April 20, 2014

DIY Sturdy Display Stands

For my Easter dining room table display I was all geared up to
make some cute candlestick cake plates (like I had seen tutorials
 for on several blogs like this one) to put Easter items on.

I'm sure they would be fine to put light-weight items on
 like sisal bunnies, etc. but I started thinking about 
making stands that would be sturdy enough to use in
 the future for heavier items too. Maybe even in for
food buffets, etc.

In looking at the real elevated cake stands that I have, the
bases seemed to be fairly wide at the bottom to give more
stability...almost like an upside-down vase. 

My own hoarder house turned up several items that could
be used to follow the basic candlestick tutorials but use
vases instead of candlesticks. The glass vases also have
more weight which will probably help the stands' stability.

Here is a low glass vase (previously painted white),
a lonely saucer and a mis-placed plate combo...

This is a thrift store footed vase and another odd plate...

These are small baking dishes I got several years ago when
I thought I was going to make the neighbors treats for
Christmas...that hasn't happened yet.  I was looking for 
something square to match the shape of the baking dish
and found these heavy Dollar Tree glass vases/votives.

Now this combo does not qualify as "sturdy" since it is all
plastic disposable food items.  Since I'm already painting, 
gluing, etc. they are going to be added into the mix for fun. 
The plastic dome came off of a mini-cake from the store.

A side project that also involves paint and glue are jars
with little animals attached to the lids like this.
They already have a base coat of white.

Most tutorials for the making of cake/treat/cupcake stands
use E-6000 glue to join the pieces together.  I had the
"Amazing Goop Household" adhesive on hand so I used it
to join the pieces.  It worked great for this project. 

I turned the plates face down on the table, put glue on
the bottom of the vases then placed the glued side
 of the vase down on the plate.  With this glue
you have time to move the vase around a few minutes
so you can eyeball from a few angles where the center is.

After a few hours of drying, you can paint the plates.
I think that painting the pieces joins them visually.
The instructions say that the glue is not completely ready
for 24-hours so if you paint before the 24 hours is up
 be careful how you pick the stands up.

I tried the bottled paints in the craft section that said
 "glossy" but they were not glossy enough to look glassy.
They didn't look bad but they did not have the look I wanted.

Spray paint to the rescue!  It really does give wonderful
results. Not that I want these stands to look like milk glass
but spray painting glass is a technique that I have had
good results with. 

The first time I tried spraying items to try to mimick
milk glass was for a magazine copy cat challenge blog
party.  That post was "Martha, Milk Glass and Myrtles".

Since then I have been on the lookout for glass pieces
that can be spray painted and added to my faux
milk glass collection I have going now.

I didn't want the new display stands to be milk glass white, however. I have found that an off white color is useful
in seasonal vignettes and in food presentation. 
A couple of the stands got sprayed with a combination of
white spray paint and then almond spray paint.

Those sprays were not glossy paints so then these stands
 got a couple of coats of a clear gloss finish sprayed on.

I tried to be good and spray paint inside boxes but it
is harder to get around all the sides that way.
These little Easter animals got spray painted blue before
the plastic cake stand got into the box so I could get
all the way around them.  
Do you see the dandelion seed that floated into the box during spraying?

I glued a wooden ball on top of the plastic cake dome to make it look fancy.  
I should have waited to glue it on until the ball was painted.  This way I had to tape it off. 

Here is the pretty dandelion seed blinged out with
a touch of Easter blue.

I was hoping that the paint was not getting on the "faces"
of the square baking dishes while they were getting spray
 painted green.  That way food could be placed in the dish later.

I wanted one of the little chick jar toppers to be pink
but I didn't have pink spray paint.  She got painted
with acrylic paint...she may get a gloss coat later.

Here's how she and her friends turned out...

They got to be in the Easter vignette along with
 the sturdy display stands.

In the center of the display are the mint green cake stands
that gave me the idea to use vases as bases.
The larger cake stand holds cute lambs from Pier 1.

The smaller mint green cake stand holds a vintage-
looking pink bunny with a cart of eggs. 

The home-made display stands mix in well with 
the "real" cake stands to elevate Easter items.

Behind the main Easter vignette is a display cabinet with
more assorted Easter items.

In the kitchen is a new two-tiered display stand that
is not a DIY project.  I saw it at World Market and thought
that it had good potential to have lots of future uses. 

I'm hoping that my hodge-podge/glued together/
spray painted sturdy display stands with have lots
of future uses also.  On the painted surfaces of the stands
I will not place food directly on them.  If the stands need
to be washed, they will be hand-washed only. 

