- Tired of the same old decorations? Need a designer’s touch while maintaining your own sense of style? What better way to add your personal stamp to a house than by creating one-of-a-kind accents that you make yourself? Even quick, easy projects can have a big impact on a room; with a little expert guidance, you’ll be surprised what you can achieve using supplies you may already have on hand.
Interior designer Christi Proctor, well-known to audiences of TLC’s hit program Trading Spaces, enjoys using found objects to create unique focal points for her rooms. She has created everything from a pet pillow made from beautiful antique fabric and personalized with the animal’s name, to metal letter plaques spelling out sentiments such as enjoy, laugh, hope and fun, made from easy-to-find materials including a zinc metal floor tile and metal letters.
The Texas native defines her signature style as “rustic elegance.” “I get inspiration from the charm of the varied Texas cultures, the old west and Europe,” she says. “Home decorating projects don’t have to be complicated and time consuming to achieve elegant results,” says Proctor. She prefers projects that give big results with minimal fuss. For example, both the projects mentioned above are assembled using nothing more than glue. For the pet pillow, the fabric is glued together instead of being sewn; the decorative trim and the pet’s name that embellish the pillow are also affixed using glue, making this a project that can easily be completed in a few hours.
“The trick is finding and using the right glue for your project,” says Proctor. “When you’re gluing metal letters to metal tile, you need a strong adhesive made for metal surfaces,” she says. Proctor recommends Perfect Glue 1, 2, 3, an award-winning trio that adheres everything from fabric and wood to stone and metal. The three distinct formulas ensure that the glue you are using matches the materials you’re working with. One formula is perfect for fabric, paper and wood; the second is made especially for glass and plastic; and the third works with metal and stone.
Once you have the right glue, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure a perfect finished project:
* Prep the surface properly -- most adhesives require a clean surface for optimum adhesion. For some projects, a rough surface may facilitate a better “grip” for a stronger bond, so you may need to sand the surface first, then remove any residual dust.
* Easy does it -- some glues, especially cyanoacrylates, such as Perfect Glue 2, have a hard time adhering if too much glue is applied. Simply place a few drops spaced out approximately one inch apart for maximum holding power.
* Allow for cure time -- once your substrates are glued, allow them to cure fully before handling them. The bond will be stronger and your project will last longer. To guarantee a secure bond, use a brace or a clamp as necessary during the curing process.
Proctor’s Tea Cup Window is a perfect example of how everyday objects, put together with an artistic flair, become a work of art for your home. You’ll need Perfect Glue 1 and 3, sandpaper, an antique window, four antique dinner plates, two antique teacups, two antique saucers, an antique gravy boat and a water mister. You can find the china for this project inexpensively at thrift stores or garage sales.
1. Lay out the dishes in the desired positions
2. Lightly sand the dishes on the edges to be adhered to the window glass; remove any dust or residue.
3. Apply prepared Perfect Glue 3 to adhere the teacups vertically on the saucers. Let dry.
4. Run a line of Perfect Glue 1 around the bottom of each plate and saucer. Mist water onto the window glass (water/moisture speeds the curing process of Perfect Glue 1), and adhere the plates to the desired window panes. Let dry.
5. Use Perfect Glue 3 to adhere the gravy boat to the center wooden strip of the window. Brace and allow to dry.
6. Proudly display your finished project in a special spot in your home.