Sun and moon wall art collection

Introducing my new collection of sun and moon wall art. These celestial pieces are great for those who like whimsical decor, inspirational art, spiritual art, new age art, nursery rhymes art, baby nursery decor, beach house art and mixed media assemblage, just to name a few.

All are hand painted with my original designs on 5 inch round wooden plaques with a sawtooth hanger on the back. And, of course, they’re all blinged out because I’m all about the bling. Each one has its own personality, so let’s take a look at them.

Moon wall art (sculptures, wall hangings, plaques)

Dream Moon

full moon painting plaque

Dream Moon wall art by Lynda Makara

A classic full moon painted mostly white with silver metallic accents and the word “dream” written on her face. There are three little stars on one cheek with a crystal inside of each.

full moon painting plaque

The sides are adorned with AB crystals.

full moon painting plaque

Blue Moon

blue moon painting plaque

Blue Moon wall art by Lynda Makara

Blue moons are usually rare but you can enjoy this one every day. Painted blue with a glowing white center, she has a sweet expression as she looks up at the heavens. She also has three silver stars on her face with crystals inside.

blue moon painting plaque

The sides are painted blue with matching blue glitter and crystals on top.

blue moon painting plaque

Sun wall art (sculptures, assemblage, wall hangings, plaques)

Sun Ray

sun assemblage painting plaque

Sun Ray wall art by Lynda Makara

My Sun Ray plaque is painted orange blending into yellow with blue accents. The intricately painted face is adorned with crystals in the eyes and on the triangles.

sun assemblage painting plaque

The sun’s rays are represented by nails going around the outside.

sun assemblage painting plaque

Spiky Sun

sun assemblage painting plaque

Spiky Sun wall art by Lynda Makara

This Spiky Sun is bright yellow with a lighter yellow and white center. The eyes are outlined with crystals.

sun assemblage painting plaque

The sun’s rays are made with metal spikes and screws all around the outside.

sun assemblage painting plaque

The celestial sun and moon wall art collection

These pieces are fantastic individually or in groupings as you can see in the pictures below.

sun and moon wall art

moon wall art and sun assemblage painting plaque

Available in my etsy shop.

Making the Morning Star sun sculpture with paperclay and recycled materials

You may have noticed by now my interest in stars, moons and suns. After doing a few moon sculptures, I decided it was time to make a sun wall sculpture.

So I dug through my stash of odds and ends and pulled out a few pieces that inspired me. This silver tray came from a thrift store and I thought it would look good to frame the sun sculpture.

recycled silver tray front

Tray front

recycled silver tray back

Tray back

And I thought these plastic stakes would make interesting sun rays, along with free paint sticks from the hardware store.

recycled plastic stakes

Recycled plastic stakes

recycled paint sticks

Recycled paint sticks cut into 4 pieces

Making a sculpture starts with a sketch

Having decided on that, I began to sketch a face. This time I wanted to use my grandfather as inspiration.

He was my paternal grandfather who died when I was a child. He was an Armenian immigrant.

I remember going to visit my grandparents and he was usually sitting in his chair, wearing a vest and smoking his pipe. I loved the smell of his cherry tobacco. He seemed like a very gentle soul to me.

Somehow I only ended up with a couple of his pictures, but I did the best I could with the sketch.

My Armenian grandfather after coming to America

old grandfather

Grandpa as I remember him. My aunt’s photo wall.

And here’s the sketch.

sun face sketch

Sketch done on white paper

Then I transferred it onto wax paper. I use this as an overlay for accuracy while I’m sculpting.

sun face sketch

Sketch done on wax paper

Building the base of the sculpture

I always use layers of cardboard glued together with hot glue and Aleene’s tacky glue for the base. This saves on paperclay.

Cardboard used as base for sculpture

Cardboard used as base for sculpture

Cardboard base inside metal tray

Cardboard base inside metal tray

After that I carved out sections for the features. I have to admit, this looks a little creepy.

Features carved out on cardboard base

Features carved out on cardboard base

Sculpting the sun face with paperclay

Now it’s time for me to play. I just add bits of paperclay here and there. At times I need to allow the clay to dry somewhat before continuing.

Here are some photos showing the progression.

sun sculpture in progress

sun sculpture in progress

sun sculpture in progress

sun sculpture in progress

sun sculpture in progress

Painting and embellishing the pieces

I always like to put a dark wash on the clay to emphasize the texture.

