Hide it in a barn; NO, I’m gonna let it shine…

Hide it in a barn; NO, I'm gonna let it shine...It’s getting nearly impossible to pick up a good item at an auction these days, well, let me rephrase that… To pick up a good item at a “decent price…”. Auctions have gotten so over run with dealers your average Joe just can’t get a good deal.  This time; however, I did. I found this industrial metal light stand hidden in a barn at an auction a few weeks ago; a few flashes of my bid card later it was mine.

The light was quite dirty (Did I mention I found it in a barn?), had been painted with silver spray paint a few times, was rusty and had some mismatched flood lights.

I gave it a good cleaning and white-washed it with some outdoor paint. I figured the outdoor paint would stick a little better to the surface; although, I did just lightly dry brush the paint on so that I could still have a little of that worn rusty look showing through.

I replaced the flood lights with some antique replica Edison lights. The brand I used was Marconi and they cost $5-7 a bulb; that’s way more than you should ever pay for a light bulb, but the look is oh-so-worth it and they do last a long time. The lights are even more impressive in the dark, they have that cool vintage birdcage glow. I’ve also used these lights in a chandelier in my home, they’re quite lovely.

All in all, I have a new funky lamp, that’s suitable for indoor use now and the lights are directional, so who knows, maybe they’ll be lighting up a dark corner one day or shining on some feature piece of art.



Old metal signs light up my world…

SIGNSI’m always on the lookout for vintage metal signs and letters, but unless you’re lucky enough to find them deep in someone’s barn or your the only one to brave a bad weather auction your likely going to empty your pockets to purchase one. I’ve even seen replicas for as much as $159 each for small letters, and up to hundreds for large ones on popular shopping sites.

So, as always I hit the web surfing, in search of templates, tutorials, or any insights as to how I could make my own. I stumbled on to a YouTube “how-to” video, and another, and so on.

Eureka! I was hooked. These signs are made out of cardboard letters, available at most supply stores. We chose to do our own spin on the videos we found. First off, we found using a silver metallic semi-gloss, actually gave more to the vintage look and feel.  In fact, the roughness of the cardboard, once painted resembles old metal quite a bit. We also used, Christmas lights; it was hard finding globe lighting locally and the cost for most globe lights online blew our cost-saving budget. Christmas lights and ping-pong balls are a great look-alike combo and are easy to make.

Lastly, we’ve been creating two variations of the lighted signs. The “BAZINGA” one has inset lights, a throw back to old marquee signs and looks more like old metal and the “LOVE” one has the lights on top, reminiscent of a vintage dressing room. Make your decision before you start cutting, the top letters are cut out from the front and the bottom ones are cut out from the back.

Quick How-To: Cut out your letters according to style, paint, drill holes for lights, places lights, hot glue balls over the lights, glue finished letters to a piece of painted wood or yard stick to stand, plug-in, light up your world!