I love the colored glass bottles, I just wish they were more accessible. And I find plenty of beach glass, but what I was really keep an eye out for are fully-preserved colored glass or milky glass bottles; they look pretty sitting on a windowsill gently diffusing the light or holding flowers. Of course, finding beautifully colored glass bottles at garage sales isn’t easy, and hunting them down at vintage shops doesn’t feel quite so authentic (kind of take what you can get out of desperation and pay out of pocket for it), so I had this idea in mind to try colored glass DIY-style.
I’ve seen a few tutorials that involved spray painting over vases and glasses, but what I didn’t like about those examples is that it eliminated the whole shiny, naturally glassy look that’s was still desirable to me. Truthfully, I was really hoping I could come up with a way to transparently dye the glass (thinking food coloring in a varnish or something and if anyone out there has any clue how to do this, share the know-how), but I couldn’t figure it out and went with Plan B instead.
Now might also be an appropriate time to note that I started collecting glass jars over the winter. Almost obsessively. Really, Pete just asked me to start saving the glass parmasan and sauce jars so that we could organize nuts and bolts and other easy-to-lose-goodies on his workbench, but I got a little carried away since some of the jars were really, really cute. Stars. Grids. Interesting shapes that were far too intriguing to be stuck into the basement and filled with assorted phillips head screws that I’m having trouble parting with just incase I need one that’s a random size.
And from the growing collection, I grabbed a few I knew I would want to experiment with. Not sure how to approach the whole painting the inside of a jar project, I started by testing two methods using junkier jars that I was less concerned with the final outcome of. (read: still had stickers attached or were gooey with sticker residue. The test subjects will go on to land themselves a full-time gig in the basement with the carriage bolts and glue sticks.) For testing paint, I used some that I had on hand (and conveniently opened, since I was in the middle of watching paint dry in the sunroom after I stenciled some of the floor).
Method #1 (A FAIL. KEEP READING. DON’T TRY.): Spraypaint the inside of the jar with clear glossy paint (on hand, read: free) and then pour in some paint straight from the can. Swirl the paint around to cover all surfaces.
This was a true fail; the paint and the not-dried spray paint congealed together like water and oil. It look a long time to swish the paint around the jar and make it stick, and even then, it took a long, long time to try (like, a record week) and left me with a clumpy, scratchy paint job. It doesn’t look so horrible in the picture, aside from the Wegmans Pickle label that I’m intentionally showing you here so you don’t actually think this one was going to win a gold ribbon:
Method #2 (MUCH BETTER, TRY THIS AT HOME): Another attempt omitted the spraypaint, and went straight for the plain ol’ paint. The inside of the jar was clean and dry, so I poured some right in and let it swirl around to cover the surfaces. In this test, I was also seeing how the paint would hold up to the glass, so I didn’t coat the entire jar, only about 2/3 the way up. I left the uneven line and even a blotch unpainted somehow right in the thick of it all to see how it shifted around in the drying process. Fortunately, it didn’t shift at all and stuck really nicely (without looking drippy or washed down); that was a nice surprise, and also gave me the confidence to proceed with some of the other jars I had.
For the next batch, I chose to use some leftover flat ceiling paint that was used in the third bedroom a.k.a. my walk-in-closet. It’s light blue, and I’m not planning on painting other ceilings blue yet, so I figured this was a good use for the leftover paint.
I started with a narrow tall one from IKEA with the little raised dots; it’s from the Emma Dafnas collection (umlaut over one of those A’s), and was a bargain at something-around-79-cents/each (I grabbed 2 when we made our last trip). They were my inspiration to really try this project. I used a little foil DIY funnel to guide the paint (add funnel to the shopping list next time I’m at the dollar store):
And then let the extra paint drip into the original paint can while I ate stir fry and rice.
I proceeded with the next one once I was satisfied that the paint had grasped onto the glass well enough. This second jar was one I found in Grandma’s attic of treasures; interesting shape, cute little dimples. I actually took 4 of them.
Verdict? Awesome. Also, it looks like I spilled some rice on the table.
I let them dry for a few days in the sunroom with better ventilation, and was happy with the end result. True story, I did an extra coat inside the IKEA tall skinny vase and even then it didn’t cling on as well as I had hoped; perhaps this has something to do with the manufacturing or the mold used to create the vase.
But it still looks pretty sitting on my bookshelf.
Ironically I was already letting the paint dry on my own tutorial as I saw this post by Finnish blogger kootut murut which admittedly is the same thing I did, but so smartly mentioned using non-acrylic paint if you wanted to consider using these final pieces for holding flowers in water. I didn’t think of this myself, so I’ll leave all credit to the awesome crafters over yonder.
By feathers, I mean maple tree helicopters and pine needles. Trees overhanging my garage: please hold on to your goods this week so as not to disrupt my newly patched garage roof.
A damp garage is no fun. I figured there were some holes that needed to be patched and nails that needed to be sealed in, but still I only rated the situation orange on the “girl, you need to fix this now” scale (self-defined, but noticeably similar to the recently abandoned homeland security terrorism scale). I haven’t had enough moisture come in to seriously damage anything yet (but I’ve been on heightened alert like the airport security checkpoints). I knew it would only get worse, but was fighting mother nature and my work schedule on when to make the move and tar up the roof where it was needed.
It was sunny over the weekend, so we did a little assessment. During this time, Pete marked every slight hole in the existing tar paper while I confused the dog by talking from the roof and snapped a few photos of the backyard, which you probably haven’t seen from this vantage point before (messy, but that’s because we were busy organizing the shed at the same time, true multi-taskers at work):
Side note unrelated to tarring: I love my pergolas even more from above. Wondering if I should add another layer of latticing on top going perpendicular to the 2x4s.
Even though we’ve been more diligent to climb up to the roof and sweep it off from time to time to help keep leaves from holding moisture over the weak areas, we knew a real tar job was in order to fix the issue before it got worse. And it’s not that I didn’t get around to buying the tar; it’s been in my garage since last year when I bought it to tar to paint the pressure-treated posts supporting my deck 48″ below the surface of the earth (hello future owners, that deck is s-o-l-i-d). I actually wasn’t even sure the rest of my 5-gallon bin would still be good to use after it spent all winter (presumably) frozen out of sight (and out of mind). Fortunately, the tar was still usable, and fortunately the weather was perfect-o so we didn’t have to deal with it being 90 degrees or windy (which only would have blown more of the tree shiz into the fresh mushy tar).
Pete performed a final sweep-down to prep the area, and I hauled up the 5-gallons of tar and found the worst-of-the-worst paint brushes from our collection (ones we knew we were OK throwing out after the job was done). Here’s the roof before we got started:
We thought it wouldn’t hurt to go over the tar paper seams again, just incase they weren’t overlapped well by the folks who originally installed the roof (a complete tear off in 1997, according to an etching we found inside the garage).
After I took that photo I promptly put my camera far far away from potential sticky danger. Once we were done, the roof looked more like this:
As far as time is concerned, this was a very quick afternoon job. I had put it off for a year thinking that I’d need a full day (that was also not too hot, not cold, not windy, not rainy) to dedicate to the project (and a pair of shoes that I never wanted to wear again), but it was reasonably fast and neat too; I was even wearing ballet flats — which was pushing my luck + totally inappropriate but I walked away tar-free. It only took us about an hour from sweeping to cleanup. And, I still have about 2.5 gallons of tar to put towards future holes if need be. Any top-of-mind uses for leftovers?