Sun sculpture with black wash

Sun sculpture with black wash

Then I dab on layers of white paint. I highlight and define the features with acrylic paint in black, light blue, metallic gold and metallic silver. The face was accented with a variety of glitters and then varnished.

Sun sculpture with paint and glitter

Sun sculpture with paint and glitter

The plastic rays were painted metallic gold and covered with a glitter coating.

The paint sticks, after being cut and shaped, were painted light blue and metallic silver. The blue ones were accented with blue glitter and the silver ones with a strip of silver sequins.

Paint stick sunrays before painting

Paint stick sunrays before painting

Here’s a picture of the rays after painting.

Sun rays with paint and glitter

Sun rays with paint and glitter

The silver metallic starbursts shown in the photo above were made from vitamin packets. I love to save bits of mylar packaging.

Mylar vitamin packets turned into sunrays

Mylar vitamin packets turned into sunrays

Assembling the sun sculpture

I cut out a piece of cardboard for the backing and painted it black. Then I glued and wired everything together to make it very secure.

unassembled pieces before painting was finished

Unassembled pieces before painting was finished

The final Morning Star sun wall sculpture from recycled materials

And here he is…my beautiful Morning Star sun sculpture, now in my Etsy shop.

The Morning Star sun sculpture

The Morning Star sun sculpture

Morning Star sun sculpture in my bedroom

Morning Star sun sculpture in my bedroom

DIY hair appliance holder

diy hair dryer flat iron holderWhen I was setting up my new makeup vanity, I wanted my hair dryer and flat iron handy. I had ordered a desktop appliance holder but it took up a lot of room and the cords looked really messy so I sent it back.

Then I decided it would be much neater to hang my hair appliances on the wall next to the vanity. The holders I found online were flimsy and poorly rated so I decided to use something else as my holder.

Wrought iron bar rack holder

Wrought iron bar rack holder

I just happen to have a small star wrought iron towel holder in one of the bathrooms so I checked it to see if my blow dryer and flat iron would fit on it and, guess what, they did! The holder sticks out 4 inches from the wall which is perfect. But instead of ordering that same design, I got this bar rack holder without the star because I also happened to have a pretty birthday card I wanted to use as a plaque behind it. (The star holder is longer though and would also hold a curling iron.)

These Amish wrought iron holders are very sturdy. (I also own star curtain tiebacks in addition to the towel holder.) They’ll last forever! The only drawback is the shipping but they do combine shipping if you get more than one item. However, even with the shipping the total was about the same as one of those cheap holders.

To install, the first thing I did was mark holes from the holder onto the card.

Birthday card with punched holes as backing for hair appliance holder

Birthday card with punched holes

Using the holder as a guide again, I transferred the markings onto the wall and made sure they were straight using a level. Then I put holes in the wall, inserted plastic anchors, laid the card on top and screwed the holder in place.

Holes drilled in the wall with plastic anchors inserted

Holes drilled in the wall with plastic anchors inserted

After that I got four little nails and hammered the corners of the card down.

Small nails to attach greeting card to wall

Small nails to attach greeting card to wall

And that’s all there is to it.

Hair appliance holder with greeting card backing tacked onto wall

Hair appliance holder with greeting card backing tacked onto wall

Except for one thing…there was a messy situation going on with the cords plugged into a power strip on the floor.

Hair appliances plugged into power strip cluttering up the floor

Hair appliances plugged into power strip cluttering up the floor

So I mounted it on the wall just under the vanity tabletop. I coiled up the mirror’s cord and tucked it in between the wall and the vanity. I also coiled up the power strip cord.

Power strip mounted to wall underneath vanity

Power strip mounted to wall underneath vanity

I’m going to be painting my room pretty soon and I’ll also paint those cords to make them blend in.

Now everything’s looking neat and tidy and I can sit there and fix my hair in front of my Hollywood Starlet mirror!

Makeup vanity with wall-mounted DIY blow dryer/flat iron holder

Makeup vanity with wall-mounted DIY blow dryer/flat iron holder

Do you have a clever solution for organizing your hot hair tools? Please share them in the comments below.

Front door privacy curtain

front door with no curtainPrivacy is hard to come by when you live in the city. People are always walking up and down the street, cars are driving by, the neighbors are always coming and going.

So when I’m sitting on my couch with the front door open, I feel like I’m on display and I don’t like that.

