Can’t believe it’s August already! Funny how a year can fly by when you have a web show to put out each month! Click above to watch this month’s episode with a fun driftwood mirror frame and a makeover for some outdated lamps.
But more than the projects, this month I have a very special guest, my dad! We journeyed out to his river cabin in Mississippi to add some “Chelsea” to the rustic décor. It’s about 25 minutes from his house in Mobile, but he still never gets over there as much as he’d like. So I gave him a reason and some company and we had a great time!
Dad always says that when I was much, much younger, I would beg him to take me to the cabin. However, I would fall asleep on the drive and keep sleeping the entire time we were there. I’d wake up on the way home wondering when we were getting to the cabin!
I was able to stay awake the whole trip this time and we completed some pretty cool projects too!
Our first project was to add some visual interest to the plain mirror in the teeny, tiny bathroom. He had just an unframed, builder-grade mirror hanging. We took it down and brought it to our “workshop”. Then we drove around on one of his “toys” to locate pieces of driftwood on the various trails he has on the property. All the while trying to avoid spider webs!
We were looking for mostly small, thin pieces but found some nice looking larger pieces to save for a future project. Once we had enough, we headed back to start cleaning and laying them out.
Since Dad still wasn’t quite sure what we were doing, we laid out our new sticks around the edge of the mirror to give him a better idea. Then we took the sticks off to wipe them down.
We applied some construction adhesive to the side of the stick that would go against the mirror. It helps to set the stick on the mirror first to see where it touches. And only apply the adhesive there. Some of our sticks had bends in them, so not all of the stick would touch. If we applied glue to the part that didn’t touch, then it’d drip onto the mirror and be unsightly. Nobody wants that!
We slowly worked our way around the edge of the mirror, gluing sticks one at a time. Once we had sticks on the entire perimeter, we went back and added more sticks in between to fill out the frame and reduce the amount of mirror that shined through.
Once we were satisfied with the frame, we taped off the mirror inside with painter’s tape and newspaper. Then we shook up some satin finish spray polyurethane and applied a couple of light coats. If you’re ever around my dad, DO NOT give him a spray can of any kind. He cannot be trusted. His rule of thumb is spray it on thick and you’ll only have to do one coat. Bad, bad idea. Especially in any kind of humidity.
After we relocated our mirror into the sunshine to dry, we were ready for our next project!
The lamps in the cabin weren’t necessarily rustic, but they were kind of old fashioned with the floral bases. To make them more rustic chic, I thought we’d wrap a small rope all the way up the base. With Dad on board, that’s exactly what we did. First, we taped off the electrical components at the top and the cord at the bottom and spray painted the base white with a primer. This is just in case any of the floral design could be seen once we were done gluing the rope.
Perhaps I was just paranoid since I once wrapped a wine bottle in jute and the label could be seen between the jute once I was done. Should have gone through the effort to remove the label completely, huh? Oh well!
Dad’s had a lot of experience with guns of the nail and pistol variety, but I’m not sure he’s ever used a glue gun before. So I let him man the gun while I wrapped the rope. After a few revolutions around the lamp, we got into the swing of things and progressed quickly. As always with hot glue, work in small sections or it will dry before you get your rope in place!
Also of note, I found the rope we used at the hardware store. The craft store I went to didn’t have anything nearly this thick.
We wrapped both lamp bases with the rope before we moved on to the shades. With the same spray primer we sued on the bases, we applied a light coat on the shades. We let it dry for a few minutes before creating some interest and texture with burlap. Instead of gluing burlap onto the shade, I held a piece of burlap tight against the shade while Dad sprayed an awesome sea foam blue/green paint*.
After we sprayed all the way around the first shade, we did the same thing for the second shade. If you’re spraying more than 2 shades, I’d recommend having an extra piece or two of burlap since the paint fills in the holes of the burlap quickly.
This technique is not going to give you a very rich pattern. Our intention was to give it a little something without just spray painting it a solid color. Perhaps you’d have more oomph with a darker color?
It didn’t take long for the shades to dry. Then we were able to move our lovely finished projects into their home in the cabin! We hung the mirror on the same clips it was previously hung on. And the lamps went back where they came from.
The lamps add a nice little pop of fresh color into the living area. And the mirror just looks cool! I love that we were able to use material from the surrounding area to create something so unique. It’ll be fun to use the mirror for years to come! (With all that adhesive Dad applied, it’ll certainly be in tact for a while!)
Another day at the cabin for the memory books!
Thanks for Checking In! ~ Chelsea
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