Industrial Sconce Light Makeover

At the moment I’m helping Mum organise and re-design the little nook (parent’s retreat) off her and Dad’s master bedroom.

Whilst the complete room reveal is still a whiles away I wanted to share the finished upgrade of the wall sconces.

If you’ve read this blog more than once then you’d probably know I like the creative challenge of making the most of what’s already there, so rather than replace the lights completely (which, let’s face it, could probably have been done relatively cheaply and easily) I decided to flex some inventive muscle and see what I could come up with. That said, without my magic wand the frilly glass shades were a certain loss. Luckily, I already had an idea….

A while back I had stumbled across these plastic bulb cages.

(If you’re in the US then there are products like this everywhere – just Google ‘lamp cage’ or ‘lamp guard’ – though here down-under they are elusive so I was pretty pleased with finding them – even if $16.90 is a bit pricey if you ask me).

They are just standard lamp guards intended for industrial use (such as on building sites, in work shops etc.) though I thought they had definite adaptability potential so I tucked them somewhere in the back of my brain. Luckily, they stayed put in there, and when I was pondering a solution for Mum’s new sconce shades they jumped out from hiding.

“Hmmm, they could maybe work”, I thought to myself, and after checking some dimensions I ordered my cages.

Now, if you’re a ‘safety yellow’ kinda gal you could leave them as is though I wanted a more natural look so it was always my intention to use a paint-based disguise. The trouble, however, with painting plastic is that sometimes it can look like, well, painted plastic, so I thought I’d try this amazing metal effects paint.

(I bought mine from my local Bristol paint specialty store. See my ‘At a Glance’ quick guide at the end of the post for some helpful links).

The reactive iron paint contains real metal pigments and the rust activator generates real rust, so rather than a faux finish it is actually real (okay, so have you got my point about it being real?). This is high quality paint which sticks to just about anything and is a cinch to use. Just apply two coats of iron paint, allow to dry for at least an hour then use an atomiser to spray on the rust activator (you can go here to view a really clear and easy-to-follow manufacturer video tutorial). This paint is kinda pricey, though it’s so good only a small amount is needed to give ample coverage.

So, after just a little bit of craftin’ here’s Mum’s new sconce….

I love the instant patina this seemingly magic paint imparts.

For contrast, I only used the rust activator on the cages and simply left the sconce arms coated with the iron paint alone, which has an awesome textural graphite appearance. I swear, if it wasn’t quite so dear I might paint an entire room with it!

The clasp, which hinges the cages to allow for changing light bulbs, is incredibly tight to open and close so inevitably the paint does rub off from this small section when it is used. So, to combat the bright yellow which was peeking through I simply coloured the clasp area with a permanent brown marker – easy. The marker ink blends in seamlessly with the rusted iron and has so far stayed put so there is no longer any visible yellow plastic where the clasp pushes in and out.

To complete the look I used reproduction Edison bulbs. I contemplated painting the brass bulb capping black (to match the sconce sleeves) though I think I like the hint of tarnished gold.

For all my Aussie readers I finally found some bayonet cap Edison bulbs here in Oz – where else but on eBay of course (find the link in my ‘At a Glance’ list below). They’re not as ample or affordable as the ones in the US though I’m learning to live with it :-)

I’m happy to admit this style is not everyone’s cup of tea though I’m really pleased with how it turned out.
I reckon Mum’s lights would thank me if they could, plus it was a fun, fast, easy and cheap (about $20 per light – excluding the globes) way to burn off some creative tension and get a good DIY decorating fix!

Wouldn’t even know it was the same light, huh?

Cages: Online Lighting, Amazon
Rust Effects Paint: Modern Masters, Dulux
Edison Bulbs: eBay, Amazon
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

More Free Printable Labels!

After I posted my DIY canister decal tutorial I had a HEAP of requests for additional labels.

Soooo, because I’m a really nice blogger (and/or just totally awesome in general :-) I decided I would create another page of some staple pantry labels for you guys (see the “At a Glance” section below to view and download).

If you happened to miss the original label post be sure to head on over there for a detailed tutorial on how I applied them.

Note: I have also now added the additional labels to the original post.

Fonts: Courier New, Another Typewriter, Mrs Eaves Bold
Two sheets of dictionary definition inspired canister labels. View and download here.
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

Living Room Update

Beside delegation, the key to good time management is prioritisation, right?

So, amongst caring for a seven month old, running a household, working on furniture revivals and design consultations and pretending to be a web developer, what’s another important task?
Well, teaching yourself to juggle of course (yep, you read right, my current record is 26 consecutive tosses of Charlotte’s squishy, coloured blocks).

Of course, I’m not really staying up ’til midnight chucking balls in the air, it just struck me as funny when yesterday I caught myself continuing to practise after even Charlotte had lost interest!

Anyhoo, in the spirit of prioritisation I thought I should finally make the time to share my updated living room as promised.

I originally blogged about the new distressed leather sofas several months back (I use the term ‘new’ rather loosely as we have now had them for over a year). With a dog, a baby and one, let’s just say, not un-clumsy husband they have been the BEST. I can’t count the number of times we’ve simply wiped off dirty paw prints, regurgitated milk or special spicy szechuan sauce, looked at each other and in unison said, “that’s why we bought leather couches”.

The fern pictures are free printables. I recently blogged about them here (the fern images I used are included in the original post so you can print them for yourself if you’re interested :-)

The coffee table was an eBay find I refurbished. If you missed the original makeover post you can check it out here.
Sorry about the poor ‘before’ pic. I took it straight off the eBay listing.

The card catalogue, which you can catch glimpses of in some of the following photos, was another eBay buy. You can read more about it in this previous post.

The industrial style pendant which hovers above the coffee table matches the one above our dining space.

I picked up the replica Tolix stool from eBay. It helps create a gentle link with the dining end of the space without looking too matchy-matchy.

Overall, I’m really happy with the feel of the space though I would love to break up some of the brown with a gorgeous ticking or light jute area rug. Unfortunately, the angles in the room don’t really allow for a rug though :-(
However….whilst I can’t really justify changing the perfectly fine floor at the moment there is talk that we will be replacing it (one day) which just might be the excuse I need to try painting it first (if you are my husband and you are reading this that whole last sentence was just a typo).

I know some of you will wonder why I bothered changing a perfectly nice enough room to begin with?
Well, the new (and kinda necessary) sofas were the catalyst and it was just time for something fresh (plus I have decorating ADD :-)

The only thing missing from the previous photos was this little guy….

He’s pretty much always in that exact spot – well, there, or beneath Charlotte’s highchair waiting for tasty morsels to fall from the sky (and no, I didn’t choose my dog based on his level of colour co-ordination with my interior scheme – though he does blend in nicely, doesn’t he?).

Sofas (Plush Sofas $1800 for both – floor stock)
Coffee Table (eBay $25)
Card Catalogue (eBay $120)
Tolix Stool (eBay $60)
Throw Blanket (Adairs – gift)
Rectangular Canvas Pillow (IKEA $25)
Quilted Ticking Pillow (home-made from a european pillow case from Adairs $15 – on sale)
Damask, Ticking and Linen Pillows (home-made with fabrics from Spotlight)
Lamp (Sokol $110 – wholesale)
Pendant Light (Recollections $80 – on sale)
Distressed Coffee Table Makeover
Fern Printables
Card Catalogue Upcycle
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

Best Intentions and Beautiful Spaces

So, I was gonna share photos of my updated living room this week (truly ruly) though then this happened….

No, I wasn’t gobbled up by a giant pair of novelty teeth, although given the current circumstances it doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, because poor little miss Charlotte is miserably teething which makes for one miserable household all round.
I would have shared a photo of her actual teeth though she is guarding them with her life so I’m lucky to see them with my own eyes let alone through a camera lens.

Long story short, it’s been a tiresome, unproductive week though I promise-cross-my-heart to post about my living room next week.

In the meantime however I thought I’d share some of the gorgeous rooms I’ve Pinned lately.

Rustic Lodge Bedroom
Living Room
Neutral Cottage Living Space
Fresh Cottage Living Room
Sweet Cottage Bedroom Nook
Rustic Cottage Living Room
Sweet Bedroom
Eclectic Living Space
Cottage Living Room
Fresh Cottage Green Living Room
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

MAGIC Decal Tutorial with Free Printables

Magic Decal Tutorial - with free printables | The Painted Hive

Some of you may remember, a little while back I posted a tutorial for DIY waterslide decals.

Among other things, I mentioned how awesome they are for creating custom embellishments without the need for any fancy-pants equipment. Yep, waterslide decal paper is a truly fab product, though as great as it is, there is one drawback – although it’s somewhat tough it’s not especially durable. So, whilst it’s perfect for ornamental purposes, it’s not ideal for more practical applications…until now that is!

Magic decal coating paper is a product designed to be used in conjunction with standard decal paper to make the finished transfers super durable – yes, even dishwasher resistant!

If you’re already familiar with magic decal coating paper then please excuse my tardy excitement, though for everyone else who is just getting to the party now too, feel free to start throwing the streamers!

My recently acquired assortment of SLOM jars from IKEA were awaiting some DIY craftiness and seemed the perfect candidates for my first magic decal experiment.

As there may be several brands of magic decal coating paper out there, each with slightly differing application requirements, for clarity in this tutorial I will specifically pertain to the particular product I used which I attained from here. The paper seems a little pricey though you can create several decals from one sheet so in reality the individual decals are actually quite inexpensive.

