Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Fake" Pottery Barn Mercury Lanterns

For me, the Pottery Barn catalogue is a wealth of ideas of which I might steal and fake-it myself!  One of my favorites that they're featuring for this summer are the Mercury Lanterns:

Really pretty in a grouping for the Summertime Mantel.  What I like about them most is that they are imperfect, and when trying to Fake an expensive item, imperfection can be your friend!  So, let's get started!

I've gathered a bunch of cheap glass containers and vases. I picked up most of these at a yard sale for between $0.50 and $1.00.  I found the ruffled one at Walmart for $0.97.  Also at Walmart, I picked up a can of Krylon Silver Metallic Spray Paint:

Outside we go to give each vase a spray.  I simply sprayed inside each vase, a little at a time.  Some of the paint may run inside if you spray too much at once (it happened to me), but that just adds to the imperfection!

Oh, and I had a helper during this process as well!

I scratched the insides of each vase to make it look antiqued and to let the light shine through, like the lanterns from Pottery Barn.

Don't ask me where I got this crazy crab shucking tool from, but it did the trick!  A screwdriver or an old knife would also work.

Finally, it's time to decorate the Summertime Mantel!  I like to use white lights instead of candles because I have a four-year-old and because I can keep it shimmering all night or day. 

You could also add a bit of wire around the tops of the vases to hang them under your market umbrella outside or around your yard as they feature in the Pottery Barn catalogue...

...but I decided they would be best enjoyed on my mantel.

Now let's do the Fake-It Yourself Breakdown!

5 Fake Mercury Lanterns, Sizes Small through X-Large ($4.00 for Vases, $3.24 for Paint)

Total Fake-It Cost $7.24

5 Mercury Lanterns from Pottery Barn,  Sizes Small through X-Large   ($117.50)

Total Fake-It Yourself Savings $110.26


  1. Another fabulous idea! I will share on my FB. :)

  2. PS -- Dollar Tree has tons of really fun glassware that would be perfect for this project. Cases can be ordered and shipped to store for free for people who might be planning a wedding or large gala. :)

  3. VERRYYYY COOOOLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!! You need a DYI show. Seriously!!!! Keep the ideas coming.

  4. This carried GREAT onto a whole new level! Great work! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  5. Those are wonderful! How fun to fake something!
    Hugs, Cindy

  6. Very cute. Love mercury glass, and this is a great way to make it. Thanks for sharing. Karie

  7. Those are very cool.

    Have you tried crackle paint? I wonder if it would work on glass.

  8. Upon further investigation, I should have used Krylon's Mirror Paint. That gives a real look of shiny mercury glass. I would imagine that crackle would work on glass, but I wonder if it would work with spray paint? I'll have to keep experimenting!

  9. I set about to tell you about the mirror glass paint but I see that you found it. Last year I was head over heels in love with the PB mercury glass pumpkins but they sold out before they even made it to the stores. I had purchased the paint years ago and finally got around to using it. You can read my blog http://rainingjellybeans.blogspot.com/2010/10/halloween-decorations.html see my work. I used a fine spray bottle filled with plain water to spray the inside of the pumpkins then immediately sprayed the mirror paint over the water. The droplets are what make the cracks much easier than scraping the paint off.

  10. Love these, but I really love your cute little helper :)

  11. What gave the ones hanging their sparkle? It looks like they have another product on them.

  12. yes, Sherri, I want to know that answer as well.. i like them better...

  13. I love this idea! My best friend and I are turning 60 this year. She is 6 months ahead of me. She was feeling a little blue. I gathered 110 jars (canning, salsa, pickle etc..) wired the top with a handal to hang in a tree. I put a few beads on the ends and put a cheap candal inside. we lit the way to her stable on the night of her birthday. The reason for 110? Because I told her we were going to live to be 110!

  14. There are some great glassware finds at yard sales & flea markets, too. As well as Free from family & friends. Start asking around....almost everyone has at least one 'junk vase' hiding in the garage or under the kitchen sink--got flowers in it but didn't have the heart to throw away the plain, boring vase. I've even dug a few out of the garbage or recycling! We'll do almost anything to avoid stores chock full of merchandise that was "Made in China"!


Compliments and Frugal Tips Only, Please!

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