diy project: kate’s recycled objet d’art

this is the last installment in the paint projects. over the years of apartment dwelling, i have amassed a fairly large collection of house paints, some of which i’ve hardly used. i decided to create some quick “objet d’art” with a few random knick knacks lying around. this is an easy way to create a little sculpture collection out of thrift shop finds; dipping them all in the same color can create a unified statement. or if you want them to be more functional, you can fill them with sand or rocks and use them as paperwieghts or bookends. happy crafting! –kate

CLICK HERE for the full project instructions after the jump!


what you’ll need:
1. objects (wood and plastics work best)
2. can of interior latex paint (semi gloss or matte is good, not high gloss)
3. plastic bag or saran wrap for a drying surface
4. hair dryer
5. pliers
6. clear sealant spray (look for this at craft stores or hardware stores)
7. putty or spackle (optional)
8. exacto blade (optional)
9. sand (optional)

1. if you are just dipping the item, skip to step 5.

2. if want your item to be filled with something and it doesn’t have a hole, cut out a small hole that you can pour the sand through with an exacto blade (the object needs to be made of something you can cut and be hollow for you to do this).

3. fill the item with sand and turn upside down. fill in the hole with putty or spackle. keep it turned upside down while the spackle dries.

4. make sure the sand will not fall out when you turn it back over.

5. mix your can of paint to make sure it is even.

6. grip the item from the best dipping point with the pliers. i dipped all of mine bottom first so the paint can drip off the bottom.


7. dip the item completely until the top is submerged, then pull back out and hold over the can. let the excess paint drip off for a long time. you can jiggle it a little to get more paint to come off. keep holding it and let the drips keep falling until there are barely any drips left.

8. place item bottom down onto a piece of plastic or a flattened zip lock bag.

6. let dry for at least 24 hours, occasionally blowing it with a hair dryer on low for several minutes. after the top is dry to the touch, move the item carefully to a clean spot on the plastic and continue to let it dry.

7. when the item is completely dry, spray it with an even coat of sealant. let the sealant dry for a few hours.


  1. Heather says:

    What a great idea. I wonder, though, whether you could achieve a similar look with several coats of spray paint, or if the house paint provides a thicker, more “sculptural” texture/look?

  2. Erin says:

    I love the wallpaper behind them! Where did that come from!?

  3. Kate says:

    Oh come on now, you *know* the next logical question is “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT AMAZING WALLPAPER?”

  4. kate says:

    you’ve got it exactly right. the reason i used the dipping process was to make it look like it was made of something else, like a ceramic object. you can’t really achieve this look with spray paint, or at least i have not been able to so far… but both processes create their own interesting look! -kate

  5. really cool idea.
    also, really beautiful wallpaper!!!

    1. grace says:

      hi guys

      the wallpaper is actually a piece of paper from paper source. i asked kate where it was from when i saw her post this morning and was happy to hear it’s affordable and perfect for small projects:


  6. Mac MGivens says:

    I think this is a super idea! You could also use car paint in an airbrush unit. It is a much more durable type of paint, and goes on much smoother then out of the can spray paint. Oh! And by the way: The wallpaper is phenom!

  7. cevd says:

    i have so much stuff lying around that could be dipped in paint. i have tried this will spray paint, but apparently i just don’t have that skill.

  8. leann says:

    i just bought that backdrop paper and used it on a diy coffee table renovation project! love it!

  9. Miss B. says:

    This is fun! Love this idea, I am a horrible dipper though, maybe I should try the jiggle, I ma always left with drip marks…

  10. Raquel Raney says:

    totally nifty. not sure my craft is up to par – but definitely going to experiment. thanks for sharing.

  11. I too was loving on the paper in the background so much that by the time I read the post and saw the honey bear it actually surprised me. This is such a great idea. I must have at least five cans of left over paint below the sink at this very moment. Now to figure out what to dip…


  12. lauren says:

    Kate this is such a great idea! I especially love the honey bear.

  13. alex says:

    wow!!! this is so cool! I especially love the honey bear bottle. I’m already thinking what objects I can do this too. It’s like a DIY for incredibly popular and very expensive Jonathan Adler porcelain figures. This would be a great thing to do with some childhood keepsakes. If you took a few of your childs favorite wooden and plastic toys and did this you could display them. I think it would look great. Thanks for sharing this fun project.

  14. What a cool craft. i would have never thought of something like this. Impressive!

  15. Jill says:

    I love the Anti 9 to 5 Guide. It’s one of the best reads. Very inspirational!

  16. Mouse says:

    Clearly the greatest use of an old honey bottle OF ALL TIME.

  17. Mary says:

    I love the metal kitchen chairs! Can you tell me where I can find 4 of them? Thanks for sharing!

  18. I love the honey bear as a book end…its brilliant and I have a honey bear obsession…thank you for the idea

  19. Cool idea! I do love collecting random objects, and now this would give them a use!

  20. DJ says:

    The honey bear bottle looked ceramic in the photo. Very spiffy indeed.


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.