Cool Copper Projects
Warm metallic hues are easy to love but often pricey. When you create the look with hardware and crafts store supplies instead of the real thing, it will hardly cost a pretty (copper) penny.
Everything In This Slideshow
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This living room promotes its friendly gray and blush tones with warm copper accents. Metallic paint, string, and fabric add perfect details. The shelves are fronted with copper foil electricians tape, available at most hardware stores.
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Glam up a basic bowl using copper leaf. Follow manufacturer's instructions to apply the delicate leaf, being careful to keep it from crumbling before application. For first-timers, choose an easy design like our mistake-proof ragged edge. Finish with a clear spray sealer.
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Succulents and artwork look at home on a copper-front shelf. Basic brackets become lovely accents when treated with metallic spray paint. Apply three light coats for a thorough, durable finish—and remember to spray all screwheads, too.
Copper Leaf Picture Frame
Watch this simple technique for adding the perfect coppery touch to your picture frames.
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Use metallic porcelain paint to add festive confetti dots to a glass carafe. Dip a paint dauber into the paint, blot on a paper towel, then press it to the glass. Continue applying dots densely at the bottom of the vessel and more spaced out as you move up. Use a cotton swab to fill in dots if needed. Follow paint manufacturer's instructions to heat-set the paint.
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A rugged tree slice gets a brilliant makeover when layered with copper leaf. We generously applied gilding adhesive and copper sheets to the flat surface until we had consistent coverage and shine. For an aged effect, apply fewer metal sheets and let some wood grain show.
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Create this sweet botanical design starting with a plain cream-colored pillow. Remove the stuffing, and use metallic gold and copper embroidery floss to stitch a leafy or floral design. Then use fabric-friendly copper paint to add a touch more detail. Restuff and enjoy!
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A copper-painted pendant brightens a room from all vantage points. A metal primer and a slow and steady motion while painting helps to minimize drips on the curved shade. Multiple coats of copper spray paint will maximize sparkle and shine.
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A stylish, industrial pencil holder makes for a clutter-free desk. Set three large copper pipe couplings upright on plastic sheeting. Prepare a concrete mixture, then pour the concrete into each of the large couplings. Cut out small circles from plastic sheeting and wrap one end of the small copper couplings so they don’t fill with concrete as you insert them into the wet mixture. Follow manufacturer's instructions for drying time before use.
DIY Copper Lampshade
With a quick stop by the hardware store, you'll have everything you need for this stylish DIY project.
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Throw pillows are an easy way to experiment with metallic touches. Copper fabric paint and a foam brush create an uneven edge and variegated effect. We combined Martha Stewart Crafts MultiSurface Copper Paint with an acrylic medium, such as Liquitex Slow-Dri Fluid Retarder.
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Add another copper touch to your throw pillows. Attach a monogram or other design to a plain pillow by adhering metallic cording with clear-drying fabric glue and a few reinforcing stitches. Create a small pattern or shape, or spell out a favorite inspiring word.
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Give hardworking burlap an opportunity to shine by lightly coating a scrap in metallic spray paint. Framing this piece will add drama to your walls. A white mat hides frayed edges, and a glass-free frame puts all the focus on the fabric’s nubby texture.
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Grit and Glitz
For this custom headboard, we installed leftover laminate flooring onto 1/4-inch plywood cut to span the bed. The hardboard strips were cut to match the flooring pattern. We wrapped several of the strips in thin copper sheets, affixing with construction adhesive. A frame of white trim with miter-cut corners finishes the piece, which is hung on the wall with a French cleat.
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Copper sheets come in various thicknesses. Here, we used 5-ml (36-gauge) sheets because they're pliable for folding and wrapping, yet sturdy enough to avoid tearing. When cutting and folding thin metal sheets, you may leave marks and imperfections. Embrace them for a charming, rustic look.
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Spend some time in the plumbing aisle combining pipe and elbows (the curved pieces) to fashion a cubical table base. You can have your pipe cut at most home improvement stores, or do it yourself with a pipe cutter. We used the same laminate flooring and painted trim from the headboard project to fashion the tabletop, then connected the base and top with U clamps. TIP: If you want copper pipe to stay bright and shiny, finish it to stop oxidation. Scratch the metal with emery paper, then seal it with spray polyurethane.
Easy Glowing Copper Candleholder
Use copper tape to create a beautiful coppery hurricane.
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We traced a pretty profile onto a thin sheet of copper using a fine-point permanent marker, then cut out the image using detail scissors. Sketch a floral background on thick crafts paper with a metallic paint pen (we used a Sharpie in Bronze), and attach your head-turning likeness with construction adhesive. Mat and frame for a finished look.
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Invite guests into your home with metallic accents in your entry. Hardware, artwork, furniture, and more can be the perfect spots for a pop of copper. Add warm colors like jade and blush to complete the look.
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At Your Service
Jackets, bags, and flowers need a pretty home, so we made this entry butler from an 11×16-inch wood slice and an array of hardware and office store standards. The copper pieces function as clamps for test tube vases and a hanging bar outfitted with S hooks.
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Bands of copper foil tape add Art Deco-inspired flash to a blah slab door. After a long time adhered to a surface, the tape may leave behind sticky residue. Remove it with citrus cleaner and a plastic scraper—good as new!