Copper Bowls

I have a slight obsession with pinterest (AKA where I find everything worth knowing)…as in I could happily spend hours (and hours and hours!) on the site.  Wedding, Cooking, DIY: it has it all!  That’s probably not something I should admit to on the interwebs.  But, moving on, I was inspired by these.  They are beauties, aren’t they?  Lately my sister and I have been really into copper.  So, copper it was…

On a somewhat related note: my studio is growing by the day.  I mentioned earlier that I’m a BBB coupon hoarder.  I suppose I am also a studio hoarder.  I can’t get enough: every time we get something large delivered to our apartment, I break down and store the box.  The plastic bags you see below are for extra protection during spray painting episodes: a DIY drop cloth, if you will.  This morning I promised Boo I would tighten my studio belt (after he tripped while walking out the door…)  Sorry Boo!

Back to the project…I decided instead of buying the decorative bowls above, I would make them!  I needed two: one for bracelets and one for statement necklaces (note: I would not mix delicate gold or silver chains in with your big, chunky necklaces as they could tangle).  With that in mind, I visited a local dollar store where I found two sweet Porcelain bowls with scalloped sides for $1.40 each.  But, I didn’t realize how small they were until I got home and placed some of my necklaces inside.  If only I carry all of my jewelry with me at all times!  

This is a good DIY tip – don’t assume something will work unless you measure it and have a true sense of how it will fit in a space.  These bowls looked perfectly fine (size-wise) in the store, until I got home and tested them out…

So, it was back to the dollar store I went.  I’m pretty sure I am the only person in history to return two bowls at $1.40 each.  Even the store clerk looked at me strangely: but ain’t no shame in my game – I exchanged them for larger versions at $1.80 each.  

Everything fits, phew:

Tools you will need:
Porcelain bowls of your choosing
1 roll painters tape
1 canister copper spray paint  
1 jar Miniwax brand Polycrylic protective finish in clear gloss (this gives a high gloss shine, but if you’d like something more muted, there are other finishes closer to semi-gloss shine)
1 paint brush to apply Polycrylic 
1 paint can opener
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
1 studio (or a backyard or garage if you are lucky enough)

1. Wash and dry bowls thoroughly – you do not want to apply tape or spray paint to a damp surface
2. Apply the painters tape around the rim of the bowl (you can decide how thick or thin you want the white edge to be) by cutting small pieces and applying them – this should be easier than trying to apply one large piece of tape around the entire bowl, repeat for second bowl
3. If your edges are not perfectly straight (and if you want them to be) you can cut smaller pieces of tape and apply them over the existing tape to smooth the lines 
4. Once the tape is finished, apply the spray paint in light, even coats, holding the spray paint can at least 12″ from your bowl*, repeat for second bowl and remove tape
5. Let dry at least 24 hours (I waited 48 hours because I am using these bowls for jewelry and I didn’t want any copper spray paint rubbing off on my diamonds and pearls – #whitegirlproblems)
6. Once the spray paint is dry (a good way to test if it’s dry is to touch it and be sure it’s not tacky or sticky – if it is, let it sit a bit longer)
7. Apply the polycrylic finish with a paint brush, let sit at least 24 hours before using
8. Enjoy your sweet new decorative bowls

*If you happen to unintentionally get spray paint on the outside of your bowl, quickly wipe it down with a damp magic eraser – this is the best method I have found to remove spray paint from unwanted surfaces.  Because it dries quickly, you need to work fast! But this does work in a pinch.

The bowls with painters tape applied:

You can see that under the lip the edges are not perfect, but that is just fine because you aren’t spraying the outer bowl:

 The bowl in my studio prior to paint application:

The bowl in my studio post paint application (do you see the plastic bags I mentioned above?):

 Close up of this copper beauty:

The Miniwax polycrylic (can be found at any home improvement store):

Use a paint can opener to break it open, it will look like this – but it will go on clear:

I used a sponge brush to apply it, but any bristle brush should work fine:

 Can you tell the difference?  It’s slight in this light, but it’s clear in person:

Finished product glazed to perfection:

Copper bowl in use:

What do you think about the bowls?  Do you like the copper or would you prefer gold or silver?  I’d love to hear from you if you try out this project!

The Future Mrs. Wolf