Using Recycled Glass To Make Flowers – DIY Glass Flowers!

Glass Flowers

How to Make DIY Glass Flowers

 With all of the Seattle rain, your flowers may be taking a little longer to bloom then you had hoped for. How about adding a little floral art to your garden or house using recycled glass (keep an eye out for it at those garage sales!).

glass flowers

The photo below is my front yard in the summer with my glass flowers. Most of my flowers are growing but not blooming yet, so I use glass flowers made from recycled dishes, to brighten it up during all seasons. The photo at the top of the page is my moms garden, and she uses bouquets (three similar looking flowers grouped together), to create statements in her gardens.

glass plate flowers

I am very fortunate in that my mom (Debi) owns Misty Meadow Gardens (the maker of all of the glass flowers art work you see in these pictures).  She drills her glass flowers with a diamond drill bit, and creates stems out of custom made iron work they create on site. These flowers are pricey. They can cost upwards of $100.  The good news though, is that she has shared some tips with us on how you can make your own version of this glasswork on a dime (a $5 version, and a $10 version)!

The flowers are all made from recycled glass. They are dishes, bowls, ash trays, chargers and plates that are mostly found at local garage sales and thrift stores. We simply look for pieces that we thing will make a beautiful floral look. Vases can be used it you want a more three dimensional look (like the orange flower in my garden, shown in photo above).

I have had the pleasure of making a few of these glass art beauties with my mom and here is the basic process:

  • We start by playing around with all of the glass, nesting one piece into the next until we find a look we like.
  • They use a diamond bit (and wear protective glasses) to carefully drill a hole in the center of each dish.
  • The pieces are then held together with a basic nut and bolt system.
  • They make their own iron stems, but we have some other DIY options below.

Here are some more examples of flowers she has made from reclaimed dishes!

recycled glass flowers

 Glue butterfly’s, lady bugs, dragon flies, or whatever other creatures you can find to the side of your plate for extra drama.

glass flowers

And one we made from a silver charger in my front yard (shown below). I have seen these go on sale for around $1 before – so its a fun option too. They get great reflection from the sun!

glass plate flowers

Here is how you can make your own version of these beautiful glass flowers from items you may have at home, find at a garage or thrift sale, or barter with your friends for. Display them in your house, use them as gifts, or hang them on walls in your garden. However you choose to display them, they are likely to be a big hit with visitors.

To display in a garden, you can either add a picture hanging piece on the back and hang on a fence, or put a nice solid wooden stake in the ground and mount on that.

Cost: Under $5 for flower shown above, cost will depend on what you pay for your plates.

Supply List:

  • Plates
  • Glue (epoxy glue or Gorilla glue)
  • Plate stand or plate hanger

The most important part of this project is finding the glassware. We found ours at a local second hand store.  The largest size plate for this flower was a salad plate.  That plate and the two yellow plates where $.97 ea. The small flower in the middle was a tealight candle holder we paid $.50 for and the decorative button in the middle was a piece we pulled off a pull knob (another $.50).  The cost of our plates was $3.91.  The plate holder was one we found at the dollar store for you guessed it, $1.  I used glue left over from a cake stand project I did, but you will pay anywhere from $1 – $4 for glue (my dollar store sometimes carries epoxy glue for $1).

The first thing to keep in mind when shopping for glass is to think of the big picture. Each of these pieces on their own might be considered a bit tacky. Take the gold plated cat plate pictured above, that we used for the back of our flower. This is actually 14 carat gold, so a special plate, but because it looked a little dated on its own we got it for a great price. You also want to think about dimensions. Things that fit inside each other, and give a more traditional flower look to them work well. You can use bowls if you want a more dimensional piece (a vase was used for the orange horn style flower pictured above).

Get your plates all set out and design your flower before you start glueing. Once you know what you want your finished flower to look like start with the bottom piece and glue them on in layers, working up to the final center of your flower.   We used the quick set epoxy glue. You will need to follow the instructions on the back of your glue, but essentially you mix a small amounts of a two part glue in a discardable dish and then you are ready to use it. It dries in about 5 minutes, so you will need to go to work right after mixing. You can also use Gorilla Glue for this, but it dries more yellow.

