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Well met, everyone, and welcome back to the blog! I recently uploaded another video to my YouTube channel, in which I made over an IKEA mirror into a romantic, slightly Gothic art installation inspired by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera as well as Beauty and the Beast and Maleficent. I am of the belief that things in my house should be practical as well as aesthetically beautiful, so if I’m going to have a full-length mirror to examine my outfit (and—let’s be real—take a lot of Instagram selfies), why not make it look like something pulled from one of my favorite stories of all time?
The concept I had for this video was that the mirror was from Christine’s dressing room, and that some form of magic was causing real roses to grow from the wooden roses in the frame. This video was inspired by a mirror DIY by Mr. Kate (article) as well as a DIY flower wall tutorial by Lulu Sapphire (video). I also wanted this to be an experiment showing the creative process, rather than a tutorial.
The Mirror Frame
The mirror I used was the Nissedal mirror from IKEA (there are two widths available—I used the wider one). After using some artist tape and notebook paper to protect the glass, I started painting a coat of gold spray paint (Amazon). In hindsight, it was way too windy when I tried to paint the first few coats of paint, so the paint ended up going on unevenly. After some coats of the bronze spray paint (Amazon) from my candelabra DIY on a calmer day, the mirror was finally painted. I also added a clear enamel (Amazon) to prevent the paint from chipping or getting tacky. I also painted my millwork pieces—four corner pieces (Amazon) and one top center piece (Amazon)—with the same colors.
The windy first day of painting also added another problem. Underneath the notebook paper, some paint got onto the glass. I was able to wipe it away with acetone, but if you use acetone, be sure to use rubber gloves (not plastic gloves like I used in the video—acetone can damage plastic) and work in a well-ventilated area.
There were some things I wanted to do in this project that I ultimately decided against doing. For instance, I had the idea to de-silver the mirror edges to give it more of an antique feel. I decided not to do that, because it’s hard to do indoors, and it’s difficult (if not impossible) to reverse if I decided I didn’t like it. For this project, I left the glass as it was, but I may try it if or when I revisit this project in the future.
After cleaning off the acetone residue with glass cleaner, it was time to add the millwork. I measured the center line for both the mirror frame and the top center piece, and then I added felt pads so the bottom edge didn’t scuff the floor. (I initially thought I’d hang the mirror on the wall, but I ultimately decided to leave it on the floor to add to the “Parisian chic” vibes as I observe them on Pinterest. It also doesn’t help that that would have likely required drilling holes into the wall, and I didn’t want to do that.) I also laid down a plastic sheet to protect the floor from any stray drops of glue. Once everything was ready to go, I attached the millwork to the frame with Super Glue. You can also use E-6000 or any other strong adhesive.
As I came to realize, this part was much easier said than done. The pencil marks I made to mark the center lines were so hard to see that I ended up eyeballing the center piece (oh, well—I tried). There was also another hiccup; the top center piece didn’t sit flat against the frame so I had to mortar one side down with hot glue. This gives the optical illusion that it’s tilted ever so slightly, but I didn’t mind that much. Let this be a warning to work quickly with Super Glue because it dries fast.
With that, the mirror frame is complete! At this point, the mirror would probably look good as it is, but I want to take this to the next level, so it’s time to work on the roses.
The Floral Arrangement
This part was more challenging than I thought it would be. While these flower stems from Michael’s (similar product) were beautiful and fit almost perfectly into the look I wanted, I was very frustrated with them during this process. With many fake flowers, the leaves, structural pieces, and individual sheets of petals all separate with relative ease. These hardly separated at all, which made it much harder to paint them than it needed to be. It can be done, but if you want to do this quickly and (relatively) painlessly, flowers that separate into individual pieces and put back together easily would likely be your best bet.
My initial plan was to spray paint the stems with the metallic colors and then spray paint the roses red (no Alice in Wonderland reference intended). In between coats of paint on the mirror frame, I added some small pieces of aluminum foil to protect the blossoms from the metallic spray paint. I then sprayed the stems and leaves the same colors as the frame.