I already have a security screen to keep bugs and intruders out and now I can keep people’s prying eyes out with this quick solution—a front door curtain!

And if you want to put up a curtain at your front door, it only takes about five minutes. Here’s what you do.

Screw in a couple of cup hooks at the top of the door frame.

cup hooks as curtain rod holder

Cup hooks as curtain rod holder

Insert a cheap curtain rod.

Curtain rod fits into cup hooks

Curtain rod fits into cup hooks

Find a cute curtain to put on the rod, one that isn’t too sheer (because that would defeat the purpose now wouldn’t it). A regular curtain should work fine. No blackout curtains.

I happened to have the cup hooks and curtain rod lying around but needed a curtain. I found just what I wanted at Walmart. It’s white with sequins and silver threads running through it because in my world you can’t have too many sequins.

door curtain5

The only thing is the curtain is 84″ long and my doorway is 78″ tall. I turned up the hem 5″, zip zip on the sewing machine, and it was perfect.

Well, almost perfect. I took one additional step and created an elastic loop attached to the curtain that fits over the doorknob to keep it from billowing in the breeze and blowing my cover!

Elastic loop sewn to curtain

Elastic loop sewn to curtain

Slips over doorknob

Slips over doorknob

The curtain lets in lots of light and keeps me incognito.

Front door curtain for privacy

Front door curtain for privacy

Sleepy Moon wall art paper clay tutorial

paperclay moon10 I’m obsessed with the full moon and intrigued by the different faces you can see in it.

This time I saw a dreamy woman’s face with a quirky little mouth. She was the inspiration for my website’s header and also my Sleepy Moon wall art, a paperclay sculpture surrounded by shimmering moonbeams.

Follow along with me as I show you step by step how this sculpture was made.

Preparing to sculpt

I used a 10¼” paper maché plate for the foundation of the sculpture. Then I cut out a piece of cardboard slightly smaller than the plate to be used as a backing.

paperclay moon base and backing

Paper mache plate and cardboard backing

I made a full size drawing of the moon face.

paperclay moon sketch

Sleepy Moon by Lynda Makara

Then I traced the drawing onto a piece of wax paper. This was used to overlay my sculpture to check for accuracy in the placement of the features.

drawing on wax paper of sleepy moon wall art

Wax paper drawing of Sleepy Moon by Lynda Makara

Working on the sculpture

The easy part was covering the plate with a layer of clay. I always use Creative Paperclay.

first layer of paperclay for moon wall art sculpture

Paperclay over paper mache plate

I laid the wax paper over the clay. With my X-acto knife I punched little holes through the paper along the black lines.

using wax paper drawing to mark paperclay sculpture

Wax paper over paperclay base to make markings

This shows the markings left behind after removing the wax paper. The clay was divided into four sections with the nose outlined.

Marks made through wax paper drawing on paperclay moon

Marks made through wax paper drawing

To make the nose I just started with a nice nose-shaped blob of clay.

adding a nose to the paperclay moon sculpture

Adding a nose to the moon

I added a smaller ball for the nostrils.

adding to the nose on paperclay moon

Adding to the nose

With the nose done, I starting working on the eyes. I cut out a layer of clay in the shape of the eye using the pattern as a guide.

Nose added to moon sculpture, working on right eye

Nose added, working on right eye

The eyes had slits for the eyelashes to be glued into later. The eyebrows were marked at this point.

Both eyes done on moon sculpture, marks for eyebrows

Both eyes added and marks made for eyebrows

One eyebrow done.

right eyebrow finished on moon sculpture

Right eyebrow finished

After the eyes and eyebrows were finished, I let the paperclay dry overnight. The next day I pulled off a piece of clay and formed it into the approximate shape of the mouth.

moon sculpture with eyebrows, piece added for mouth

Both eyebrows done, piece added for mouth

I used a small dampened paintbrush to smooth out areas too small for my fingers. My X-acto knife helped with carving and shaping.

working on the mouth for moon sculpture

Working on the mouth

Here it is after the facial features were done and left to dry for a few hours.

Moon with facial features done

Facial features done

Then I came back in with thin layers of clay to make craters. I also filled in all the cracks that appear after drying and the remaining guide marks.

Some tools I used to make the craters: the end of my knife, wooden dowels, my knuckle.

adding crates to moon sculpture

Adding craters to moon

After the sculpture dried overnight, I shaped and refined the features using the knife. I also added a bit more clay to the nose.

