I'm sure you've all seen at least one of the numerous do it yourself Mercury glass tutorials. This isn't just another one to add to that silvery mercury glass list. Well, not exactly. I decided to do some experimenting because I wanted to make a gold (not silver) glass pumpkin to put out with my primarily gold toned autumn decorations.
I read numerous tutorials on DIY mercury glass. I also took a peek at an awesome gold mercury glass post by HMH Designs which was definitely gold, but not as shiny or sparkly as I was looking for. The standard silver mercury glass is made using Krylon looking glass spray paint or Rustoleum Mirror Effect spray paint which is silver and makes glass look just like a mirror. The gold mercury glass tutorials usually use metallic gold spray paint which is no where near as shiny as the looking glass paint.
I had bought a fairly large clear glass candy dish pumpkin at Walmart for $6 so I just needed to come up with a way to make it the mercury glass gold color I wanted. I decided to try using Krylon looking glass spray paint and to try to create the gold pumpkin I would incorporate glitter. Lots and lots of glitter :).
I decided to test out a few different mercury glass methods on some small glass votives I had hanging out with my Halloween decor. I didn't think these guys would mind if I jazzed up their votives a bit ;). I gathered up all my other supplies to get started.
Gold Glitter Mercury Glass Supplies:
- glass pumpkin or object you want to turn into a glittery mercury masterpiece
- Krylon looking glass spray paint or Rustoleum mirror effect spray paint (I found this at Home Depot for $8)
- gold, orange and/or brown fine glitter
- spray bottle with 1/2 water 1/2 white vinegar mix
- paper towels to blot
- painters tape and newspaper to cover outside of glass
Just like with all the other tutorials out there I used a spray bottle with water and vinegar to try to help me get the true mercury glass effect. I taped off the outside of two of the votives so I could spray the inside of those and I left the other two to spray the outside.
I had 4 votives so I tried 4 different approaches. I started with the inside technique. First I sprayed a fine mist of water then I sprayed the spray paint. While the paint was still wet I sprinkled the 3 colors of glitter I wanted (I also had red handy but I decided red wasn't very pumpkin-y) on top of the paint and swirled the votive around to spread the glitter out. I repeated this process three times.
For the second inside technique, I sprayed the water, then I sprinkled glitter and after the glass was pretty much covered in glitter I sprayed the paint. I again repeated this process three times.
For the third votive, I sprayed the water on the outside, sprayed the paint and then kind of threw the glitter on the outside of the votive while the paint was still wet. I repeated this process three times also, trying hard not to touch the votive.
On the last technique I decided that since I was making such a huge glittery mess I would try to use up the glitter by rolling the votive in my glitter pile. Yes I had a pile. So I sprayed the water, the paint and then rolled the votive around in glitter. I only did this process 2 times.
I then took paper towels and gently blotted all the votives in different spots and moved the glitter around to create areas where you could see through the glass to give it more of the mercury glass look.
After that I was done for the night. It looked like a glitter bomb had gone off in my little basement area. I highly recommend doing this project outside where your mess can blow away.
The next morning I took a long look at my votives to decide which one turned out the best. Here's the results.
I also had to see them with fake tea lights to make my final decision.
I decided I liked the inside, water, glitter then paint look the most. The inside techniques received bonus points for being less messy during and after the whole process which made them clear winners in my book and the glitter first before paint showed more of the gold/orangey color I wanted so those are the ultimate reasons I chose this technique.
Thank goodness it was a beautiful, sunny day. I brought everything outside and taped off the outside edges of the pumpkin and got to work.
I did the top of the pumpkin first. I sprayed water, then sprinkled on glitter and then sprayed with paint. Here's how it looked on the second go around before I sprayed the paint.
After the third application I waited for the paint to dry a little and I gently blotted and pushed the glitter around to create see through areas indicative of mercury glass.
Here's how the pumpkin looked when I finished, and of course the mess I made which wasn't even half as bad as the night before!
After the pumpkin was dry, I immediately put it inside to create a fall vignette in my living room. I have tons of after pictures since the pumpkin seemed to change how it looked throughout the day!
Here's a picture at dusk. I have a battery powered candle inside that is much larger than a faux tea light and puts off a little bit more light.
Last one, a night shot. I can't believe how different the pumpkin looks throughout the day!
I am beyond thrilled with how my glittery gold mercury glass pumpkin turned out! My pumpkin seems to look different every time I glance over at it and it changes color throughout the course of the day, like it has a mood/mind of its own. This has made me love it even more than when I first saw its sparkly orangey-goldness.
Not only was this a very easy DIY but it was very affordable too. FYI the Pottery Barn small mercury glass pumpkin is $25...Just saying.
Until the next time,