It was when I went to paint the blooms that I realized my cunning plan in fact had a critical flaw. In hindsight, it would have been easier to paint the blossoms first and then paint the stems to cover up any stray paint. Desperate to make this work, I wrapped the stems and leaves in foil and plastic wrap to protect them while I tried to spray paint the flowers anyway. To my further horror, I came to realize the red spray paint I had chosen (Amazon) was too bright for the aesthetic I wanted. I then made the bold, slightly reckless decision to paint the blooms by hand with acrylic paint.
I used a lot of naphthol crimson (Amazon) and a whisper (seriously—it’s potent) of dioxazine purple (Amazon) to make a rich burgundy color that went better with the aesthetic I wanted, and then proceeded to paint the rest of the blooms with this color. Take your time with this, and definitely wear gloves, unless you want your non-dominant hand to look like a crime scene. The painting process took me about three hours total.
Finally, I cut the flowers into individual stems and used clear 3M hooks to keep the flowers anchored to the frame and guide them up the wall. After some rearranging, it’s done!
I may revisit this project at a later time to see what can be improved, but I’ll also be honest: this came out way better than I anticipated. As a craftsperson, I often get caught up in my fears that it’s not going to come out as I’d like, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it came out. Hopefully, this will inspire you to start a project you’ve been hesitant to do; maybe you’ll surprise yourself. I’d love to see what you come up with, so let me know in the comments, or tag me on Instagram and Twitter!
Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!
Well met, everyone, and welcome back to the blog!
One of my aspirations for my life and my home is something I picked up from the elves of middle-Earth. What I loved about Lothlórien and Rivendell in Lord of the Rings is that the items in those places are both aesthetically beautiful and practical. As much as I can appreciate the light, simple aesthetic and practicality of a modern minimalist home, the utilitarian, geometric silhouettes of currently fashionable home décor are not part of my dream aesthetic, which is mainly inspired by the Art Nouveau movement, Baroque furniture design, Tudor and Gothic Revival architecture, fairytales with a moody twist, celestial and steampunk-like accents like those of the Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment shop in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and a use of clean, flowing lines that feels timeless and organic.
As I wrote about before in a previous article, I have so many skills I want to develop so I can create things to use in my everyday life, from reupholstering furniture to carving my own wood accent pieces like Christine McConnell did in this video, to sewing a lot of my own wardrobe pieces like Bernadette Banner and Enchanted Rose Costumes (in this video), among others. My problem is, sometimes working up the motivation to start a project is like psyching myself up to get teeth pulled without numbing medication. I never put much thought into the phrase “once begun is half done” until now, because for me, it is very much a thing.
Earlier this week, I was finally motivated to do something creative. As a result, I blew the dust off my sewing machine and made a wrist pincushion in the shape of a rose! Roses are my favorite flower, so I love the idea of having a pincushion that is I can use for dressmaking that’s also beautiful and in my aesthetic. I was also pleasantly surprised about how empowered I felt with the emotional high of “I made this and it came out great”, so much so that I took out the pins and went out that evening with the rose on my wrist as a bracelet. One idea in my head was, if making this tiny thing makes me happy and empowers me, how would that feeling be amplified if I’m surrounded by more and bigger pieces I make in my life? I once saw an image on Pinterest that had a message along the lines of, “what you create with your hands holds magic,” and I believe this world needs a bit more magic in the everyday!
I’m hoping to develop my sewing skills over the next few months, as well as working on more home decor DIYs similar to the candelabra I transformed back in August of this year. Are there any DIYs you’re working on right now? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!
Ad disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualified purchases, so if you make a purchase using the links in this article, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I have not been compensated for my commentary about The Sims 4: Realm of Magic or The Sims 4: Strangerville.