This is what it looked like when I was done sculpting. Very close to the original drawing.

Comparing the finished moon sculpture to the drawing

Comparing the finished sculpture to the drawing

Another view of the sculpture ready to be painted.

Paperclay moon before painting

Paperclay moon before painting

Painting the moon sculpture

I always like to define the features first by using a black wash. The clay is porous and using watery paint helps cover everything.

adding black wash to moon sculpture

Adding black wash to moon sculpture

With this sculpture I worked from dark to light. Black wash in the crevices, gray wash over everything else.

Then I went back in dry brushing with white paint. Many layers were added.

I do drybrushing instead of regular painting because it blends in better with the background colors, almost like airbrushing.

At the end I drybrushed metallic silver paint as a highlight.

Highlighting moon sculpture with metallic silver paint

Highlighting with metallic silver paint

Working on the embellishments

I cut out a pair of eyelashes from a piece of thin cardboard. They got painted black on both sides.

Cardboard eyelashes for moon

Cardboard eyelashes for moon

Not being able to find ready made trim, I made my own tinsel from a mylar ham wrapper. This was the outer wrapper not against the ham.

I cut strips of mylar layered over a piece of tulle, sewed them together with a gathering stitch, cut them apart and fringed the edges.

This detail represents a moon ring and also serves to soften the transition between the moon and the backing.

Working on the backing

I took the cardboard backing and divided it into 16 equal parts. This was easily accomplished marking from a paper circle folded into 16 sections.

Each line marks the spot for a dowel to be glued.

dividing cardboard backing into 16 equal parts for moon wall art

Dividing cardboard backing into 16 equal parts

Lines were drawn with a ruler.

drawing lines on cardboard backing for moon wall art

Drawing lines on cardboard backing

Dowels were glued in place with hot glue.

Gluing dowels to cardboard backing

Gluing dowels to cardboard

Bamboo skewers were glued in between the dowels. I just eyeballed the placement of these.

Gluing skewers to cardboard backing

Gluing skewers to cardboard

Then I made a wire hanger from 22 gauge wire, folded in half and twisted.

Making wire hanger for moon sculpture

Making wire hanger for sculpture

The twisted wire was inserted near the edge over a dowel. The ends were twisted together and glued in place on both sides.

Wire hanger going through cardboard backing

Wire hanger going through cardboard backing

I painted the sticks with metallic silver.

painting sticks for moon sculpture

Painting the sticks metallic silver

The back was painted black.

cardboard backing painted black for moon sculpture

Backside painted black with hanger in center

Mirrors were glued on with hot glue. Afterwards I put more glue on the back of them and covered with silver paper.

Gluing mirrors to sticks to create moonbeams

Gluing mirrors to sticks

Layers of cardboard were glued in the center of the base to reach the depth of the paper maché plate.

Cardboard added to center of moon backing

Cardboard added to the center

Gluing everything together

Cardboard eyelashes were glued into the slit. This almost looks like gluing regular eyelashes!

Gluing eyelashes to moon sculpture

Gluing eyelashes to moon sculpture

Tinsel was gathered and glued around the edge of the moon on the underside.

Tinsel glued to moon sculpture

Tinsel glued to moon sculpture

Finally the moon sculpture was glued to the backing using tacky glue. I held it in place with pressure on it for about 20 minutes. I didn’t want to crush the eyelashes by placing something heavy on top!

Gluing the mirrored backing to moon sculpture

Gluing the mirrored backing to moon sculpture

Finishing touches

I decided to lighten up the eyebrows then I went over everything with satin varnish. After that dried I applied two different kinds of iridescent glitter in strategic places: inside craters, on the eyes, eyelashes and mouth.

This step I like to think of as painting with glitter.

paperclay moon closeup

Sleepy Moon with glitter embellishments

Introducing the Sleepy Moon!

Here she is in all her glittering glory!

Sleepy Moon wall art paperclay sculpture

Sleepy Moon wall art

For more photos, check her out here.

Related projects

Muse in the Moon sculpture
Starburst mirror

Three paper star patterns for party decorations

paper stars

Dimensional paper stars

Here are three easy folded paper stars you can make to decorate for holidays and special occasions: a five-pointed star, an eight-pointed star, and a double-sided eight-pointed star.