 

We started by putting a bead of glue around the bottom of the second largest plate and gluing it to the center of the gold cat plate pictured above. If using the epoxy glue method, allow to dry 5 minutes before starting next layer for best results.

We repeated that step for the rest of the layers as well, allowing to dry between layers.

Once you are finished with your flower you could use the same glue method to attach a plate hanger to the back of your flower, or get a plate stand to use to display it in. Its that easy, but makes a gift people will be talking about for a very long time. They are great dining room display, you could use pastel colors for a nursery gift, or do something in green and red to use as a host/hostess gift for a Christmas party. I will be putting this one in my office, just for something pretty to look at.

Want to dress it up as a $10 version?  They sell gold charger plates at my local dollar store, or there were some very nice gold plated chargers I found at Ross for $2 each. That would make a very fancy backing if you wanted to turn it into a more grand display.  Your still well under $10 if you use an affordable charger. I have this rustic Italian style charger lying around my house (my little ones broke the matching ones….so I am stuck with nothing to do with this one). You could use it as a backing for a nice eclectic piece of art. When all was said and done, I liked the small flower, so I did not end up glueing it to the larger charger plate, but its an option.

Do you plan on trying your hand at the glass flowers? Be sure to share a photo with us on Facebook to see what you create!

 

 

DIY & Homemade Item Round Up – Homemade Cleaners, DIY Lattes & More!

Here is a recap of some of our more popular DIY and Homemade item / project posts – in case you are looking to get the house organized for the Spring, or just want some down time creating! You can find this posts, and more of our top DIY or Frugal Living posts on our DIY / Frugal Living Page and be sure to check out more frugal organization posts on our How To Organize Your Home On A Budget page!

Homemade Cleaning Supplies

DIY Coffee & Sauce Posts

DIY Craft Posts/Ideas

 


Disclosure

St Patrick’s Day – Watercolor Gift Idea + FREE Printable Gift Tag!

Free St Patricks Day Printable Tag

If you’re looking for a fun gift idea to hand out to your children’s teachers or maybe a fun little gift for your child to give to a few friends for St Patrick’s Day, then this is the perfect idea for you -a St Patrick’s Day Watercolor Gift! It’s so simple & easy that your child can make it with you!

It’s very affordable, too, as you can find the kids watercolor sets at the dollar store or around $1 at many stores. I had to resort to buying a Crayola set at Target as the Up & Up brand was wiped out after a mobile coupon made them only $.08 last week. The Crayola watercolor set was $1.99, plus a bag of candies.

Free Printable St Patricks Day Pot of Gold Tag

We’ve now updated this to include a FREE St Patrick’s Day printable tag as well that says “You are the Pot of Gold at the end of the Rainbow”- so that this will literally just take you five minutes to put together once you have your supplies. This is a very versatile tag as you can not only use this with this St Patty’s Day Watercolor gift, but you could also attach it to green lollipops, a bag of chocolate gold coins, a bag of rainbow licorice & some Rolos & more! {Don’t forget that Winco has some great options for bulk candy – I found the chocolate gold coins there around Valentine’s Day}

St Patricks Day Watercolor Gift:

Items Needed:

Supplies for St Patricks Day Watercolor gift

  • Watercolor Paint Set (find these at the Dollar store, Target Up & Up brand for $1 & more)
  • Candy of your choice - Rolos, Chocolate Gold Coins, Hershey’s kiss, Reese’s peanut butter cup, Hershey’s Nuggets (shaped like little treasure boxes)- whatever you think the recipient would enjoy the most. Just make sure your candies are individually wrapped (I made that mistake by buying a roll of Rolos at first)
  • Cardstock for your printable St Patrick’s Day tag
  • Adhesive for attaching everything (tape, glue dots, glue, etc) – I just used regular tape

Directions:

St Patricks Day Watercolor Gift

  1. Print off the FREE St Patrick’s Day printable  ”You are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” gift tag  - cut on the dotted lines to make it into a flag shape
  2. Take out the inside label for the watercolor set (this is just preference, but I thought it made it look cleaner with just the white background)
  3. Attach a Rolo, chocolate gold coin (or candy of your choice) to the tag – you could use a glue dot or regular glue/tape or a piece of scrapbook adhesive, or double-sided tape
  4.  Attach the tag with candy to the paint set using double-sided tape or a glue-dot.

