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Last summer, a bunch of Texas bloggers converged on Austin. We ate great food, had strong drinks, and -of course- went thrift shopping. My only takeaway was a wooden bowl of fruit. Yes, guys, a wooden bowl of fruit. I still can’t explain it. It was calling my name.
I think it was the pineapple that sucked me in.
Anyway, it was $9.00. NINE. A huge wooden bowl with around 30 pieces of (I’m guessing) hand-carved wooden fruit? How could I have possibly turned it down? So, I carried this heavy bowl of fruit around the shop until we left – and made everyone jealous.
I’m sure some people are not going to like what I did next. I know that my husband didn’t. He is a wood “purist”. I am decidedly not. Plain wooden fruit in a wooden bowl = far too boring for my taste. At first I thought I might paint them their normal colors. Nah. Then I thought I would paint them crazy colors (lime green, hot pink, orange – you get the picture). Nah. Then I remembered how much I love glitter and shiny things – and we have a winner!
Now – I’m not going to lie. I started out thinking I was going to gold leaf these things. Then I remembered how short of a fuse I have when it comes to crafting and realized that would be monumentally stupid for me to do. I absolutely love the way it looks, but I can’t deal with the flakiness and the messiness, and there’s really not enough alcohol in the world to get me to gold leaf 30+ pieces of fruit. No way! So, I drove on down to the Hob Lob (That’s Hobby Lobby for you non-lazy people out there) to see what my options were.
Boom. All I could ever dream of and more! From the left, we have Rub N Buff, Liquid Leaf, and Precious Metals Leafing Finish. 2 of these I LOVED, and 1 of them I didn’t really care for – at least not for this project. These are all available at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Joann, online, etc.
First up: Rub ‘N Buff. For this project, I used the Gold Leaf color. It is extremely simple to use: You rub it on, then you buff it – hence the name. I used my fingers to rub it in, and an old t-shirt to buff it, and it immediately went from matte to shiny. I was amazed at how well the Rub ‘N Buff covered in one coat! I guess I would describe it as a very dry paste. It comes in several colors and I’m pretty sure you could use it on just about anything that needed a little shine.
Next up: Plaid Liquid Leaf. Okay, I’m going to level with you here. This stuff STINKS. It’s got a pretty strong smell to it – a funk, if you will. However, it is worth dealing with the stench because this Liquid Leaf completely transforms things! This is one coat, folks. I painted it on with a cheap paintbrush (I save the fancy ones for painting furniture!) and it dried pretty quickly. I was amazed. This was definitely the easiest to use, and also my favorite. It also comes in many different colors and I’m pretty sure I need all of them. Now.
And finally, we come to the Precious Metals Leafing Finish. This was very pretty, but it was my least favorite of the three new items I tried. It didn’t cover. I had to do three coats on the grapes. Do you SEE those grapes? Hand cramps for days, man. I had to put it down and come back to it several times – there was no way to do that without getting a serious muscle cramp. In retrospect, I probably should have sanded the grapes a little (more hand cramps) to see if that would help the leafing finish stick better, but it’s too late now! The color was beautiful once I was happy with the coverage, and I would try it again on “pure” wood. I would be interested to see if the coverage was better on wood that has not been stained and polished. This was not an issue with the Rub ‘N Buff or the Liquid Leaf, so I was a little disappointed in how the Precious Metals Leafing Finish performed. I am happy with the end results, though, don’t get me wrong!
Ah, glitter. The herpes of the craft world. It’s true.
I sure do love glitter. Seriously. I don’t even care if it’s messy, glitter makes me happy. Anyway, enough about glitter and STDs.
I decided that the fruit needed some sparkle. In the form of glitter. Martha Stewart Fine Glitter. All it took was some good old Mod Podge and lots of glitter to cover these up. This example happens to be a pear with a strange stem sticking out of it. Not sure what that’s about, but it sure made it easy to hold it while I Mod Podged and glittered it! I did cover the whole fruit (minus the weird stem) but you only get to see it half glittered, because I am not that good with holding glitter fruit + a camera. I used White Gold and Sterling glitter. I did spray it with a sealant so glitter didn’t fly everywhere all the time, and it seems to have worked!
In true Heather fashion, I finished about 75% of the fruit and then got bored. However, after looking at the fruit in the bowl, I kind of like the mix of painted/glittered/original wood. Who knows, maybe someday I will go back in and finish the last 8 or 9 pieces – but for now, I love it!
What’s the best thrift shop treasure you’ve found? Did you do something to it or leave it as is?