Craft Projects, Furniture

Over-sized Jar Lamp

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Happy one-year house anniversary to us! A year ago today we closed on our house — what an adventure it has been. Every room of our house has been painted, we did a massive family room overhaul, and tackled smaller projects here and there along the way.

My newest project is making our living room pretty, which started last weekend when we got rid of our old, grimy couch and purchased a pretty, new one!

Old Couch

If you are on vine or twitter, you can see the satisfying thud this ugly thing made when it hit the bottom of the dumpster at the local dump. So satisfying.

We didn’t mourn this couch long (or at all) — from the dump we headed to a local warehouse to pick up the clearance couch we’d purchased the night before. Not to brag too much, but we got our new couch for a steal!

AND IT IS ADORABLE!

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The pillows that came with the couch were a little too Hawaiian for me, so I picked up the charcoal gray and teal pillows at Target! I also got a gray throw and snagged the light gray pillow from our bedroom. It is so pretty. I love it.

Now that I actually have a couch I like and something to jump off of from a design standpoint, I am going non-stop to make this room perfect. See, this is my room. There is no TV and no computer, just a big window and a comfy couch. I want to be able to read in here! I can during the day, but at night I am in a fish bowl. That’s why I am working to find the perfect curtains for our bay window. I ordered some online, so fingers are crossed that they work.

In the meantime, I needed some more light in this room. With just the overhead ceiling fan, the light in this room is just mediocre come night-time. I have a beautiful glass lamp that I bought for super cheap at Target because it was broken. I fixed that and just need a flashy shade. I need a few more lamps though, so I decided to make my own.

Using a shade I had from the thrift store and an old, large jar, I set off today to make another light for that room.

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The first thing I needed to do was put a hole in the center of my jar lid. To do so, I had to find a drill bit large enough to fit my threaded pole (attached to the light fixture and to the nut underneath the lid). Once I found one, I carefully drilled through the lid while it was screwed onto the jar.

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Originally, I wanted to keep the green lid for my lamp, but no amount of scrubbing could remove the “crayon” label from childhood.

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Before I started to spray paint my lamp fixture, I figured out just how I was going to secure all of the parts of my lap. I ended up drilling through a mason jar lid with the same drill bit to use as extra support underneath the jar lid. I opted for a stack of washers on top of the lid to raise the light fixture up, and one washer and two nuts underneath for added stability.

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I also used a lamp harp to support the shade.

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Between the brassy harp, green lid and silver washers, I needed one finish for all of the parts of my lamp. I got out some metallic silver spray paint and lightly dusted all of the parts so they would match. I also did a coat of polyurethane.

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When everything was dry, I assembled all of the pieces: Light socket & threaded rod > harp > washers > lid > mason jar lid > washer > two nuts. I tightened the heck out of everything, and when it was good and secure I placed the lid of the jar back onto the freshly washed and crayon-free jar.

I added the shade and the finial and put it next to the couch.

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What do you think? It turned out pretty darn cute if you ask me. Now I just need to replace that old piano bench with something a little classier since my couch is so pretty now!

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Did I mention I only paid $2 for the gorgeous shade?

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Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday

Christmas Tree craft

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I got the best Christmas present ever when my dad called me on Dec. 23 to ask if I wanted to do a Christmas craft on Christmas Eve morning before all of our festivities began. I said yes (duh) and dad went out hunting for supplies. When he was younger, his mom made Christmas trees out of mixed nuts that she decorated and hung on a wall in their home. He wanted to make one just like it for his home and for mine.

For this project we used:

  • Thin sheets of wood
  • Hot glue
  • Nuts in their shells (three or four bags)
  • Pinecones
  • Metallic spray paint
  • Small ornaments
  • Fabric
  • Batting
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Wire
  • Felt

Step 1: Bake pinecones to kill any critters that may be living inside. Bake for 25 minutes at 200 degrees. That should do the trick. We gathered ours outside of our gym at 6:30 a.m. … in the dark. I’m sure we looked wayyy creepy.

Step 2: Sketch out a tree shape onto a piece of wood. We drew a triangle for the tree, a small rectangle for the stump and a trapezoid for the base.

Step 3: Cut out your tree using a jigsaw (or a hand saw if you prefer).

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Step 4: If you want to make more than one, use your cutout tree as a stencil and trace it onto the first sheet of wood.

Tree stencil

Step 5: Drill a hole in the top of the tree and string wire through to make it easy to hang later on.

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Step 6: Start gluing on your nuts and pinecones. I used a pine cone for the top of my tree. Dad used a prickly seed from a sweet gum tree as his topper.

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It is OK to have gaps in your nuts and pine cones because you’ll be filling it in with ornaments later on.

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Step 7: Spray paint the top of the tree using a metallic spray paint of your choice. Dad went with a bronze metallic.

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I chose a metallic silver for mine.

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Step 8: Once your tree is painted, it is time to create the trunk. I clipped edged of pinecones and glued them onto the trunk.

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Dad went with thin twigs. If you’d like your trunk to be the same color as your tree, do this step right after gluing on your nuts.

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Step 9: Glue your ornaments onto the tree.

Step 10: Cover the base of the tree in batting. Then, cover with fabric. Our wood wasn’t thick enough for staples, so we hot glued all of our fabric and batting directly to the wood.

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Step 11: If you see the need, which we did, glue felt to the back of your tree (small circles will do) to spots of the tree that might rub against the door or wall you will hang it on. You don’t want to scuff your walls, and small circles of felt in the corners and around the wire will help.

Step 12: You are done! Hang your tree up for the holiday season and admire.

This was definitely best part of my holiday break, which is saying a lot because I had an amazing holiday break. I loved doing such a fun and sentimental project with my dad. We have one more base for next year. Dad’s got grand plans for how to make our next trees even better.

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Thanks for the great idea, Dad 🙂 Love you.

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One last thing…. happy birthday to my awesome mother-in-law, Robin!