Monday, December 24, 2012

Magazine sunburst mirror

..... or "Hi, my name is Titti and I'm a mirror-oholic". Because that's basically what my mirror obsession amounts to. I don't even dare to count how many mirrors we have sprinkled around the house already and I just decided to add two more, how about that?

 In all fairness we have a tiny house and mirrors are supposed to make a space feel bigger, right? Follow my logic? Anyway, hold on to your pants on this one because this project is sooo cool it might blow your pants off your behind if you're not careful :) Just a fair warning.

Just take a few already read shelter magazines, a sheet of foam core board, beveled craft mirror, gold spray paint and copious amounts of hot glue and end up with this on your wall.

I'm in the process of rearranging things in our bedroom and this little project is part of that rearranging. I know sunbursts have been done but I happen to love them and when you can get this beaut for about $12, how can you resist? I need to make it's twin so we can have one on each side of the bed. (By the way, so sorry about most of the pics in this post, they were taken late at night in horrible lighting).

Here's the quick run-through of the process. 

 1. Take your old shelter or other glossy magazines and cut out all the pages.

 2. Roll each page into a tightly rolled reed, rolling on the diagonal to make the reed as long as possible.

 3. Cut your foam core board into a 20x20 square and trace around your mirror in the middle of the board (my mirrors are 10" beveled craft mirrors from Hobby Lobby, $5 each).

4. Trace another circle 5" outside the first one and cut the corners off the square board. Perfection is not needed as the board will not be visible in the end.

 5. Start hot-gluing your reeds just inside the outer circle. I like to start with gluing a reed in each quarter of the circle and then eye-balling the center between those two reeds and putting my next reed there, and then finding the center between those two for my next reed etc until the circle is full. That way you don't have to do any math :) I have glued them in threes here because I slightly staggered mine for an uneven edge. Don't worry if the backer board is still slightly visible between the reeds since we're adding another layer on top.

 6. Start gluing the second layer of reeds just inside the inner circle. Since you traced around the mirror to make this circle you know the mirror will cover the bald center spot completely when it's added on top. I didn't pack my reeds super tight together so some of the backer board is visible (will be covered by paint later).

7. This is how I solved my hanging dilemma. A square of the left over foam core board got two holes punched in one corner and twine was strung through the holes and the ends tied together in the back. I reinforced the pierced holes with hot glue as well as the knot, then doused the whole square in hot glue and stuck it to the backer board.

 Had to try it on the wall at this point :) If you have modern sensibilities you can stop here and just add the mirror in the center. I like it glam so I added paint.

 Just a pic to show the wonderful texture all the reeds create en masse like this. As you can see all the ends of the reeds got trimmed at an angel for a consistent look. In fact, after gluing my first layer of reeds to the board I realized that the mirror was going to be bigger than the allotted wall space allowed so I went around the circle trimming about 2" off each reed using scissors. The total diameter of this beauty ended up being 40" so it's pretty massive :)

 8. I spray painted the whole thing with Krylon's Gold Metallic spray paint, covering each reed as best I could. When DIYing you have to keep in mind that perfection will drive you bonkers and some minor, barely visible blemishes will disappear when you step back and look at the big picture. Most people visiting you in your home will not be scrutinizing your wall decor from just a few inches away, they will step into your room and be blown away by the total effect. Don't forget to hot glue the mirror in the middle, too!

 9. Hang and admire - you're done! Not bad for $12, huh? (Never mind that horrible mess on my bedside table. It's always like that. See why I felt the need to use up some of those magazines?)

I used about 4 magazines for this mirror and then the foam core and mirror. I'm very bad at estimating weight so I won't even try but it's certainly lightweight for its size. I only hung it with the full weight today and so far the hanging mechanism is holding up just fine. You can always make a more professional hanger if it worries you :) I like taking short cuts, sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will work long term.

 I absolutely love it! It makes such a statement and with a twin on the other side and a few other things prettified in here I'm hoping it'll finally start feeling like an enchanted place. More pics to come as I finish them. And I'll probably take a few weeks off here over Christmas and New Year's while I work on things and spend time with the family.

Happy Christmas to all and let the festivities begin!

Ps. Linking up with Uncommon Designs Monday Funday.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Teacher's Christmas gifts

 Thank you for all your sweet comments about the "differentness"! And let me also clarify that I'm not depressed about the issue like my mom thought. It's more that I'm a little tired of seeming so one dimensional because I'm concealing my secret, controversial life from most people I meet. Again, not specifically to keep it a secret but more as a way of not stepping on toes. Anyway....

Sorry for my absence, I've been distracted by life :) This past year seems to have been the year where all of our teeth decided to break down. Lately, it's been mine that have been giving me trouble. I suspect it will all get taken care of in due time but while I'm in the middle of things I decided to distract myself by showing off the Christmas gifts I've made for the kids' teachers.

I've mentioned before that I don't give many homemade gifts, mostly because I feel like most people wouldn't necessarily like getting them (they're expecting the latest Wii or Kindle or something else of the high-tech and mucho expensivo variety). Personally, I buy pretty much all my own gifts because then I know I'll get exactly what I want :) My husband is the same so this works for us even though my mom is beside herself over our "un-romantic" ways. Sorry, mom :)

Anyway. Teachers can't defend themselves from homemade gifts and they probably wouldn't think of complaining even if they were unhappy with their loot. I usually go for something cheap but practical and hopefully different from all the other treats, mugs, pencils and whatnots they usually get. I tell myself that even if the gift may not be that interesting to them at least they'll know that a lot of thought and time went into making their gift = they're important.

This time I used some of the leftover fleece from the kids' blankets to make little heart shaped hand warmers. So simple and virtually free. (I think I got the idea from here, they certainly look similar enough).

1. First I cut out my heart shapes with the help of a free handed template and sewed them together, right sides facing, leaving a little space open to add the filling.

2. Turned them inside out and stuffed them to the gills with rice mixed with some Tangerine essential oil (smells good when you heat them up) and sewed them shut by hand.

3. The cross stitching around the seams strengthens the seams and adds a sweet detail.

4. Simple instructions were printed on brown gift wrap paper, cut into strips and stapled into a "sleeve" for the hearts.

5. Classy scrapbook papers were turned into custom pillow boxes with the help of this tutorial and the sleeved hearts were slid into their boxes.

6. Standard gift bows and some tags I had on hand complete the look I was going for. The tags will be personalized to each teacher, of course. :)

Ready to be gifted! Love the classy, girly look and my daughter especially will be ecstatic to give such a pretty gift to her teacher although my son seemed pretty excited as well :) And hopefully the teachers will be happy with their gifts although I might never know :)

By the way, if it looks like I have a split personality on my blog from now on it's because the other day when I tried to upload some pics to the blog Blogger informed me I was out of space. Meaning they wanted me to buy more storage space, or else. Blogging is but a small hobby of mine and I didn't want to have any expenses going with it so I decided to enter into the world of split personalities.

 This blog now has two contributors but they are both part of a whole that is the sum total of me, still :). A new free account enabled me to keep blogging until this one runs out of space. It's a hassle and it looks like I'm two people but, you know, it's free. Hope it doesn't bother you guys too much that I have a split personality :) I'm slowly adjusting to it myself.
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