Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bridal Shower Favors - Succulents in Painted Vintage Wooden Spools

I know, I know...this is supposed to be a jewelry blog. But on occasion, I get a little carried away with other crafty projects and I like to share them. My latest endeavor was inspired by my sister's fabulous wedding color palette, her love of succulents and a Maine yard sale score of 25+ vintage wooden thread spools with great old labels.

I will also admit that I've been slightly obsessed with Best Made Co.'s painted axes for quite a few years, as well as Norquay's (suspiciously similar) gorgeous artisan painted canoe paddles which appeared on the market last summer, so this idea of handpainting something wood with fun, striped colors has been floating around in my head for awhile.

First, I got out my ancient acrylics from art school (amazingly, they're still good!) and mixed colors until I got a perfect match. The wedding colors are inspired by the USA and UK flags (she's American, he's from Liverpool), but toned down a bit. So instead of straight up red and blue, they're closer to poppy and turquoise. The gorgeous invitations were designed and letterpress printed by Paper Parasol Press.

I cut thin strips of masking tape and used them to section off stripes on the wooden spools, then painted areas of red, white and blue. Once the paint dried, I taped new stripes and repeated to achieve the effect of multiple stacked colors. No two spools were exactly alike. Some even started out with really unique forest green wood, so I kept a little of that in for variety. I finished each spool with a clear varnish to seal the wood and protect the paint.

Next, I made my way to a nearby garden center and selected the tiniest succulents I could find, being mindful to select varieties with small root structures so they would fit inside the tiny spools.

After that, I used a drill to enlarge the spool holes slightly (although I had purchased tiny succulents, the roots were still too large for most of the spools). I glued tiny pieces of wooden dowel into the bottom of each spool to act as a stopper. Then I used a chopstick to carefully layer some dirt into each spool, gently nudged the roots down into the holes and filled in the area around each one with more soil. Special thanks to Donni, who blogs at The Magic Onions, for providing some planting tips! I do not have a green thumb at all.

The finished product was too cute for words! I was really happy with the way these turned out. That said, they were a bit underwhelming on a large table...I'd probably recommend placing each on a small plate or printed paper coaster if you have the time and budget.