John Derian Paperweights

Photo Credit: Bart Boehlert's Beautiful Things Blog

One of our customers recently brought my attention to a blog post (Bart Boehlert's Beautiful Things Blog: A Visit With John Derian) that included several photos taken at John Derian's shop and Lower East Side art studio in New York.  Included among the photos was a picture of many of Derian's paperweights (above).

I've been a fan of John Derian's decoupage work for more than a decade and know that many of you have also been inspired by his designs.  Bart Boehlert's blog is a wonderful read, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at Derian's art studio.

Read: Bart Boehlert's Beautiful Things Blog: A Visit With John Derian


Literary Paperweights - Turn an Antique Book Cover Into a Glass Paperweight

I love old books, especially those featuring gold embossing and other intricate designs on the cover.  I must have accumulated dozens of antique books over the years that I purchased simply because the artwork was too beautiful to pass up.

One of my passions in life is collecting antiques.  Therefore, I hate the thought of old books being sacraficed for craft projects unless they're in poor condition.  This said, there are many sources for antique books you may purchase for their cover artwork (or the artwork and illustrations inside).  These include tag sales, thrift stores, and library book sales.  Some antique stores may also carry a selection of discounted books.

The book I used for this project was purchased for 25-cents at a recent rummage sale.  It was in very bad condition and a few strings away from losing its cover.  Fortunately, the gold embossed artwork looked wonderful.  After a quick buff with a slightly damp rag, the color became more vivid and the gold's lustre was restored.

Because the cover of the book is fairly thick, I didn't need to adhere the paperweight kit's mounting board to the reverse side.  Instead, I used the mounting board as a guide to trace my cut line.  Once the artwork was cut (see above) it took less than a minute to place the artwork in the paperweight (PhotoWeights: Round Paperweight Kit) and apply the velvet bottom pad to finish.

Please leave a comment to let us know what you thought about this project.  We'd also love to hear about your project ideas.


Antique Sewing Scissors With a Clip of Vintage Ribbon

One of my dearest friends celebrated her birthday last weekend.  She's collected antique sewing notions as long as I can remember.  Therefore, I thought I'd create a distinct paperweight that would add a touch of home to her office.

I purchased these antique sewing scissors years ago because I loved the patina of the metal and the delicate design of the handles.  When I placed them on a decorative background and added a clip of vintage ribbon, the scissors were transformed into something truly special.

This project required the Large Rectangle paperweight because of the area required to display the scissors.  I also used K&Company's 'Teal Floral & Letter Flat Paper' from their ancestry.com collection.  (Most craft stores like Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabrics carry more than 100 different paper designs sold by the sheet.)   To add a little more interest to the design, I added some vintage ribbon.

The photo above shows the mounting board (included in each paperweight kit) with the decorative paper applied.  I used Liquid Fusion, a clear urethane glue, to adhere the scissors to the background.  The piece of ribbon was added last.

Here are a few tips:

Prior to gluing items to your background, arrange them a few different ways and view them under the paperweight before commiting to a layout.

There are a few things to consider when it comes to selecting the right glue for your project.  You should use an adhesive that's designed for the materials you're working with (metal, wood, glass, plastic, etc.).  You should also consider damage the glue may cause to the items you're displaying if they have monetary or sentimental value.

I hope this paperweight will inspire you to look for a small treasure the next time you're at an antique shop or a tag sale.  Perhaps you already have something hidden in a box or a drawer.

What kind of curiosities can you think of that would look great in a paperweight?  We'd love to hear your ideas!