diy mariners compass

Hey Guys! We’re so happy to have you today, and if you’re just stopping by from Melissa, thanks for dropping in! {If not, be sure to check out what she’s been up to!}

unnamedWe were so excited to be a part of the “She Sent Me What?” Challenge with some of our fave fellow bloggers… The challenge? To send one item in the mail to one person. It’s like a modern day chain mail in the form of unexpected flea market fun. ;}

I couldn’t wait for the package to arrive in the mail from Melissa {The Inspired room}.

And then I opened it, and I became the title for the post. She Sent Me What? {?!?!?!!} And I laughed. Because this. Was. Amazing. I love a good challenge… I crave it. And you should see what I sent Kelly – Eclectically Vintage {stay tuned to visit her below} … so there’s that. metal_piece I let it simmer for a few days before I even thought about what I would do with this thing that looks like it spent its past life in Saul Goodman’s office as part of a justice measurer thingy. Funky candle holder? Banana tray? Soap dish? Nope. And then I flipped it over. The underneath had this fabulous worn look that inspired me. We’ve been reading about Marco Polo and Magellan and Christopher Columbus in Mills Academy {if you’re new to these parts its fancy talk for home school} with the kids, and I was suddenly inspired. Duh. When you get a rando brass dish in the mail, you make… The suspense is killing you. I know. random_vintage_brass A vintage mariners compass. I mean, every house needs a vintage mariners compass. mariners_compass_how_to Or at least a much-needed splash of spring on their mantel in the form of something a little offbeat. I mean, for a moment… I reveled in my brilliance. Or my insanity. Jury’s still out. compass So here’s how we did it: I drew the shape of a compass in illustrator. You can get your own PDF here. {Side note: One of the lines inside a triangle (5th one clockwise) is off just a little, because mariner’s compasses are kinda hard to draw if you haven’t noticed but I just adjusted it when I painted it in.} Printed it out on a transparency, and projected it onto a piece of thin MDF. {You can totally measure out your own with a piece of yarn and your own nerdiness, but this makes it about twenty times easier.} make_your_own_compass This only took a few minutes. The compass shape was 32″ wide, and the final frame was 45″ wide to allow for a nice border. Again, you can certainly do any size you like. Then we broke out the saw and cut the outside shapes. diy_compass From there, after lightly sanding a few of the edges… it was simply ‘paint by number’. I grabbed paint cans we had in the garage and it was time for the fun part. The colors we used in Benjamin Moore: Yellow: Corn Husk, Dark Blue (In center): Calypso Blue, Coral: A blent of Corn Husk + Million Dollar Baby, White: Chantilly Lace, Blue: Peacock Blue. how_to_make_a_compass I added a touch of opposite paint to each side of a triangle with a dividing line, and rubbed away a little on top when it was almost dry with a paper towel for a distressed look. Then I went back and filled in the lines with a gold leafing pen, and gave it a “tea stain” with Cabot’s stain in Cinnamon. paint_your_mariners_compass I painted the back MDF that it was mounted to in Benjamin Moore’s at Sea, and added a slight dry brush with chantilly lace and more slightly rubbed stain on top of that for an older feel. I used a few letters to indicate direction with the gold leafing pen. Then we cut frame pieces, and stained, and added stripes. diy_mariners_compass We mounted the pieces with wood glue and our RYOBI brad nailer from behind. And added the piéce de résistance, the Melissa’s brass in the middle. Tada! True upcycling. make_your_own_vintage_compass_art make_your_own_mariners_compass_art You could create your own version with any colors + just about any type of combo. You could use cardboard. You can add anything to the middle or just leave it blank. You could even just paint the compass if you wish to have a ‘1-D’ piece of art in your home! The possibilities are endless. This kind of reminds me of a salvaged piece from an old carnival. Magellan’s Adventure. Sounds legit. So your take on it… is totally up to you. mariners_compass_art Who knew a piece of brass from Saul Goodman’s office could inspire a Magellan-esque carnival-style mariners compass? No, I did not inhale any mold. As always let us know if you try it! mariners_compass Here it is, on the new mantel makeover, here. + the final space, here.  mantel_makeover And now for the good stuff… Be sure to check out what I sent Kelly here + her creative solution… Don’t miss it!


And check out the rest of the fabulous bloggers in the line up + their little creations… here! So much fun in one little series!

Jennifer Rizzo Funky Junk Interiors My Sweet Savannah My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia Four Generations One Roof Home Stories A to Z Today’s Creative Blog Jeanne Oliver Designs French Country Cottage Finding Home The Inspired Room The Handmade Home Eclectically Vintage Makely School for Girls East Coast Creative Infarrantly Creative At Home on the Bay Thistlewood Farms Serendipity Refined At the Picket Fence Not Just a Housewife

Thanks guys… have an inspired day!

