Why simply recycle… when you can up-cycle? And by up-cycle, I mean slap some metallic paint on a few jars destined for the recycling bin. Easy as that.
My sister’s bridal shower provided the perfect opportunity to dump glitter all over my condo, cut up a bunch of ribbon, and smear paint all over the place. I love a good craft project. These vases, which I filled with silk peonies (my sister will have the real deal in her bouquet this weekend), took all of five minutes to make, plus an overnight to dry and cost less than six bucks.
Easy, up-cycled vases
What you’ll need:
Several clean, dry glass jars (I used a couple pasta sauce jars and a few Bonne Maman jam jars)
An old mixing bowl or similar, deep container that you don’t mind ruining covering in paint (I used a Ziplock container that was missing its lid)
Newspaper or cardboard for drying
Super obvious, likely unnecessary step-by-step:
Wash and dry all glass jars and prep am area where you can allow painted jars to dry overnight (I used several old cardboard boxes and bribed Clark to stay away from them).
Work with one jar at a time. Pour a small amount of paint into your mixing bowl, dip your first jar and tip over to dry, allowing the paint to drip down the sides. Use as much or as little paint as you like.
Repeat step two until all jars have been dipped.
Allow paint to dry over night before tipping them upright.
Do not use these vases for food or drink. I am certain neither Martha Stewart nor I want anyone to get poisoned.
These vases would also make great pen and pencil holders for your desk, or cute storage for jewelry and makeup brushes.
Semi-related: Is it just me, or does everyone think The Home Depot be renamed The Compliment Depot? I dropped in there before work last week and got an unexpected early morning ego boost. I love places that open early (mostly because I get a run in my nylons nearly every morning and don’t always have an extra pair or nine on hand). Anyway, I was there to buy a convertible hand cart (my life is truly glamorous, in case that wasn’t abundantly obvious) and walked up and down every aisle twice. Including the toilet one. With no luck.
After waiting in line for a few minutes at customer service, I learned the carts are located in the garden department. The gentleman who pointed me in the right direction remarked on how patient I was (not true, but okay…). When I estimated that I would need to move more than 150 pounds, but fewer than 800 pounds, the person helping me said I was very smart for knowing that (um… that’s a range of 650 pounds, and I only know that because I used the calculator app on my iPhone). When I refused an offer of assistance and carried the monstrosity of a cart out on my own, I got a whoa, you’re strong (this person clearly did not see me nearly fall under my own car while trying to lift the cart into the trunk). I was also complimented on my pretty dress and great smile (I think it was actually a grimace, since I was in the aforementioned toilet aisle).
I’ll be back there soon for more compliments, and more metallic paint.
Some things you want to keep secret. Like, say… surprise party plans. Or the fact that you have owned a home for nearly four years and still don’t know how to clean an oven. Other things, like a fail-proof recipe for a delicious roasted sweet potato salad, are too good to be kept under wraps.
Vegan roasted sweet potato salad (gluten free)
Serves: 10 – 12 people
6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped across the rib
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins or currants
1/2 cup red onion, diced
Salt and pepper
Preheat your (recently cleaned?) oven to 350 degrees F.
Toss sweet potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper on a rimmed baking sheet.
Cook sweet potatoes until they are fork tender and slightly brown (stir occasionally) – approximately 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix celery, cranberries (or your choice of dried fruit – I’ve used both raisins and currants), and red onion in a large serving bowl.
Once sweet potatoes are sufficiently cooked, mix them with other ingredients and top with green onions.
Notes: This dish can be served warm or cold, and keeps well for up to three days in an air tight container, refrigerated (obvi). Feel free to play around with other spices and seasonings. I personally live to season everything with Old Bay, but am not certain everyone shares my love for the OB. Got leftover sweet potatoes? Why not whip up Alex’s spicy sweet potato lentil burgers?
While putting together the menu for Andrea’s shower, I found a few great ideas on the time vortex that is Pinterest, but didn’t want my sister to know what I was planning. Ever the schemer, I created a secret board for keeping my ideas organized (and secret). One secret board turned into two, two into three… and well, you get the picture.
How to create secret Pinterest boards
Secret Pinterest boards come in handy when planning holiday gifts, gathering ideas for blog posts, or pinning chores that — as a 31 year old — you should know how to do without the guidance of the Internet. They are only visible to you (unless you invite friends to collaborate — perfect for fellow bridesmaids and other co-conspirators), and appear at the bottom of your screen of boards.
To add your own secret board, simply click on “create a board,” as you normally would.
… and be sure to select “secret” before saving changes.
Two easy steps and you’re officially a secret (…Pinterest board) agent. All I ask is that you don’t keep any tasty recipes to yourself.
I had to take a little hiatus from The Weekend According to Instagram, mostly because I avoided Instagram and limited most forms of communicating with strangers online for the past two weeks, so as to not ruin the surprise part of my sister’s surprise shower. (That was a long sentence. I am making up for lost time posts.)
I bet it was a lot easier to surprise people before electricity was invented.
Somehow, though, we pulled it off. But not without a lot of lying. A lot. Lies and surprises go hand in hand, I am learning. I’ll tell you all about the food (complete with a recipe for roasted sweet potato salad) and decorations later this week, but first I need to come clean.
Lies I told my sister during the past 24-48 hours:
We are going to surprise you for your bachelorette, but your shower is going to be the last weekend in April.
I am stressed out (at this point, semi-not a lie, but mostly a lie) and can’t make it to our cousin’s shower (which is where she thought she was going yesterday) so Dad is going to pick you up.
Someone (I think I specifically said “an idiot”… so I not only lied, but was mean) accidentally posted about your surprise bachelorette on Facebook, so please don’t log into your account. Ever again. (In reality, multiple people posted about my cousin’s actual shower, thus threatening to topple our very delicately built house of lies.)
I am at my office and I am very stressed out. (I was at my parents’ house, unpacking glitter and cupcakes.)
And when she texted to say she was on her way to my office to surprise me with tea: I, um… am still stressed out but I just left my office.
I will talk to you tomorrow (or in an hour, when you arrive at your own shower) and yes, I will download that stress management app you recommended.
I was so relieved when Andrea finally walked through that door. Who needs a stress relief app when you have that smile to look at? She is going to be the most beautiful bride. Being her sister really has been the joy of my life. And that’s no lie.