“Make do” – manage with the limited or inadequate means available.
Growing up without a lot of money meant that I saw my parents use, re-use, and make do with what we had. This is why I am such a compulsive crafter and innovator; whether we were short on money or time, we always managed to make the most out of what we had available.
I’ve been a bit preoccupied and in a small creative slump. I’ve been kicking around different blogging ideas and I came to a realization: I’m missing two things. One is confidence; somewhere along the line some of my confidence has wandered off. Hopefully she’s at the beach enjoying the ocean but I really could use her back here in rainy upstate NY. The other is thing I’m missing is right here in front of me – it’s all the shit I do everyday. It’s making do. That’s what I can write about.
I’m going to start writing more about what I know and what I actually do every day. I think once I get going with that, Confidence will come back from her vacation and once again take residency with me. People post about living bigger than what you currently are – dream bigger, do more, etc. While it’s great to dream as big as possible, I don’t want to overlook honoring who I am now and where I am now. I am not a celebrity with endorsements, I don’t get paid to blog; shit, I barely get paid for the crafts I create (lol – #strugglebus on Etsy). I’m not here to necessarily motivate or inspire anyone. I’m just a normal chick living in suburbia.
I’m going to start with a project I did last summer because it was relatively easy and is a good beginner project for someone who is an aspiring DIY-er. If you’re afraid to mess something up, a small task like this is perfect because it is inexpensive and forgiving.
Theresa and I wanted to upgrade our downstairs bathroom. The focus is the extremely dated light fixtures.
The picture on the left is the original light. Brushed faded gold base, curved glass bulb with what looks to be a frosted grape design. The shape of the fixtures and their condition was still very good – I have a hard time warranting tossing or replacing something if it is still usable. This is why I opted to change their appearance as opposed to replace – a/k/a “make do”.
You can find these fixtures still at your local Lowes or Home Depot for about $10 a piece, so if you were to try this and mess it up, you aren’t wasting a ton of money.
These are the materials I used to create the look of the light fixture on the right (the only thing that is missing is a clear coat spray sealer). I am in love with the look of oil rubbed bronze – there is a lot of that around my house now. It’s rich, it’s understated, it’s classy.
I removed the light fixtures, removed the glass and the bulb, and sprayed the gold parts (including the bolts) with the oil rubbed bronze spray paint. I really love the Rust-oleum spray because the nozzles aren’t super concentrated; it has a really nice, even spray to it. After they dried and I made sure the paint was even, I sprayed them with a clear coat.
So, the glass. I really have no idea who thought frosted grapes would be an amazing design but the fact that you can still find them now tells me that someone disagrees with me. I bought the silver metallic paint by Craft Smart at Michael’s and, after washing the glass and letting it dry thoroughly, I used the foam brush and sponged it on. I did not “paint” or “wipe” – I dabbed it on like the sponge it is. After putting a layer on, I brought it to well-lit window to see if I had any uneven spots and then I dabbed some more. This also got a spray of clear coat sealer because the last thing I want to see is a scratch should it comes in contact with something.
Why did I dab it on instead of painting or spraying? The frosted decoration on the glass had a texture to it. If I had sprayed something overtop of it or simply painted it, the texture would have come through. By dabbing/sponging the paint on, I created another texture that I could take evenly through the entire glass bulb. I hid it and you can’t tell what the original design even was.
Reassemble and TA-DA ~ cheap lights looking all sorts of stylish and classy.
(I also sprayed the mirror with the oil rubbed bronze.)
I really love small projects like this because it’s just so cool to see what can be done with what I already have with just some paint and some time. That’s making do instead of throwing out and buying new.
To see my other glass projects, visit my Etsy Shop HERE – Weird Glass Art Studio.