Friday, June 03, 2011

Project: Antique Fishing Weights or Copper Shotputs

I found this picture of Antique Fishing Weighs on the web. The picture originally comes from Restoration Hardware where the description about them being "objets d'art", old time cast iron sinkers.  Well, I love the shape and the numbers and thought they would go nicely with my beach/nautical theme. The set sells for $99 and being cast iron are heavy.  So, I wanted a cheaper version, especially since there is no Restoration Hardware up here in NH and shipping costs would be astronomical.
So, I found this website that gives instructions for projects called Knock Off Decor and lo and behold, the fishing weights were already there!  Someone beat me to it!  Knock Off Decor links you to various contributors who create knock off versions of things.  And very good knock offs!
After reading over their instructions, I came up with a slight modification that like a little better.  But, I must say that instructions from Tracy's Trinkets are quite good!
Here is my version with alteration....

So, I started out with a styrofoam ball. I think it is 3" in diameter, a large metal washer from the hardware store and a sanding block.   
 I sanded one edge flat so that the ball would sit, not roll.  Then, I sanded the seam that was on the ball when I bought it.
I scratched a channel into the ball so that the washer would fit in snugly an added a drop of glue to secure it.
I glued a cardboard number onto the ball -- the cardboard gave depth and let it dry.
I took a very little amount of Plaster of Paris and placed it in a disposable cup.  Plaster of Paris is a powder used by sculptors to create shapes and textures and builders to fill holes in walls and boards.
 I mixed less than a quarter cup of the Plaster of Paris...
 And added a squirt of dark brown acrylic paint, just so I would have color.  The uncolored Plaster of Paris dries off white --- light gray.  I wanted a dark, old color.  Then I mixed in about 2 T water.
 I stirred it together, adding a few drops more water.  I wanted it to be the consistency of toothpaste or maybe even thick clam chowder....
 Then I painted a light coat on the ball and let it dry.  It gets very cold and then becomes room temperature.  I let it dry for about 2 hours or so.  You can let it sit overnight.
 Then I added another coat.  I let this dry as well.  I think I added a third coat - at least to some areas that weren't covered to my liking.  I let this dry thoroughly.
 The next day, I sprayed it with a copper spray paint.  I let this dry and then "cure" for 2 days.  This was the hardest part of this project!
Then, I sanded it again. I wanted rough edges, I wanted it to look banged up and used "weathered"
Then, I took some of the brown paint and watered it down with about 2 T water to 1 tsp paint.
I painted it all over the ball and then with an old rag dried it off, leaving some paint to show texture and shadow. I love it.
It doesn't weigh very much, but enough that it is not going to blow away and it looks old.
(Although, I am sure my track and field loving sisters will tell me it looks like a copper shotput!)

Linked to:
Somewhat Simple

1 comment:

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Danny, I saw these at Knock Off Decor and thought they were really cute! Yours turned out wonderful. Thank you for joining my party.