Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Tiki Bar Mantle Celebration!

Hello Everyone!
For those of you who follow my blog, you may have noticed that I like to decorate my house for the seasons.  I especially focus on my fireplace mantle in the living room.  I missed on blogging my Spring mantle, so that will be a post for next year, but I am done with my summer mantle and I want to share it with you!
The picture below is a hint on the theme:

I'm going to learn to play the ukulele one day.  Its on my bucket list.
I actually had alot of trouble trying to figure out what I wanted my decor to be for the summer.  At first, I thought about doing a pool theme and making a wreath out of a small inner tube - but I couldn't find one in the size that I wanted.  I could have gone with the rustic Americana style that is so prominent for the Fourth of July in craft stores, but that isn't really my style.  I could do the beach thing, but I don't care for that when I am at the beach let alone in home not anywhere near the beach, so that wasn't an option.  Then I remembered the old mermaids that used to decorate my bathroom when I was growing up and my grandmother's  tiki bar themed barware - and a plan formed in my head.

I actually have a set of these that I am planning on putting up in my bathroom - although mine aren't as fancy as these.  I set of these were hanging above in the window in the bathroom when I was growing up and I just loved them.  I am going to carry on the tradition by putting them up above my bathroom window.
I want all of these in my life!  But I will wait until I have a pool.  My grandmother had some that were very similar to the brown ones on the second row.  I wish I knew where they were now, I would give puppy dog eyes to get them from other family members.

I would do a tiki mermaid band on the mantle!

As you may have already guessed, I love vintage decor and fashions and their are few things more vintage than a kitschy tiki bar.  So, inspired by my childhood, and the fact that I had two small tiki statues from my friends when they went to Hawaii,  I went on the internet to see if there was some art or vintage tiki paraphernalia that I could buy.  This is when I found out that vintage tiki items and mermaid pinup stuff is not cheap!  So it was up to me to come up with something a little more cost effective.
First, I decided that nothing says tiki like leis and driftwood.  So, channeling my inner Gidget, I designed a wreath made of leis.

Tiki Lei Wreath

I just love how happy and bright this turned out!  And you can see my pineapple napkins rings that I made in front of it.  I am going to show you how to make these a little further along in this post.

This wreath cost about $12 in total and is one my most favorite wreaths that I have made.  It's just so summer-y and it makes me smile just to look at it.  I got my supplies at Michael's and on e-bay, but you can get these items very inexpensively at party supply stores and Oriental Trader.

Items Needed
1 styrafoam wreath form (Mine was about 12 inches)
12 leis  (I actually only ended up using 10 for my project and I even did a double layer, but the amount of your leis needed will change depending on the size of your wreath
1 package of paper unbrellas
1 mini wood sign (or cardboard cut out to look like a broken wood sign)
Paint  (I used a dark brown, like dark chocolate, white and black to make my colors)
Twine or String
1 box greening pins

1.  Choose what you would like the top of your wreath to be and pin one of the leis to the back of the wreath using a greening pin.

2.  Wrap the lei around the wreath.  You can either wrap it tightly together, or you can leave two inch spaces in between.  It really doesn't matter, you just want to cover your wreath and use as many leis as you need to not have any blank spots. When you can no longer wrap the lei around the wreath, use a greening pin to pin the end in place.  Continue this step all around the wreath until you are happy with how it looks.

3.  Add the paper umbrellas.  You can put these anywhere on the wreath that you would like.  I like putting things on the bottom right of my wreaths, so that is where I put mine, but you can put them where-ever you think that they look pleasing.  This is the most delicate part of making the wreath and you probably will break/tear at least one umbrella, so make certain you have extras.
To add the umbrellas, push the umbrella up so that it is spread out, then poke it into the wreath.  This can be very hard and you may want to use a pair of pliers to do this to help prevent tearing.
I did not use any glue, but you probably could use hot glue if you are concerned about the umbrellas coming out.

4.  Paint the mini sign to make it look like driftwood.  I was, originally, going to make my sign from a piece of cardboard.  But when I was in Michael's, I saw a mini sign that was just about perfect for  my wreath and it was only $0.99, so I went with that.