See how simple that is! Perfect little gift to give or for you to make for your kiddos to give them on St Patrick’s Day!

What are some fun ideas you’ve done for St Patrick’s Day?

St Patricks Day watercolor gift

Thanks to Chickie Momma Crafts‘ inspiration for this fun gift idea! 

 


Disclosure

Valentines Day Free Printable Card – “I Chew’s You”

Valentine's Day Card Printable I Chew's You

This is our last of the Valentines Day FREE printable card options we are sharing this week. I love the sentiment of the “I Chew’s You” saying and the best part about this printable is it can be used with so many different options of candy or gum. You can really keep this low-cost by choosing candy that is inexpensive such as the bags of gum from the dollar store or gummy bear candies in the bulk bins.  There are often many coupons available for packs of gum as well, so you may already have this in your stockpile to use with these Valentine cards.

It would be a fun Valentine to leave for your spouse in the morning on Valentine’s Day, too! Let us know if you have any other fun ideas to pair up with this printable card.

Here are a few of the different options:

  • Gumballs
  • Any gummy candies – I have pictured gummy Valentine looking rings (watermelon flavored – beware, these are totally addictive – you can’t just eat one), but any of the gummy candies work
  • Salt water taffy – this was my daughter’s favorite – Winco has Valentine taffy right now
  • Pack of gum or individual pieces of gum  - the Dollar Tree is a great option for bags of gum
  • Laffy Taffy

Free “I Chew’s You” printable:

I Chew's You Valentines Day printable

Items Needed:

Valentine Chewy Candy at Winco

  • Chewy Candy or gum
  • Plastic Bag – you could just use a regular plastic sandwich baggie(non-resealable). I had some bags leftover from a previous project from Michaels. You can buy these with a printable/mobile coupon from Michaels
  • Cardstock – to print your printable on & make it sturdier
  • Ribbon – to tie it all up

Directions::

  • Print off the “I Chew’s You” printable on card stock
  • Cut out your Valentine printables & use a small hole punch to put a hole in one of the top corners (I also put a layer of black cardstock in the back just to make it stand out more)
  • Tie it all together with ribbon

This is a fun last-minute Valentine idea where you can pull together any fun chewy candies that you have & create a unique Valentine’s card for kids or adults.

Find more Valentine’s Day recipes, deals, crafts & more we’ve shared.

Plus, make sure to check out our other FREE Valentine’s Day Card Printables::

Free Valentine Card Printable – “You’re a Great Catch”

 

Free Valentine Card Printable You're a Great Catch

We’ve been sharing FREE Valentine Card printable ideas with you all week and here’s a great printable that can be used in a few different ways. The “You’re a Great Catch” printable can be paired up with Swedish Fish for a yummy treat. Or for a healthier snack but still adding some fun on Valentine’s Day, make up little baggies of Goldfish crackers or just buy the pre-packaged Goldfish crackers to tape these to.

I found the Swedish fish candies once again at Winco, both in the bulk food section as well as a large bag on an end cap for $3.98 for 1.9 lbs. The bulk candies were just $2.18/lb for the Nordic fish (if you want the multi-colored).

Goldfish crackers

You can also buy the Goldfish in bulk in a large box either at Costco or Winco as well. If your child’s school requires pre-packaged items, then you can buy the packaged Goldfish snack bags & tape the printable to the front.

