Until I discovered vintage home decor on Pinterest, that is. And specifically, home made vintage projects that look old but are made from recycled non-vintage items; such as cereal boxes and tin cans, barn wood and alot of imagination.
I was looking around one day for vintage spice labels and stumbled on a world of amazing crafty women who have either retouched old labels and ads, or have gathered a collection of their own to share.
Once I began searching I couldn't stop, and soon I had a folder of my favorite labels, specifically vintage laundry soap labels. Most were the stereotypical kind: busty women with their bosoms overflowing atop their tightly corsetted waists bent over a sudsy wooden bucket of laundry. These were the ones I was searching for, and I found tons.
Once I had a day to fool around I gathered my tools: homemade mod podge, some ink pads, umber acrylic paint watered down, and some stiff brushes. As well as my printed off pictures of vintage labels. I set to work on my mediums of choice which were some cereal boxes, some cheap paper mache boxes and jugs from the dollar store. In truth, restocking my craft supplies cost more than all the finished items I ended up with: they really looked like I had spent a lot of money on them.
Firstly I painted 3 sides of the boxes, let them dry then distressed them along the edges and corners; basically anywhere I imagined that handling and rust would wear down an old box or tin item over 50 years of wear. I watered down umber tinted acrylic paint and went to town. Then I went over it again and again, and got bolder about how much color I added as I went along. I scratched through the paint here and there to the original box color underneath. After I was done I flicked a contrasting paint color over the 3 sides. I don't know why I did this, but I liked how it looked so I did it some more.
Then I glooped on some mod podge (half Elmer's glue and half water and 1/4 tacky craft glue), placed on my printed picture on the front, and then glooped more over top of that, paying attention to the corners and edges.
I scratched through with my nail here and there and ripped some edges off a bit too to make the soap box look more authentic.
After the glue dried I distressed the picture some more with color and dark brown chalk ink from my scrapbooking supplies (that was fun digging through my packed up supplies to find), and that was that.
All in all I had a blast; each box only took about 15 minutes to do, and I even got some to look like old tin.
I found a cheap tin pitcher at the dollar store, and some 4.00 wine decanters and gave them an old twist as well. The pitcher came out better than I expected; I'll most likely fill it with some old twigs and dried flowers and such and put it on my huge ledge below the vaulted ceiling. I clear coated everything with some acrylic spray and then I was done.
Now onto my next projects. I've got some canvas wrapping to do tomorrow and I'm looking forward to that as well.