As I’ve said many times, I’m a big fan of rocks and minerals (evidence: my geode jewelry box and crystal curtain tiebacks). One type that I particularly like is agate slices. So when I saw an overpriced vase with agate slices on the side, I knew I had to make my own. And now you can, too, because it’s really, really easy.
Just glue an agate slice to a vase. If that seems too easy, you can make it more complicated by adding some gold gilding, or metallic gold paint, to the edges of your agate before you glue it. I debated doing that to mine, but in the end decided to keep it simple.
Agate slice – I bought mine from American Science and Surplus, but they don’t let you specify the color. So either find a rock or museum shop to pick out your rock in person, or turn to Etsy for a huge selection.
Glass vase – It needs to have a flat, uncurved side. I bought this one at Michaels.
Glue – I used Loctite Glass Glue.
1. Clean your vase with soap and water, and dry.
2. Decide how to position your rock, then add several small drops of glue to the back side of the slice, and quickly place it on the glass. The glue will dry clear, but try to put it on the most opaque areas of the agate that you can find. And be careful when positioning the agate–once you put it on the glass, you can’t count on being able to move it because the glue sticks right away. (I’d never used this glue before, but I thought it was great!)
3. Let the glue dry 24 hours, and then find some flowers.
When you move into a new house, you have to prioritize your changes based partly on difficulty and motivation. And over the year and a half we’ve lived here, the difficulty of the renovations we’ve made has been ramping up. But one room we’ve just been chipping away at is our kitchen. When we moved in we replaced the range with a gas version, replaced the leaking dishwasher, and gradually upgraded the lights, but that’s about it. Partly because it’s not that bad, so the motivation isn’t there. It’s not very attractive, but it’s got lots of storage, a good layout, and it’s really very usable. We’ve made lots of delicious food in it, despite its looks.
We’ve finally decided to take on a project that we’ve known we wanted to do ever since the first time we saw the house: painting the kitchen. Not just the walls, but the cabinets. In theory they wouldn’t be so bad, but someone did a terribly sloppy job staining them. The stain is blotchy and uneven, and there are drips, fingerprints, and even the hinges are stained on some doors. So while we didn’t quite know what color we wanted to use, we knew a paint job was in our future. Here are some before photos to give you an idea of what we’re starting with.
This photo shows our DIY pipe light fixture over the sink, though it’s hard to see here due to all that sunshine outside.
Another DIY below, the pipe paper towel holder I just made. Since I’m going to have to take it down for the painting, I’m thinking I’ll paint it black.
Aside from the dark brown blotchy cabinets, the kitchen has some other issues. It suffers from the same yellowish/off-white paint that a lot of the house had when we moved in, linoleum fake stone flooring, and instead of floor moulding, someone wrapped grey vinyl toe-kick around the whole room. We’re working on those issues, too.
But back to the paint. First we had to decide on a color. By scouring the internet for photos of kitchens I like, I realized that I’m drawn to bright white cabinets, so we’re going to paint everything with Benjamin Moore’s Cotton Balls, which matches the existing vintage trim and doors. Here are some kitchens I’m relying on for inspiration.
I’m really drawn to what I like to call a vintage rustic modern look. So along with the white cabinets, that means open shelving, touches of raw wood and stone, and vintage-style fixtures like bin-pulls and schoolhouse lighting. If I was doing this kitchen from scratch, it would have wood floors, white subway tile, and marble or soapstone countertops. But I have a feeling that the stone tile countertops and backsplash that we have will look a lot better once we get a coat of paint on everything. Only one way to find out!
That just leaves the open shelves. Instead of painting the upper cabinets across from the stove (the ones beneath the Dr. Pepper sign), we’re going to try to take them out and replace them with live-edge wood shelves.
I’ve got primer, paint, hardware, sandpaper, a spray gun, and a lot of work waiting for me. Wish me luck!
Since we moved into our house, we’ve been slowly chipping away at changes we want to make to our kitchen, like replacing the light over the kitchen sink. Even bigger improvements are ahead, but I thought that adding this built-in paper towel holder would be a fun and quick project. I was totally inspired by this copper pipe paper towel holder, but my version is even easier because you don’t need to cut pipe or use glue–everything just screws together.
12-inch 1/2-inch threaded pipe
4-inch 1/2-inch threaded pipe
1/2-inch floor flange
1/2-inch 90-degree elbow
4 screws, 1/2-inch long *See below for notes
1. *This project is really simple once you have the materials, but you must make sure to get the right stuff. Your screws must be short enough that they won’t go all the way through the bottom of your cabinets, and the head on the screws must be large enough to not go through the holes on the flange. With the flanges I was using, this was pretty tricky, but yours may vary. Don’t leave the hardware store without testing the screw head size on the flanges!
I was able to find all of the pieces and pre-cut pipe sizes I needed at Home Depot.
2. Wash your greasy metal pipe pieces with dish soap and water, and allow to dry.
3. Once everything is dry, screw the pieces together.
4. Attach to the underside of your cabinets by marking the holes in the flange, drilling them, and screwing on the holder. Measure and mark your drill bit with a piece of tape to make sure you don’t drill too far.
I love how much counter space this frees up, so now I’m wondering why I didn’t make it sooner. It was super easy, and as a bonus, the 12-inch pipe and flange were both leftovers from another project that I was able to use up. Craft win!
My name is Rachel and I live in wonderful Portland, OR. Transient Expression is about fashion, style, and DIY. I love to share craft projects, cute outfits, recipes, and inspiration for living a handmade life.
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