I was beyond thrilled to be invited back to Oregon’s KATU Afternoon Live show last month – to demonstrate how to make these beautiful DIY gemstone-topped jewelry boxes (for Valentine’s Day…or any other gift-giving occasion really!)
Watch below as I demonstrate with host Tra-Renee how to make your own to rival those $45+ boxes you see at the home decor stores!
How to DIY Your Own Gemstone- (or Agate, or Geode) Topped Jewelry Box
DIY Supplies for Making Your Own Agate Jewelry Box That I Mentioned in the Video:
Gold Calligraphy Pen: this is the type I used
for painting the raw edges of the boxes; it creates a lovely metallic finish
you can use any kind as long as it’s clear, I used this one
and it’s never EVER coming off that box!
Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
(for a glossy, resin-like finish): Michael’s, Jo-Ann Crafts, or online here
On a recent trip to one of my favorite gem supply shops in the Portland area (Ed’s House of Gems as I wrote in an earlier post here) I found some pretty agate slices that seemed like they would be perfect for drink coasters. Sure, I got the idea from Rablabs many years back…but those coasters were $65 at the time and way more than I wanted to spend. So I decided to make my own DIY agate drink coasters – with a little metal leaf to glam them up – and some cork “feet” to protect my table. You can find agate or geode slices many places now (including at your local Michael’s or Jo-Ann Fabrics stores!) and you can buy them on eBay or here as well. I also shared this project idea on Darby Smart awhile ago…but I figured it was high time to turn it into a full-fledged tutorial. So here it is!
agate slices (you can use dyed agate though the dye may bleed a little) / Mod Podge or metal leafing glue / clean, soft brush / metal leaf sheet in your favorite metal color / adhesive cork disks (find these in the furniture protection section!) / small scissors / adhesive sealant (optional, not pictured)
1. Brush the edges of an agate slice with Mod Podge or metal leafing glue. (If your agate is dyed, you may find that the color starts bleeding into the glue here.)
2. Allow the glue to dry a few minutes so it is tacky. Roll onto a metal leafing sheet, pressing hard and covering all edges completely with the sheet. Just rip and reposition!
3. Making sure your brush is completely dry (or just use a different brush), gently brush off the excess metal leaf.
4. Usually the adhesive cork disks that are sold for furniture are too large for coasters, so cut each disk into smaller pieces.
5. Place the cork pieces at opposite ends of the agate slice so the slice will sit level on a flat surface.
And that’s it!
Pretty, colorful, organic coasters add a touch of class to any decor. If you’re concerned about the metal leaf coming off with use or exposure to liquids, I’d advise a quick spray of acrylic sealant around the edges of the coasters to make that permanent.
These coasters look so lovely shimmering in pale colors below translucent drinks!
What do you think? Is this a project you’ll be trying out?
And if you love agate projects
(or need something to do with any extra agate slices you may have acquired ;-)…my DIY Agate Keepsake Box
) materials are still available on Darby Smart
…and you can buy them individually in case you only need one or two supplies. (And…pssst! Right now [early Spring 2016] in Target’s front $1 section right in front of the doors…there are beautiful hinged WHITE wooden boxes…for only $3, which I suggest you snap up IMMEDIATELY to take advantage!)
So…sliced agate bookends are a big THING…but they can be ridiculously expensive. Just browse One King’s Lane or Joss & Main (and those are discounted to around $66, sheesh!) to see what I mean. Or Z Gallerie to see the full-priced version at $99. Even Target released a pair as part of their Threshold line…and of course the pair is about at the $25 mark. That’s still a price I think I can beat, so I began searching for how to create these lovely bookends for less.
Unfortunately to get good-quality sliced and polished matching agate chunks, you’ll have to pony up some cash, there’s no way around that. If you can score a pair on eBay for cheaper, that’s awesome…just be aware to factor in shipping to make sure you’re getting a good deal (those things can be heavy). Amazon has some great agate bookend options…similar to the lower pricepoint I found mine at – so I’d recommend buying through them!) Personally, I like to source my gems at local rock shops since I can get a pretty good deal depending on what they have in stock – and a favorite of mine is Ed’s House of Gems in NE Portland (don’t look at their website, it doesn’t begin to do this amazing store justice). Needless to say, I managed to find a beautiful pair of agate bookends there recently for a mere $18 – and set out to spice them up and make them look as nice as the Target (or the more expensive!) versions. (You could also cover the rough sides in actual gold or silver leaf if you wanted…but I had some spray paint on hand and figured that would be easiest.)
How to Make DIY Gold Painted Agate Bookends
sliced agate pair | painter’s tape | gold spray paint (here are a variety of great options) | acrylic sealer (optional) | newspapers or something to protect your surface | sticky-back felt dots (optional)
1. Spread painter’s tape over the flat sides of each bookend, extending the tape beyond the side.
Press firmly at the edge where the flat polished side meets the rough, rocky edge to prevent seepage.
2. Place on newspapers outside, and spray the rough, rocky sides gold. 1-2 coats should suffice.
3. Allow to dry.
4. (Optional) Hit the gold-painted side with a coating of acrylic sealer if you’re concerned about the gold rubbing off.
5. (Optional) Place sticky-back felt dots on the underside of the agate pieces to keep your shelving safe.
And there you have it!
You could easily just place the agate pieces as-is on your shelves and none would be the wiser…but I wanted some more finished pieces. They would also make a fabulous gift that looks oh-so-expensive…and you never have to tell anyone that you crafted them for a steal!
If you’ve made your own version of these popular sliced DIY agate bookends – how did they work out for you? Let me know in the comments!