Oh my god y’all… I am still pinching myself. This post is so, very exciting to me. To you, it might mean nothing, but to me, it had me jumping up and down and squeal with delight…
The best part about the DIY project that I am about to share with you is that it was a total fail. It didn’t work at all and would have totally been a waste of time and money… if what happened yesterday hadn’t happened.
I read a LOT of blogs. Big blogs, small blogs. Blogs about DIY, cooking, weddings, lifestyle. I am a bit blog obsessed. However, of all of my favorites, Vintage Revivals is absolutely, 100% in the top 3. I think that Mandi’s style is so fearless and crazy and fun. She does things that you’ve never ever seen before and most people would talk themselves out of before actually even trying. And she does them amazingly well. She is truly an inspiration.
So, when she had a call for DIY Fail submissions last week, I really had a project that I wanted to share with her. I never, ever thought that I would get a feature, but just the idea that Mandi would read my email and look at my pics… goosebumps. For Seriously.
So, all week (at lunch!) I’ve been reading her DIY fail posts. They’ve been so funny and so “I would totally do that”. So, you can imagine the shock when I went to her page Thursday, on my lunch break (hers is one of the 4 blogs I read at lunch every day!) and LORD BEHOLD there was my project!
“So, you know how you meet people and you are like “Um…hello, why are we the same person?”
This is EXACTLY what happened when I was reading Morgan’s submission. It was like seeing into my own creative mind. That is a scary thing my friends.”
Oh. MY. God. I am beyond honored, and am even getting my heart racing writing this. Mandi says we’re like sisters? Best. Sister. Ever. (Sorry, Caroline). (Click here to read her whole post!)
So here’s my DIY fail. I think it’s hilarious that the first project of mine to ever be featured on a major blog (woo hoo! that was totally one of my 101!) was a fail and not a success. I think its totally fitting because, for every project I post here, there’s at least one more that we nix in planning stages, or pricing supplies, or halfway thru it, or even at the end. So, consider this a peek “behind the curtain.”
About a month ago, I was trolling Anthropologie for lamp inspiration. I was looking for a lamp to go on the newly refinished bookshelf (since I moved that fabric scrap collage to the laundry room). I thought a lamp would give a good amount of height and excitement to that awkward corner. However, I don’t plan on ever cutting the lamp on (we have an overhead light and never like, hang out in that corner) so I wanted something decorative and sassy. And preferably, bling bling.
And Anthropologie didn’t let me down. They had tons of awesome lamps, including this Amethyst beauty. Please, admire her beauty.
Bling bling perfection. However, I’m not $500 rich. That’s like, rent. So, I decided to make my own. Clearly.
Initially, I was researching giant geodes online and emailing my dad about using his tools over Thanksgiving to drill a hole thru it. He encouraged me to go another route. Plus, an Amethyst geode the size I wanted was gonna run me over a hundred dollars anyways. Once again, over the never-to-be-cut-on-lamp budget.
So, I came up with a new idea. I googled “DIY Geode” and came up with an amazing Martha Stewart article. I watched the video (this was all at about 11 o’clock at night while bouncing up and down singing “I’ve got a great ideaaaaa!” Needless to say, Sean and the animals went into the other room. I digress. Martha made awesome geodes inside eggs for easter. She just used water, dye, and a spice called Alum that you buy at the grocery. Ding ding, rings the inspiration bell!
So I was PUMPED! I knew, just knew, that I could increase the recipe and make a crystal lamp!
I started by going to get a lamp. My goodwill has an awesome selection of ugly lamps. I was looking at shape here, so I grabbed this cut glass lamp. The shape (small at top and bottom and fat in the middle) was perfect, and I thought the cut in the glass might make the crystals look even more natural.
I didn’t want the metal to get messed up or colored purple, so I unscrewed the top and bottom of the lamp and pulled it apart. The glass wouldn’t come off the cord, so I covered it with some painters tape to protect it from the dye.
Then, I started following the Martha Stewart tutorial. I used a paint brush to paint on white glue, and then covered the whole coating with Alum. I used about 1 jar on the outside of the lamp. I let this dry for 48 hours so it could be really dry.
Then came the science. Martha instructed her users to soak the eggs (lamp) in a crystal growing mixture. I combined 2 gallons of water, 1 pack of purple dye, and 5 jars of Alum in a big blue bucket. The Alum made it foam and look really cool.
I let the lamp soak in the mixture for 24 hours, just as Martha instructed. Nothing happened, so I decided to let it soak longer – over a week in total. Here’s how it ended.
Lumpy, purple, and totally NOT crystallized. Kind of depressing, kind of hilarious. I’m choosing to go with hilarious.
For the record, it’s been sitting in this state on Sean’s work table for about 3 weeks. I’ve just not got the heart to throw it away…. but am too scared to attempt again.
The biggest thing that I’ve learned from this project, and more importantly, from Mandi’s feature and blog and life is to live fearlessly! Don’t copy your friends, or TV, or heaven forbid, Pinterest. If you think up something crazy – give it the good ole college try. Worst case scenario, it’s a huge bust and you throw it in the dumpster. But every once in a while, it’s bound to work. And it’s those crazy one-offs that make life magical!
Have you done anything crazy lately?
Hello, I’m Morgan, half of the creative force behind CharlestonCrafted.com! With a passion for DIY that dates back to 2012, I’ve transformed three homes and now I’m dedicated to helping others craft their dream spaces. Let’s turn your house into a home together!