Supply List for DIY decorative chain:

  • white air dry clay

  • water

  • plastic knife or butter knife

For this project I need you to recall your kindergarten days of rolling "snakes" with play dough. You know what I'm talking about right? (If not, you may not be a DIYer. That's ok, friend. We can't all make random clay chains in our free time. No judgment.)

So for each link you'll need to roll out a "snake" of clay. (I made a five link chain.) Try to keep the width even on all your "snakes" (I'm so sorry I have no better word to describe these) and make them long enough that you can bend them into an oval shape.

When you're ready to start creating the links, score the clay (cut little lines) on each end to better help the clay adhere to itself. Bend your "snakes" until the ends touch. Add a little water on your hands (and on the ends of the clay) and gently begin to manipulate the clay until the two ends are connected. After creating the first link, you'll need to loop your next "snake" through the original link before connecting the ends.

Keep connecting your links until you reach your desired length. Then simply set it out somewhere safe to dry. The packaging of your clay should note how long it needs to fully dry. Mine was about 24 hours.

Is my chain perfect? Absolutely not. But it sure beats paying $60 or $139 dollars for a decorative item that my children will likely attempt to use as a weapon in their next Lego Ninjago battle.

If you decide to DIY any of the above be sure to share with me! Tag me on Instagram @LovelyLarkLiving so I can celebrate your amazing painting and snake rolling skills.



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