You’ll get completely different looks suitable for every occasion just by changing the colors or patterns. For patriotic holidays like July 4th and Memorial Day, use red, white and blue. For Christmas or weddings, use white, silver or gold. For birthday parties, Easter or spring celebrations, use a mixture of bright colors. For Halloween, use orange, black and purple. And for Thanksgiving, use yellow, orange and brown.

You can use origami paper, scrapbook paper, colored cardstock, wrapping paper, sheet music, pages from old books or even your junk mail. To make them extra special, they can be dusted with glitter.

This is the kind of craft you can easily do sitting in front of the TV. In no time at all you’ll have oodles of stars. You may even find it’s somewhat addicting!

I’ll also give you some suggestions for decorating with your paper stars.

Star 1

Five-pointed paper star

I created a pattern for a dimensional five-pointed star. It measures 7″ but can be resized on the copy machine. Click this link to download the pattern for the five-pointed paper star. Instructions are printed on the pattern and are also illustrated below.

In addition to the pattern, you will need:

  • Cardstock or other paper to print on
  • Bone folder
  • Ruler
  • X-acto knife or utility knife
  • Scissors
  • Small hole punch
  • String or cord for hanging stars

Dimensional five-pointed paper star, 7″ square

How to make a five-pointed paper star. Video demo.

Patriotic decoration made with dimensional five-pointed paper stars on cardstock

patriotic paper stars decoration

Patriotic paper stars decoration

I made this cute patriotic decoration with paper stars in three different sizes. The pattern was reduced on the copier for the smaller stars. The largest star is 7″ (full size), the middle star is about 3.75″ (54%), and the smallest star is about 3″ (44%).

The stars are strung together with monofilament thread and there’s a monofilament thread loop at the top for hanging. This looks great hanging on the wall, in a doorway or even from the ceiling. I put a red ribbon bow on top.

Star 2

Eight-pointed paper star

make paper stars18This star begins with a rectangle of paper measuring 6″ X 11″. Accordion folds are made following the directions in the pictorial below. You can use cardstock, wrapping paper, origami paper or recycled paper.

Finished stars can be strung together for garlands to decorate mantles or doorways. They can also be hung individually from the ceiling or grouped together hanging from a branch. They can be piled in a glass bowl as a centerpiece. They can also be used in place of bows on packages.

You will need:

  • Scrapbook paper or other paper measuring 6″ x 11″
  • Bone folder
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Small hole punch
  • String or cord for hanging stars

Eight-pointed paper star

The finished eight-pointed paper star made with wrapping paper

8 pointed paper star

8 pointed paper star

These stars can be made into a garland, used as table decorations or as package decorations.

Eight-pointed paper stars using pages from the phone book

8 pointed paper stars made from phone book pages

8 pointed paper stars made from phone book pages

Pages from an old phone book make awesome paper stars! The pages were 10″ long so I cut the width at 5″. I layered two sheets together because the paper is thin. The contrasting center portion is a separate piece of paper 10″ long by 2.5″ wide. I painted it and added glitter to the edges. I also glittered the edges of the full-size piece of paper after cutting the star points. The rest of the assembly is the same as above.

How to make an eight-pointed paper star. Video demo.

Star 3

Double-sided eight-pointed paper star

I found a fantastic tutorial on annekata.com for making these double-sided eight-pointed stars using square pieces of paper. The instructions are well-written and there are lots of clear photos. Here’s the link for making these simple double-sided paper stars.

I do have a couple of suggestions to add, however:

  • Use Aleene’s tacky glue instead of Elmer’s glue. Gluing the star points together can be tricky. Elmer’s glue slips around too much. Aleene’s tacky glue sets up faster and holds better.
  • Slip a bone folder inside the point as you’re gluing it. This will give you a surface to press on while gluing the edges together. See picture below.

Use a bone folder when gluing the star points

making double sided 8 pointed paper starSlip the bone folder inside the point and press down on it.

These paper stars can be made in any size using square pieces of paper. Don’t forget to embellish with paint or glitter.

Make several of these double-side stars in different sizes and use them to make a mobile. They can even be glued to a wreath and, of course, make good package decorations in place of bows.

Double-sided eight-pointed paper star made from heavy wrapping paper

double sided 8 pointed paper star

This is the star I made following the tutorial on the above link. I added a monofilament thread loop at the top for hanging.

How to make a double-sided eight-pointed paper star. Video demo.

Bonus: Paper star variations

Turn a mason jar into a fun and funky lamp

mason jar lampDo you have some old mason jars you don’t know what to do with? Why not turn them into unique lamps!

The one I’ve done here shows you just how fun and funky you can get with a humble glass jar.

And you’re not limited to using mason jars. Any jar of a similar size and shape will do.

I’m using an old soup jar that I thought was too nice to throw out or toss into the recycling bin.

Obviously I went crazy with painting and embellishment because I enjoy that. But you can still get a funky lamp using simple techniques outlined in the section called Ten easy ways to decorate your mason jar lamp. You might even be inspired to make some for gifts!

Get a mason jar lamp kit

mason jar lamp kit

You’ll need an adapter kit for your mason jar. This includes a cap, socket and possibly a shade. If a shade is not in the kit you can get one from Amazon or Walmart. Look for one that is about 4″ in diameter on the top, 10″ in diameter on the bottom and 7″ high. It should clip onto the light bulb.

Again, I’m not using a mason jar but another glass jar I already had. To paint the glass I used enamel paints then baked in the oven at a low temperature according to the instructions. After that the glass can be cleaned with a damp cloth.

If I had used a mason jar I would have turned the embossed side to the back and painted my design on the front.

Stabilize the jar with a wooden base

Supplies for the wooden base

Pictured are wood glue, small nails, wooden beads and a wood base.

wooden base supplies for mason jar lamp

After painting my mini masterpiece on the jar I did not want to obscure it by putting something inside the jar to weight it down. So I decided to stabilize it with a wooden base on the bottom. Looking through my stash I found this round base and some wooden beads. I attached the beads to the base with a little wood glue and some nails.

Easy alternative to using a wooden base: You can get a 5″ round glass plate and glue it to the bottom of the jar. I’ve done this with another mason jar lamp which you can read about at the end of this article.

Carve out the base to fit the jar

wood base for mason jar lamp

I created a slight indentation in the wood for the jar to rest in. I centered the jar on top, traced the circle and used my Dremel rotary tool to carve it out, leaving grooves to hold the glue. That did take a bit of time but I wanted to make sure the jar was going to be secure on the base.

I also removed the old finish and stain using good old fashioned nail polish remover. Be sure to wear rubber gloves if you do this because it will stain your fingers. (Ask me how I know that!) The wooden base was lightly sanded with sand paper.

Then the base was painted to coordinate with the jar using enamel paints. Glitter was added to the stars and the base was protected with satin varnish.

Assemble the mason jar lamp

Attach the socket to the lid and glue base to jar

assembling mason jar lamp

Since I was using a soup jar I needed to transfer the socket to the soup jar lid. The socket comes off easily by unscrewing the nut underneath the lid.

I had to put a hole in the new lid. To do that I put the old lid upside down on top of the new lid and traced the circle with a black marker. Then I cut the circle out with a utility knife.

The hole created was far from perfect so I covered it with a metal washer. The rest of the lid was filled in with sequins and topped off with water-based liquid satin varnish.

The lid was screwed onto the jar, and the wooden base was glued to the jar using lots of hot glue.

Make a paper pattern for the lampshade

Roll the lampshade on paper to create a pattern

making pattern for lampshade

Get a large piece of paper, even newspaper will do, and lay the shade on top. With the shade on its side start at the seam and mark that spot on the top and bottom. Slowly roll the shade across the paper, marking both the top and bottom as you go, stopping at the seam.

Finish the paper shade pattern

make paper pattern for lampshade

Connect the dots along the shade outline and use a ruler to make straight lines at the beginning and ending points. Add at least a half inch seam allowance around the shade outline. This is what it should look like when finished.

Cut out the pattern piece.

Select shade fabrics to coordinate with the painted jar

lampshade fabric and trim

The shade can be covered with fabric or it can just be painted. Here is the painted jar along with the fabrics and beads I selected.

The cloud fabric is for the body of the shade and the silver microdot is for the trim at the top and bottom. Blue beaded fringe will finish off the bottom. You don’t need to use beaded fringe but I think it makes the lamp more playful. You’ll need about one yard.

Glue fabric to the shade

Use watered down glue and a paintbrush

gluing fabric to lampshade

Pin the paper pattern to the shade fabric and cut out. The fabric can be attached to the shade using spray adhesive or tacky glue. I used tacky glue thinned out with a little water.

Put the glue into a disposable container such as an old pie plate. Using a large paint brush apply the glue to the shade in small sections.

Start at the seam and smooth the fabric as you go with your hands. Try to press out all the air bubbles. When you get to the end turn under the edge and glue in place.

If you end up with air bubbles after you’re finished, apply more watery glue to the spot, stick a pin in it and press out the air with your fingers.

Glue the top and bottom edges of the shade

gluing edges of lampshade

I used pinking shears along the top and bottom edges for a nicer look but that step is completely optional. The top edge of the fabric needs to have slits cut about every half inch so that it will fold down inside the shade.

Brush glue onto the fabric and press in place. The bottom edge does not need to be slit. There will be a little excess that needs to be evenly distributed as it’s glued down.

When the edges were finished I glued the silver microdot fabric to the top and bottom using full-strength tacky glue. The silver fabric was stretchy like bias tape. I just cut a long strip and folded down the edges. You could actually use bias tape or a nice trim or braid, or just skip this step altogether.

Glue beaded fringe to the bottom of the shade

gluing beaded fringe to lampshade

This step is optional but makes the lamp a lot more fun! I like to add sparkle whenever I can and this is the perfect finishing touch. The beaded fringe was glued with hot glue.

When you’re done if there are any little glue strings hanging out, simply blow your hair dryer on them and they will vanish.

Finish gluing the trim

gluing beaded fringe to lampshade

The edge of the fringe is turned under and hot glued in place.

The finished mason jar lamp

Add light bulb and you’re done!

Here’s the finished product—a fun, funky and unique lamp for a nightstand or end table!

finished mason jar lamp

Ten easy ways to decorate your mason jar lamp

Not everyone will want to spend a lot of time painting a lamp the way I did, so here are some quick and easy tips for customizing your mason jar lamp. Remember that if the jar does not have a base you will need to put something heavy inside to keep it from tipping over.

  1. Spray paint the outside or the inside of the jar any color. Gold or silver metallic would be really pretty. The shade could be a solid fabric (white or black) with a beaded fringe.
  2. Hot glue fake jewels to the outside of the jar. Use a coordinating fabric for the shade and glue more fake jewels around the top and bottom of the shade.
  3. Take several colors of acrylic paint, squirt the paint inside the jar from the top while alternating the colors as you go, and swirl them around. You could use really bright colors, or one color alternating with white, or three colors that go together like pink, purple and blue. For the shade you could use something like a sequin fabric or animal print and finish with a crazy feather boa trim.
  4. Leave the jar unpainted but make designs with dimensional glitter paint. Gold, silver or glittering crystal would be perfect. You could draw polka dots, swirls, squiggly lines, or all of them combined. (To see some examples, check out this tutorial for simple glass painting ideas.) This technique would also be good over a jar that was spray painted gold or silver metallic. The shade could be painted and protected with a water-based varnish.
  5. Wrap the jar with a piece of fabric. Draw it up and tie a ribbon around the top. This is a great technique that would allow you to change the look of your lamp any time you wanted. The shade could be covered with a plain neutral fabric that goes with everything.
  6. Wrap the jar with braid or trim using hot glue or tacky glue. Start at the top and work your way down to the bottom.
  7. Decoupage the inside of the jar. Use photos, scrapbook papers or bits of wrapping paper. You can even decoupage the shade.
  8. Cover the inside of the jar with glitter. Brush on some tacky glue and sprinkle your favorite color of glitter inside. How about hot pink glitter and a zebra print shade with a black beaded fringe!
  9. Many of us have piles of old buttons we don’t know what to do with. Why not hot glue the buttons or old jewelry to the outside of the jar. Keep the shade a solid color or paint it. You could also put the buttons on the shade and keep the jar a solid color.

10. Last and best tip ever: change your lamp for the holidays

This is my favorite tip of all and needs its own section. Don’t do anything to the jar or the shade. That’s right, change the look of the lamp with shade slipcovers and seasonal candy!

Make the paper pattern for your shade and get a small amount of fabric, about a half yard would be plenty. The craft store has a large selection of cute holiday fabrics to choose from. Sew or glue the seam using a quarter inch seam allowance. You need a little extra room to slip over the shade. Turn under the top and bottom edges and finish with a pretty trim.

Besides being tasty, candy is also very colorful and festive when displayed in a mason jar. Here are some suggestions to use throughout the year:

Valentine’s day—conversation hearts

Easter—marshmallow peeps, jelly beans

Fourth of July—foil-wrapped chocolate stars in blue, silver and red

Halloween—candy corn. Nothing says Halloween like candy corn.

