A Christmas Decorating Miracle
There is no end to my creativity when the other option is doing actual work.
For example, if I were to say to myself – Self, you should write the Great American Novel or get your PhD in quantum physics.
Self would say – that sounds boring. And hard. Also, I do not know what quantum physics is.
And I would say – I know, but it is important to do hard, boring things. So that at the end of your life you are not sad that you squandered the opportunity to accomplish them.
To which Self would say – the world already has Jonathan Franzen and Stephen Hawking… what it needs you to do is figure out how to write on The Kingdom Mirror with glitter.
I could not wait to show you all my spectacular revelation and brilliant Christmas decorating extravaganza. (And to prove yet again that the unexamined life is absolutely worth living.)
First, I spent 57 hours planning something really elaborate. Then I moved on to googling how to write on a mirror with glitter… And it appears that I have INVENTED something new.
Apparently no one else on the planet has heard the angel voices telling them that they need to make a glitter Christmas message on their giant antique mirror.
I am the chosen one.
I wanted glitter-encrusted magnificence, not just glitter paint (even though it is entirely possible that would have been 99.9% just as good.) So I needed a liquid-ish base to add actual glitter to.
I would have liked to use something like latex or caulk – something that would have peeled off. But once you cover glitter with paint or glue, it is distinctly less glittery so I could not use anything too thick or that would dry opaque.
Plus I was concerned about using something that would stain the glass or leave behind a shadow… Even though theoretically glass is not permeable, I did not want to be the exception to the theory.
I kept googling stuff and asking Paul – what about this? What about this? What about this?
Until finally he said – do you remember where we got that mirror? Remember how it was living in an alley? Under a tarp? Enduring rain and probably cat pee? Then, do you remember how we tied it to the back of a truck and drove it down the freeway?
You and your glitter are not going to be the thing that ruin that mirror.
It is possible that by next year I will have thought of a better idea… Or that you geniuses will point out some obvious solution I overlooked. But for this year, I decided on kids’ tempera paint.
It’s water-soluble and I was able to find a clear version that had silver glitter in it so there was no chance of dye staining the glass. And just in case, I did a test run on a mirror that I do not care about.
I mixed glitter into the paint and used a paint brush to apply it… But rather than the glamorous nod to Bergdorf’s windows, or elegant script on a Parisian café window, it looked exactly like I had smeared wet cat litter on the glass.
It is totally inconvenient for me to not have access to a team of people who could execute my ideas while I shout orders and say things like – Dahling, no! What is that? That is not what I asked for!
It was extra irritating since I had spent way too long going to multiple craft stores looking for possible supplies which resulted in me accruing a whole bunch of other unrelated stuff for entirely new ideas that seemed like a good idea at the time, but were revealed to be total crap by the time I got home and now I will have to go back to return the stuff which I will never get around to, and the bags will just get shoved into my closet of shame along with all of the other bags of projects that I conceived of and bought supplies for and then lost interest in.
I let the cat litter dry and did another coat. It looked better. Proving my motto that more is always better.
In all, I did three coats. I let it sit on the test mirror for a few days and then I used the glass-scraper to remove it. It worked pretty well. The paint will leave behind a film, but it came off with warm water and a little dish soap.
You can see in the box below that for the most part, it came off in strips.
You want to be sure that you do not use glass glitter for this. Glass will scratch glass. (Although, I did use glass glitter because I forgot to buy plastic glitter and there was no way I was driving back to the craft store even though I should have, so I was VERY careful to remove all the glitter before washing the mirror.)
Originally I had planned a more elaborate design… but after playing with it, I decided that I would be better off doing something simple that would photograph well, rather than spending hours drawing something no one would be able to appreciate without seeing in person.
If you mix a small amount of flour or baby powder into some water, it makes a faint watercolor and you can try out your design…When you are satisfied, go right over your template with the glitter-paint mixture.
I know at least one of you is going to ask if I tried just the paint without the glitter… And no, I did not. I do not even understand the question.
Clearly, you are someone who does not like to do everything the hard way. And I feel bad for you. Really, really, really bad.
see all my holiday decorating posts
December 10, 2013 @ 9:17 pm
I love your mirror! I also love that Elvis photo bombed your picture 🙂
December 10, 2013 @ 10:31 pm
How about Glitter Glue? It comes in little easy to use tubes in cheap stores. I’ve been using it to glue goggly eyes on candy canes to make reindeer, so I can’t imagine it would be a problem on a mirror. I think I will try it on the bathroom medicine cabinet tomorrow. Maybe I will write Fleas Navidog.
December 10, 2013 @ 10:47 pm
Look for “honeymoon” paint at a novelty shop…..it’s what they use to “decorate” cars after the wedding…I know it comes in white….and probably glitter…….or you could just add glitter to the bottle???? Just an idea….
December 11, 2013 @ 12:01 am
Fun! Epsom salts dissolved in water can be “painted” onto windows or mirrors and after several minutes, they begin to form crystals. You can write words and they look sparkly like ice. If the glitter would stick to the wet Epsom salt before it dried, the end result might be fantastic. But … I have not tried that. We did try the writing because it was a science experiment that the kids did in chemistry. See? It could be the link between science geek and artistic genius! 😉
December 11, 2013 @ 1:45 am
Amber, peeps like you and all the others make my tick…. in the 1st comment we had a REAL PhD Quantum Physics in the budding…. (bienvenue à Genève, btw!) and then great stuff like yours – I’m learning something EVERY day!
December 11, 2013 @ 12:07 am
Another fantastic job. Like all the others here love your blog and thank you so much for making me smile. Hugs to you and merry Christmas.
December 11, 2013 @ 3:16 pm
Hilarious as always, chosen one.
carrie @ brick city love
December 11, 2013 @ 3:21 pm
You could probably make a window cling of sorts with caulk. Sprinkle the glitter on it while wet. Peel off when dry.
December 12, 2013 @ 8:31 am
What about hot glue? It’s clear, and you could sprinkle the glitter on top of it. The just peel it off at the end of the season, store and reuse next year.
December 12, 2013 @ 9:44 am
Ahhh, someone who understands me! And here I thought that I was the only one to do things the hard way first. (Ok! and second and third…Whatever)
Your Blog if FunStuff, thanks for the giggles.
December 12, 2013 @ 8:45 pm
I love all your decorations. Wish I had your energy. My effort is a row of tinsel hanging off the mantelpiece, with chocolate decorations attached using little home-made wire hooks. I like to be able to eat my decorations. Merry Christmas, and thanks for all the entertainment this year.
December 13, 2013 @ 7:07 am
You have a wonderful Advisory Board. Always available right here. Joy to you.
December 13, 2013 @ 10:06 pm
That is an absolutely stunning mirror!! Love how you added Christmas cheer to it!
December 14, 2013 @ 10:08 am
Love the post, love the blog – same as always. MOST importantly (and weirdly stalker-esh) I just saw some amazing thing about a 16 year old Canadian Elvis impersonator and I thought of you. Yes, that is the weird part as I do not actually know you. But hey, I didn’t know Elvis either. I can tell you I have a 20 year old son and a 17 year old and can firmly say that neither of them would have sounded like this kid singing an Elvis song. Check it out and enjoy 🙂
December 14, 2013 @ 7:24 pm
You truly are the funniest blogger ever! Wish I were in the television industry and I would offer you your own show. Now, any chance you would share the source for your white bow pillows? I am loosing sleep over how much I love them! Please consider sharing your source or DIY info. (that way, if I ever am in that industry, I will offer you your own show!)
December 26, 2013 @ 11:14 am
She MADE those pillows!!!! There’s a post around here somewhere that shows you how it was done.
Mariah-Food, Booze, & Baggage
December 18, 2013 @ 2:04 pm
Your posts always make me laugh! I love you called it a Christmas Decorating Miracle 🙂 I like to say things like it’s a Monday Night Miracle or a Shipping Miracle I like to make things seem more important 🙂
December 20, 2013 @ 9:55 pm
Glue stick was too easy?
December 26, 2013 @ 8:44 am
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the glitter writing on the mirror! I ran out of time before I ran out of projects (it is ever thus) so I couldn’t squeeze this in before Christmas this year, but I’m going to practice lots since now I have a whole year to get it right! Your blog is HILARIOUS! Thank you for sharing!
December 26, 2013 @ 11:12 am
I was just thinking..couldn’t you use one of those bottles that chefs use to decorate plates with..you know the ones that are red for ketchup and yellow for mustard? That way you could leave a thicker line and maybe eliminate the need to paint multiple times?
December 26, 2013 @ 4:48 pm
Your posts are always so entertaining! It makes me want to run right out and buy a giant mirror just so that I can write in glitter all over it! Pinning these great ideas for next year.
December 28, 2013 @ 5:22 pm
Victoria, my BFF and I are both sick in bed in two different states so I messaged her a link to your blog. After lying in bed reading your blog and texting about it and laughing so hard; We both decided that you are our kind of crazy and we love you!!