Monday, February 12, 2018

Love is in the Air

Valentine's Day Mantle Decor; heart ornaments, pink antique ornaments, pink tulips, pink flowers, antique mirror, limestone mantle
Hello, dear readers! I'd like to introduce you to my home, Nora's Nest 2.0! It's been a couple years since I've written a post, mainly because we've been renovating our new house, all with our baby girl (now toddler!) in tow. It's been quite a ride, and I'm so excited to show you the before and after renovation photos in the upcoming months.

Valentine's Day Mantle Decor; heart ornaments, red ornaments, pink antique ornaments, pink tulips, pink flowers, antique mirror, limestone mantle
To pick up where we left off on Nora's Nest, I'd like to begin with Valentine's Day decor on our new mantle. 

Valentine's Day Mantle Decor; heart ornaments, pink antique ornaments, pink tulips, pink flowers, antique mirror, limestone mantle
If you've seen my Valentine Vessel post, you know that I'm pretty obsessed with antique ornaments beyond the typical Christmas season. They have a worn patina, a myriad of tones, and they bring history and glamour to each setting. On my mantle, I created two Valentine trees laden with these jewels.

Valentine's Day Bouquet; Nora's Nest, pink tulips, pink cockscombs, silver platter and vase
Centered on the mantle are dried cockscombs and mauve tulips resting on a silver platter.

Valentine's Day Home Decor; Nora's Nest, Valentine trees, pink antique ornaments, pink tulips, pink flowers, pink cockscombs
While on a family trip up the coast of California this January, I popped into a few antique stores to see if I could find A) more pink glass spherical ornaments, and B) antique glass heart ornaments. (Hint: Ornament shopping after Christmas gets you the best deals 😉)

Valentine's Day Home Decor; Nora's Nest, pink antique ornaments, Valentine Trees
I hit the jackpot on spherical antique ornaments (shown above), but I couldn't find any of the heart variety. Apparently, the hearts are pretty rare, making me want them even MORE, of course. Their absence from my life made my heart grow fonder. 💗 

Valentine's Day Mantle Decor; Nora's Nest, pink antique ornaments, red heart ornaments, pink candles
So, I decided to antique my own heart ornaments instead. Here they are, nestled in between the authentic pink glass antique ornaments.

Valentine's Day Home Decor; Nora's Nest, pink antique ornaments, DIY antique red heart ornaments
A close up shows their "mercury glass" finish compared to the authentic ornaments in the background. Some are spotted, like above...

Valentine's Day Home Decor; Nora's Nest, Valentine Trees, pink antique ornaments, DIY antique red heart ornaments
And some are more striped, like this one.

Valentine's Day Interior Decor; Nora's Nest, pink antique ornaments, DIY antique red heart ornaments
Strung with red ribbon and hung on manzanita branches, these hearts float over the mantle. And voila, love is literally in the air! A few soft pink candle votives, and we're ready for a lovely Valentine's Day. 

See my easy DIY post on how to make your own Faux Antique Glass Hearts.

Thank you for visiting Nora's Nest, and Happy Valentine's Day decorating!

xoxo,








DIY: Faux Antique Glass Hearts

In lieu of authentic glass heart ornaments for Valentine's Day this year (for which I searched but couldn't find), I decided to make my own! Making these faux antique glass hearts was so simple and gave me instant gratification. By hanging them in Valentine Trees like I did in Love is in the Air, or gathering them in a large bowl like I did with pink ornaments in Valentine Vessel, they're sure to give Valentine decor some extra love.

What I used:
  • plastic heart ornaments from a craft store (I got mine at Michael's Arts and Crafts)
  • watercolor paints (you can also use acrylic paints)
  • paint brush
  • thin grosgrain ribbon
  • scissors
I purchased about thirty of these new, red plastic heart ornaments (above). Their vibrant, shiny red surfaces and plump shapes made them look like blown glass, which was exactly the look I wanted. Now it was time to "antique" them to look like aged mercury glass. 

First, I borrowed my daughter's watercolor set and brush. Soaking the brush with water, I covered the bristles in dark brown watercolor paint. (Kids love to join in the fun, too!)

For many of the hearts, I simply painted them all over. The watercolor would streak and bead-up, which made my job even easier. I wanted some of the shiny red coat to show through, and some of it to be obscured, just like antiqued glass.

For other hearts, I would flick the brush so that they would get spots instead of stripes. 

On this heart, I flicked it with brown and white watercolor paint, waited for most of it to dry, and then dabbed it with a paper towel. The center of the drops came off which gave it a cool, solar eclipse effect!

After the red finish was painted, the ornament tops were still a shiny silver that didn't look aged at all. A few more dabs of paint on each of the tops completed the antiquing. 

I let them dry for about thirty minutes on a baby bottle rack. 

Here is the before and after. Now the one on the right looks more like a glass heart I would find in an antique store! 

I purchased some thin, grosgrain ribbon that was the same red hue at the hearts and cut the ribbon at different lengths for each heart, tying a knot at the top. 

Compared to the real antique glass ornaments on the Valentine Trees (in silver and pink), I am pretty pleased with the outcome of these faux antique glass hearts!

The long red ribbons make the hearts drip and float, dramatizing the stage and making the trees appear fuller.

See more pictures of these Valentine hearts in Love is in the Air. And if you enjoyed this Valentine project, check out my Hearts and Crafts project, too! 

Thank you for visiting Nora's Nest, and Happy Valentine's Day decorating 💘

xoxo,















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