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Responses to diy mariners compass

  1. Cathy says:

    That is outside of the box thinking and a brilliant and lovely solution to what to do with your goodie. What a fun blog hop with a clever bunch of peeps!

  2. Such a fun idea!! And I love what you come up with, so creative, and perfectly colorful for spring!

  3. Susan M. says:

    I think you should make this a contest and let your followers vote on who did the best job of repurposing their “gift”. For me, it would be toss up between you and Funky Junk’s lamps made from the saw horse brackets. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Catherine says:

    WOW!!!! Just WOW!

  5. Eileen says:

    You and funky junk interiors are definitely the top two so far. This is fun and I’m moving along to the next blog. Incredible job!

  6. Kyla F says:

    This is great! I enjoy nautical things and the colors are lovely too :)

  7. It looks amazing! And what an awesome art piece.Thanks so much for being a part of the party!

  8. Holy smokes this is awesome!!!!!

  9. Love!! I love that you really thought outside of the box with your thrifted item. It seems the worse the item is, the better the projects are! Fantastic!

  10. Louise says:

    Incredible! Over-the-top fantastic! I’ll add that I wish I were a gal with tools who knows how to use them!

  11. Rhonda says:

    Now that is creativity at it’s best! I would have never given that one a thought, but I love it and it does look so vintage!

  12. Wow – your creative mind never fails to blow me away – love it!

  13. Jeanne says:

    You are incredible! I gasped when I saw your project!

  14. That calls for a Mad Men style 2 martini lunch! All points lead to you and your fabulously creative idea!

  15. Wow and wow! You really took this to another level!! I totally love what you did and would never have imagined it in a million years — so glad I stopped by from Melissa’s!

  16. Joanna Sigman says:

    I’m not usually a big fan of the whole blog hop but I absolutely LOVED this one and clicked my way merrily through each blog. There were so many fun ideas and I came away so inspired. I’m actually thinking of doing this with some of my fellow crafty addicts just for fun. Thanks for the fun morning avoiding my laundry!

  17. OMG, that’s it! You win! Totally genius! Love it!!!

  18. Gorgeous … creative … I love it!

  19. Gorgeous piece of art!

  20. Totally CUTE! Love those colors! And, I’m loving this “series.” So much creativity! Life to the full! Melissa

  21. Denise says:

    That’s amazing! I think yours is the best of the bunch.

  22. Thistle says:

    You. Are. Amazing.

    :) me

  23. Mary says:

    You’re right – it does have a carnival flavor to it which is why I think I love it so much! Thanks for sharing all about your paint colors and technique. Also, the candle sticks are the perfect accent for your piece. Can you share some details about them, too? Great styling!

  24. Super cute! I love it. I spy my favorite candlesticks up there too! I am so impressed that you were able to cut that out with a saw? I need more practice maybe…!

  25. Jaw drop… I do believe you reinvented the wheel! Holey smokes girl… how you saw THIS from THAT I’ll never know! Gorgeous piece!!!

  26. Kari says:

    No way!!!! Nothing short of brilliant. Man, I wish you were somehow related to me.

  27. This is so YOU! Colorful, bright, and happy :) I love it!!!

  28. Mindy says:

    Very clever use of your object! It turned out great and I like the colors – made the piece contemporary and traditional at the same time – great job.

  29. Wow, Ashley! Mind blown! That is fantastic. You are amazing! xoxo

  30. Catherine says:

    That is amazing! I love compasses.

  31. kristin says:

    WOWZA, now that is creative. Love the art piece, just beautiful!

  32. Oh. Holy. SMACKS! That’s gorgeous!…and cool as heck! Amazing….amazing…amazing!

  33. Rylan says:

    Wow! I’ve looked at almost all the other bloggers that did this challenge and yours is by far the absolute coolest, best, most awesomest!! :)

  34. Kelly says:

    This is such a creative use of your item!! I love it!

  35. Jill says:

    Love it! I want to pin it! But for some reason I can’t get your pin button to work!

  36. I love it! It fits into your home perfectly. It wouldn’t have been nearly as cool without the brass center. You found a way to incorporate it in a way the just screams, “The Handmade Home!”

  37. That is ridiculous!!! How can I get my mind to start working like yours?? Do a blog post on that next! I absolutely LOVE this!!

  38. You can definitely bring the jury back in on this one…it’s fabulous!!


  39. Elizabeth Sellon says:


  40. Oh my, what a fun and awesome idea! That is a great way to use your thrifted item. Thanks for sharing.

  41. wow You are creative and hardworking!
    Love the colours you choose!

  42. Theresa Ball says:

    First time on your blog–the compass is beyond compare. Just wonderful. Any thought to using the “leftover” chain the hang the compass board?
    I’ll be back to your blog.

  43. Rebecca says: