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Surprise DIY Challenge

I was thrilled when I was asked to take part in a Surprise DIY Challenge by some amazingly talented friends on Instagram.

DIY’s are always fun, but this challenge was especially intriguing!

Here’s how it works:

We drew names and everyone sent someone a surprise box of supplies for a DIY including one challenge item. We’re allowed to make more than one DIY project as long as we use each item from our box in some way.

Dylan from Dylan Kade’s Blog sent new my box and was relieved when I got it because everything was color coordinated and seemed to go tother pretty well! I actually wasn’t totally sure what my challenge item was at first! (I definitely struggled with it later!)

My box contained some Christmas florals and a block of foam for floral arrangements, silver and gold ribbon, an LED candle taper, and four mercury glass style picture frames. I knew exactly what I was going to do with the picture frames right away! Everything else I wasn’t sure, but I was definitely inspired by.

Project 1

I decided this could be a perfect way to spruce up my Christmas village from last year. I have some cloches I like to use around the holidays to create little winter vignettes as well as a couple little houses from Target's Dollar Spot circa Christmas 2019.

I started by lining the roofs of the houses with a little gold ribbon to mimic Christmas lights. Then I deconstructed my florals and attached the wispy, glittery ones to small squares of my floral arrangement foam to create little ice-covered trees.

I placed my houses on my cloche pedestals and secured my trees with a little hot glue. Then I covered the "ground" of my scene with fake snow. I considered shaving off the rest of my floral arrangement foam to create snow, but it just seemed too messy.

With the rest of my florals, I cut off the flower petals and hot glued them together alternating between white and silver to create a fuller, more interesting bloom. I also swapped out the middle of my flowers for little bunches from my sparkly sprigs.

I secured these new flowers onto the tops of my cloches with some of my gold ribbon, but once they were on, they kind of blocked the view of my little village and they were just a little too much for me style-wise. So I took them off and will be using them to spruce up some Christmas presents once I start gift wrapping!

I know what you're wondering, what about the candle?? The candle that blended in so seamlessly with the rest of my items. The candle that made me think this challenge wouldn't be much of a challenge. The candle that I could NOT for the life of me figure out what to do with! I took it apart and used the rubber flame as smoke for one chimney and the battery spring as smoke for the other chimney!

Guys, this candle stumped me. I could think of a couple ways to use it as part of a different DIY, but I wasn't in love with any of those ideas and I was already doing two projects with my items and didn't want to add another. Was it a stretch? Yes. Did I use all items from my box in some way? Yes.

Project 2

I was super excited about the silver frames the second I saw them. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I hand paint old windows as part of my decor. In the past, I've done the same thing with picture frames and knew I wanted to create a collection of winter art to hang together with these frames.

I made my designs and printed them off to use as my guide. then I placed each paper in a frame and closed it up to hold my guide in place.

(Yes, I could've just left them like this for basically the same look, but I don't feel like that's much of a DIY which is what this challenge is.) I'll be leaving the back of my frame off my piece in the end so my wall will show through. This can look really cool if you have a dark wall and use a lighter paint.

Next I cleaned my glass, grabbed some of my paint pens and a a glove and started tracing my design onto my glass.

Side note if you're doing this project: I like to use a pen with an angled tip, but it really depends on the design. Wearing a glove will help keep smudges and handprints off your glass. If you're looking to create a longer-lasting art piece, reverse your design, attach it to the front of your glass, and paint it on "backwards". When you're finished, your painting will hang facing the wall and you'll be able to clean the front of your glass as needed without ruining your design.

Ok time to get real with you guys. I don't like how they turned out. Like, at all. But it's not because this DIY doesn't work, I've done it tons of times before. I chose the wrong pen. I'm used to working with a much larger canvas and I could only find my larger paint pens so I just rolled with it and it was a mistake! Especially for these fairly detailed designs.

I will be redoing these with a much smaller pen and maybe even some different designs. Because of this, I didn't completely finish this project. I didn't hang them and I didn't secure my glass into the frames. So here's some instructions if you're doing this DIY yourself: Since your frame will no longer have a back, you'll need another way to secure your glass. Depending on your frame, you may be able to bend the little tabs back into place and be good to go. But if your frame doesn't have those tabs or if they're too visible, you can always seal your glass in with some glue. Which kind you use is up to you and how heavy your glass is. For this project, my frames and glass are extremely light so I would just use super glue or possibly even hot glue as long as it felt secure. You may also need to attach a new way to hang your frame like a saw tooth or D ring picture hanger.

Even though one of my DIY's didn't quite turn out how I wanted, this DIY challenge was a lot of fun and definitely made me get creative and think outside the box. If you're curious what was in everyone else's boxes and what they did with it, check out the links to their blogs below! You HAVE to see what Terrie from Decorate and More with Tip did with the can of soup I sent her for a challenge item! There is nothing that woman can’t make beautiful!

Terrie- Decorate and More with Tip

Jodi- The House House

Tammy- Patina and Paint

Tara- Stilettos and Shiplap

Shae- Sweet Southern Grace

Shayna- Robinson Repurposing

Jessica- Jessica B Simmons

Emily- LeCultivateur

Dylan- Dylan Kade’s Blog

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