Free “You’re a Great Catch” printable:

You're a Great Catch free printable

Items Needed:

Swedish fish at Winco for Valentines Day printables

  • Swedish Fish or Goldfish crackers 
  • Plastic Bag – you could just use a regular plastic sandwich baggie(non-resealable). I had some bags leftover from a previous project from Michaels. You can buy these with a printable/mobile coupon from Michaels  OR use a pre-packaged bag of Goldfish crackers
  • Cardstock – to print your printable on & make it sturdier
  • Ribbon – to tie it all up

Directions::

  • Print off the “You’re a Great Catch” printable on card stock
  • Cut out your Valentine printables & use a small hole punch to put a hole in one of the top corners (I also put a layer of black cardstock in the back just to make it stand out more)
  • Tie it all together with ribbon

Such a cute & easy Valentine & you can make this healthier or a treat, whichever you prefer!

Find more Valentine’s Day recipes, deals, crafts & more we’ve shared.

Plus, make sure to check out our other FREE Valentine’s Day Card Printables::

Free Printable Valentine Card Idea – “I’m Bananas for You”

Preschool Valentines Day Card Free Printable

Free Printable Valentine Card – “I’m Bananas for You”

We’ve been sharing FREE Valentine’s Card printables this week and this printable is a fun one as it’s different than many of the typical card sayings.

If you’re using this with younger kids  you could actually use real bananas as a fun playdate treat. Otherwise, you can use the candy bananas for a yummy treat. I’m sure they have the banana candy at party stores or other stores, but I was at Winco checking out all the other Valentine candy and they didn’t have the banana candy by itself, so I just use the bag of candy fruit runts & separated out the bananas.  

Free “I’m Bananas for You” printable:

Items Needed:

Fruit runts candy for Banana Valentine card

  •  Candy (or real) bananas 
  • Plastic Bag – you could just use a regular plastic sandwich baggie(non-resealable). I had some bags leftover from a previous project from Michaels. You can buy these with a printable/mobile coupon from Michaels
  • Cardstock – to print your printable on & make it sturdier
  • Ribbon – to tie it all up

Directions::

  • Print off the “I’m Bananas for You” printable on card stock
  • Cut out your Valentine printables & use a small hole punch to put a hole in one of the top corners (I also put a layer of black cardstock in the back just to make it stand out more)
  • Tie it all together with ribbon

Once again, another easy Valentine card to make with your kids, with a unique twist on the typical  Valentine’s candy.

Find more Valentine’s Day recipes, deals, crafts & more we’ve shared.

Plus, make sure to check out our other FREE Valentine’s Day Card Printables::

Valentine Card Ideas – “I’m Stuck on You” Free Valentine’s Day Printable

Valentine Card Ideas 

Valentine Card Ideas – “I’m Stuck On You” Free Printable

Our next FREE Valentine’s Day printable is one that you may already have the items all on hand if you’re in need of a last-minute Valentine’s card idea. It’s super easy & frugal, too!  The card is “I’m Stuck on You” and you can really use any sucker / lollipop to attach to the Valentine’s card. It’s up to you whether you want to add a ribbon or not, too.

I headed to Winco to check out their selection of Valentine candy and they had such a great variety of Valentine candies. They had two different bulk bins of heart lollipops – red & pink heart pops for $1.58/lb  & strawberry cream heart pops for $1.88/lb. This is definitely a great way to get the exact number you need for your Valentine’s.

Another option is to use the Yummy Earth Organic lollipops so you know exactly what your kids are eating & giving them a “healthier” version of candy (I’m sure other parents would appreciate this too). I’ve bought these thru Amazon when they’re on sale & they seem to last forever – and my girls really like them, too!

Free “I’m Stuck On You” printable:

Items Needed:

Valentine Lollipops at Winco

  • Lollipops / Suckers –  You can just use regular lollipops, organic lollipops or use Valentine heart-shaped lollipops. Once again, Winco had a great selection of heart-shaped lollipops as I mentioned above. I also saw bags of heart-shaped lollipops at the Dollar store.
  • Cardstock
  • Ribbon – I just use ribbon I have on hand but you really don’t need it – it’s just an extra touch if you want to add a little more to it

Directions::

  • Print off the “I am STUCK on You” printable on card stock
  • Cut out your Valentine printables & use a small hole punch to put a hole in one of the top corners
  • Attach the sucker thru the hole & then tape on the back. Or you can just tape it right on the front – just make sure to leave enough room on  the side when you are cutting out your cards so you don’t cover the words when taping it.

