Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Home Decor Crafts for the Discriminating Geek

While my office is plastered with painted Ninja Turtles and Disney paintings and Stay Pufts and other brightly colored geekery, John and I keep the rest of the house a more sedate, warm-toned, kinda Pottery-Barn-ish vibe. Granted, a lot of steampunk touches are creeping their way in, but it turns out steampunk is now the height of home decor fashion; interior designers just know it as "industrial chic." (Have you seen the past few Restoration Hardware catalogs? It's steampunk heaven!)

I love this look because you can recycle and upcycle cheap old junk and make it look like a million bucks. Or at least a few hundred. ;) It's also unbelievably DIY-friendly; just beat the heck out of something, cover it in glaze, wipe it off, and voilĂ ! It's "custom-finished!"

Another example:

Hilary P., the same artist behind that epic "Team Epbot" art, snagged a fabulous white seahorse statue from Michael's for only $10 - which would make me jealous enough -  but then she used my Copper Patine Tutorial to turn it into THIS:


Hilary also made the twig jar & message-in-a-bottle (love the copper curley-Q)! I'm loving the whole look here - and I bet her whole house is this fabulous. Hey, Hilary! SEND MORE PICTURES.

And if you can't find a great seahorse statue, just head over to your local dollar store:

Hyla W. transformed these little plastic toys into fun wall accents! Click over to her blog to see them hung with a pretty mermaid print.

I'll never get tired of old apothecary jars and vintage labels, and happily it looks like Andrea H. agrees:

She writes, "I just wanted to share the candle label I made following your tutorial and links! 
 This is the first thing I have ever made, but it won't be the last. You guys are like crack cocaine...if crack cocaine was highly addictive but also highly motivating and inspirational. Does that feel like a compliment?  Because, that was supposed to be a compliment."

Granted, I didn't have to include her whole e-mail, but then again, I kind of had to, you know? ;)

I think Kithplana is the first reader to use my leather curtain tutorial - and, check it out! She modified it for a valance!

Look at those box pleats! Genius. And the penny buttons look amazing with it. Gorgeous work, Kithplana!

Of course, no post of mine would be complete without something geeky, so here's how you "class up" your favorite wand display:

Cassandra W. writes,"I wanted to share a photo of a wand display that I made for my niece's 11th birthday last fall.  She was so excited about it, and it is now hanging in my sister's hallway.  I followed your instructions exactly, except that I decided to stain it rather than paint it."

And what a gorgeous stain it is, too! (I'm thinking Cassandra used a slightly better quality of wood than my cheap plywood version.) Of course, the real beauty of this is that it's both subtle and elegant enough for even your most "non-geeky" rooms.

And finally, since Canada stopped minting pennies last May (it did??), Jennifer W. of Knit Wit on the Prairies decided to immortalize the humble coin with her very own penny side table:
I just love the copper glow from the lamp light!  Hit the link to Jennifer's blog up there for links to the paint, glue, and bar-top epoxy she used.

And while we're talking Home Decor goodness, allow me to plug Better After, an addictive little blog featuring nothing but home decor and furniture makeovers. I like it so well that I roped the writer, Lindsey, into writing Sunday Sweets for me over on CW about twice a month. :) And of course the archives of The Steampunk Home remain one of my happy places, even though the blog is no longer updated.

If you have any favorite home decor blogs or projects, please, share in the comments!


  1. I spy a U.S. penny on that table.

  2. J&J
    I spend most of my time getting lost in EPBOT posts these days...
    Today my meandering landed me at CW for the first time in a long time.
    Honestly laughed 'till I cried.
    Thanks, I needed that.
    Thank youse for working so hard.

  3. I love how well that lamp goes with the side table. They were meant to be together!

  4. Yes, Canada is phasing out the penny in order to save money. The tables have turned, and now we can refuse to take your pennies when you shop here.

  5. There are some really cute jars at williams Sonoma right now for Halloween. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/williams-sonoma-halloween-candies/?pkey=challoween

  6. Curse you (and bless you.... but mostly curse you) for introducing me to Better After. My kids might never get me off the internets again.....

  7. Yeah, Canada stopped minting them in may of this year. It was cos it costs 2 cents to make one... but they're still legal tender and until withdrawn from circulation, still taken.
    I have a huge collection of pennies and want to try that table top - it looks awesome every time I see it done. Love the apothecary jars too - I'm getting ideas for gifts now too :D

  8. Ann--there are several US pennies and three 20 cent Euros on my table. I didn't make it a complete homage to the Canadian penny, but there are plenty of Queens and Maple Leafs represented.

  9. The Steampunk Home blog seems dormant, but Sara is still posting on her Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/saracarl/the-steampunk-home/

  10. so much fantastic inspiration in one post! oh man, where do i start?'

    if you answered the refrigerator, you would be correct. all the ideas leads to being overwhelmed and just chucking any actual work. these projects taste like salted caramel gelato.

  11. Although it's not steampunk, you might like RoadKill Rescue. TONS of great upcycled decor ideas.

  12. I've just finished making an iPad frame that looks like a retro-TV. It's to use in the housebus we're moving into. The details are at Sparkling Adventures.


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