Sunday, March 4, 2012

A little splash of color

I saw some DIY moroccan lanterns on DesignSponge about a year ago, and decided I wanted to make them to decorate a little outdoor space for us over the summer. I didn't get my act together to do that (partially because our only option was the front porch, and ultimately we decided we'd never spend much time sitting at street level greeting the near-constant flow of upstairs neighbors coming and going). But twelve months later, I finally decided to do the project after I found myself at Michael's able to pick up the necessary supplies (glass paint and gold puff paint).

First, I used Goo Gone to clean the labels off some pasta sauce jars I'd been saving (I like to keep them on hand for projects, but I swear I have no more than one or two unused ones in my craft closet at any given time, I'm not hoarding recyclables I promise). Then I used gold puff paint to draw designs on the outside of three jars.

Warning: until the paint dried, I thought it looked pretty terrible - it was more shimmering brown than gold, which was not the look I was going for!

This last one was really wonky - I had a hard time keeping the design symmetrical, due to my poor artistic abilities. I told myself that maybe I'd be able to clean it up with an exacto knife when the paint dried, and if not I'd get rid of this one.

Then I waited a day for the gold paint to dry. The next step was to paint the inside of each one with glass paint (I used Pebeo Vitrea). The first coat I did looked very streaky, and again I thought it looked terrible until the paint dried. I did a few coats to deepen the color. It was tough to paint the convex curves in a few places, because I couldn't angle my paint brush the way I wanted inside the jar. My main piece of advice to avoid this is to cover the curviest places with gold paint, so that they aren't parts that need the glass paint down the road.

In the process of painting.

And the finished product, below. I was, in fact, able to use an exacto knife to trim the dried gold paint, so I used that technique pretty heavily on the yellow lantern to even out the design. For $10, I'm pretty pleased with the outcome!

For an update on how they look in other lighting schemes/decades, see my more recent post: Moroccan lanterns in action.


  1. Wow, Sage. Those actually look really fantastic! What is the recommendation for how to light them up? Votives?

  2. Incredible, you clever child! Can we see a photo of them in dim light with candles? And yeah, what Steve asked -- votives?

  3. Amazing! I'm imagining them lining a nighttime walkway. Gorgeous!!

  4. Yes, votives! I shall purchase some soon and take photos!