The paper I received came with three sheets of waterslide decal paper (distinguished by a blue watermark on the back) which you print your image onto, and three accompanying sheets of the magic coating paper (distinguished by attached translucent protective paper).


1 Image to transfer.

Use anything you like. I made up my canister labels in Photoshop though a standard publishing program would be fine too. I wanted them to be a bit different and quite typographic so decided to style them based on dictionary definitions (my artwork is attached as a free printable if you would like to use them – see the ‘At a Glance’ section at the end of the post to view and download!).

2 Printer.

You can use either a laser or an inkjet printer. The decal paper comes in two varieties, designed specifically for the type of printer you plan to use. Just make sure to purchase the right paper for you. I used an inkjet printer.

3 Decal paper (blue watermark on back).

Decal paper comes in clear or white. I’m using the clear paper because I want a transparent background around my image.

4 Magic paper (attached translucent protective paper).

5 Laminator.

Basic laminators can be bought for around $15 from most office supply and department stores.

6 Scissors.

7 Water.

8 Soft cloth.

9 Item to embellish.

As already mentioned, I’m using my plain SLOM jars from IKEA.

10 Microwave, oven or hairdryer.


1 Print your image onto the glossy side of your decal paper (DO NOT mirror your image). Allow to dry thoroughly. I created my canister labels in Photoshop and have attached them below as a free printable (see the ‘At a Glance’ section at the end of the post to view and download!).

2 Separate the translucent protective paper from the magic paper. Do not throw the translucent paper away.

3 Place the magic paper gloss side up on your table. Lay the decal paper printed side down on top of the magic paper. Place the translucent protective paper gloss side down on top of the decal paper (the translucent paper is designed to act as a protective barrier of sorts between the decal paper and laminator heat).
Note: As my image took up the entire sheet of decal paper I did not need to trim around it first. If you are working with a smaller image you may wish to cut roughly around it with scissors.

4 Laminate your stack of three papers on low speed and at low temperature.
Note: Laminating pouches are not needed. Laminating is performed to fuse the decal paper and magic coating together. Basic laminators can be bought for around $15 from most office supply and department stores.

5 Discard the translucent paper. Your decal paper and magic paper should now be fused together. Trim closely around your image – you can see it quite easily through the paper if you hold it up to the light.
Note: By nature, waterslide decals have a very fine, slightly translucent carrier film. On close inspection this will be visible on completed transfers. As my image is text alone with no border I experimented with techniques and found the neatest finish to be a nice even box (trying to mimic the outline of the text just looked messy). If your image has a distinct border then trim approximately 2mm all the way around it (leaving a small buffer ensures you get a good seal).

6 Dampen the back of the decal paper (watermarked side) with a cloth until it becomes translucent. Wait around 15 seconds then gently peel the paper away completely.
Important: Ensure you remove the watermarked decal paper only at this stage.

7 Immerse the decal in a shallow dish of water to dampen the other side then position it, image side down, on your item, smoothing it down with your fingers and a slightly damp cloth to remove excess water.

8 Carefully slide off the backing paper and manipulate the decal into its exact position then continue to smooth it until it is water and air bubble free.

9 Finally, set the decal by either:
Baking in an electric oven for 8 minutes at 150 degrees celsius.
Cooking in a microwave for 5 minutes on low.
Blowing with a hairdryer for 5 – 10 minutes.

Although I was hesitant, I did find the courage to run these babies through the dishwasher (twice, just to be certain) and they didn’t show any signs of distress. I was honestly AMAZED! Of course, given I have only had them for a few days I can hardly vouch for their longevity so advise hand washing for frequent use.

As I mentioned, there is a very faint translucent background (which is the case with waterslide decals) though once the canisters are filled it’s barely noticeable. You could choose to use basic clear stickers in place of decals. Just be mindful they will not be as durable and their border and background will appear much more obvious.

I am super stoked with how these turned out – absolutely love! Don’t forget to download your complimentary printable sheets of labels below!



If you’d prefer the labels without the work you can now buy them in easy ready-to-apply format from my little on-line store here.
And excitingly, along with the PDF file, you can also now download the free editable PSD version of my labels below! This can be used in Photoshop and GIMP.
Finally, the SLOM range of jars has since been discontinued. KORKEN is IKEA’S new alternative though similar clip-top jars can be found in lots of discount/dollar stores.


Jars (IKEA Slom from $2.99)
Decal Paper with Magic Coating Paper  (Australia – Sounds Creative $16.90 for three sheets)
Decal Paper with Magic Coating Paper (USA – Robbin’s Eggcetera $12.61 for five sheets)
Wooden Scoops (eBay)
Fonts: Courier New, Another Typewriter, Mrs Eaves Bold
Click here to view and download the printable PDF.
Click here to download the editable PSD (for Photoshop/GIMP users)
Free for personal, non-commercial use only.
Republication, reproduction or redistribution in any form is forbidden.
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone