Thursday, July 30, 2020

Updating a Brass Swan Dish

It's that time again for our monthly Thrift Store Upcycle Challenge, hosted by Angela @ Simply Beautiful by Angela! Here, a group of creative bloggers come together to share their lovely transformations of a thrift store item. 

The Rules:
  • Upcycle an item(s) from a thrift store, resale store, or garage sale into a new piece of decor.
  • There's no monthly theme.
  • There's no budget to stick to.

Meet the Hosts

Emily | Domestic Deadline - Beverly | Across the Blvd  
Lynne | My Family Thyme - Kathleen | Our Hopeful Home 

Our Thrift Store Upcycle group of bloggers is looking to expand -- and we need your help! Why not consider joining in our thrift store upcycle challenge on the last Thursday of each month? Make some friends while having fun and share your love of DIY with the world. It’s a win-win! Sound like something you’d be interested in? Just leave a comment at the end of this post with your contact info and a link to your blog. Someone will get back to you right away. We can’t wait to meet you!

Who doesn't love thrift store upcycle projects - whether it's actually creating one or admiring how an item from a thrift store was transformed!

We all feel great when a thrift store find ends up looking amazing! But what on earth did I have in mind when I picked up this sad looking brass swan dish - with a dirty patina finish - at my local Goodwill for a few dollars, well before the pandemic struck?
 What could I do? I didn't dare paint over the brass! It's such a small piece and the whole essence of the swan would disappear! So why not just clean it up? And that's exactly what I did, using a brass cleaner!  It now looks great, don't you think? Restored to its' former glory! But something is missing for this update! Style - Uniqueness? 
You've heard of the power of paint, right? Well, what about the power of decoupage? With decoupage, if it doesn't look right, you can just wash it off! Lol! What a fun way to jazz up pieces!
So I looked around in my stash of paper napkins to find a design that would enhance the "feathers" or "wings!" of the swan and its' brass finish! Not seeing anything I liked, I decided to make my own napkin design with a pattern I found online.
To do this, tape a plain white napkin to a sheet of printer paper using painter's tape.

Be sure to tape all of the side edges so the napkin won't jam in the printer. Ask me how I know this!
Place in the printer and hit print   .  .  .
to get a lovely paper napkin design! Just like that!
To decoupage, cut off the tape and remove the plain layers from the printed layer.

Then tear the napkin a little larger than the brass area. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the brass using a paintbrush.  
Smooth the paper napkin on the wet decoupage medium, using a plastic baggy to remove any wrinkles or air bubbles, and let dry. Once the Mod Podge dries, apply at least one more coat on the napkin design to seal the piece. And let it dry completely.
Then cut off the excess paper napkin around the edges .  .  .
using a file to remove residual napkin paper and giving all the edges a nice clean finish.
How's this for style and uniqueness!
Adding an aura of extra prettiness!
Perfect as a decorative accent dish with a touch of glamour!
And now for more thrifty goodness!
Check out what my fellow upcyclers created below!
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


  1. That's such a unique way to update the brass swan. It looks lovely. Great tip about how to make your own print on a napkin.

    1. Thanks Beverly! It seemed like the only alternative to painting I could come up with.

  2. Amazing work again friend! It's so fun to update something and have it fit in our home. Thanks for sharing an wonderful creating with you!

  3. Thanks, Chas! I do love how it looks now. And it's always a pleasure to have you included, too!

  4. Wow, what a great idea! I never even thought about making my own napkin design! I also appreciate the tip about using a plastic bag. I always have a hard time when decoupaging but I'm hoping to get the hang of it soon! Great job. xo Kathleen

    1. Thanks so much Kathleen! I love to decoupage, and I'm still getting the hang of it! I just never really know if it will turn out like I wanted it to. There are too many variables sometimes.

  5. Wow how nice this turned out to be! Very creative thinking and crafting went into this!

    1. Thanks so much for your sweet comments, Liz! I really appreciate them!

  6. How lovely! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  7. WOW! This is a gorgeous upcycle! I'd love for you to share over at our Creative Crafts Linky Party
    Have a great weekend!
    Creatively, Beth

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