The other day I was absolutely dying to do some kind of little DIY project. Actually, I wanted to do the kind of thing where you put on an entire season of a TV show, neglect your husband/job/pets/bodily functions, and hot-glue coffee filters to a wreath for 5 hours, but I’ve got a full dance card this week and no time. So while Jimmy and I were at Goodwill dropping off a pile of clothes, I saw this little bud vase.

It was glazed a shade of peachy-mauve straight off the set of Golden Girls, but I liked the shape and thought it had potential. Plus, it was $3. Sold. My original thought was just to spray paint it glossy white, but I was gearing up to gold-leaf my chair finials and thought it would be nice to get a little practice in with the leaf. So I busted out some silver leaf I had leftover from a cake topper, a little brush, and went to town.

If you’ve never used liquid leaf, it’s incredibly easy. It’s a lot like paint, but a bit more fluid. Also, it’s oil-based, so you will have to clean it up with mineral spirits or turpentine. (I use a big bottle of “odor-free” yet suspiciously stinky mineral spirits from Wal-Mart; it was like $5 for a half gallon.) If you want a nice smooth finish, I’d recommend using a bigger brush, but I wanted a sort of “hammered” look so I used a smallish angled flat brush. I just painted it in diagonal strokes going in one direction around the vase. It dries pretty quickly, so I knocked out two coats in about 20 minutes. Then I let it dry overnight (it doesn’t really need that long, but it was 1 AM so I figured I might as well go to bed).

The next morning, I picked up a nice lush hydrangea cluster from the local florist and popped it in there (I only leafed about half an inch down the inside, so it’s still safe for water/plants)…

And voilà! It’s nothing earth-shattering or complicated, but I’m happy with the result, and it temporarily satisfied my DIY craving. I think it looks fairly luxurious now, and it definitely glams up the top of our DVD rack.

Speaking of glamming things up…I haven’t gotten the fabric for our chair makeover yet (money has been tight the last few weeks), but I went ahead with phase 1, the gold leafing phase. It was surprisingly easy–I started out taping off the knobs, but found I could get a cleaner result by just freehanding it. It took about 5 minutes per chair–nice instant gratification!

What do you think? It’s not a huge impact just yet, but I think with the new fabric the effect will be a lot more fun and modern. I bought foam to add to the seats so they’re nice and cushy, so now it’s just waiting for my fabric shipment and we’ll be good to go!