For the past two years, I’ve been in love with the video game The Sims 4, but over the past two months, my copy of Origin must have been dealing with a gremlin infestation because I couldn’t open the game. But now that I can open the game, I realized that they released a new game pack called Realm of Magic, and now I just can’t get enough!
When I started playing this game pack, I fell in love with the concept of the neighborhoods, the outfits and accessories, and the Art Nouveau-inspired designs in Build Mode. I also found the game pack Strangerville, and it reminded me so much of the podcast Welcome to Night Vale that I wanted to try it out. I’ve been focusing more on the Realm of Magic game pack, but I liked the concept of Strangerville being more story-driven, so I’m excited to start and see what’s going on for myself! Who knows? It might inspire some ideas for a new story!
Do you play The Sims 4? Have you tried Realm of Magic yet? If so, what were your thoughts about it? Let me know what you think the comments section below!
Thank you so much for reading! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualified purchases.
Well met, everyone, and welcome back to the blog! Today is interesting because here in Florida, we have quite the unwelcome visitor coming our way: Hurricane Dorian. As I’m typing this, it’s not supposed to hit our area directly, but we might get the outer edge. We joke that the closer we are to Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel, the more concerned we need to be. Luckily, he’s not super close by, so we shouldn’t be that concerned—not yet, at least. To everyone that may be in Dorian’s path, I hope you all stay safe during the storm!
Earlier this Labor Day weekend, I also binge-watched the new Amazon Prime series Carnival Row, starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne. After watching the series, I was inspired by the neo-noir Victorian vibes—not necessarily steampunk, but still having the Victorian and distressed elements along with a fantastical vibe from the Fae. I have some ideas for DIY home decor and fashion pieces inspired by the series, but I’m still not sure how to execute them. Luckily, with the hurricane coming, I should have plenty of time to brainstorm ideas and practice the techniques I’d want to use.
What would you want to see for Carnival Row-inspired DIYs? Let me know in the comment section below! Thank you so much for reading! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!
Well met, everyone, and welcome back to the blog! I’m so excited today, because I’ve uploaded my first video on my YouTube channel! My video showed how I made over a crafts-store candle holder into a vintage-inspired crystal candelabra.
My inspiration for this DIY experiment came from Lulu Sapphire‘s videos on YouTube. Her style seems to be French Baroque inspired with a whimsical touch, with many of her videos inspired by Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Personally, I love the combination of bronze and crystal; the bronze gives an antique feel to it—like the piece has a long, fantastical history behind it—while the crystals give a bit of a glamorous touch. What I also love about this type of project is that you can really make it your own, using different colors or crystals to achieve the look you want. Here’s how I made over this candelabra into a piece that fit the aesthetic I was going for.
I bought my candelabra from Michaels (if this isn’t it, then it’s very similar to it), and because I like warmer metallics like copper or antique gold, I used bronze spray paint (I used this type) to make it the color I wanted. I then ordered crystal strands from Amazon, as well as 38mm (1.5 inch) teardrop pendants. A word of friendly warning: it can be a bit tricky working with the small crystal pieces and connectors, but be patient, and you’ll get to where you want.
To keep everything from slipping off the candelabra, I took five links from the crystal strands and linked them together to form a ring. These rings would go around each of the candle holders to hold the strands and pendants in place.
After I connected all the rings, I then worked on the strands. The strands I used come with connectors that remind me of staples, and the pendants come with jump rings, so I added the jump rings to the strands in order to thread the strands through the connectors. I left one connector open in between where the strands connected, because that’s where I’d connect the teardrop pendants.
After I finished all the strands, I then added one extra octagonal crystal to each of the teardrop pendants that would go on the arms of the candelabra (I left the teardrops that would go on the topmost ring as they were). Then, I attached the pendants to the rings in the same way as I did the strands.
After I added the teardrop pendants to the topmost candle holder, I called the project complete! I’m so happy with how this turned out, and I’d love to see your take on this project! If you want to see the finished result, please check out my YouTube video!
Thank you so much for watching! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!