Be looking for them in future blog posts! 
I'm sharing this blog post at
 Share Your Creativity @ It's Overflowing
I Made It Link Party @ Make it & Love It
Masterpiece Monday @ Boogieboard Cottage
Say G'Day Link Party @ Natasha in Oz
Sunday Showcase @ Under The Table and Dreaming
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps On The Porch
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life

April 19, 2014

DIY Faux Moss Terrariums

You can mix real greenery with some faux moss shapes
 and flowers to achieve a "fool the eye" terrarium. 

These terrariums won't last as long as a real one but
they do look good in vignettes or even as centerpieces.

The moss shapes (they look kind of like rocks covered 
with moss) are actually styrofoam covered with a 
green fuzzy product.  They can be used as vase fillers.
The ones I bought came from Dollar Tree...you get
about five moss shapes per pack there.

To keep the real greenery looking fresh you will need 
floral foam to stick it in.  Be sure to get the floral foam
that says for "Fresh" flowers not the silk flower foam.
The foam in the photo above also came from Dollar Tree.

You can also find floral foam for fresh flowers in 
the craft stores.  You only need a small amount for this 
project (unless you are making a lot of terrariums).

Soak the floral foam in water until it is 
fully saturated with water.

Gather some greenery.  Greenery from bushes is usually
pretty hardy.  The hardier your greenery, the longer your
terrarium will look nice and fresh.  This is pittisporum. 

You could use faux greenery too but real greenery is what
gives the terrariums their authentic look. 

You can use different types of containers for this project.
I have glass jars and some lids left over from the candy
table at my daughter's wedding so I am using some of those.

Cut the greenery so it will fit inside of your container.
Cut a piece of wet floral foam.  You want it to be large 
enough to support and keep the cut end of the greenery
wet but small enough to hide under the moss rocks. 
Push the cut end of the stem into but not through
the piece of wet floral foam. 

If the stem goes through the foam, either try pushing the
stem in another place on the foam or get a new piece.
If the cut end of the stem is not totally surrounded by
the wet foam it will dry out quickly.  These faux
terrariums should look nice for a week or so if your
greenery is hardy and you have it in the foam correctly.

Depending on the size of the bottom of your container,
you may be able to hide the floral foam with whole 
moss rocks.  On most of mine I had to cut the moss 
rock in half with a steak knife.  Well, also cutting the
moss rocks makes them go further in hiding the foam.

Beware of the white foam inside of the moss rock that is
exposed from cutting...it is a "giveaway" of the not real-ness.

One trick that I discovered in trying to hide the floral foam
is that you can use toothpicks to push through the moss 
rocks and into the wet foam.  That keeps the moss rock in
contact with the foam and gives you more control in hiding. 

You don't have to add flowers to your faux terrarium
but I think it adds some variety and interest.   I found 
a couple of stems that had small white flowers at Jo Ann's.

I cut the individual flower branches off the main stem
 leaving as much stem on them as possible. 

To save money I only used one little flower stem per
terrarium except in the Wardian box...it was long instead
of high.  I thought three little flower arrangements looked
cute in there.  The box had a bottom that hid the foam so
I did not use the moss rocks in it. 

This pretty "thing" (not sure what to call it) came from
Hobby Lobby.  I was running out of my favorite flowers
so I used some from the attic to save another trip to the store.

This plastic container looks more upscale with a fancy top.

You can add extra moss rocks if you have a taller

Some of the apothecary jar tops that I wanted to 
use on the wider jars were too narrow so I got
a clear glass plate at Dollar Tree, put it over the 
opening, then put the nice topper on the plate. 

All together now...here are the  faux terrariums on the mantle...

The whites and greens in the terrariums go well with the 

Staying with the moss rock theme in that room (and using
faux florals with real greenery) is the coffee table arrangement.

A couple of months ago a strange sprout shot up out of a pot
within the "step-child" collection of houseplants that are not
really good enough to come back into the house (except when
the temperatures get below freezing the lot of them comes in.)

It turns out it was a fabulous orchid that I had forgotten about!
Well, THAT got to come back in the house.  
We enjoyed the flowers but then they "bloomed out".
  The leaves were still fine.  I added moss rocks to the pot
and faux orchids to the stems so the orchid lives on. 

On the end tables in that room tiny arrangements were made 
using only the moss rocks and the flowers...the containers
were too small to add floral foam and real greenery.

These are a quick and easy way to add some greenery and
freshness in your decor without a lot of time and money.

I'm sharing this post over at 
Sundays at Home @ Thoughts From Alice
Sunday Showcase @ Under The Table and Dreaming
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps On the Porch

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