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Quick Projects for the Holidays or Any Time

Looking for a great last minute project? Whether you are an ardent do-it-yourselfer, or simply wishing for a unique way to make your home more festive this holiday season, Memphis design maven Amy Howard has just made it a whole lot easier. You can find her At Home line of paints, stains, lacquers and other do-it-yourself supplies at select area Ace stores. Known for her quality products and simplicity in design, there are dozens of projects that can still be completed in time for the holidays.

The following two project ideas from Amy Howard are not only simple and elegant ways to spruce up your holiday home decor, they can both be wonderful gifts or accent pieces for any occasion at any time of year.

Gilded Tile Trivets
For this project, you will need:

• Amy Howard at Home Gilding Size
• Amy Howard at Home Gold Leaf Sheets
• Ceramic Tile
• Orange tissue paper
• Foam Brush
• China Bristle Brush
• Damask (or your choice) Adhesive Stencil Pattern.
• Amy Howard at Home High Performance Furniture Lacquer in Bright Idea

1) Start with a clean, dry tile (a gentle degreasing agent like Simple Green is recommended).
2) Apply stencil to the top of the tile and with the foam brush, apply a thin layer of gilding size. Wait for gilding size to come to tack (20-30 mins).
3) Once the size has come to tack, apply gold leaf sheets in a linear motion (up to down, left to right) to the entire surface. Be sure to overlap the edges of the gold leaf sheets approximately 1/2″.
4) Once the gold leaf is laid, place orange tissue paper over the tile and burnish thoroughly, but gently by hand. Remove tissue paper and using the bristle brush, remove any shards or extra pieces of gold leaf.
5) It’s now time to lift the stencil, spray with Bright Idea to seal and voila! In just a few minutes, you’ve transformed an everyday tile into an elegant trivet, perfect for holiday coasters or to wrap in bows to give as gifts.

Red Lacquer Mirror
Say Happy Holidays to your visitors by transforming an old or plain mirror into a brilliant, festive piece for the entranceway or foyer. All you need is a mirror, a bristle brush and a can of Amy Howard at Home High Performance Furniture Lacquer in Brisson Red. For the holidays, placing brass or mercury accents around the mirror lend to the feel of the season.