Friday, October 14, 2011

Easy peasy DIY: Spray-painted sconces.

I am constantly on the lookout for frugal finds that can add character to our home.

As if, considering the personalities who live in this house, we need any more character. But I digress.

I've gotten into the habit of stopping by a local thrift store or three on a weekly basis. I do things a little differently than many thrifters; instead of having a list of items I watch for, I have a mental list of spaces I am trying to brighten up and I stay open to using anything that might work for any of those spaces. It could be a mirror, a piece of furniture, picture frames (with photos, printed quotes, or even empty), old wood or containers repurposed in some creative way.

One of my recent  finds was this pair of sconces.

I picked them up at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $2 each.

  Nice little detail.

A little wood ... a little metal.

 A little rust, even.

 Now, before I show you what I did with them I just want to point out a few reasons I choose second-hand items whenever I can.

1. It keeps stuff out of the landfills, and that's important to me. I need to remind myself of this when I am disappointed by a rather hefty price tag on a thrift store item. ($5 for an old Mason jar with a glass lid? REALLY?) Often the prices are similar to those for which I could find an item NEW on clearance at Walmart. Sometimes I'll pass. Sometimes I really like the second-hand item and I will go ahead and buy it. It just depends.

2. It's cheaper. Nevermind what you just read above. When you get down to it, if I outfitted my home via a Pottery Barn catalog ... or even the JCPenney catalog, it would cost a small fortune. Buying most of our decor from thrift stores and garage sales (and yes, the occasional clearance rack) lets me stretch the budget a little further. Plus, it often means we're supporting a good cause, too.

3. Quality. Many of the things I pick up second-hand have been taken out of old houses or donated to Goodwill because they appear to be past their prime. Old. Outdated. I love it when I pick something up and there's some heft to it. I love it even more when I flip it over and see an old, faded sticker that says "Made in the U.S.A." (I like to find "USA" on new stuff, too.) Craftsmanship and quality just aren't as popular these days as cheap (inexpensive) and readily-available.

OK, ready?

Spray paint is our friend.
I particularly like the Krylon Fusion because it sticks to just about anything.

I didn't even sand these - just wiped them clean with a damp cloth.

Nice, huh?

And since I have about a bazillion places I could use them and haven't decided on their permanent placement yet, I swapped one out where I had easy access to a wall hanger, just to see it up on the wall.

(Forgive the photo quality - it's rainy and dreary this morning, so not much natural light.)

Simple, shiny black.

 Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

 Yes! They're gonna' need some bling!

Maybe a simple teardrop crystal hanging from the bottom tip.

Hmm ... I'm going to keep my eyes open.

I'll try to remember to post a picture when I get them up on the wall for realz. Just remember, spray paint is a quick, inexpensive, easy way to make something new! When you're shopping around for items to spruce up your home, don't cast something off because it's ugly. Try to imagine it cleaned up and with a fresh coat of black or white or teal or red or your-favorite-color paint.

Good stuff.

And TGIF! Enjoy your day, y'all.

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