Christmas—red and green M&Ms, gumdrops, candy canes, peppermint candies

There are so many possibilities!

Another mason jar lamp using a glass plate for a base

Sun face mason jar lamp with animal print shade

sun face mason jar lamp

Sun face mason jar lamp with glass base

Glass plate used as a base for sun face mason jar lamp

sun face lamp base

I found this 5″ glass plate at Walmart for only $1. It’s meant to be used for candles, but it was the perfect size for my mason jar lamp with the sun design.

E6000 was used to glue the jar and the plate together. It sets up in about ten minutes but takes 24 to 72 hours to cure.

Please share your comments

I love to read your comments, questions or any suggestions you have for creating mason jar lamps.

Turn an ugly mirror into a work of art

ugly mirror in need of a makeover

Ugly mirror in need of a makeover

The thrift store is a good resource for cheap, interesting, and sometimes ugly, supplies to use for your DIY arts and crafts projects. I look for old frames, mirrors, whiteboards, candlesticks and wood plaques.

One day I went looking for a mirror and found this little gem. It was hideous and falling apart. It was also only $1.50. I snatched it up.

Learn how I transformed this ugly mirror into a unique work of art.

Find something to inspire your mirror makeover

Inspiration will give you direction

handpainted archway by Lynda Makara

Handpainted archway by Lynda Makara

When you’re doing a project like this, it’s helpful to have a vision in mind to guide you throughout the design process. You could be inspired by your surroundings, or by something in nature, or by a particular style like vintage or modern.

My inspiration for the mirror’s new design came from the archway in my house which I designed and hand painted. I decided to use that crown pattern for my new mirror. Then I just had to figure out how to make it work.

Prepare the frame for transformation

When I brought the ugly mirror home, I had hoped to be able to keep most of the frame intact. I thought maybe I could cut off the points of those pencils. After studying it for a while, I decided the pencils and that little shelf thing on the bottom had to go.

I removed the mirror and set it aside. It was just held in place by clips.

Those pencils were hard to remove as they were glued and nailed on. The nails came out easily but that glue was incredibly strong. I used some nail polish remover to help dissolve the glue and a utility knife to cut through where the pieces were joined.

Finally I wedged a screwdriver in there and used a hammer to pry those things off. They were stubborn! It also left some damage to the surface which I fixed as described in the next section.

Later on I learned a trick that would have gotten those pencils off easier. Soften the glue with nail polish remover and then use dental floss. You hold a piece of floss tight in both hands and slide it down the seam where the wood is glued.

Repair the surface and add the crown to the mirror

add crown to mirror

Add crown to mirror

Luckily the frame was still in one piece but needed reinforcing. So I put wood glue into the cracks where the mitered pieces meet. After the glue dried I patched the nail holes and mitered joints with wood putty, then sanded it smooth after it was dry.

Then I made a paper pattern for the crown. I transferred the pattern to a piece of cardboard and cut it out with a utility knife. I glued the crown to the frame with Aleene’s tacky glue. A wire was also inserted into each point of the crown.

When everything was dry I covered the front of the frame with a thin layer of paper clay. That filled in the damaged areas and added texture. I wanted the sides and bottom to be smoother and the top crown portion to be bit more uneven. After the clay dried everything was sanded.

For the center of the crown I cut out a couple of stars from heavy cardboard. They were both covered with paper clay and given different textures. They were attached to the center of the crown with tacky glue and more paper clay.

Crown pattern for mirror

pattern for crown mirror

Pattern for crown mirror

Here’s the pattern I made for the crown. It measures about 12¼” x 6″. The bottom edge is about 7¼” which is the same length as the opening on the mirror.

Paint and finish the crown mirror

Painting is my favorite part! Following my inspiration piece, the sides and bottom were painted off white with metallic gold stars. The crown was painted light brown. Polka dots, squiggles and glitter were added. Aurora borealis beads were secured to the points of the crown. Picture wire was attached to the back which was simply painted black. Then the whole frame was varnished.

Voila! It’s finished! A unique work of art from an ugly mirror.

framed crown mirror by Lynda Makara

Framed crown mirror by Lynda Makara

Another view of the crown mirror

A side view of the framed crown mirror showing the multicolored polka dots and the purple glitter on the inner edge.

framed crown mirror by Lynda Makara

Framed crown mirror by Lynda Makara

One of the simplest ways to transform an ugly mirror is with paint

Tutorials

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