Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The project that started it all

Reading blogs has been something I've been doing for awhile. This project really inspired me to begin to DIY crafts and projects which in turn inspired this blog. 

There is a great blog called Centsational Girl, where the author is constantly blogging about great stuff for great prices. I was really excited when I found this post:

Our Living room, literally, had nothing on the walls. The color scheme is mostly of tans and browns (not my fave but I don’t want to repaint) so I thought this would be the perfect focal point behind the couch. 
It literally took 3 months of going to Home Depot to gather what I thought was enough paint sticks. 
The author of Centsational Girl said approximately 46-50 paint sticks would do it. I never wrote this down, or remembered when I was gathering paint sticks. GB or I would grab probably 7 or 8 sticks each visit to Home Depot. 
So after a trip to my local craft store, I picked up all of my supplies. 
  • round mirror
  • embroidery hoop
  • picture hangers 
  • paint (I chose spray paint - one golden color, and one glittery gold color, who doesn’t love glitter?)
I already had at home the wooden base, glue and any other supplies I might need.  
I laid out all supplies and began testing out my design around the mirror on my wooden base. Turns out my wooden base was too narrow. 
So I went to GB’s garage and began rummaging. We found an old bathroom cabinet and took the back off. I measured a square that would hold everything I need, and gave it to my carpenter, GB, to cut out. He used an angle grinder to cut it out. 
I placed the mirror on the board, and drew a square in the size I thought I would need. 
Then, testing out the size and design again, I realized I didn’t have enough sticks. I needed at least 10 more sticks. 
I. was. so annoyed. 

So GB said he would go to back to Home Depot with me if we could take the motorcycle. So I strapped on my purple sparkly helmet, true story, and off we went. 

In the paint department, we discovered on that particular day, Home Depot only carried HUGE paint sticks. Like 2 foot long. Not the size I needed. 

I. was. really. really. annoyed. 
I chose this day to complete this project. It must get done. 
GB suggested going to Lowes, across town. Purple helmet back on. 
When we arrived at Lowes, we discovered all of the paint sticks were behind the paint counter. I couldn’t just grab and run as I had been doing these past 3-4 months. 
GB and I circled the paint section for awhile trying to figure out what to do. We kept trying to come up with some sort of scheme to grab the sticks. When finally, I just asked the sweet lady behind the counter how much it would cost for 10 paint sticks. 
“Nothing.” She said, and handed me 11 sticks. Thanks Lowes!
Finally back home, I laid out the sticks, again, and I had the right size base and sticks to begin. 

Now I finally had all of my materials. 

I attached the picture hanger on the back. I laid out the base, the embroidery hoop and paint sticks and spray painted them. I decided the bottom layer of sticks would be painted the golden base with glitter sprayed on top, and the top layer of sticks just golden. The I painted the base golden as well, in case any showed through. 

The top row had extra sparkles. 

Once the paint dried, I hot glued the mirror to the base ---

OH WAIT!!!! 
I forgot the most fun part! The curved edges of the paint sticks needed to be trimmed. I asked my carpenter, GB, to help. He had a miter saw in the garage, and he taught me how to use it. I marked on the edges where I wanted it trimmed and it was really easy to guide the saw down and cut it off. Thank goodness he had that tool. For anyone who doesn’t have one - I have no idea how you will trim the edges. I think the sticks are thin enough that a box cutter, or other tool like that would trim the edge, but that would take a very long time. 

My carpenter used the miter saw right along the line I drew. You can tell by the line on the sticks how great I am  at drawing straight lines. 
So - I hot glued the mirror to the base, the embroidery hoop around it, and then the sticks around the mirror. It was quite easy - but it took a lot of hot glue. Make sure you have enough sticks of glue. My hot glue gun is a mini gun, and I used about 5 sticks. 

Once the first layer surrounds the mirror, glue another layer, on top, to fill in the spaces. 

This is the final project. Please forgive the wonky sticks on the right that are a bit lopsided creating a gap. I can’t stop staring at that. But it just makes it an original, right?

Still needs something more - but I'm happy.
Send me some pics if you decide to make your own!


  1. That is super cute Ashley! Loved the paint-stick adventure story - super hilarious! Keep up the good work! - Brandon <3

  2. Thanks Brandon! Keep reading everyday!