A Bird on a Wreath Is Worth Two on a Mirror

So little ole’ Burton Ohio is in the deep, miserable phase of winter. Don’t get me wrong, winter is cute around Christmas – the first snow gently frosting the trees and rolling hills, breaking out the warm fuzzy sweaters, hot cocoa and robust red wine by the fireside, etc. But by late January, when it has snowed every freakin’ day for two weeks straight, and when a nasty thing called a polar vortex sweeps in with -15 degree temps, I can safely tell you the cuteness is G-O-N-E. I am so ready for spring.

I’ve got a few more cold, dreary months to wait before things get green outside. But when you’re crafty, spring can burst into bloom inside when your hot glue gun tells it to.

This is what I wake up to every morning now:

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I can’t get enough of bird décor. If it’s got a bird on it, I am probably buying it. So, I love seeing this sweet little bird and her hopeful little nest across from my bed, not to mention this adorably chippy new architectural feature that is happening over the TV.

Best of all, this was probably the cheapest craft project ever!

I’ve been hoarding saving this lovely leaded glass window for a while:

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There is an annual event in town where large household items can be left on the curb for free haul away (a major moment in the boonies when the paid garbage haulers will only take what fits into your trash can). Folks leave all sorts of things on their lawns. This window was one of the items I spied as I took the kiddos to school one morning, and you better believe I pulled over promptly to claim it. At some point in its life, it was a wall hanging with lots o’ dried flowers stapled to the back of it. When it came into my life, many of the brown stems and an abundance of staples were still attached to it, and a few panes of glass were broken. Reclaimed leaded windows are seriously pricey though, and I knew I could do something with it.

It sat in my garage for a full year because I couldn’t fathom how to fix the broken glass without spending lots of money on a professional repair. After Paul and I did a major garage cleanup this fall, I decided to get serious about my window. I pulled out the bazillion staples, cleaned the frame, pulled out the shards of glass from the broken sections, and decided to try to repair them myself using leftover plexiglass.

It did not go well. Cutting plexi is hard even when you’re making a straight cut – all the curves of the sections that needed repair made it impossible. After much cussing and frustration, I abandoned ship.

OK – plan B. With a mirror behind the window, the broken sections won’t seem so obvious and it will be rustic-cute. But where to get a mirror that will be perfectly sized for the window without spending tons of money? I searched and searched, to no avail. Then I remembered the Looking Glass spray paint everyone seems to be raving about in the Pintrest-verse. It creates a mirror effect on whatever clear surface it is painted on. I had a large piece of plexi leftover from a broken Ikea poster frame. Paul used the circular saw to cut it to size, and I got to work on spray painting.

The thing about Looking Glass spray is – it is intended for glass. It turns out it does not become a mirror on plastic. It did give a pretty, metallic shimmer behind the window though, and it minimized the missing sections of glass, making them almost indistinguishable from a distance. Good enough for me! After a fail in attaching the plexi to the window using my typically-trusty E-6000 glue, I used good old-fashioned duct tape to get the job done.

I briefly contemplated painting the frame, but honestly, people pay good money for the distressed finish that was already there, so I didn’t touch it.

Paul got it up on the wall over the TV, a spot I’ve been wanting to fill with something for months.

I liked it. But it needed some green. Like one of those cute Fixer Upper- style boxwood wreaths. I am on a serious spending diet at the moment, though. My home décor indulgences have been getting out of hand.  If I wanted a new wreath, I was going to have to drum something up from my existing craft stash. Luckily, that is embarrassingly plentiful.

I broke out the glue gun, dug out some leftover Dollar Tree moss, and went fishing through my pile of broken/abandoned picture frames. I found this pretty bit of metal that was a decorative element in a frame that broke some time ago. I also dug out a heavy piece of cardboard. Voila! I cut the center out of the cardboard to fit around the metal insert, and I had the base of my new rectangular wreath!

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A picture mat would work just as well if you have one hanging around. In retrospect, covering this with moss would have been easier if I had painted the cardboard green first. Hindsight, etc.

After hot gluing the moss to totally cover the cardboard, I contemplated decorations. I remembered this sweet little Dollar Tree bird I’d been saving, and some pretty nests that I used on my Christmas tree years ago. I glued the bird, attached the nest with floral wire and glue, and done.

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I stocked up on some lovely linen ribbon that was on Walmart-post-Christmas clearance for .70 cents a roll. It was just the thing to attach my wreath to the mirror. I used my staple gun to attach the ribbon to the wreath, and the wreath to the mirror frame.

It is spring in my bedroom, if nowhere else. Best of all – the only hard cost for this project was the $8 can of Looking Glass spray paint. Everything else was upcycled or drawn from my existing stash, and the wreath took 15 minutes max to bring together.

What helps you beat the Winter blues?

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