This is a great, last-minute Valentine’s Card for class parties or to share with friends at a playdate.

Find more Valentine’s Day recipes, deals, crafts & more we’ve shared.

Plus, make sure to check out our other FREE Valentine’s Day Card Printables::

Homemade Valentine Cards – “You are the Highlight of My Life” – Non Candy Alternative for Kids & Adults!

Homemade Valentine Cards

Homemade Valentine Cards – “You are the Highlight of My Life”

This week, we are featuring some fun, FREE Valentine Card printables that you can use for your kids at school, playdates, or use with your friends, co-workers, neighbors & more. This card is a functional yet frugal idea which would be great for older elementary kids & teens or for co-workers. It’s also great if you have a teacher who has requested no candy to have this cute alternative. I think it would be fun to give to your co-workers at a school or office, too!

Free Printable::

Items Needed:

Highlighters for You are the Highlight of My Life Valentines Printable

  • Highlighters – I got a 4 pack of highlighters at the Dollar Tree for $1 – they also had a few different options (2 pk & more) but this was the best value
  • Cardstock
  • Ribbon – I just use ribbon I have on hand (this was leftover from a Ballet party I threw my daughter)

Directions::

  • Print off the “You are the HIGHLIGHT of my life” printable on card stock
  • Cut out your Valentine printables & use a small hole punch to put a hole in one of the top corners
  • Attach the printable to a highlighter with ribbon

This printable is super cute & easy! I’m thinking I might have my daughter do this for her Valentine’s cards to her classmates this year – I think they would think it’s pretty fun to get a highlighter as a unique gift.

Find more Valentine’s Day recipes, deals, crafts & more we’ve shared.

Plus, make sure to check out our other FREE Valentine’s Day Card Printables::

Free Printable Valentine Cards – “You’re a Winner” for Kids or Adults

 

Free Printable Valentines Cards

Free Printable Valentine Cards

We are going to share a few, fun printables which you can print for FREE for Valentine’s Day if you’re in need of an idea for kids to hand out in class or to their friends. These can also be adapted to use with adults, too, if you want to pass out to friends, neighbors or co-workers. Or maybe as a Valentine teacher gift.

Our first FREE Valentine’s Printable is for this cute “You’re a Winner” printable.  I created a Valentine using chocolate gold coins for this Valentine for kids, but you could also pair this up with a lottery ticket for an adult Valentine. I like that there are 2 colors, in case you have boys in your family or in class, who wouldn’t be too interested in the pink printable cards.

Free Printable Valentine Card You're a winner

Print your Free Valentine Printable::

You're a Winner Free Printable Blue

“You’re a Winner” printable (Blue) - 9 Valentine’s per sheet

You're a Winner Free Printable Pink

“You’re a Winner” printable (Pink) - 9 Valentine’s per sheet

Items Needed:

Gold Coins at Winco Bulk Bins

  • Chocolate Gold Coins – I found chocolate gold coins at Winco in the bulk foods section. These are definitely more pricey than other Valentine candy options at $4.98/lb at my store, but you only need a couple for each bag. {Let us know where else you find these.} You can also then save some coins for St Patricks Day treats (I bet it will be harder to find the gold coins around St Patty’s day)
  • Ribbon
  • Plastic Bag – you could just use a regular plastic sandwich baggie(non-resealable). I had some bags leftover from a previous project from Michaels. You can buy these with a printable/mobile coupon from Michaels
  • Cardstock – to print your printable on & make it sturdier

 Directions:

  • Print off the “You’re a Winner” printable in Blue or Pink on card stock
  • Cut out your Valentine printables & use a small hole punch to put a hole in one of the top corners
  • Fill a small bag with a few chocolate gold coins
  • Tie with ribbon & string ribbon thru hole in printable
  • Tie everything together & you’ve got a fun & easy Valentine

Make sure to check out all the Valentine’s Day recipes, deals, crafts & more we’ve shared.