You can see the colors that I used to create the sign in the picture above.  I basically blended the Rich Espresso and the cream to create the base color.  Then, using a dry paint brush and as little paint as possible to try to keep the brush dry, I did the distressing marks on the wood.  I used lines and blots and I smeared them with my finger.
I paid extra special attention to the edges because I figured they would have been darker because they would have remained wetter with the sea water longer.
To know the look I wanted, I just pulled up some signs made from driftwood and tried to emulate the look.

I looked for signs like this that fit the look asthesetic I was going for.

You could leave the sign as is and paint Tiki Bar on it and it would look just as cute in my opinion.
Once the sign was dry, I painted tiki bar on it in white paint.

The sign already came with string, so I didn't have to worry about adding that and I simply had to attach it to my wreath using greening pins.

5.  So that I could hang the wreath, I cut off a small piece of twine and knotted it on each end.  I then pushed a greening pen through the knots and into the wreath creating a loop so that I could hang it.  As this wreath is very light, I did not have to reinforce my greening pins in any way.

And then you just hang it wherever you want it.

As I was working on my wreath, I had some accessories that I had thought about adding that I decided not to use.  I hate wasting anything and when I saw the accessories together with the twine, I got the brainstorm to make napkins rings.  Since I have a semi open floor plan between the living room and the kitchen, I thought that it would be a great way to tie the two rooms together.

Tiki Pineapple Napkin Rings

I love how cute these turned out and they literally took less than fifteen minutes to make.  You can get the copper couplings from your local hardware store for about $0.99 and the clothes pins from Michael's.  I got my clothes pins at half off, so they cost me $2.00.  I already had the twine and have had it for years, so I have no idea how much it cost me.
Truthfully, the couplings were left over from my Thanksgiving Napkin ring holders, I had purchased a couple extras and they were just waiting to become another project.  So this whole project cost me $2.00 this time around.

Items Needed
2 copper couplings
Mini Clothes pin with Pineapple
Hot Glue

1. Place the clothes pin on the top of your copper coupling as far as it will go.  You can hot glue it in place.  I chose not to because then I can mix and match them as my little heart desires.
2. Starting under the bottom of your clothes pin, hot glue the end of the twine in place and start wrapping the twine around the copper coupling.

3.  Do a double layer on the bottom third of the coupling.  (Meaning the bottoms should have another layer of three rows to give it some texture.)  Glue the twine in the back with the glue gun and voila!

When I put them on counter top, I combined them with my bamboo place mats and my slightly nautical napkins.  I was very pleased with how they turned out.

My Tiki Band Mermaids

Those were the easier crafty things, but then I had to work on my tiki mermaids.  I looked at the retro mermaids by Fluff.  And, although I thought they were cute, they looked a little too much like a tattoo for me.
Not gonna lie.  I want this hair do.

I love the art of Stephanie Buscema, but I could only find two mermaids by her and I needed four.  Plus, I wanted them to be a part of a tiki band.  So I decided that I would have to create them.  I was most strongly influenced by Ms. Buscema when I started doing my drawing.  In fact, my first mermaid I did was almost exactly like hers as I got a feel for what I wanted to do.
As you can see from the inspiration photo, I didn't change her much at all.  Although I did change the features a little.  I wanted this to be a copy but not a direct rip off.

I started to branch off a little more with this one, but I had to do an homage to the original Barbie tiki mermaid.

This one I had to do the hair do.  Plus she had a tiki statue!!!

That's her version of Veronica from Betty and Veronica on the left.  I think that is so much fun.
So now that you have seen the inspiration, let me show them to you together.

It was just the look that I was going for!
So I framed them and put them on the mantle.
My only disappointment was that I couldn't afford to get frames that looked like driftwood.  I may still paint them to make them look that way.

And that is my tiki mantle!
I wanted to add a few more knick knacks here and there but my husband says that would be too much. So that is is it for now.
I still have plans to make pineapple shaped pillows for the living room chairs though. ;-)

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