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 31, 2013 @ 7:34 am
You. Are. A. Genius. Wow!! Love this idea!
January 10, 2014 @ 8:11 pm
Love your blog! I happened upon your site via Miss Mustard Seed’s. And so, I am delighted that I took a moment to hit the link out of curiosity. I love a writer that can make me snort with laughter! I’m mean really, you should be a famous writer who -writes the next great American novel or comic sitcom. Something like that. Too funny for words. Miss Mustard Seed always has great taste! So now, I look forward to reading your posts on a daily basis for a host of inspiration and comic relief. Thanks! Oh and by the way, where did you get that gorgeous monstrosity of a mirror?!! You really found it in an alley??? I’m wild for it!
January 16, 2014 @ 3:03 am
I love your posts. I have acknowledged my appreciation in a post and included a link to you. Continue to share and write and I will joyfully follow you! You are so much fun with lots of great entertaining and renovation ideas. I remember your tee-shirt with LUCK on your side. Fabulous idea, loved that one too. You inspire me!
December 4, 2015 @ 4:51 pm
I lubbers your humor! And your ideas, merci beaucoup!!
December 22, 2016 @ 11:53 am
I’m curious, did you try glitter glue? It’s water based and comes in squeeze tubes. Now I want to try it……. hahaha
October 21, 2018 @ 8:56 pm
I want to paint the tips of pine branches white before I put them on a grapevine wreath what should I use?
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