Check out our other FREE Valentine’s Day Card Printables::

Recovering Bar Stools – 5 Easy Steps

New Chairs

I love the frugality in re-purposing something you already own into something new, rather then replacing it. We recently did that with a couple of bar stools that I purchased at Target about 12 years ago when I bought my first condo. These stools have been through many updates, but they all follow the same process. Your chairs may be a little different, but if you have the standard wood bar stools that seem to be floating around the past decade its so easy to give them a quick update.

before and after

Here are the supplies you will need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Scewdriver
  • Primer (optional – but results in a better finished product)
  • Paint of choice and brush
  • Fabric of choice
  • Staple Gun and staples

Here are 5 easy steps to recover and update::

#1 – Remove Seat Cushion

Lay chair on its side, and look under the seat cushion. Often times chairs of this style are simply screwed onto the frame, and the seat portion of the bar stool can easily be removed by unscrewing it (be sure to set the screws aside some place safe, you will need them again when its time to reassemble).

I recommend using a hand held screwdriver for this (rather then a drill) to prevent stripping the screws.

#2 – Recover with New Material

You will want to take the seat cushion off and measure the top and add 4 inches all around to determine the amount of fabric you will need to recover each stool.

Lay your fabric out (with the top side facing down) and lay your seat cushion upside down in the center of your new fabric pieces. Start on one side and pull the fabric over the side and staple to the bottom (or backside) of the chair.

Once you have one side stapled on, go the the opposite side and pull the fabric taut  (I think that is just a fancy way to say tight) and staple that side.

Repeat with the last two sides of the seat cushion, being sure to pull it taut so that it has a nice smooth covering once your chair cushion is turned right side up.

You can then go around and trim the edges of any excess fabric.

(***Note – you will want to pay attention to the placement of the screw holes. If your seat style allows, you will want to staple it on the bottom side of the chair BEFORE the screw holes, so that they are left exposed. Or, if you need the extra space to staple and have to cover the screw holes in this process, you will want to mark them with a sharpie marker, as you will need to cut holes in them to reapply the seat cover with the screws afterwards.)

#3 – Prep the Bar Stool Frame 

Now, if you have a wood frame, you might just want to recover the seat cushion and leave it at that. I like to paint everything, so I cannot resist the opportunity to freshen them up with paint as well. If you want the more dramatic change that paint will offer your bar stool, you will want to start with a light sanding (many of these stools have a sealant coat on top, and you will want to lightly sand that off so the paint will adhere and not peel).

Once they are lightly sanded, use a tack clothe or damp rag to remove any dust (this is important, or you will end up with grainy looking paint).

# 4 – Paint (and Prime If Needed)

Once you have applied a light sanding, and then removed the dust you can start with the paint process. You will want to put a drop cloth, or old sheet under the stool to prevent drips on the floor.

The best option is to start with a primer coat, to give your paint job the best opportunity to last long. You can skip this step if you choose, but its a best practice to start here.

You can use either spray paint or standard quart of latex paint. Get creative with this step, and use your favorite antiquing or distressing finish too (they sell some really easy ones in the Martha Stewart Collection at Home Depot). You can always paint over it if you don’t like it.

In the photo above we used a distressing technique where we left the original bottom coat on (skipped priming) and used a dry brush to add brush strokes after we applied a coat of paint).

Your imagination is the limit here. The stools above have been a blonde wood, red with an animal print, the brown in the before photo, and now the shabby chic blue look. Who knows what we will do in a few more years!

#5 – Put the Chair Back Together & Use!

Let your chairs dry overnight for best result, and then screw the seat cover back on (just like you took it off originally), and wait for the compliments when company comes over to visit next!

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